If you’ve never brushed dog’s teeth before, you may think it’s fairly simple, but it's not. Even if you're using a good dog toothbrush, “simple” probably won't be the word you'll use to describe the experience. It's rare that a dog will let you brush his teeth without a fight, but a proper toothbrush will make the task easier.
Table of Contents
- Top 10 Best Dog Toothbrush Choices
- 1 Virbac C.E.T. Pet Toothbrush The Best Dog Toothbrush Overall
- 2 Petosan Microfiber Fingerbrush Oral Cleaner for Pets The Best Finger Toothbrush for Dogs
- 3 Virbac C.E.T. Single Ended Pet Toothbrush The Best Toothbrush for Puppies and Small Dogs
- 4 Mira-Pet Ultrasound Toothbrush for Dogs The Best Electric Toothbrush for Dogs
- 5 EZ Dog Dental Tool Kit The Best Multi-Head Dog Toothbrush
- 6 KissAble 3-Sided Toothbrush For Pets
- 7 Woobamboo Large Breed Bamboo Pet Toothbrush
- 8 PenVinoo Dog Toothbrush
- 9 Pet Republique Dog Toothbrush Series
- 10 Arm & Hammer Health Kit for Dogs
- The Bottom Line
Some pet owners choose to use a small cloth or a piece of gauze to clean their dog’s teeth. This is a good way to start out because it is gentle on your pet’s teeth and gums, but it won’t clean nearly as well as a traditional toothbrush for dogs. Once your pet is used to cloth teeth cleaning – switch to a toothbrush.
After years of brushing my own dog's teeth and testing many different toothbrushes for dogs, I have finally come up with a list of ten best dog toothbrushes. This took a few weeks to complete. But, one size does not fit all. Much like human toothbrushes, there are different sizes, bristle textures and features that you’ll need to choose from.
|Virbac C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Kit||500 Reviews||$11.68||Buy on Amazon|
|Petosan Microfiber Fingerbrush Oral Cleaner for...||436 Reviews||$13.99||Buy on Amazon|
|Virbac C.E.T. Single Ended Pet Toothbrush (Colors...||94 Reviews||$5.99||Buy on Amazon|
|Mira-Pet Ultrasound Toothbrush for Dogs (Starter...||16 Reviews||$239.12||Buy on Amazon|
|EZ Dog 3-Sided Toothbrush & Natural Toothpaste Kit...||123 Reviews||$10.09||Buy on Amazon|
Choosing the Right Toothbrush for Your Dog
First, you'll need to select the right size toothbrush (small, medium, large breeds). Is the dog's mouth wide or narrow? What's the dog's current dental condition (teeth, gums, mouth, tongue)? You also want a brush that offers a comfortable angle for the dog's mouth and your hand. Length is very important too.
Consider the bristles as well. Human dentists recommend a soft bristled brush for their patients, and veterinary dentists agree. Soft bristles are the best choice no matter how much tartar buildup your pet has on their teeth. Harder bristles will damage a dog’s gums; they won’t help scrape off the old built up tartar.
There are also different types of dog toothbrushes. For example, if your dog isn’t keen on a regular toothbrush, you could try a finger toothbrush. They are rubber with small, soft nubs, and you place them over your finger (best for getting in between a large dog’s teeth). For small dogs, their teeth will be closer together, allowing periodontal disease to escalate quickly. Finger toothbrushes can be beneficial at helping to get into all the nooks and crannies and you can reach in between teeth where tartar buildup is.
You can also purchase double-ended toothbrushes, which have bristles on each end of the handle. One end has a smaller head, fewer bristles and is specifically designed for small teeth in the front of your dog’s mouth. The other end is longer, wider and is designed for the larger teeth in the back.
Top 10 Best Dog Toothbrush Choices
1 Virbac C.E.T. Pet Toothbrush
The Best Dog Toothbrush Overall
I chose the C.E.T Toothbrush (by Virbac) as the top rated dog toothbrush on this list. It comes in different sets: as a single brush, as a brush with toothpaste, or as a set of two toothbrushes. Each toothbrush is the same, except that they are different colors.
- Dual ended, soft bristle tooth...
- Fingerbrush slips over finger...
- Toothpaste designed to be...
