How to brush your dog’s teeth (really)

Don’t know where to start? It’s not as hard as you think. Try these easy (and fun!) first steps …


Place dog toothpaste on your finger. Let the dog lick it as you gently introduce a finger into her mouth. Rub and massage the gums.

Place dog-friendly toothpaste on a cotton-tipped swab and rub along the gum line

Use a wet washcloth—soaked in chicken or beef broth—to 3 massage the teeth and gums

Use rubber toys, such as Kongs. Apply dog toothpaste to the surface or grooves and let the dog chew on them.

Offer hard, crunchy treats, such as carrots, apples or rice cakes. These are natural toothbrushes that help keep teeth clean and massage the gums. (While nothing works as good as a toothbrush, there are always alternatives. If the dog doesn’t like the taste of toothpaste, you can just use water.)