ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Brush your Greyhounds Teeth

Updated on March 20, 2015

Regular Dog Dental Care is Essential for Retired Racing Greyhounds Health

No matter what breed of dog you own, good dental care can prevent health problems for your dog and cut your vet bills, too. And if your dog is a greyhound, dental hygiene is extra-important - retired racing greyhounds seem to be prone to tooth problems.

Partly the problems with greyhounds' teeth seems to be a genetic trait, and partly a result of soft foods and limited dental care in their track career. A retired racer can usually use a professional dental cleaning when he first retires, to remove the hard tartar build-up of years. Then, as the greyhound's owner, it's up to you to keep his teeth clean.

Learn how to brush your greyhound's teeth and teach him to accept his daily dental care as part of his daily routine. Good dental hygiene will help your ex-racer to stay healthy and happy for years to come.

The photographs on this page are by the author, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.

Greyhound with Bad Teeth - This dog's stinky bad breath is only the beginning of his problems...

Close-up of Greyhound's teeth, showing bad tartar build-up
Close-up of Greyhound's teeth, showing bad tartar build-up

Oral Care is Vital for Greyhounds

Greyhounds - and especially retired racing greyhounds, who were raised on a high-protein diet - are famous for bad teeth. Plaque and tartar seem to build up easily on their teeth, causing bad breath, bleeding gums, pain when eating (and often loss of appetite as a result), tooth and bone loss, and worse. Bacteria from mouth infections can move into the dog's bloodstream and go on to attack the dog's internal organs. Poor dental hygiene can end up shortening your dog's life. Yes, dog dental care is that important.

Greyhound with Clean Teeth - Daily tooth brushing + crunchy treats = healthy white teeth

Close-up of Greyhound with good clean teeth
Close-up of Greyhound with good clean teeth

Toothbrush & Toothpaste for Dogs - Never brush dog's teeth with toothpaste made for humans!

Tooth brushing, combined with a professional cleaning from time to time, is the most highly recommended form of greyhound dental care.

Warning: Do not use human toothpaste for your dog!

Toothpaste made for people has various ingredients that are toxic to dogs. If they could learn to rinse and spit, as we do, it might not be a big issue but dogs do swallow what goes into their mouth. Fluoride, xylitol or other artificial sweeteners used in human toothpaste (really!), additives such as sudsing agents that make it foam up when we brush, and the like are all potentially dangerous for dogs. The effects can be quite severe, including liver and kidney damage.

Do choose a paste that is made specifically for pet use.

I recommend the Petrodex Dog Dental Care Kit to get started with - it's the same one I usually suggest for our new greyhound adopters. You can order it from Amazon if that's more convenient for you, but it's pretty certain that your local pet supply store will carry the Petrodex kit or something very similar. The kit I use includes the pet toothpaste and a couple of brushes - one bristle brush with two heads, one large and one small, and a rubber-y fingertip brush that some dogs seem to find less objectionable.

Petrodex Dental Kit For Dogs Beef Flavor
Petrodex Dental Kit For Dogs Beef Flavor
This kit includes a tube of toothpaste made for dogs as well as two different kinds of dog toothbrush so you can get an idea of what kind of toothbrush will work best for you and your greyhound. Most dogs love the Beef-flavoured toothpaste, but you can also get the same kit with Poultry/Chicken or Peanut Butter toothpaste instead. You know your dog - choose the taste he prefers and your introduction to tooth brushing will go much smoother!

How to Brush Your Greyhound's Teeth - Video Demonstration

Fortunately, it's not hard to learn how to brush a dog's teeth - and it's often quite easy when your dog is a retired racing greyhound, as they're generally very well used to being handled. If you introduce the doggie dental care tools and mouth handling to your greyhound in small easy stages, he will soon come to accept the tooth-brushing as part of his daily routine.

Tips for Successful Greyhound Dog Dental Care

If your greyhound isn't too thrilled about getting dental hygiene care, the less time you spend on the task, the happier he will be. Start slow with just a touch of the brush to his mouth, and build up slowly to touching the teeth. Practice a lot of handling your dog's muzzle and teeth, rewarding his tolerance with tasty treats if he's food-motivated (and most dogs are keen on food, fortunately.)

Speaking of treats, you can really help a greyhound to keep his teeth healthy if you give him the occasional "tartar buster" knuckle bone, easily found at good pet supply stores, and feed with a good qualitycrunchy kibble instead of sticky-soft canned food. It's okay to give treats that are soft, but do follow up with a hard biscuit (such as a Milk-Bone for example) and a drink of water, if you aren't able to brush the dog's teeth clean after the snack. This really makes quite a difference in preventing the build-up of plague and bacteria on his teeth, and that is vital to good oral health.

