How To Clean A Dogs Teeth Without Brushing

Are you tired of your dog’s bad breath?

Dogs are the best pets in the world, but they can get some pretty serious health problems if their teeth aren’t taken care of. If your dog doesn’t have any dental issues yet, it’s still important to take them to the vet every 12 months or so for a check-up and you need to brush your dog’s teeth regularly, at least twice a week! Not all dogs like their teeth cleaning, so this can be tricky.

But how do you clean a dog’s teeth without brushing?

We know that sounds crazy, but there are actually some easy ways to do this! It will save you time and money on expensive trips to the vet. You won’t believe what we’re about to tell you!

Dental chews, Coconut oil, human foods like carrots and pumpkins, feeding bones. There are quite a few ways to clean plaque off of your pet’s teeth without a brush and you’ll be amazed by how much better your dog’s dental health is

Below are some easy ways to clean dog teeth, so read on to find out how you can clean dog teeth without a brush.

The Consequences of Not Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth?

If you don’t brush your dog’s teeth sooner or later, problems will occur

10 Signs your dog has gum disease or dental disease


If you start to notice tartar build-up on your dog’s teeth, chances are they have a degree of periodontal disease which can lead to tooth decay. Tartar is caused by plaque build-up; the calcium from your dog’s saliva combines with this to form the yellow tartar, which is so unsightly.

Stinky breath 

Doggy breath is normal, but if you find your pooch’s breath really pongs, your dog’s oral health may not be up to scratch.

Loss of appetite

Dental problems can make eating difficult for dogs as well as humans, so if your furry friend is turning their nose up at food, chances are something is wrong and you should contact your vet.


Another indicator that all is not well with your dog’s oral hygiene is redness or inflammation around the gum line; this is caused by tartar becoming trapped under the gums and causing irritation.


Most dogs cope pretty well with pain, but as we know, a constant toothache is enough to get anyone down; if your dog suffers from severe dental problems, it will cause discomfort, which may result in him becoming depressed and irritable.


Several dental issues could cause excessive dribbling; there may be a foreign object stuck in your dog’s teeth; it could be a broken tooth, an abscess, sore gums or plaque build-up.

Swollen face 

A common sign that something is not right with your dog’s mouth. When they have infected teeth or gum disease that is not treated, this can lead to abscesses forming, which results in facial swelling and pain.

Missing, wobbly or broken teeth 

If Fido’s teeth start falling out or become wobbly its a clear indication they are suffering from gum disease

Pawing at the face

Dog owners will often notice their canine companion pawing at their face if they have dental disease; not all dogs are happy about you looking in their mouths, so it might be time for a visit to the vets?

Weight loss

It stands to reason that if your pup has a toothache and is off their food, they will lose weight; however, this is a symptom of many health issues in dogs, so always consult a professional if your four-legged friend is losing weight.

For Oral Care Try a Water or Food Additive

Did you know there are things you can add to your dog’s food for dental care? No? neither did we, but they are a really easy dental care option that fights the build-up of plaque and tartar; as well as sparkling white teeth, they have the added bonus of freshening Fido’s breath too.

Products like the VETRISCIENCE – Perio support powder can be sprinkled over your pup’s food; the formula contains natural zeolites which prevent plaque from forming and have deodorising properties.

Others like Dentagen Aqua can be added to your dog’s water. The Tropiclean shampoo brand has a whole range of water additives for dogs to improve dental health.

These additives can be a bit pricey but are worth every penny if they cut down on costly dental cleanings.

What’s the Cost to Have a Dog’s Teeth Cleaned Professionally?

Here’s the rub- It can cost anywhere from around £150 to over £500 to have your dog’s teeth cleaned by a vet. This depends on several factors, one of them being where you live, unsurprisingly teeth cleaning is more expensive if you live in London.

Of course, many professional groomers will offer cleaning teeth as one of their services and this may cost as little as £20.

However, while they may get your dog’s teeth clean, they won’t be able to tackle under the gum line, which is where periodontal disease starts.

Why are professional dental cleanings so expensive? -5 reasons why having a vet clean your dog’s teeth isn’t cheap

Blood work: 

Senior dogs or ones suffering from ongoing health issues may need blood tests to make sure their liver and kidneys can process the anaesthesia


Unfortunately, unlike us humans, dog’s will not happily sit in a dentist’s chair and let them carry out the work required. In order to treat plaque below the gum-line and safely clean your dog’s teeth, your vet needs to use anaesthesia, which, of course, increases the price significantly.

Certain breeds, including most sighthounds, have a sensitivity to anaesthetic drugs, so you may want anesthesia free cleanings instead. Some vets do offer anesthesia-free teeth cleaning but not all, so you may have to do some searching

IV drip: 

An IV drip isn’t always necessary some dogs, including brachycephalic breeds and giant breeds, don’t do well under anaesthetic, so an IV may be required to keep them hydrated and assist the kidneys and lic=ver process the drugs

Pain medication: 

Your vet may need to prescribe pain medication if the dental hygiene was particularly bad and once again, this will increase the price

Weight of your dog: 

Both anaesthesia and medication are dosed by the weight of your dog, so the larger the dog, the larger the bill


Elderly dogs are more likely to suffer from other health issues, particularly kidney and liver problems, so your veterinarian is more likely to want blood work for an older dog. As a result of this, teeth cleaning is generally more costly for seniors.

