Tips To Keep Your Dog's Teeth Clean Besides Brushing

October 28, 2022 5 min read

As dog owners, most of us have experienced moments when our dog jumps up to lick our face - until we get put off by their “dog breath.” While bad doggie breath can occasionally go away on its own, persistent stink can be a sign that your dog has poor dental hygiene. In this blog, we will go over all the do’s and don'ts of doggie dental health so that bad breath won’t be a problem anymore!

The Importance of Doggie Dental Health

Dental health is as important to our pups as it is to us humans! Without healthy teeth, we wouldn’t be able to eat, smile, or chew on bubble gum! That’s why upkeeping your dog’s teeth is so important- so they can eat lots of raw food, smile, and chew on a raw bone afterwards.

Besides being important for your dog’s mouth, obviously, oral hygiene is also important for the rest of your pup’s body. With poor dental health, your dog could be at risk for any of these health problems:

  • Diabetes
  • Gingivitis
  • Heart disease
  • Periodontal disease
  • Jaw issues
  • Immune system dysfunction
  • Organ damage
  • Cancer

The main culprit for dental issues in dogs is the buildup of plaque and tartar, which can come from a number of things. Before we go on, let’s quickly discuss what plaque and tartar are and how to deal with them.

What is Tartar and Plaque?

Plaque is a gummy substance that forms in a dog’s mouth a few hours after they eat. When left on the teeth for over 24 hours, plaque will eventually develop into tartar by combining with salts in the saliva and hardening.

If left untreated, tartar can build up along the gum line and cause bacteria to grow rapidly, even potentially causing gingivitis. Tartar can also be absorbed into your dog’s blood stream, risking your dog to infection of the kidneys, liver, and even heart. 

This is why it’s so important to fight off plaque before it has the chance to develop into tartar.

Source: Study by VCA Animal Hospitals

Natural Ways to Clean Your Dog’s Teeth

Like most illnesses, the best way to treat a disease is to prevent it! By routinely cleaning your pup’s teeth, you can avoid the risk of any health issues listed above and keep them smiling longer. 

However, some pups won't be very happy with getting their teeth brushed every day. This takes a bit of training and patience. luckily there are natural tips that can help clean your dog's teeth without brushing.

Naturally cleaning your dog’s teeth is the best way to prevent plaque and tartar while avoiding any side effects. Through natural remedies, you also could avoid any vet costs of teeth cleaning or dental-related disease treatments. Here are a few of our favorite tips and tricks for naturally keeping your dog’s chompers clean!

Raw Bones & The Benefits 

Raw bones are a great way to naturally clean your dog’s teeth while providing them with mental stimulation and a delicious treat! Raw bones have a list of benefits for your dog, which include:

  • Provides both mental and physical stimulation to your dog at the same time.
  • Raw bones promote dental hygiene and gently clean your dog’s teeth.
  • There are loads of vitamins, amino acids, essential fatty acids, and other nutrients in raw bones.
  • Raw bones are species appropriate and let dogs tap into their natural instincts.

When feeding raw bones, be sure to supervise your dog at all times and only feed them after 6 months of age. 

For more tips on bone safety: The Safest Bones For Your Dog

Chews and Their Benefits

natural bully stick chews for cleaner teeth

Like raw bones, natural chews are another healthy way to clean your dog’s teeth. Chews like dehydrated beef bully stickstrachea, and tendons are a great way to give your dog a delicious natural treat while keeping their chompers clean. Being hard and durable, these natural treats work to scrape plaque off your dog’s teeth while they chew away!

Not only do these dehydrated chews clean your pup’s teeth and taste amazing, they are also full of health benefits. These chews are high in protein, low in chemicals, and easily digestible, making the perfect all-around treats for your furry friend.

Healthy Fruits and Veggies Do the Trick Too!

Fruits and veggies are infamous for being packed with nutrients and health benefits! Our dogs can experience all of these benefits too, which is why fruits and veggies are a great treat to give our pups.

Besides being nutritious and healthy, there are some fruits and vegetables that can clean your dog’s teeth and benefit their health. Carrots, celery, apples, and strawberries are great options to choose from; Carrots, apples, and celery are able to scrape off any plaque, and strawberries contain an enzyme that works to naturally whiten teeth!

Coconut Oil and Apple Cider Vinegar are Great Natural Remedies

Coconut oil has been used for years by humans for cleaning teeth, even before modern toothpaste was invented! Since it’s full of antibacterial properties, coconut oil is a tasty and natural toothpaste you can use to clean your pup’s teeth. Using coconut oil as your pup’s toothpaste can work to prevent tooth decay, fight gum disease, and whiten teeth.

Apple cider vinegar is another great choice, with the many antibacterial properties it contains. Like coconut oil, apple cider vinegar helps to kill bacteria and prevent plaque. With its rich combination of nutrients and minerals, it helps to balance your dog’s overall dental health. Adding a few drops of apple cider vinegar to your dog’s water bowl is the best way to administer it, since the pure taste might put some dogs off.

Feeding a Raw Diet for Dogs

Nothing is better for dogs than a whole, natural, and raw diet. Unfortunately, kibble, which is the primary diet for most dogs, represents the opposite of each of these descriptions. 

Being packed with carbohydrates, chemicals, and preservatives, kibble is one of the worst foods for a dog’s teeth. Containing a much higher starch content than whole dog foods, kibble bits and powder easily get stuck between your dog’s teeth, promoting a buildup of plaque and eventually tartar.

By feeding a raw diet, your dog won’t be at risk for these issues and will experience quite a few benefits along the way. By gently scraping off plaque before it has a change to harden into tartar, a raw diet naturally cleans your dog’s teeth while providing top-tier nutrients; it’s a win-win!

How to Remove Plaque and Tartar After It’s Formed

While preventative measures are the best way to upkeep your dog’s health, removing plaque and tartar after its formed is equally as important. 

Plaque is generally simple to remove from your pup’s teeth as long as it’s done routinely. Each of the natural remedies listed above are perfect ways to both prevent and remove plaque. Brushing your dog’s teeth daily, with coconut oil or a doggie-toothpaste, is also a great solution to removing plaque.

Tartar, on the other hand, isn’t so easy. The best way to avoid tartar is by removing plaque before it develops. To remove tartar after it’s formed, these natural remedies can help, but it’s best to make an appointment with an integrative veterinarian to get all of the tartar off. 

To Wrap Up…

Taking care of your dog’s dental health is an important factor in their overall health. By using the natural remedies and chews on this blog, your dog can reach their optimal health!

For more guides and blogs on doggy health, check out our blogs here.