- Safe for all pets
They are dual-head brushes, and are extra-long at 8.5 inches. Our boxer is a brachial breed, so her mouth is short and wide, but our chocolate lab has a long, skinny muzzle and it was impossible to reach her back teeth with some of the other brushes I tried.
I love how easy it is to get to all my dog’s teeth without having to maneuver the brush in a way that hurts her or makes her gag. Both ends are angled, to help you reach all your pet’s teeth, even the ones way in the back. Although the brushes that I buy are designed for medium and large dogs, the smaller end works great for our cats.
C.E.T. also makes toothbrushes for small breeds, if that’s what you’ll need. Remember, that each animal in your home should have his or her own toothbrush to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria.
In my opinion, a dual head dog toothbrush is the only way to go. It saves so much time as you don’t have to switch from a large brush to a small brush in the middle of your cleaning. Many other dog owners on Amazon agree with me too, as you can see in their reviews. It also saves money because you only have to purchase one toothbrush. We’ve used two separate brushes in the past – what a hassle! I’ll never do that again.
2 Petosan Microfiber Fingerbrush Oral Cleaner for Pets
The Best Finger Toothbrush for Dogs
The option I’ve mentioned above isn't the only good toothbrush choice. If you're looking for a finger brush, you can try this one from Petosan which I found fantastic and the best in its category. The microfiber brush features a unique finger-glove design that slides over your index finger.
- Antimicrobial, chemical free...
- Helps remove plaque and...
- Ideal approach to regular...
- Veterinary dental associations...
- The Petosa Oral Cleaner has...
Consumers call this soft, flexible rubber brush effective and easy to use. The soft bristles are ideal for cleaning teeth and massaging your dog’s gums gently. Pet parents have noticed their dog’s breath smelling better after using these brushes, but that could also be linked to the toothpaste they choose. Many pet owners that used this finger brush also reported that it seemed to soothe their pet’s irritated gums.
Soft bristles will be a must, but a rubber toothbrush may even be better. Even though he doesn’t show it, irritated gums are extremely painful for your dog and traditional bristles may add to his pain. This finger brush from RosyLife is recommended for use on all dogs, puppies and cats. You’ll have to test it on your pet, but consumers with large, medium and small breeds all enjoyed this product.
3 Virbac C.E.T. Single Ended Pet Toothbrush
The Best Toothbrush for Puppies and Small Dogs
A brush that isn’t specifically made for a small dog or a puppy may choke him, make him gag or cause him discomfort. The C.E.T. Pet Toothbrush (another choice from Virbac) can help you care for your small dog’s oral health. It’s specifically made for small breed dogs and cats. It is equipped with a small head, soft bristles and a reverse angle to accommodate the narrow mouths of small dogs.
- Features soft bristles to...
- Works best for toy and small...
- Maintaining proper oral health...
- Removes plaque from tooth...
This toothbrush seems to be best suited for toy breeds and breeds with very small mouths like Dachshunds and Chihuahuas. Periodontal disease is not easily treated, and it can cause your dog a lot of pain. The best way to prevent it is by using the puppy toothbrush for your dog and a top-quality pet toothpaste. The C.E.T. Pet Toothbrush from Virbac is BPA-free and made in the United States.
Consumers love this dog toothbrush. Many of them refer to it as perfect, the best on the market, and ideal for small dogs and cats. It has a 4.3 out of 5 star rating on Amazon with more than 190 pet parents reviewing it. Many of the negative reviews were simply because it was too small for their dog.
4 Mira-Pet Ultrasound Toothbrush for Dogs
The Best Electric Toothbrush for Dogs
You can also find electric toothbrushes for dogs. They are not popular, most of them are faulty, and only a few are of good quality. The only one I'd recommend is Mira-Pet Ultrasound Toothbrush for Dogs. It is very expensive, is powered by lithium batteries, which is included when you buy it. It’s also equipped with a double head that brushes both sides of your dogs’ teeth at the same time and comes as a starter kit.
- 【 HEALTHIER ORAL HYGIENE...
- 【 CLEANER GUMS AND LESS BAD...
- 【 CLEANS MORE THAN OTHER...
- 【 RISK FREE AND COST...
- 【 CROWDFUNDING TESTED AND...
