Dental Care Tips for Dogs

Cleaning your pet's teeth is an essential part of pet ownership.

Created: 5/10/2017 Updated: 1/19/2024 - Shelley Audis-Riddell

dental, dogs, grooming, Health & Wellbeing, puppy

Cleaning your pet's teeth is an essential part of pet ownership. Did you know that dental issues lead to 48% of operations performed in the UK? It is vitally important to maintain healthy gums and teeth. For dogs that don't enjoy their teeth being cleaned, it can become a relentless battle between pet and owner. To help make teeth cleaning easier and more enjoyable for you both, the OSCAR Helpline has some simple tips to help you along the way.

Dalmatian with a healthy set of clean teeth.

How to brush your dog's teeth

  • Firstly, never force your dog to have its teeth cleaned! Teeth cleaning should be an enjoyable experience for both dog and owner. Forcing your dog to have their teeth cleaned can make them feel stressed and worried. It can also have a negative impact on your dog's confidence when handled in a similar way by a vet or groomer.

  • Chose a time to carry out teeth cleaning when your dog is relaxed (such as after a walk or play session) rather than energised and full of beans! Use gentle praise to encourage your dog to tolerate the brushing.

  • If your dog is not used to having its teeth cleaned, allow it to get used to the brush and toothpaste before you start. Do this by squirting a small amount of toothpaste onto your finger and allowing your dog to lick it off. Then, with a small amount of toothpaste on the brush, begin brushing gently and slowly, gradually building-up as you go.

There are different types of toothbrushes that can be used to clean your dog's teeth. At OSCAR, we recommend either Beaphar Finger Toothbrush or Beaphar Toothbrush and toothpaste set. Please remember, human toothpaste is not safe to use to clean your dog's teeth.

Brushing puppy teeth

Puppies should be trained at an early age to accept teeth cleaning as part of their normal grooming regime. Beaphar Puppy Dental Kit is a handy puppy toothbrush and paste with a liver flavour that is ideal for young puppies.

Grey puppy with blue eyes patiently waiting.


When cleaning your dog's teeth, keep the session short and always end on a positive note by giving your dog a Whimzee or a hide or no hide chew

Alternative ways to maintain healthy dog teeth

  • There are other ways you can help to keep your dog's teeth clean, such as feeding a dry dog food like Maize, Chicken & Rice, Maize, Lamb & Rice and offering a daily edible dog chew or rawhide

  • Dental disease is a major health concern for dogs. Neglecting your dog's teeth can lead to dental problems such as bad breath, gum disease, tooth loss and abscess formation. It is vitally important that your pet receives a regular check-up from the vet.

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Do you need further advice?

If you need any further advice, please contact the OSCAR Helpline Team on our freephone number 0800 195 8000 or email