Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth

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Health and Nutrition

Should I really brush my dog's teeth?

The following article is taken from the "Purina® Animal Instincts" Podcast Series. Learn more at

A dog’s dental health depends a lot on its breed and diet. But dogs can get gum disease from plaque on their teeth. And gum disease and tooth decay can start early in a pup’s life, so the sooner you attend to your dog’s teeth, the better.

Ideally, you should brush your pup’s teeth each day with a soft bristle brush and a special veterinary enzymatic toothpaste. This comes in flavors such as beef, so your dog will think of it as a treat. Simply push the skin back from your pup’s mouth and use a back-and-forth motion on the outside of your dog’s closed teeth. The pooch never even has to open his jaw!

If you have trouble, talk to your veterinarian. He or she may recommend an anti-plaque mouthwash or a bio-adhesive film instead.

– Dr. Andrea Looney, DVM