how to clean dog teeth without brushing | Pupford

11 Simple Ways to Clean Dog Teeth Without Brushing

Today, I’m gonna show you 11 simple ways to clean dog teeth without brushing.

In fact, these tactics have helped clean up my 13-year-old Puggle’s teeth (who previously had almost no dental hygiene for the first 10 years of his life). Once I got him on this regiment, his teeth have become noticeably cleaner and healthier!

This article will have tips, polls, video ideas, and more to help you learn to clean your dog’s teeth effectively. You can even see what tools are most popular by voting on each poll!

And at the end of the article, I’ll give you some tips for spotting serious dental problems and estimates for the costs of professional dental cleanings.

Let’s get to it!

Table of Contents (click to jump to section)

11 Ways to Clean Dog Teeth Without Brushing

  1. Dog Dental Wipes
  2. Bones
  3. Food Supplements
  4. Chews
  5. Sprays & Gels
  6. Coconut Oil
  7. General Chew Toys
  8. Dental Treats
  9. Water Additives
  10. Dental Toys
  11. Healthy Fruits, Veggies, & Treats

Additional Learning

Signs of Dental Disease in Dogs
Cost of Professional Dog Dental Cleanings
Why You Should Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
Conclusion and Recap of Ways to Clean Dog Teeth Without Brushing

a white dog with clean teeth without brushing | Pupford

11 Ways to Clean Dog Teeth Without Brushing

Let’s dive into detail on how to clean your pup’s teeth in easy and often tasty (for your dog) ways.

And just to be clear, more frequent is better than less. But that goes without saying, right?

1. Dog Dental Wipes

zpaw dental wipes review | Pupford
Dog teeth cleaning wipes are a much easier way to clean your dog’s teeth in comparison to brushing.

Many dogs get uncomfortable with a foreign object in their mouth! With wipes, it is essentially just your finger, making it less foreign and confusing to your pup.

Of course, with it just being a wipe, there’s less “scraping” off of plaque.

But.

There are many dog dental wipes that are approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council. Meaning they can surely get the job done.

Where to Buy Dog Dental Wipes

The best places to buy dog dental wipes are online, at stores, or from your vet.

The Pros of Dog Dental Wipes

  • Easy to use
  • Most dogs can tolerate your finger in their mouth
  • Often come in tasty or neutral flavors
  • Not messy

The Cons of Dog Dental Wipes

  • Often only single-use wipes
  • Can be expensive for daily use
  • Not the best option for long-standing plaque and tartar

If you’re willing to put in the work, dog dental wipes can be a simple and effective route for cleaning dog teeth.

2. Bones

dog chewing a bone to clean teeth | Pupford

Besides being tasty and healthy for our dogs, chewing bones is great for their dental health.

When a dog gnaws on a real-meat bone, plaque and tartar are scraped off during the chewing session. This 100% natural process is one of the simplest ways to clean dog teeth without brushing.

There are a couple of precautions to look out for with real-meat bones.

t bone for dogs | Pupford

You shouldn’t give your dog cooked bones.

Cooked bones can splinter, crack, and cause cuts, blockages, and other problems for your dog. Uncooked bones are the safest bet.

If you ask a local butcher, meat processing store, or someplace similar, they’ll be able to help you find uncooked bones.

Another general precaution is the spread of germs with meat bones.

Just be aware of it, and try to wash your hands after handling the bones. Additionally, try and keep your dog’s bone chewing to a specific area so you can sanitize after the chewing session is over.

Where to Buy Dog Bones

You can buy dog bones online and at pet stores. You can also get bones (usually for cheaper) at local butchers, meat processing stores, or other similar places.

The Pros of Bones for Dog Teeth

  • Helps clean plaque and tartar
  • Long-lasting for most dogs
  • Healthy and natural

The Cons of Bones for Dog Teeth

  • Potential choking hazards/splintering problems
  • Having to handle raw animal bones
  • Can be difficult to source

Overall bones are an effective method to clean your dog’s teeth without brushing.