This canine toothbrush combines the benefits of a double headed brush with sonic technology that allows dog owner to get below their pet’s gum line and clean with 20,000 bristle strokes per minute. You can buy replacement heads for this toothbrush, and if you have multiple pets you can just buy multiple heads and label them with each pets’ name. That will save you from spending $20 on a toothbrush for each of your dogs.
This electric dog toothbrush with ultrasound is very unique; cleans the inside and outside surfaces of your dog’s teeth at the same time and does it differently to any other toothbrush. It brushes at the recommended 45 degree angle as well. An electric toothbrush will cost you a whole more, but it will save you time. One drawback is the noise that it makes. Keep that in mind if you have a timid dog that is likely to be frightened by the sound of an electric toothbrush.
5 EZ Dog Dental Tool Kit
The Best Multi-Head Dog Toothbrush
Multi-head toothbrushes for dogs can be especially convenient for reaching all sides of your pet’s teeth with just one stroke. As dental disease is on the rise, it’s imperative that you provide your dog with the best care possible. If he doesn’t like to sit still for very long or doesn’t enjoy you brushing his teeth, using a multi-head dog toothbrush like this one from Triple Pet can shave quite a bit of time off your brushing.
- CLEANS TEETH AND FRESHENS...
- ERGONOMIC DESIGN — Best...
- EASY AND EFFECTIVE — Keep...
- FOR ALL SMALL AND MEDIUM SIZE...
- DISHWASHER SAFE — Toothbrush...
The EZ Dog Toothbrush for Small and Large Breeds is equipped with three flexible and independent brush heads that maintain the correct pressure on all surfaces of your dog’s teeth with each stroke you make. In addition to the traditional top bristles, there is a brush head on each side positioned at a 45 degree angle to clean the surfaces of your pet’s teeth at the same time.
Each dog toothbrush head has soft, nylon bristles and an ergonomic handle.
It’s great that this dog toothbrush will make brushing so much easier, but you’re going to pay for it. This multi-head dog toothbrush will cost about $20 if you purchase it from Amazon. If you’re replacing your pup’s toothbrush every three months like you should, that’s at least $80 per year spent just on toothbrushes for your canine companion. Pet parents on Amazon seem to think this brush is worth the cost though.
6 KissAble 3-Sided Toothbrush For Pets
If you have a small breed, you should consider a finger toothbrush for dogs instead of a traditional toothbrush. You can also use finger toothbrushes with medium and large breeds, but they are mostly recommended for dogs with small mouths, dogs that resist brushing and dogs with overcrowded teeth. The KissAble Finger Brush for Dogs is an excellent choice.
- GENTLY CLEANS AND REMOVES...
- AN ALTERNATIVE METHOD TO...
- EASY TO USE — Place a small...
- FOR ALL DOGS — Suitable for...
- 5 FINGER BRUSHES — Finger...
You can get a 5 pack of the brushes for about $7 on Amazon, and they can be reused or thrown away after each use. These finger dog toothbrushes are antibacterial and antimicrobial. They are designed to fit over your finger, allowing the soft bristles to clean your dog’s teeth gently while removing plaque and tartar.
A lot of pet owners prefer finger brushes because they say they are easier to use than a standard toothbrush. I don’t personally agree with that, but if you’re not sure speak with your veterinarian. Sometimes they have free samples to give out and you can see which type you and your pet prefer. If your dog’s mouth is very small or his teeth are extremely crowded, a finger brush may be your best option for oral care, but your veterinarian will be able to tell you if that is the case.
Preventative oral care, like brushing, can actually benefit your dog’s overall health, not just his oral health. The bacteria in a dog’s mouth can get out of control quickly without proper care. The bacteria can then leach into your pet’s bloodstream and cause a slew of other health problems including heart disease.
Tartar actually starts off as plaque, which, if not removed, will harden onto teeth causing tartar. The buildup of tartar over time will irritate your dog’s gums and cause gingivitis. It’s just as important to care for your dog’s gums as it is his teeth. A finger brush, like this one from KissAble, allows you the opportunity to gently massage your pet’s gums along with his teeth. He may be more accepting of a soft rubber-like finger brush than scratchy bristles. According to their reviews on Amazon, many dog owners found this to be true with their pets.
7 Woobamboo Large Breed Bamboo Pet Toothbrush
Of course, if there’s a toothbrush made specifically for small breeds, there must be a best toothbrush for large breeds too. Not only is this toothbrush great for large dogs – it’s also eco-friendly. The WooBamboo Large Breed Bamboo Pet Toothbrush is, as its name suggests, made with a 100% biodegradable bamboo handle. The bamboo is organically grown and sustainably harvested.
- WHY BAMBOO TOOTHBRUSHES: There...
- SUSTAINABLY GROWN AND PANDA...
- BIODEGRADABLE HANDLES: Our...
- VETERINARIAN APPROVED: Not...
- PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS:...
The bristles are recyclable too, and they are naturally antimicrobial. The bamboo handle is free of chemicals and coated in a natural wax. This may just be the most eco-friendly dog toothbrush available, and at only $4 each they’re a bargain too. I was surprised they were so competitively priced. Usually eco-friendly products are more expensive than similar goods made with plastics.
This pet toothbrush from WooBamboo is designed for a dog with a large mouth. It’s not angled, so you may have trouble reaching all the teeth in your medium sized dog’s mouth. They do offer another size for small and medium breeds, and if you have any doubt I would try that one first. Angled brushes offer more versatility than straight dog toothbrushes like this one, and a few Amazon customers were pleased with the results this toothbrush for dogs offered.
8 PenVinoo Dog Toothbrush
If the CET toothbrush from Virbac isn’t available, but you like the idea of a dual ended brush, try this one. It’s designed the same way with a large head at one end and a smaller head at the other. The large head can be used for the larger teeth in the back of your pet’s mouth and the smaller head can be used for the small teeth up front.
- Dog Toothbrush Finger...
- Dental hygiene is vital to a...
- High quality materials for our...
- Our dog toothbrush allows you...
This pet toothbrush also offers an angled design and tapered bristles for easier reach. The bristles are soft and the toothbrush is 8.7 inches long. Some consumers commented that the plastic is light and bendable, but that may not be a bad thing. Having a bit of flexibility will make it easier to maneuver the brush around your pet’s mouth.
There are other home-care products that you can use to benefit your dog’s oral health, but nothing works as well as a toothbrush and toothpaste. A toothbrush like this one is the best line of defense against harmful plaque and tartar. Although this particular brush is more suitable for medium and large breeds, you can try using it with your small breed if he has a fairly wide mouth.
9 Pet Republique Dog Toothbrush Series
This is another option for a dual ended canine toothbrush. This one is more rigid than the above brush. This toothbrush has soft bristles too, which are the only bristles that you should be looking for. Medium and hard bristles can clean your dog’s teeth faster, but they will do damage to his gums and that’s not worth it.
- ★ BEST CAT & DOG TOOTHBRUSH!...
- ★ GREAT VALUE & HIGH...
- ★ 100% SATISFACTION! –...
- ★ HELP SAVE OTHER ANIMALS! -...
The long handle makes it great for getting into those hard to reach spaces behind your dog’s teeth and in the back of his mouth. It also comes in a set of two, just like the Virbac toothbrush that I use on my dogs.
This is a great option if you have multiple dogs, and it’s also great if you travel frequently with your pet. You’ll have one toothbrush for home and one that you can always leave in your dog’s travel bag so you don’t have to worry about forgetting his toothbrush at home.
A lot of pet parents that use this dog toothbrush rave about the fact that their dogs tolerate it. Speaking from experience, this is one of the most important things you want to hear about a doggy toothbrush. After receiving more than 100 reviews on Amazon, this doggy toothbrush has a 4.3 out of 5 star review.
Pet owners that purchased this toothbrush like that it is easy to use, and they say it is gentle on their dog’s teeth and gums. Many pet owners were surprised at how much their dog actually liked having his teeth brushed with this brush.
10 Arm & Hammer Health Kit for Dogs
Some canine dental specialists believe that an alternating rubber and bristle head is the best way to ensure optimum cleaning with a dog toothbrush. In fact, this theory is used in human dentistry as well. Have you ever seen these types of toothbrushes? They have rubber bristles mixed in with the traditional bristles.
