Looking after your canine’s pearly whites doesn’t just give them a sparkling smile – it’s also an important part of their overall health.
Expert vet Dr Emma Chandley shares her top tips on dog dental care. Learn how to brush your pup’s teeth, when to start, and how often to do it.
Just like their humans, dogs need their teeth to be cleaned regularly to:
Periodontal disease and dental problems are the most commonly diagnosed illnesses in UK dogs.
A study of 22,333 dogs by the Royal Veterinary College found that around one in eight suffered from periodontal disease.
The study also noted that certain breeds were more prone to the condition, including:
But it’s important to remember that dental problems can affect dogs of any breed and age.
Settling your canine into a good oral hygiene routine is easier if you introduce them to teeth brushing as a puppy.
By the time their adult teeth start coming in – around six months old – they should be well adjusted to having their teeth cleaned.
Don’t worry if your dog is older – it’s never too late to start brushing their teeth.
Speak to your vet if you’re concerned about your dog having dental disease. They can do a check-up and recommend the right dental treatment and routine for your dog.
Lots of praise, positivity, and taking things slowly and gently are key to successful doggy teeth brushing.
Make sure to use pet toothpaste as human toothpaste can be irritating to dogs – your vet can help you find something suitable.
Ideally, you’ll brush your dog’s teeth daily to help keep them bright and healthy. If this is a struggle, aim for at least two to three times a week.
Try speaking to your vet or a qualified behaviourist if your dog is showing any signs of discomfort or fear around teeth cleaning.
Your vet can step in to help if you’re really struggling to clean your dog’s teeth.
A professional cleaning may also be needed if your pup has a build-up of hard tartar. They’ll usually need to go under general anaesthetic to help keep them calm and relaxed.
During a professional cleaning, your vet can:
Costs for professional dog teeth cleaning vary between vet practices so ask your vet for their price list.
You may also need to pay more if extra dental work is needed, such as x-rays or tooth extractions.
For example, Animal Trust charges a fixed price of £395* for a pet dental, which includes:
Alongside regular brushing, here are some other ways you can keep your pup’s teeth in top condition:
Always check with your vet before introducing new foods or supplements to your dog’s diet.
Did you know that dental accidents are covered as standard on a Petsure policy and dental illness is an optional extra? Find out more about our flexible dog cover.
*Prices accurate as of 27 September 2023