Give a dog a bone, am I right? 🦴

 

3. Food Supplements

There are a handful of different dog supplements built specifically for softening and removing plaque.

One of the standout options is what’s called PlaqueOff Powder. Surprisingly, it’s made from 100% seaweed (special kinds, of course).

plaque off powder review for cleaning dog teeth | Pupford

Who knew seaweed would help with doggy breath?

Other options use certain enzymes and other ingredients to soften and remove plaque.

Most of the supplements for cleaning dog teeth should be given every day. As long as you can consistently remember to add it to your pup’s food, you’ll be in good shape.

calvin eating dehydrated dog food | Pupford
Where to Buy Dog Teeth Supplements

For these teeth cleaning supplements, you’ll have the best luck somewhere like Amazon or Chewy. Some pet stores will carry teeth cleaning supplements as well.

The Pros of Dog Teeth Supplements

  • Easy to use
  • Doesn’t require putting your hands near or in your dog’s mouth
  • Usually a natural/healthy option

The Cons of Dog Teeth Supplements

  • Can be expensive
  • Used mostly to soften plaque, additional cleaning may be required
  • Some dogs dislike the taste

Depending on your budget, dog teeth cleaning supplements can be a very “hands-off” option for freshening your dog’s breath and removing plaque.

4. Dog Chews

a corgi chewing a beef tendon | Pupford
Similar to bones, chews are a healthy and tasty way to clean your dog’s teeth without brushing.

When I say chews I’m talking about things like Himalayan chews, bully sticks, beef tendons, and other similar items. They’re typically made from natural, simple ingredients, aren’t consumed too quickly, and make your dog chew (duh).

Not only do chews help clean teeth, but they are also outstanding training tools to help overcome problem chewing (like your sofa or shoes) and biting. Additionally, they can be used to keep your pup busy and distracted as needed.

Chewing and biting are essential for dog’s mouths, minds, and of course, teeth. It is a healthy, natural, and desirable behavior for our dogs, as long as they’re chewing the right thing!

dog chewing on a shoe | Pupford

Through consistency and redirection, you can help teach your dog proper chewing behavior.

Where to Buy Dog Chews
healthy dog chews to keep a dog busy | Pupford

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The Pros of Dog Chews

  • Helps overcome problem behaviors
  • Tasty and healthy for dogs
  • Easy for you, the human!

The Cons of Dog Chews

  • Some dogs gnaw quickly through specific chews
  • Some dogs don’t like chewing as much as others, you can’t really force it
  • Some dogs chew too aggressively to safely use some chews

For most dogs, chews are an amazing option for cleaning dog’s teeth without brushing.

A daily chew is a powerful way to keep your pup’s teeth sparkly and clean!

5. Sprays & Gels

dog teeth cleaning spray to clean teeth without brushing daily | Pupford
Another way to clean your dog’s teeth without brushing is to use oral sprays and gels.

Sprays and gels are applied directly into your dog’s mouth. Typically, you will either spray or apply and then rub it around your dog’s teeth and gums.

brown dog licking its mouth | Pupford

Of course, that means you’ll have to train your dog to be comfortable with that, which is totally possible.

Sprays are a bit easier than gels for getting it all over your dog’s teeth without your hand.

Similar to the wipes, there isn’t much going on in regards to scraping or rubbing off plaque or tartar. Instead, the ingredients work to soften the plaque and tartar.

That means the sprays and gels should be used in conjunction with regular teeth brushing.

Where to Buy Dog Teeth Sprays & Gels

You can find dog teeth sprays and gels at almost any brick and mortar or online pet retailer.

