How Do I Choose the Best Dog Toothbrush?

Kay Paddock

A dog toothbrush is designed specifically for cleaning plaque from a dog's teeth. These toothbrushes are typically available in two different types: one model looks much like a human toothbrush while the other one fits over a fingertip. It's generally best to choose your dog's toothbrush according to whether your pet seems more likely to tolerate an object pushed into its mouth or your fingers in its mouth. You'll want to make sure that the size of the brush is not too big or small for the dog's mouth, and with the regular toothbrush style, you will also want to be sure that the handle is long enough to make it comfortable to hold.

Some dogs may be nervous about having objects, such as toothbrushes, forced into their mouths.
Some dogs may be nervous about having objects, such as toothbrushes, forced into their mouths.

When you choose a dog toothbrush, be sure you choose one that looks easy to hold while you are cleaning the dog's teeth, as the process can take a long time, especially the first several times you do it. You will also want to choose a model that is easy to clean since it should be cleaned after every use. It is also important to avoid using a toothbrush designed for an adult, or even a small one made for a child; dog toothbrush bristles usually must be much softer than those on brushes designed for people.

One model of dog toothbrush looks like one for people.
One model of dog toothbrush looks like one for people.

Finger cot brushes, also called finger toothbrushes, are generally a good option for dogs that have fairly large mouths. If you can get your finger into the dog's mouth easily, a finger cot may be the best choice. Some dogs get nervous when faced with an object such as a brush that will go into its mouth. One attached to your finger, however, may seem less threatening. If you are not sure whether your dog will try to bite as you attempt to brush its teeth, you should probably use a brush with a long handle to protect your hands.

Want to automatically save time and money month? Take a 2-minute quiz to find out how you can start saving up to $257/month.

A dog toothbrush with a handle can either look similar to the kind of toothbrush a person might use, or it may have a brush at each end. Two-headed brushes often have a larger and a smaller brush to make it easier to get all the surfaces when you are cleaning a dog's teeth. An animal toothbrush will usually be different from a human toothbrush in a few ways. For instance, the handle will typically be longer and set at an angle to make it easier for you reach everywhere in the dog's mouth.

If you own more than one dog, it is important to use a separate brush for each to avoid transferring bacteria from one dog's mouth to another. Also, using a dog toothbrush is generally much easier if you start the process of caring for a dog's teeth early in its life. Cleaning a squirming puppy's teeth is often safer for the dog with a finger toothbrush. Using a finger toothbrush carefully and making it a pleasant ritual for a puppy will often help the dog get used to the process, making continued cleanings easier.

Choose a toothbrush based on whether the dog will best tolerate a brush or fingertip placed into its mouth.
Choose a toothbrush based on whether the dog will best tolerate a brush or fingertip placed into its mouth.

Discussion Comments

stoneMason

I suggest a dual ended dog toothbrush to all dog owners. This type of dog toothbrush has a large brush head on one end and small on the other. So all types of dogs can use them. Also, the small brush is great for getting into those creases and gaps, whereas the bigger brush is great for general brushing.

It took me a few years to realize that dual ended dog brushes are available. And we've tried quite a few different brushes before, but this is the best in my opinion.

SteamLouis

@bluedolphin-- I'm not fond of the finger brushes. First of all, some dogs dislike having a finger in their mouth, I think they much rather prefer an object. Secondly, there is always the risk that the dog might unwillingly bite down, especially when brushing the teeth in the back.

I use a long dog brush with a plastic handle. It reaches all corners of my dog's mouth and she doesn't mind it all. We brush thoroughly with dog toothpaste and she likes the taste of that as well.

What I also like about these toothbrushes is that the bristles are just like the bristles of human toothbrushes. I've noticed that some finger brushes have silicon bristles rather than regular bristles. I'm afraid that silicon bristles may rip and get swallowed by the dog.

bluedolphin

I use a finger brush for my dog. This was the most affordable brush I could find for him. He doesn't let me put my finger too back into his mouth, so I mostly brush his front teeth. We weren't brushing at all before though, so I think that is definitely a step in the right direction.

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register: