While brushing your dog’s teeth is not the most enjoyable part of being a pet parent, it is a necessary one, so finding a way to take care of his teeth is an absolute must. If he sits still and allows you to brush his teeth, all the better for you but if your dog is a nervous type or just too rambunctious for a standard style brushing, you will still need to find the best equipment for the task. Even if he makes it easy on you, the proper gear always makes a chore all the easier and when it comes to your pup – his needs are as unique as you are. Never fear, though; we have the right brush for him no matter his needs.
We reviewed dozens of dog toothbrushes to identify the best of the best. We looked for toothbrushes for your little dogs and your large breed dogs; those that will work best for a teething puppy and for the dog who would love to make his dental hygiene a play time event. No matter what your dog’s needs, we have a toothbrush for him.
If this is your first experience with brushing a dog’s teeth, you may find How To Brush A Dog’s Teeth particularly useful. In hand with that, you’ll also need to make sure you’re choosing the right toothpaste for your pup, so consider The Best Dog Toothpastes.
From the beginning of our research, we were easily able to identify the Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste and Triple-Headed Toothbrush as a winner; which made it an easy choice for our best overall spot. With not one, but three brushing surface areas, it will make cleaning your dog’s teeth faster and less likely to miss any hidden tarter.
The 5 Top-Rated Dog Toothbrushes
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Best Dog Toothbrush Overall: Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste and Triple-Headed Toothbrush
The Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste and Triple-Headed Toothbrush will allow you to cover thrice as much ground in your dog’s mouth when compared with a standard single-sided toothbrush. It will clean all angles of your dog’s teeth at once so you won’t need to worry about getting the front, back, and top – each stroke handles it all.
The toothpaste included will take the guesswork out of your purchase, making it a one-click buy to proper dental health for your dog. There are no harmful ingredients, making it safe for your dog and it uses a formula incorporating aloe, baking soda, and grapefruit seed oil. Reviews are full of pet parent approval for the scent and their dog’s approval of the taste.
Well over 1,000 people have thought so much of this set that they’ve come back after the purchase to review it on Amazon. Consider for a moment how much you have to appreciate a product to spend your time doing that and you may have a better idea of just how pleased customers are with this product. It has an overall rating of 4.0 stars and it’s only $6. We consider all that a pretty big win for you!
Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste and Triple-Headed Toothbrush Key Features:
- Includes toothpaste and brush
- Non-slip handle
- Bonus Dental Care Guide included
Best Long-Handled Dog Toothbrush: BOSHEL Dog Toothbrush Pack
The BOSHEL Dog Toothbrush Pack will give you two long-handled brushes that are angled to make brushing easier on you and more comfortable for your dog. After all, getting into his mouth at a straight angle, as a standard toothbrush will typically require, can often lead to gagging and only serve to build your dog’s anxiety over brushing. The long-handled brushes are double-sided, with a larger bristle base on one side, making it ideal for your large breed dogs front teeth and on the other side, a smaller bristled base that will serve to prevent choking when you push the brush to the back of his teeth.
Also included is a nylon brush attached to the fingertip style brush. This could help you with several common obstacles in dog teeth brushing. You’ll better be able to coax your dog into a more thorough clean if you first get him used to your fingers. This relies on the trust you’ve already established with your pup, so make sure you treat this just as any other training – with lots of praise and perhaps a treat or two. Once he’s used to the fingertip, you may be able to move up to the long handles that result in less slobber on you.
When you’re considering this toothbrush for your dog, it will serve you well to take a look at the reviews and ratings. – And we’re confident that if you were on the fence for this, they’ll seal the deal. With over 200 customer reviews on Amazon, it has an impressive overall rating of 4.6 stars.
