How to Keep Dogs Teeth Healthy NATURALLY (What to Do)

Learning how to keep dogs teeth healthy naturally makes the job of owning a pet a whole lot easier, and saves you money on vet bills down the road.

Dogs need their teeth to be clean and healthy just like we do. If their teeth are not taken care of, bacteria will build up and can cause all sorts of health problems.

Thankfully there are natural methods you can use to keep your dog’s mouth healthy, clean, and fresh.

How Important Is a Dog’s Oral Hygiene to His Overall Health?

A dog with healthy teeth and gums
This dog has healthy teeth and gums thanks to diligent at-home care.

Providing dental care for your dog is one of the most important things you can do. Poor dental care can lead to many problems including tooth loss, gum disease, and even heart disease.

7 Lifestyle Tips To Keep Dogs Teeth Healthy Naturally

While you should always take your dog to the vet for regular teeth cleanings, there are also several things you can do at home to keep your dog’s teeth healthy and strong.

  • Feed your dog a healthy diet. A healthy diet should start in puppyhood, and include foods rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and Omega-3 fatty acids which promote healthy teeth and gums.
  • Avoid processed foods and table scraps and opt for a diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Antioxidants help fight inflammation and promote oral health.
  • Rawhide chews are a great way to help keep your dog’s teeth clean. They work by scraping away plaque and tartar from the teeth as your dog chews them. Always throw it away once it’s small enough that your dog can fit it in his mouth.
  • Brush your dog’s teeth at least once a week with a dog toothbrush and dog toothpaste using circular motions. Brush daily if you can. Brush all surfaces of the teeth, including the fronts, backs, and chewing surfaces.
  • Use dental treats and water additives to help keep your dog’s teeth clean. These products work by helping to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth as your dog chews on them or drinks water that contains them.
  • Get out and play! Fresh air and exercise get the blood flowing to your dog’s gums, promoting cellular repair and growth for great oral health.
  • Keep the water flowing. Access to fresh, pure water helps keep your dog’s mouth moist and plaque soft so it is more easily brushed away.

If you notice that your dog’s teeth are starting to show signs of disease or decay, you should take it to a veterinarian for treatment.

Early diagnosis and treatment are key to preventing more serious problems down the road.

To help keep your dog’s teeth clean naturally, stop by our related article on How to Make Dog Toothpaste at Home!

6 Ways To Clean Your Dog’s Teeth Naturally

How To Keep Dog's Teeth Healthy Naturally
Many all-natural chews and dog toothpastes contain enzymes that help clean teeth and promote gum health.
  1. Use oral wipes or gels designed to clean dog teeth as often as possible. These can help keep teeth cleaner between brushings.
  2. Give your dog dental chew toys that help scrape plaque off of their teeth as they play and chew.
  3. Feed him dental chews or raw bones regularly to help remove plaque and bacteria from their teeth.
  4. Brush your dog’s teeth with a canine-specific toothbrush and toothpaste weekly, and daily if you can.
  5. Give your dog a probiotic supplement daily to help boost their oral health.
  6. Use a chlorophyll treat like Greenies to help clean teeth and freshen breath daily.
  7. Take them to the vet for professional teeth cleanings at least yearly. Some dogs need cleanings every 6 months.

While taking your dog to the vet for cleaning may not seem like a natural way to keep his teeth clean, it is one of the best ways to stave off medical intervention due to periodontitis later on.

The more frequently your vet checks your dog’s teeth and scrapes away tartar, the healthier your dog will be, and the easier it will be for you to keep your dog’s teeth clean naturally at home.

Read our related article, How Much Human Toothpaste is Bad for Dogs? Discover if you can brush your dog’s teeth with your toothpaste and what to do if your dog swallows it!

Can I Give My Dog Bones To Clean His Teeth?

dental chews help keep dog teeth clean
Dental chews are a great option for helping to keep your dog’s teeth clean between brushings.

While this is a common practice, and many owners choose to feed their dogs exclusively with raw bones, the FDA says no.

Bones are certainly hard for your dog to chew, and can help scrape away plaque and tartar, but the risks are too high.

Complications include broken teeth, damaged gums, choking, and getting bone fragments lodged in the throat, esophagus, stomach, or intestines.

Sometimes these complications require immediate vet intervention to avoid death.

We only recommend giving your dog veterinarian-developed dental chew bones and treats because they’re sure to break down properly in your dog’s mouth, eliminating the risk of problems later on.

Can I Use My Toothpaste for My Dog’s Teeth?

Some websites recommend using non-floridated human toothpaste for dogs, but this is terrible advice. Human toothpaste often contains ingredients, like xylitol, that are deadly for dogs.

Your dog can’t use the same personal hygiene products that you use, because many of them are mildly to severely toxic to dogs.

You can use a small human toothbrush for your dog if you need to but only use dog toothpaste to safely clean your dog’s teeth.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of great natural ways to help your dog’s mouth stay as healthy as can be, from adequate fresh air and exercise to fun dental chews he’s sure to love.

Your commitment to your dog’s oral health will pay off in the end with easier vet checkups and fewer vet bills later on.

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Jesse Hopping, CCDT

Jesse is a natural-born dog-lover certified dog trainer (CCDT), dog foster, and former volunteer at Richmond SPCA and surrounding dog shelters for over 10 years. Her pack includes a Bernedoodle and 3 Boston Terriers. She’s sipping caramel coffee and watching her pack play in the sun when she’s not writing blogs. Jesse has her Certified Dog Trainer designation from CATCH Canine Trainers Academy since 2018 and and majored in English from the University of Virginia.

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