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It's important to take your dog for regular physical exams, but regular dental cleanings are also vital for maintaining good health. Regular dental cleanings (whether they are professional cleanings or done at home) can prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and tartar buildup. To care for your dog's teeth, make sure to invest in a special toothbrush.
When it comes to toothbrushes, sometimes a simple model is the best. For under $4, the Vetoquinol Enzadent Dual-Ended Toothbrush provides stellar dental care for your pup in a foolproof, easy-to-use package. The brush features both a large and small head (one on each end) to accommodate canines of all sizes, both with bristles designed to break down food debris and plaque. Its ergonomic design makes it a breeze to brush with, and the softness of the bristles means it feels gentle while it works. While it’s not the fanciest toothbrush on our list, it’s a smart product that gets the job done and leaves your dog’s mouth fresh and hygienic.
Customers write that the Vetoquinol Enzadent Dual-Ended Toothbrush works equally well in both large and small mouths thanks to its two-headed design. It couldn’t be easier to use and holds up even with dogs with a habit of trying to chew their toothbrush as they get a cleaning.
Some owners find that a standard toothbrush can be challenging to move around inside their dog’s mouth, and have more success with a brush head that can be placed on the end of a finger. The H&H Pets Dog Toothbrush makes it easy to get into every nook and cranny, sitting on your fingertip as you move it across your pet’s teeth. The curved profile of the brush head helps clean hard-to-reach spots and adapt to different gum shapes. The bristles are soft but effective, and the brand even sells a smaller version for people with a ring size of seven or smaller.
Sold in packs of four and eight, customers write that the H&H Pets Dog Toothbrush makes a huge difference in their dog’s dental health (not to mention their breath). The finger brush is easy to work, and most dogs quickly get used to having their owner’s finger in their mouth. It also cleans easily under a faucet and strong enough to last for a few brushings.
If your dog doesn’t love the idea of someone messing around inside his mouth, fear not—there are plenty of alternative toothbrushes that your dog can use on their own. The Zadyx Dog Toothbrush Stick can be played with like a regular chew toy, but provides 360 degrees of tooth-cleaning power. This natural rubber stick is surrounded by bristles that work deeper into your dog’s mouth, removing grime and freshening breath as they chew. Just squeeze a bit of dog toothpaste into a hole on top, and it will flow out of the toy and into your dog’s mouth when they bite down.
The Zadyx Dog Toothbrush is a cleverly designed product that does an excellent job of cleaning teeth, and all dogs need to do is play with it for five minutes. While the chew also comes with a separate finger toothbrush for cleaning hard-to-reach areas, it’s effective at breaking down plaque and tartar on its own.
Using a dual-head toothbrush with a small and large head means you won’t have to reach for a second brush every time you move to a different area of your dog’s mouth, and also have the benefit of working well for both large and small breeds. The Pet Republique Dog Toothbrush has a narrow, 8.5-inch handle that makes it easy to hold, plus the expected large and small brush heads (one on either end). The large head is ideal for regular teeth cleaning, while the small one is well suited for getting to deeper, hard-to-reach parts of the mouth. The bristles are tested to effectively break down plaque and tartar without harming your pet’s gums, and the brushes are sold in packs of three or six.
Both dogs and owners love the Pet Republique Dog Toothbrush. The long handle fits well in the hand, and with a quick flip, you can switch from cleaning the smaller front teeth to the larger back molars. All in all, it’s a great addition to your dog’s care regimen—paired with a good toothpaste, it’s sure to leave their smile pearly white.
If a Sonicare toothbrush is the ultimate high-end for humans, the Pet Ultrasound Toothbrush is the canine equivalent. This electric brush is designed to break down even the toughest tartar build-ups—it comes with two tartar scrapers that vibrate and gently work through the calculus in your dog’s mouth. It also includes a silicone toothbrush head for regular maintenance. The toothbrush is also waterproof and even has an LED light that allows you to better view the inside of your dog’s mouth and assess any potential tooth or gum issues.
While the Pet Ultrasound Toothbrush for Dogs is high-priced at over $100, it’s still likely less expensive than the cost of taking your pet to the vet for a serious dental issue (one customer notes that it solved a dental stone problem that would’ve cost over $1,000 at an animal hospital). Additionally, it includes a one-year warranty to allow you to buy with confidence (the manufacturer will fix any issues within that window for free).
You don’t need to choose between a regular toothbrush and a finger brush. Sets like Arm & Hammer’s Dental Clinical Gum Health Dog Toothpaste & Brush Kit give you the best of both worlds. This kit includes a dual-sided toothbrush, a finger brush, and a tube of enzymatic toothpaste enhanced with baking soda. The dual-head brush has a large and small end that allows you to work in different areas of your dog’s mouth, while the finger brush is ideal for a more controlled brush that cleans the gums and scrubs away grime. All told, it’s a one-stop-shop for freshening breath and keeping the plaque and tartar in your dog’s mouth under control.
Customers write that this kit from Arm & Hammer has everything you need to keep your dog’s smile fresh—and pups even like the taste of the toothpaste, which has a savory chicken flavor (don’t worry, it smells like mint). As you’d expect from this brand, the inclusion of baking soda does a great job of cleaning and deodorizing, leaving your dog’s mouth cleaner than ever.
Puppies may have different needs than adult dogs, but they still require routine dental care to keep their teeth and gums healthy. The Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Puppy Dental Kit includes a standard brush, a finger brush, and a tube of toothpaste, giving you all the tools you need to maintain your puppy’s smile. Each item is specifically designed for puppies, with soft bristles sized for smaller mouths on both the regular and finger brush. The toothpaste is formulated to break down bacteria-harboring plaque, and the angled neck of the standard brush effectively cleans between teeth.
Customers say their puppies love getting their teeth cleaned with the Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Puppy Dental Kit. The brand is best known for its line of healthy chews, so the toothpaste has an appealing flavor puppies adore—don’t be surprised to see your begging to have his teeth cleaned.
While this may not be your standard toothbrush, Ark Natural’s Dental Chew is an easy way to clean your dog’s teeth without lifting a finger. These grain-free and gluten-free treats, which are shaped like small cylinders, have deep ridges around the exterior that help remove plaque and tartar when your pup chows down. The middle of the treat is filled with “toothpaste,” which also works to clean teeth and freshen breath. If you’re worried about the ingredient list, these treats contain all-natural ingredients like vanilla, cinnamon (which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties), alfalfa, and clove. Dogs love them, and owners appreciate how effective they are.
Some owners did mention that these chews were a bit too hard for their dog, but most customers have been pleasantly surprised by how well they work. “Amazing results,” wrote one owner. “None of our dogs have any doggy breath. We give them each one treat in the morning and one after their evening meal.” Note that these chews should not be used by dogs younger than 12 weeks, and you can choose from three different sizes (small, medium, and large) depending on your breed.