BOSHEL Dog Toothbrush Pack Key Features:
- 3 toothbrushes included
- Ergonomic design to prevent gagging or slipping
- 30-day money-back guarantee
Best Budget Dog Toothbrush: Arm & Hammer Clinical Care Dental Gum Health Kit for Dogs
The Arm & Hammer Dog Dental Care Fresh Breath Kit for Dogs has all you’ll need to brush your dog’s teeth and will work for any size or breed of dog. You can use the extended handle to reach the back teeth of your large dogs, and there are brushes on both ends to suit dogs of all sizes. The toothbrush is specially designed to reach hard to clean areas, and the fingertip brush is useful for small dogs as well as dogs just getting used to the brushing process.
The toothpaste included in this kit is 100% safe for your dog to consume. It is infused with baking soda (which is probably no surprise since it’s made by a company that has built its empire on selling baking soda) and has natural ingredients that give it a tasty flavor your dog will love. Add that into a kit with a high-quality toothbrush and you’re all set!
There are right around 5,700 customer reviews on Amazon earning this set an overall rating of 4.3, but the number that will really sell it for you will be the price. For the toothbrush, toothpaste, and bonus fingertip brush, you’ll only spend around $6!
Arm & Hammer Clinical Care Dental Gum Health Kit for Dogs Key Features:
- Included toothpaste is 100% safe for ingestion
- Fingertip brush is gentle on gums
- Dual-sided brush for more brushing options
- Multiple flavors and formulations available
Best Finger Toothbrush for Dogs: Pet Republique Dog Toothbrush Series
The Pet Republique Dog Toothbrush Series will work for any type of dog, but you may consider the fingertip best for smaller dogs and nylon brush with the firmer bristles available in this listing better for larger dogs. Or at least, the nylon brush will better reach the back teeth and clean a larger mouth’s gums with more ease.
The fingertip is made with non-toxic, food-safe silicone so you won’t need to be concerned about placing it in your dog’s mouth and the rubber texture will keep it from slipping off your hand as you clean. The finger opening is 3/4 of an inch wide so you’ll easily be able to fit your finger, and should it be a bit too big, they do sell a smaller size, too.
With a roughly 80% positive review grade on Amazon, there’s plenty to support your decision to purchase these finger brushes. With around 1,600 customer reviews and an overall rating of 4.2 stars on Amazon, it’s statistically likely you’ll be pleased with your purchase.
Pet Republique Dog Toothbrush Series Key Features:
- 100% customer satisfaction guarantee
- 2 style options
- 3 or 6 packs available
Best Small Dog Toothbrush: H&H Pets Dog Toothbrush
The H&H Pets Dog Toothbrush is designed for your little dog that has a delicate and tiny mouth. The bristles are soft and the handle includes a ribbed, non-slip thumb press that will keep your hand from slipping and accidentally hurting your little guy. Because small dogs tend to have more sensitive gums, these brushes are a perfect fit. And keep in mind that anytime you purchase from H&H Pets, they’ll donate 15% of the profits to a non-profit animal organization.
There is a hanging hook along the bottom of each of these brushes handles and if you plan to hang them to dry after use, this is a big help. (And if you don’t, instead plan to clean them thoroughly before your next use because bacteria and mold can form anytime you put away a wet toothbrush.)
Not only is this set of toothbrushes a manageable $10 (or less for the 4 pack), they have a wonderful rating with plenty of support behind them. There are well over 600 customer reviews on Amazon, earning it an overall rating of 4.2 stars – not bad!
H&H Pets Dog Toothbrush Key Features:
- Ideal for small breeds
- 4 or 8 packs available
- 100% satisfaction guaranteed
Who Should Buy a Dog Toothbrushes
It may seem like an over-simplified answer, but the truth of the matter is that if you have a dog, you’ll need some kind of dog toothbrush. You can use a regular toothbrush designed for human, it’s true, but it would only make the process more complicated. Dogs tend to not handle apparatuses scrubbing inside their mouths very well and if you’ve ever had to lay your full body weight on your dog in order to reach all his teeth while he squirms and claws to get away, you know you won’t want this process complicated one bit. Even if your dog is the most laid back dog that will take the cleaning like a champ, though, you’ll still save time by finding a brush that’s intended for a dog’s mouth.