For a senior dog with super-sensitive gums who is very touchy about having a brush in his mouth, you can work up to brushing your greyhound's teeth properly by starting with a gentle touch of a soft baby toothbrush or introducing your finger wrapped in a piece of gauze or a piece of lightweight cotton.

Even a swipe of a toothpaste-smeared cloth across the outer tooth surface and the gums is better than no attempt at dental hygiene at all, if that is the best you can manage to begin with.

The most important thing is to use a special toothpaste made for dogs - I also like C.E.T. pet toothpaste but I don't think there's all that much difference between most quality brands of pet toothpaste. Never brush your dog's teeth with a toothpaste made for humans! Their systems can't tolerate the fluoride in toothpaste made for human use.

Greyhounds Deserve Your Help to Keep Their Teeth Healthy!

If you have been trying to ignore your greyhound's teeth and just kind of "hope for the best" - please reconsider. Even if your grey is touchy about having his mouth handled, like my big male greyhound (photo above) - it is never too late to start a routine of good dog dental hygiene. With patience, you really can learn how to brush your greyhound's teeth and teach your greyhound to accept the tooth brushing as just another part of his daily routine.

Have you ever brushed a greyhound's teeth? - What else do you do to keep your dog's teeth clean and healthy?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      6 years ago

      i miss my dog..

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 

      6 years ago from UK

      I haven't done it myself, and when we had a dog, ours passed away a few years ago after 18 wonderful years with us, we used to rely on those biscuits you can buy to clean the dogs teeth.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I started brushing our Italian Greyhound mix with our Sonicare toothbrush. She tolerates it pretty well, but I need to do it more often. I've been sure to show her that I use the Sonicare everyday and it seems to work with her (of course, with a different brushhead). :-)

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 

      7 years ago

      Oh, man I am feeling so guilty! I will brush Buckwheat's teeth today. I really loved the video you found, it is a very good demonstration of how to gradually work into fully brushing your dogs teeth.

    • flycatcherrr profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      @Sniff It Out: That's exactly what I do, too - except for my little female (a weird little greyhound), who just looooves getting her teeth brushed (poultry flavour toothpaste) and insists on getting it done every night after her evening meal. :)

    • Sniff It Out profile image

      Sniff It Out 

      7 years ago

      My other half usually takes on the task of brushing our grey's teeth... he gets his teeth brushed every other day with a beef flavoured toothpaste and in between he gets those dentastix or a pigs ear to chew on, it's a regime we had with our first greyhound too and we never had to have him to the vets because of dental problems.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Wow, great advice. I know a couple of beautiful dogs that could do with a brushing of teeth. Question. Can you use electric toothbrush? Surely this will be better than manual ?

    • flycatcherrr profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      @JimHofman: Peanut butter is the regular toothpaste flavor for my pups, but I think my little female would prefer chicken. :) Yes, so important! Dog owners are really just starting to learn what a big impact dental care has on a dog's overall health and disease prevention.

    • JimHofman profile image


      7 years ago

      It's so important to brush your dog's teeth! We brush ours regularly to prevent any problems. The vet always comments on how good her teeth and gums look. She likes the beef and peanut butter toothpaste flavors.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Like the video, I found it best to ease our greyhound into it. I let him just lick the toothpaste from the toothpaste for a while, then brushed a few teeth, and now I can brush all of them. He doesn't love it, but it doesn't seem like he hates it either. We also give him a small treat afterwards so he looks forward to it. It's nice to see a video, though!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      So, I never would have thougt that such a thing as a tooth paste for dogs exists. But I know that they do get dirty teeth if they are given soft food. Very encouraging (and also fun) to see (video) that a dog can actually get used to toothbrushing.

    • Lynda Makara profile image

      Lynda Makara 

      8 years ago from California

      Wow, those are some white teeth. I brush my dog's teeth the same way I brush mine, using a 45 degree angle and a circular motion to remove plaque at the gumline. Seems to be working so far.Angel blessings.

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 

      8 years ago from Topeka, KS

      I'd rather brush a dog's teeth than try and brush a cat's! Good article. :)

    • WildFacesGallery profile image


      8 years ago from Iowa

      Long go in another life I was a vet tech and worked at a clinic next to a racing track. As a result I adopted 3 who were to be destroyed. And yes they had nasty teeth so it was a good thing I work for a vet to get a regular dental. Beautifully done lens. Blessed.

    • DuaneJ profile image


      8 years ago

      Very informative!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)