Similar to humans, dogs have dental needs and can develop cavities, tarter and plaque. Dry dog food, hard bones and treats made to promote dental hygiene can help to keep your dog's teeth healthy. Though even with regular use of these types of products, it is still necessary to brush your dog's teeth, which should be done anywhere from two days a week to every day.
How to Brush a Dog's Teeth Without Toothpaste
Approach brushing your dogs teeth gently, carefully and slowly so that you do not scare your dog; make teeth brushing a fun experience rather than one your dog will run away from.
Allow your dog to examine the toothbrush before inserting it into his mouth. Let him smell and lick it for a few minutes. You can use a regular toothbrush made for humans.
Use a cleaning agent that is safe for dogs; human toothpaste, which is not designed to be swallowed, can make your dog sick. Dog toothpaste is available in most pet stores, though it can contain a large amount of sugar. Alternatively, you can mix one part baking soda to two parts water to make a natural cleanser for your dog's teeth.
Dip the toothbrush into the baking soda paste and gently begin to brush your dog's teeth; use the paste sparingly. Start with the easier to reach front teeth until it becomes acclimated with the process. Continue on to the sides and back of his mouth. Continue to brush slowly and gently, in the same circular motion that you would use to brush your own teeth.
Wet a washcloth with water and wipe the paste off of your dog's teeth; dogs can't rinse and spit. It can swallow the paste, but it may be more comfortable for him to wipe out what you are able.
Pet and praise your dog as you are brushing its teeth so that it is more comfortable with the experience. Do not become angry or frustrated if you are having trouble; your dog will notice those feelings and may think that brushing teeth is something to be avoided.