You’ll also need to keep in mind that you can’t just buy a toothbrush and be done forever. Your dog, just like you, will often need a replacement brush. You may not replace it as much as you do your own – or you may replace it more if you consider how much grosser his mouth is than yours. The frequency is, of course, up to you but the recommendation is that you replace the brush every three to four months (just like you, in case you needed that reminder). If, however, you have a more disposable, less durable style of dog brush (like a flimsy, but gentle fingertip brush, for example) you may want to replace it monthly. Just keep in mind that no matter what style toothbrush you go with for your dog, you’re always in the market for a new dog toothbrush.
Important Features to Consider
A toothbrush for a dog should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a toothbrush for your dog:
3-sided toothbrushes. This may seem like an odd design for a toothbrush, but if you think of it for a moment, we think you’ll be convinced of its genius. Very rarely does your dog just sit idly by with his mouth open allowing you to take your time brushing his teeth. Because of this, you’re going to want something that makes the job easier – of course! If you had no concerns about the number of arms you had or the space to do it, three toothbrushes would certainly make brushing go by much faster, wouldn’t it? So it stands to reason that operating one toothbrush that will cover just as much as three standard toothbrushes will make it just as easy for you.
Fingertip toothbrushes. If your dog is skittish about having his teeth brushed, the reason may be because he’s actually apprehensive about the brush. If you want to try to find a solution to his fear, then the smartest (and cheapest) first step in identifying the problem could be taking the literal hands-on approach. A fingertip toothbrush will get you intimately familiar with your dog’s teeth and any doggy breathe that comes with it, but if it keeps him comfortable and his teeth from rotting out, then it’s a win. Fingertip brushes also typically use a softer silicon bristle base that’s ideal for sensitive gums, making it a big hit for little dogs.
Chewing toothbrushes. This is the toothbrush solution your dog has been waiting for. To him, it’s just a chew toy with a gel or paste inside it. If you pick a tasty toothpaste, he may even like that addition to his “toy” even better! Keep it up and out of his regular toy rotation, though, and only give it to him for teeth brushing. Otherwise, he’ll probably make short work of destroying it, he’ll love it so. If your dog isn’t a chewer or has a particularly small mouth, this probably isn’t your best route, but for the big dog you just can’t seem to wrestle into submission, this can be the solution to all your toothbrush woes.
Toothpaste and toothbrush sets. It can be tricky finding the right toothpaste for a dog. And when you do, there’s a good chance you’ll want to keep getting it for each refill. And if you’re not sure which type is going to work for your dog, a good starting place is the kits that will let you get the brush and paste all in one go. Finding one he likes, though – we have to warn you – may take a while. But don’t dismay, it’s out there!
Size. Not all dogs will achieve the same level of success with the same toothbrush. If you have a little dog, there’s a good chance you’ll need to find a brush that will accommodate his tiny mouth. Conversely, a short brush will make brushing your big dog’s teeth a huge investment in your time. Rather than waste your time and add to your stress by struggling for longer with your big dog, finding a toothbrush that is longer and covers more area is the best bet for brushing.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Dog Toothbrush and how does it work?
A dog’s toothbrush is just like a human’s toothbrush but it’s made with your dog’s special needs in mind. There are a few different types, just as there are different dog breeds and types. You’ll want to consider his size, breed, and personality when choosing a brush for your pup. You can opt for a standard bristled brush with just a longer handle than a human’s and that will get you a bit better range and let you get deep into his mouth to brush his back teeth as well as you get his front. If he’s too little or the brush is intimidating for him, you may be better off with a fingertip brush that is a silicone sleeve for your finger with soft, also silicone, bristles. You’ll simply place the toothpaste onto the sleeve after putting it on your finger and dig in with your own hand. For big dogs, this may not be the most efficient way to get to the back teeth, so plan accordingly. The third brush type is a chewing brush where you put the toothpaste into the ridges of a tough rubber or soft plastic toy and allow your dog to chew the toothpaste into his teeth, brushing while he does so. This is the least work on your part but gives you the least amount of control on how thoroughly he’s brushing.
