How can I care for my dog's teeth at home? - Animal Hospital of Statesville

Far and away, the best way is to brush the dog’s teeth. That is the way we take care of our teeth, and that's the way we recommend taking care of your dog's teeth as well. There's nothing that does any better than the abrasive action of brushing. But there are a few points we need to talk about with brushing. The first is, pets don't use human toothpaste. Our toothpaste is made to spit, and pets don't spit very well. So they need pet-specific toothpaste, and they make them in chicken, beef, and seafood flavors. Most dogs enjoy these flavors. But then the big thing is that we've got to make it fun for the pet. So we'll talk about that in the next question.

The other thing is that there are some chews out there. Everyone has seen the chews that say, "will clean your pet's teeth." And believe it or not, some of them do what they say. But there is a seal called the VOHC Seal, which stands for Veterinary Oral Health Council Seal. This seal is on packages for the products that truly do what they say they're going to do. They’ve been clinically shown to remove tartar if they say they truly remove tartar. Things like GREENIES can do that, and there are many other products out there. But there are many products out there that just say, "Clean your pet's teeth" that have no study behind them. It's just somebody putting that on the back. If you see the VOHC Seal, you can be confident that it's going to do at least something to help keep your pet's teeth clean. The solutions, oral treatments, and water treatments are primarily for the breath. They're not going to help clean the teeth, so brushing is number one, two, and three.