Long Term Healthy Teeth – 10 Ways To Maintain your Dog’s Dental Health

Meaty Bones

Feeding bones is a great way to clean dog teeth, although slightly controversial as dogs can actually fracture their teeth occasionally chewing on bones. If you are feeding your furry friend dog bones, never give them cooked bones as they splinter more easily and can present a choking hazard.

Dental Chews

Specially designed dental chews provide many benefits for your dog and are an excellent way to clean dog teeth without brushing; they are shaped to scrape plaque off the teeth and freshen breath, keeping your dog’s mouth smelling minty fresh.

Products like Dentasticks and Bully Sticks can reduce the chances of gum disease and other dental problems; plus, what pooch doesn’t love a tasty treat.

Tooth brushing

We know this article concentrates on how to clean your dog’s teeth without brushing, but it is still the best way to avoid dental disease. The trick is to get your dog used to teeth cleaning from an early age.

This video shows how to brush your puppy’s teeth

Coconut oil

If you are looking for a natural way to keep your dog’s mouth healthy, then Coconut Oil is a real winner. You can apply it to chew toys, put it on a dog toothbrush or simply use your finger to rub it over the teeth and gums.

Coconut oil has antibacterial qualities that keep the teeth clean and improve your dog’s breath, which can become rather pungent, especially as they become older.

Carrot Sticks

Now my dog won’t entertain carrot sticks, but many dog’s love them as a treat and they are excellent for dental cleaning. They act as a polishing agent and because it takes quite a bit of chewing to eat them, they strengthen the teeth.

They contain vitamin A which maintains healthy enamel and also increase the flow of saliva. Saliva neutralises acid and helps rinse away food particles that could lead to tartar and plaque on your dogs’ teeth.

Water additives

As mentioned above, teeth cleaning supplements like water additives are readily available online and in pet stores. They blend organics, antiseptics, and mineral salts that can be mixed with your dog’s water, helping clean teeth and keep gums healthy.

They work similarly to mouthwash eliminating bacteria in the mouth but without the strong minty taste.

Dental toys

There are all sorts of odd-shaped toys designed to clean your pup’s teeth, from Nylabones covered in little nubs to squeaky hippos. Dog owners should always have a couple of these dental toys; what better way to prevent dental problems than playing with a fun toy that keeps dog teeth clean and healthy.

Dental wipes

You can also purchase special wipes for removing plaque and helping to prevent dental disease, they’re not the cheapest and if your pup doesn’t like your fingers in his mouth, they’re not going to work. Still, they are a great alternative to dog chews and a fantastic way to look after dog teeth without brushing.

Feed Dry Food

Try feeding kibble instead of wet foods, which easily gets caught between the teeth and gums. The tough texture of dry food can help prevent the build-up of plaque. Although this isn’t a teeth cleaning solution, it can slow down decay.

Be observant

One of the most important parts of dental care is regularly checking your dog’s mouth for signs of tartar build-up or gum disease, as listed above. Treating any problems early will prevent them from worsening and save on costly professional cleaning.


How can I clean my dog’s teeth naturally?

There are several options, you can give your dog raw meaty bones, rub their teeth and gums with coconut oil or purchase a natural additive that goes in their food or water

How can I get plaque off my dog’s teeth without brushing?

You can use dog chews designed to remove plaque, these chew toys are shaped to get into every nook and cranny of even the back teeth, also antlers and raw bones can keep your dog’s teeth clean

Can I brush dog teeth with a human toothbrush?

You can buy specialist toothbrushes and toothpaste to clean dog teeth. Yes, you can use a human toothbrush as long as it has soft bristles, but human toothpaste is definitely not suitable for pets!

Last Word on How to Keep a Dog’s Teeth Clean

It is every dog owner’s responsibility to take care of their pup’s needs, including their dental hygiene. Unfortunately, a dog’s oral health is often overlooked.

If you’ve ever tried cleaning dog teeth, then you know that it can be a challenge, so it’s good to know there are alternatives if Fido is not keen on you brushing his pearly whites.

From feeding raw bones, (Never cooked bones), rubbing their gnashers with coconut oil or letting them chew on bully sticks, there are countless ways to clean your dog’s teeth without brushing. Give some a try and let us know the results on our social media feeds!

Donna Hepburn

Published author, content writer and qualified dog behaviourist I have owned dogs all my life from Boxers, Rottweilers and Akitas, to Staffies and currently a very demanding Frenchie who is harder work than all the others put together.

I had a collar making business for over 10 years and am involved with several doggy charities. I currently live in the northeast and when I am not writing about dogs I enjoy, travelling, cooking and reading.

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