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Brush Your Dog's Teeth!

Updated on January 23, 2015


My family slacks in brushing our dog’s teeth. Both our oldest, a Rat terrier, and our young Doberman thrash their heads when anyone comes near with a toothbrush. We gave up a long time ago, wondering if it was really worth the effort since wild wolves never have to. After all, they are from the same species. Years later, when witnessing out elderly dog’s yellow caked teeth, we wonder if it was a good decision not to be more persistent.


While some people say that our canine pets are pampered, many studies have found that our pet dogs live longer, mostly due to modern medical invention. Wolves have a life expectancy of 6 years; dogs have a whopping thirteen. In other words, brushing dog teeth along with giving them love and shelter extends their lives! Wild wolves were killed off by disease, exposure, and starvation. Our lovable pooches have been vaccinated and brushed, topped with pink bows and sometimes little sweaters.

Because we have domesticated dogs, they also have more time for their teeth to have problems. Some websites I visited brought up the point that wolves primarily eat meat with their large 42 teeth, and since dogs eat kibble it causes more bacteria and plaque. One blog induced that because wolves eat more meat, they would always have their teeth scraped by bones. Our slobbery companions don’t always have access to that when we sneak them peas, lunchmeat, and whatever table scraps are left.

So one of the best ways to keep your dog alive longer is to brush their teeth. It helps prevent periodontal disease, which contributes up to 85% in domestic dogs. Luckily there are all kinds of products now to help besides toothbrushes—finger rubber brushes even treats to help prevent built-up plaque. ASPCA recommends brushing daily, just like human teeth, or if you don’t have time at least monthly to keep their breath and teeth as loveable as their kisses.


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    • Larry Fields profile image

      Larry Fields 2 years ago from Northern California

      Hi alexadry,

      There must be more to your doggie toothbrushing secret than just the chicken-flavored toothpaste. If I were a dog, I would simply spit out the toothbrush, close my mouth, and then swallow the yummy toothpaste. :)

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 2 years ago from USA

      I brush my dog's teeth but I often forget or am too busy. Too bad 'cause my dogs love it. That chicken flavored toothpaste they look forward to it. The days I can't, I give them a bone. Voted up!

    • Melissa A Smith profile image

      Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

      I used to give my dogs bones for cleaning reasons but then she broke a tooth. She got an extraction and a cleaning for the first time in her life and the vet removed 5 more abscessed or re-absorbed teeth. Chewing HELPS remove plaque but doing that only will not keep your dog's teeth healthy. They'll need a professional cleaning annually in addition to daily brushing for optimal health. There are many safe chews that can supplement this.