If you are in a pinch or just don’t want to look for anything new, you can get by with just using a human’s toothbrush for your dog. But be aware that it will be harder and that buying a toothbrush that is meant for your dog will only make the job easier. So don’t get frustrated and give up if it doesn’t go well. (In fact, don’t give up if it doesn’t go well no matter what brush you use!)
How can I stop my dogs bad breath?
Just like humans, the best way to eliminate bad breath is to brush your dog’s teeth regularly. Removing any build-up of debris and bacteria is essential to maintaining his dental health, but even more than that, you’ll go a long way in maintaining tolerable breath, too. That means that when your fur baby gives you kisses, you may not be so disgusted and that will probably help build your relationship in early days. Keep in mind that the toothpaste he prefers could also leave a less than pleasant aroma, too. After all, liver and chicken don’t combine to make an appealing scent, but your dog may love the flavor. Sometimes you’ll have to find a balance between the ease with which he accepts the toothpaste and your distaste for the smell.
Unlike humans, though, your dog’s bad breath may not be caused by the bacteria on the teeth and tongue. (Consider what he licks in any typical day and your answer to “why?” is probably answered.) If your dog has bad breath and it is not caused by poor dental hygiene, then brushing his teeth when you notice it could still help. Otherwise, there are spray foams you can use to squirt into your dog’s mouth or water additives that will help freshen his breath. The most common way to fix bad doggy breath beyond brushing would be a consumable dental stick that you can just give him daily to help keep his foul breath at bay.
Can dogs swallow dog toothpaste?
Dogs can’t spit, so swallowing toothpaste is actually an inevitability when you’re brushing his teeth. Because of this, you need to find a toothpaste that is safe for your dog to swallow. That means, unfortunately, he can’t share toothpastes with you – you will need to make another purchase to keep your furry family member’s teeth clean. If you find a toothpaste specifically labelled as a dog toothpaste, then you’ll probably be safe, but you’ll want to make sure the ingredients list doesn’t include fluoride and is labeled as safe for ingestion.
How often should a dog’s teeth be cleaned?
Ideally, you’ll want to brush your dog’s teeth daily. If that seems unlikely, that’s understandable, but you’re still going to want to brush frequently. If you bathe him frequently, then you can incorporate the brushing into his bath time. To make it easier on you both, you may find setting a routine to be a big help. If not during bath time, choose a time during his regular schedule when he’s typically calm and relaxed. Even if you don’t bathe him often or brush daily, though, you’ll still want to brush his teeth a couple times a week. (If that still seems too much, just keep in mind the more you do it, the better off you’ll be in the long run. Regular brushing will help prevent the need for professional cleaning intervention.)
If, rather than brushing, you’re wondering how often you should have your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned, then you’ll need to talk to your vet. (By professionally cleaned we mean taken to your vet and put under anesthesia, so that your vet can do a deep cleaning to remove any build-up with dental equipment. This will be a costly endeavor and if your dog has any heart or lung issues that make being put under a health risk, it may not be possible.) Some dogs are more prone to tarter build-up than others and your vet will be the best to determine where your dog falls in this spectrum. If he’s a chewer, you may not have a professional cleaning recommended ever; but for dogs who only chew to eat, it may be an annual occurrence.
Other Dog Toothbrushes We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other toothbrushes for dogs. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best toothbrushes for dogs list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your dog. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
- Three-Sided Dog Toothbrushes
- Chewing Stick Dog Toothbrushes
- Fingertip Dog Toothbrushes
- Long-Handled Dog Toothbrushes
Three-Sided Dog Toothbrushes
These toothbrushes have an ergonomic design so that you won’t need to worry about your grip while you’re taking care of your pup’s teeth.
