Many pet owners don't take the time to clean their dog's teeth. Others may think that it's fine to use human dental care products on their dogs. This is a big mistake. Today I'll explain how to choose the best toothbrush for dogs, and why taking some time to consider this really matters.
Dog teeth cleaning is important. If you don't brush Fido's teeth, plaque and tartar will build up. This will cause teeth decay, and could lead to severe pain for your pet. Not to mention, poor dental health will also make your dog's breath unbearably stinky.
Dental health won't just benefit your dog's mouth; it benefits your dog's entire body. There's a direct correlation between poor dental health in dogs and heart disease, according to AVDC. And that said, did you know that the most common health condition found in adult dogs is periodontal disease?
Heart health isn't the only potential issue. Pet owners that don't take care of dog's dental hygiene may see their canines experience serious health problems, including:
- fistulas (holes leading from the oral cavity to the nasal passage)
- destruction to and loss of the gum tissue and bone around the teeth
- weakened jaw bone
- osteomyelitis (bone infection)
- bacteria entering the blood stream and damaging the heart, kidneys and liver
Once you know how to choose the best toothbrush for dogs that's right for your pet, it'll make the process much easier for you, less stressful for your dog, and more effective for the dog's dental hygiene.
MORE VIDEO GUIDES: How-to Tips and Advice Videos for Dog Owners
How to Choose the Best Toothbrush for Dogs
What You'll Need to Consider
As with some other hygienic products made for dogs, there are three things you must remember when trying to pick the best toothbrush for dogs:
- You need to select products only made specifically for dogs (in most cases)
- Size of your dog
- Your experience level
These three factors will determine which dog toothbrush you should buy.
If you try to use a toothbrush made for humans, it will leave plaque and tartar behind and may end up hurting your dog.
The right dog toothbrush will have an angled head. This is necessary to reach all the nooks and crannies in your pup's mouth. The shape of the jaw of a canine is much different than the shape of the jaw of a human.
When compared to human toothbrushes, those made for dogs have very soft bristles that will be gentle on the dog's teeth and gums.
The bristles of a human brush may scratch your dog's gums causing pain and making him resent the act of brushing altogether. This will only make it more difficult for you to brush your dog's teeth on a regular basis in the future.
What Makes the Best Toothbrush for Dogs?
A few things you'll need to consider. Of course, a lot depends on the brand of the toothbrush, how well it's made and what other pet owners are saying. I have reviewed and covered many best dog toothbrush options before. However, it will also depend on your dog's size and your experience with brushing canine teeth, as said above.
These brushes slip right over your finger so you can easily see and feel what you're doing inside your pup's mouth. These are great for beginners, because you can get to know you dog's mouth and which areas may need extra attention.
You can also find traditional toothbrushes for dogs. These have a long shaft, like human toothbrushes, and a brush head on one or both ends. I demonstrate both of these types of toothbrushes in my video above.
Toothbrush for Small Dog Breeds
If you have a small breed dog, you can get away with purchasing a traditional toothbrush with just one head. Make sure that the head of the brush is appropriately sized for your dog's mouth. For example, a brush that would fit comfortably in the mouth of a Beagle wouldn't be very comfortable for a teacup Chihuahua.
Finger toothbrush for dogs also work well for small breeds, unless you have very large fingers. Regardless of which type of brush you pick, it needs to be small enough to get into every little crevice in your dog's mouth.
Toothbrush for Large Dog Breeds
If you have a large dog, like my chocolate Labrador, you may need to buy more than one dog toothbrush. At the very least, you should purchase a double headed traditional brush (pic on the right). These will have a large head on one end and a smaller head on the other end.
The larger head can be used on the big teeth in the back of your dog's mouth, and you can use the smaller brush head on those little teeth in the front of his mouth. Again, it's important to pick a brush that is appropriately sized for your dog's mouth. There's a big difference between a brush that could work for a Collie and a brush that would be suitable for a St. Bernard.
You can also find traditional toothbrushes that have two brush heads on the same end. The brush heads face each other and wrap around the teeth so that you can brush both sides at once. These types of canine toothbrushes are best used by professionals that have a lot of experience. If you don't know what you're doing, you could miss a lot of the little nooks and crannies in the mouth when using a brush of this style.
READ/WATCH NEXT: How to Brush A Dog's Teeth (A Video Guide)