- CLEANS ALL SIDES — Dog...
- BRUSH AWAY GUM DISEASE —...
- EASY TO USE — For first time...
- 100% SAFE — Infused with...
- SATISFACTION GUARANTEED* —...
The best example of an alternating rubber and bristle toothbrush in the pet industry is the Arm & Hammer. Its ergonomic handle is comfortable for you and the soft and rubber bristles will be gentle on your dog’s mouth. This looks like a traditional human toothbrush, but it’s specifically designed for dogs with its larger angle.
If you’re like me, you like to buy products from brands you trust. Arm and Hammer is one of those well-known companies. Arm and Hammer has been one of the leading brands in dental care products for humans for over 100 years, so why not trust them with your dog’s dental health as well? This brush is 8.5 inches long, allowing you plenty of length to get in behind all your dog’s tricky back teeth.
A lot of pet parents were impressed with the cleaning action of this brush and credit its superb performance to the rubber bristles. With the rate of periodontal disease in dogs over three years of age hovering around 80%, it’s definitely important to select a toothbrush that is going to be gentle on Fido’s gums.
The Bottom Line
Toothbrushes for dog come in many varieties based on your pet's size and individual oral needs. If you're looking for something specific like a multi-head toothbrush, a finger brush or a toothbrush with dual ends, look for that specific kind of product among the best dog toothbrushes.
If you’re looking for a general purpose dog toothbrush to have on hand for a canine with no specific dental problems, the Virbac toothbrushes for dogs are a great choice.
Now, let’s talk more about the details on how I made these choices for the best toothbrush for dogs in each category, and what other alternatives are available in case my top five choices aren't suitable for your dog.
What you should know before buying a pet toothbrush
According to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), dental hygiene is one of the most overlooked areas in pet health. As more information is uncovered about the link between canine periodontal disease and other health issues, experts in the pet industry are trying to educate pet parents about the importance of proper brushing. There is certainly a correct technique, but you have to have the right tools as well.
Remember that toothbrushes that are made for humans will not work as well on your pet’s teeth. They aren’t long enough, they aren’t angled properly and the size of the brush head isn’t the same for humans as it is for dogs.
Your dog needs a toothbrush that fits his mouth. You need to find a brush suitable for your pet’s size and one that is comfortable for both of you. You may need to try a few options before you find a toothbrush that you and your pet both enjoy.
What do I know about toothbrushes for dogs?
I've researched and learned a lot about dog toothbrushes, particularly in the last few months. See, we have a 5-year-old boxer named Chloe who we rescued two years. She was in pretty rough shape, and has very poor dental health. Chloe was also diagnosed with cardiomyopathy last year. Due to the link between dental disease and heart problems, we are diligent about taking care of her teeth, mouth and gums.
We consulted with our veterinarian immediately about Chloe’s oral health, but because of her heart condition she is unable to be put under anesthesia to have her teeth worked on. We consulted with a holistic veterinarian, and our vet even contacted a specialist in canine dental health. We have an oral hygiene routine that we strictly follow, but the main part of that routine is daily brushing.
Honestly, even though the Virbac brush works best for Chloe, it won’t be best for all dogs. You need to find the right toothbrush head and toothbrush length for your pet’s mouth.
We didn’t want to stop there though. We want the best for Chloe, and that meant searching for the best products on the market. We tested a lot of toothbrushes before we settled on the CET brush. Finger brushes didn’t work as well as traditional bristle brushes on Chloe’s teeth.
I tried shorter ones and toothbrushes with only one brush head. I’ve even tried multi-head brushes, but Chloe didn’t like those. I think they were too bulky in her mouth, because they made her gag.
I did a lot of research on canine toothbrushes before I started writing this article. Of course, this was a few years ago and there are more options on the market now. Personally, I think that dog toothbrushes are a matter of preference for you and your dog. I can tell you which ones work well at cleaning your pet’s teeth, but only you can decide which one works best to meet the needs of your individual pet.
Can a toothbrush improve my dog’s health?
Now that I’ve explained the importance of canine dental health, it should be pretty clear that the right toothbrush can certainly improve your pet’s overall health and well-being.
You dog’s dental health can be effected by many things, even the food that he eats. You need to be sure that he’s getting the proper oral care so plaque and tartar don’t begin to buildup and cause other problems in his body.