- Soft rubber handle
- Hanging handle
This toothbrush has a full range of bristles, so you’ll easily be able to clean, no matter which way the brush ends up turning in the struggle to get it done.
- Handle length 6″, bristle diameter 0.57″
- Soft bristles for sensitive teeth
- 100% no-risk money-back guarantee
This pack has the more effective and deep cleaning bristles on the three-sided brush and four additional “brushes” that will use soft bristles for more gentle cleaning.
- 5 brushes included
- Reusable storage box
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
Chewing Stick Dog Toothbrushes
This chewing toothbrush includes a cleaning brush to remove the excess toothpaste and saliva after its use.
- Food-grade rubber design
- 360-degree clean
- Mint flavor incorporated into the rubber
This chewing toothbrush will attract your dog with its incorporated squeaker, making brush time playtime.
- Cactus design
- Made with non-toxic eco-friendly rubber
- Includes cleaning brush
This set will give your dog a chewing stick in which you can place toothpaste, a finger tip brush for more detailed care, and a chewing bone to help with his daily dental health.
- Made of natural rubber
- Recommended for dogs 8-25 lbs
This chewing ring toothbrush will allow you to play tug of war with him while he cleans his own teeth.
- 2 sizes available
- 2 color options
- Made with 100% safe materials
This is perfect for the thorough clean of daily use and occasional detailed cleaning provided with the three-sided brush.
- 2 sizes available
- 5 color options
- Aromatic mint flavor
This dental chewing brush is so easy to clean, it won’t cause you any extra work: just pop it in the dishwasher!
- 3 color and style choices
- 2 sizes available
- Brush infused with peppermint
Fingertip Dog Toothbrushes
Because your vet recommends you change out the fingertip brushes once a month, this is an entire year’s supply of toothbrushes for your dog.
- 12 pieces included
- Made with liquid silicone
- 2 color options
These fingertip toothbrushes come with both small and regular sizing so you’ll be able to choose the right brush for you and your dog.
- 2 sizes available
- 2 color pack options
- Boiling recommended for cleaning
After using these fingertip brushes to clean your dog’s teeth, cleaning them is as easy as soap and water.
- Made from soft silicone3 material
- 30-day satisfaction guarantee
Use the fingertip toothbrushes for your small dogs, or for the front teeth of your big dog and the long-handled brush to get the tarter on his molar teeth.
- 8 total brushes included
- Made with high quality, pet-safe materials
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
You’ll be able to clean even your most sensitive dog’s teeth with the soft silicone bristles of this finger brush.
- Food grade silicone
- Money-back guarantee
- 8 brushes included
There are two varieties of fingertip brushes included and both are unique enough that they may work for your dog when all other brushes have failed.
- 7 brushes included
- Made with food-safe materials
- Suitable for all sizes and breeds
With this 50-pack of finger toothbrushes, you won’t be running out anytime soon – no matter how many dogs you have!
- Soft, flexible design
- Disposable (can be reused a few times)
- Suitable for all size dogs
Long-Handled Dog Toothbrushes
If you’re not quite sure how well your dog will do with which type of brush, this multi-pack will certainly help you test each.
- 2 color options
- 8 brushes included
- 60 days money-back guarantee
If your dog has sensitive teeth or gums, this flexible brush on a longer handle may be just the ticket to a smooth brushing.
- Double-sided bristles
- Flexible head
With their angled design, these toothbrushes will allow you to brush your dog’s teeth without any extra hoops to jump through.
- 2 size options
- 3 varieties available
- Hanging hook on handle
The long-handled toothbrush included with this set is angled to make it all the easier to brush your pup’s molars.
- 2 flavors toothpaste available
- Large or small dog options