In a rush and just want my recommendation? I think the Arm & Hammer Dental Kit is a great choice.
We love our hounds and want to keep them healthy. Part of their health is linked to dental hygiene and the state of their gums. I’ve compiled a list of the best toothbrushes for dogs, to make sure your dog’s gums stay healthy.
In this article, I’m reviewing the following toothbrushes for dogs.
- Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste
- Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Natural Dog Dental Kit
- Barkley’s 360º Dog Fingerbrush Toothbrush
- Pet Republique Dog Toothbrush Series Cat and Dog
- Arm & Hammer Dog Dental Care Fresh Breath Kit for Dogs
How Do Dogs Benefit From Toothbrush Cleanings?
Though it may seem strange, dogs benefit from oral hygiene just as much as humans do. Regular teeth cleanings help prevent plaque buildup, and reduce the risk of your dog developing canine periodontal disease.
One of the first signs of unhealthy oral hygiene in dogs is bad breath. If the smell is strong enough, your dog may already have the beginnings of untreated dental disease.
Do Treats That Clean Their Teeth Work Just As Well?
While dental treats are fun and tasty for dogs and take away some work for you, these treats don’t do as much as they could. Dental treats are a great way for dogs to clean the surface of their teeth, but they don’t help keep gums clean in the way that using a toothbrush does.
Plus, some areas of a dog’s mouth simply cannot be reached or cleaned with a dental treat. Small dogs and dogs with crowded teeth suffer from this issue. So, although you can use dental treats to help avoid plaque buildup, it’s still best to brush your dog’s teeth with a toothbrush consistently.
What To Look For In A Dog Toothbrush
To find the right dog toothbrush, you first need to make sure that you’re picking one that’s specifically made for pets. Toothbrushes made for human teeth won’t be as soft and will be too harsh on your dogs’ gums and teeth. The toothbrush you choose should have soft, angled bristles.
Dogs under 30 pounds don’t necessarily need to use traditional toothbrushes. For dogs this size and smaller, you can use a finger brush to clean their teeth. Dogs larger than that should have a regular toothbrush because the handle will help you get a better reach into the back of their mouth.
What’s the Best Way to Brush My Dog’s Teeth?
The most efficient way to brush your dog’s teeth with a toothbrush is to get them used to it from a young age. Training them to get used to a toothbrush can take time, months even, but it’s best to get them there gently and gradually.
If they have an unpleasant experience getting used to the toothbrush, odds are it’ll be even more difficult the next time you try to use it. The best way to ease them in gently is to let them lick the toothpaste off the brush, slowly touch their teeth to the bristles, and brush for a short time.
Once they are happy with that, you can attempt to raise their lips to brush their gums as well. To make sure they have a positive experience, give them praise throughout the brushing and make sure they know they’re a good dog. With enough work, this could be a pleasant experience for both you and your dog!
What To Avoid When Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth
It’s imperative that you never force your dog’s mouth open, under any circumstances. This can lead to a struggle between you and your dog and make the experience more difficult than necessary. It may also lead to injury of your hound’s mouth. Try and use a toothpaste flavor your dog will enjoy. There are many hound approved options available like peanut butter, poultry, and even vanilla mint.
It’s best to get your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned before you attempt this yourself. Getting their mouth checked out by a professional beforehand will make sure their gums and teeth are healthy, so that you can continue to keep them clean from that point forward.
The Best Toothbrush For Dogs
It’s important the toothbrush you select is a safe and efficient choice for both you and your dog, otherwise, this will be a chore rather than a fun bonding experience for you both.
Don’t let the name fool you; this gel-based toothpaste also comes with a toothbrush! The toothbrush is a unique triple-headed design that makes sure every side of your dog’s teeth is properly brushed and cleaned. It also cleanses their gums without being too harsh.
As an added bonus with this toothbrush, Vet’s Best toothpaste is also included, so you don’t have to worry about shopping around separately for toothpaste. It’s made of dog-safe ingredients like aloe, grapefruit seed extract, and enzymes to clean your dog’s teeth and gums gently.
- Toothbrush reaches all parts of the mouth
- Easy-grip handle
- Made in the USA
- Although safe, some have an issue with the toothpaste containing neem oil
- Some dogs can have an adverse reaction to the toothpaste
This Nylabone toothbrush kit comes with two different brushes, one with a handle and one for your finger, and a tube of peanut butter flavored toothpaste. The handled toothbrush has an angled head with soft bristles, ideal for reaching every facet of your dog’s teeth and gums.
The toothpaste included is not only a flavor your dog will enjoy but also actively helps fight against bad breath and reduces tartar and plaque buildup. Depending on the size of your dog, you can choose between the angled brush or finger brush to make sure your dog’s teeth get the best possible cleaning.
- Dogs love the taste of the toothpaste
- Toothbrush helps cleanse out-of-reach areas
- “Nubs” on the side add extra cleaning for gums
- The finger brush is not one-size-fits-all
- The toothpaste cap can be tough to secure
This finger brush toothbrush differs from the others on this list in a few unique ways. This is the only brush that has bristle nubs around the entire thing, leading to extra thorough cleaning. Plus, Barkley’s brushes are made with silicone that’s BPA and Phthalate-free.
This silicone design is unique because it’s more delicate than bristled brushes, meaning your dogs will have a gentler clean compared to other toothbrushes. Sizing for this silicone brush is easy as well because all you have to do is add a little water to secure it onto your finger.
- Two brushes included
- Comes with a case for each brush
- Dogs accept finger brushes more readily
- Easy to clean by boiling
- More expensive than other brushes
- No toothpaste included
Pet Republique offers both handled and finger toothbrushes, along with toothpaste, but I want to focus on their finger brushes. These finger brushes are soft to the touch and made out of food-grade quality materials, meaning they’re absolutely safe to use on your dogs.
These brushes also come in a pack of six with a 60-day money-back guarantee from Pet Republique. If you’re unhappy with your purchase, the company will replace it or give you a full refund. Plus, 15% of every purchase of a Pet Republique product is donated to help animal shelters and the animals they take care of.
- Different sizes to ensure the perfect fit
- One year’s supply of toothbrushes
- Grants you full control when cleaning your dog’s teeth
- Money-back guarantee
- Some find the toothbrush to be too big
- Better suited to medium and large-sized dogs
This Arm & Hammer kit provides you with two toothbrush types, handled and finger, and a tube of vanilla ginger toothpaste. Arm & Hammer makes the toothpaste out of natural ingredients that dogs can not only ingest but seem to enjoy too. It’s infused with baking soda to ensure your dog’s teeth and gums are cleaned.
The handled toothbrush comes with two heads, one small and one large, so you can find the perfect fit for your dog’s mouth. If you, or your dog, don’t like handled brushes, however, you can also opt for the finger brush that’s also included.
- Satisfaction guarantee
- All-natural toothpaste recipe
- Toothbrush bristles are effective for cleaning
- The brush head can be too big for small dogs
While all the toothbrushes on this list are quality items, there is a clear winner, and that is the Arm & Hammer Dental Kit. It’s an affordable kit that comes with two brush options so you can test the waters with your dog and figure out which one they enjoy the most.
Plus a toothpaste that is not only tasty to your dog but helps fight against tartar buildup and bad breath.
Be sure to head over to my reviews of best dog toothpaste, so you can pair up with your favorite toothbrush.