How Can I Clean My Dog's Teeth Without Brushing Them?

A few nice chew toys help keep your pup's teeth clean, but they need frequent brushing.
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Having your pup gnaw down on some tasty chews or treats can help clean his pearly whites, but chewing isn't a replacement for brushing. Brushing doesn't have to involve a cumbersome toothbrush and questionable-tasting toothpaste.

Chews and Treats

Anything somewhat hard and tough will help remove plaque from your pup's teeth. Examples include rubber toys, especially stiff rubber, pig ears, and deer and elk antlers. Certain treats, such as biscuits and dental sticks, work well. Even dry dog food helps remove some plaque. Bones, however, are unsafe, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Always supervise your pup with any chew that can splinter.

Importance of Brushing

When plaque sits on your pooch's teeth for about 24 hours, it turns into tartar, which is incredibly hard. Chews don't remove all the plaque from your pal's teeth, which is why you should brush the dog's teeth every day. Veterinarian Jeff Nichol notes that many dogs love the taste of malt or chicken toothpaste, and that most tolerate either a small finger brush or, in lieu of a brush, a cloth moistened with canine dental cleanser. A special food can also slow tarter buildup. Have a chat with your veterinarian to explore all your options.