Keeping his mouth healthy is also a start at keeping your dog’s heart, liver and kidneys healthy. Not only will it help some of his major organs, but it will also allow your dog to be more comfortable and have a better quality of life. Painful teeth and gums can make a dog’s life miserable. It will cause discomfort while he’s eating, chewing toys, and playing or wrestling with other dogs.
Who should buy dog toothbrushes?
In a perfect world every dog owner would buy a dog toothbrush, but unfortunately there are many dogs out there that won’t allow their owners to brush their teeth. With the rate of canine periodontal disease on the rise, it’s important that every pet owner do whatever they can to care for their dog’s teeth, mouth and gums. Of course, if your pet won’t let you near his mouth there really isn’t much sense in buying a canine toothbrush right?
But if your dog will let you care for his teeth then you should. Some dogs are a little fidgety at first and don’t really care for it, but if you can gradually ease your pet into letting you brush his teeth, you’ll both be better off in the long run. Your dog will have a clean, healthy mouth, and you’ll save money on vet visits. Not to mention, your dog will probably live years longer than a dog who never has his oral health needs taken care of.
How I chose these dog toothbrushes
Thanks to all my research over the past few years with Chloe, it actually wasn’t all that difficult. I had already tried some of the toothbrushes on this list, and also many others that certainly were not good enough to make the list at all. I already had a lot of background knowledge on what makes a toothbrush good quality, and I built on that.
I knew the qualities that I needed to look for like the length of the brush, the materials it was made from and the shape of the brush head. I knew that small breeds and large breeds would require different types of dog toothbrushes, and I knew that there were many different kinds of toothbrushes for dogs on the market. All I had to do was research toothbrushes from each category to see which were the best in their class.
How I researched and evaluated each toothbrush
I performed all of this research online. Since there is a lot of misinformation on the internet, I needed to be sure that I was looking for trusted, reliable sources. I read information from manufactures websites, searched through consumer reviews, and read articles and blogs from experts in the pet health industry.
I already knew what our veterinarian recommended, so I started my research by finding out what other pet health professionals recommended as a good toothbrush. I had my list of products that offered all the qualities that pet owners would need and were safe for pets, now I just needed to know what consumers who used these dog toothbrushes thought.
I wanted the feedback from dog owners who had actually used these products on their own pets. As I said, I really believe that each dog’s mouth and teeth are shaped differently, so a toothbrush that works well for one dog may not work as well for another of the same size or breed. Pet owners have their preferences too, and I needed to make sure the toothbrushes I selected were comfortable and easy for dog owners to use.
I wasn’t surprised to find that there weren’t many top-quality toothbrushes available. There are definitely plenty of choices, but when you compare the number of options to the available dog toys, dog treats, and dog grooming brushes, there are not nearly as many. When I do reviews on those types of products I literally have thousands of options to choose from. In the case of dog toothbrushes there aren’t even close to that many, which makes my job a lot easier.
What to look forward to
As the rate of dental disease grows, you can be certain that more and more research will be done on the topic. With research comes new products to help control the issue. We’re sure to see new technologies breaking into the pet dental field and innovative new products being released to help pet owners care for their furry friends oral needs.
Because the oral health of humans and dogs are so similar, we’ll also see some common products for humans leaching over into the pet field, and possibly the other way around. Dental care is one of the most important things that you can give to your dog, and staying on top of new developments in the field is your responsible. I would recommend speaking with your veterinarian during your dog’s yearly checkups about any changes in the pet dental industry that may be beneficial to your pooch.
Wrapping it up
Just like toothbrushes made for humans, all dog toothbrushes are not equal. Remember that you should never use a toothbrush that is designed for humans on your dog. They could damage his gums, and they may cause him pain as they are not designed for the shape of his mouth.
It is imperative that you keep up with your dog’s oral health. Poor dental hygiene can cause a laundry list of other problems to some of your dog’s major organs and bodily systems. I know it isn’t fun. No one enjoys brushing their dog’s teeth, but it’s what is best for everyone. Just ask your vet and she’ll tell you that brushing your dog’s teeth regularly will not only add to his quality of life, but also to his lifespan.
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