The Pros of Sprays & Gels

  • Often more effective at controlling bad breath
  • Many options available
  • Often has natural ingredients

The Cons of Sprays & Gels

  • Requires putting your hands near your dog’s mouth
  • Some dogs won’t love the taste
  • Can be expensive with continual use

If you’re looking for an effective and easy way to clean your dog’s teeth, sprays and gels may be your answer!

6. Coconut Oil

coconut oil for cleaning dog teeth | Pupford

If there’s an ailment or problem coconut oil can’t fix, someone please let me know… ***sarcasm***

Oh, you didn’t know it can help with your pup’s breath and dental health?!

Let me be upfront on this one. There isn’t much in the way of dog-specific research to back up some people’s claims of coconut oil and oral hygiene.

But, many pup parents swear by it!

Of course, many pup parents use it as a toothpaste for brushing their dog’s teeth… But, you can use it as a general additive to food instead of a toothpaste.

As they eat, it can help break down plaque and tartar on your dog’s teeth.

Additionally, it helps with bad breath and a host of other benefits.

Where to Buy Coconut Oil for Dogs

You can use any plain, natural coconut oil for your dog. So check out any natural grocery stores and online retailers.

The Pros of Coconut Oil

  • All-natural solution
  • Less expensive than many other options
  • Most dogs enjoy the taste

The Cons of Coconut Oil

  • If used too much can cause diarrhea
  • High in calories, so limit consumption
  • Still must use a toothbrush for best results

If you like going the all-natural route, check out coconut oil for helping clean your pup’s teeth.

7. General Chew Toys

bulldog using a chew toy to clean teeth | Pupford
Chew toys seem to be a dime a dozen. But, some of them can be great teeth cleaning tools for your pup.

You likely have a Kong or two in your house.

Between those and other chew toys like Nylabone and Benebones, your pup can get some easy help in cleaning their teeth.

The constant gnawing and chewing help to scrape off plaque and keep your pup’s mouth free of tartar.

The main drawback of chew toys is that for larger breeds or power chewers, it seems like you’re buying a new one every other day.

Yikes.

Where to Buy Chew Toys for Dogs

You can buy chew toys almost anywhere these days.

I’ve even seen some at gas stations…

Just search out longer-lasting chews to get more bang for your buck in the long run.

The Pros of Chew Toys

  • No work for you, the human
  • Helps teach proper chewing behavior
  • Keeps dog busy

The Cons of Chew Toys

  • Some are destroyed easily
  • Potential choking hazards from torn off pieces
  • No nutritional benefit like real chews or bones

If you can find the right chew toy for your dog, it can be a great option for cleaning teeth. Just pray your pup doesn’t destroy it too quick! 😉

8. Dental Treats

greenies for cleaning dog teeth without brushing | Pupford

You’ve heard of Greenies, right?

Those are hailed as the OG (original germ-buster, obviously) of doggy dental treats.

They (and others like them) are made with specific ridges and grooves to help scrape off plaque and tartar. When your dog chews on them, their teeth “sink into” the chews and scrape as well.

Plus, they’re treats so of course dogs love the taste.

Besides Greenies, there are other effective dental treats to help clean your dog’s teeth without brushing.

Where to Buy Dental for Dogs

Again, your best bet is likely Amazon or Chewy. I’ve also had luck at places like Costco or Sam’s Club for buying in bulk.

The Pros of Dental Treats

  • No work for you, the human
  • A tasty treat for your dog
  • Proven to be effective at removing tartar and plaque

The Cons of Dental Treat

  • Expensive for frequent use
  • Single-use treats, of course
  • Be aware of extra calories

If your budget allows, dental treats should be a welcome addition to your dog’s dental routine.

9. Water Additives

dog water additive for cleaning teeth without brushing | Pupford

One non-brushing tooth cleaning solution for dogs is water additives.

Water add-ins or additives are a liquid you add to your dog’s daily water bowl. They contain enzymes that help break down plaque and tartar.

You simply add it to your pup’s water and the solution will end up in their mouth as they drink water.

Where to Buy Water Additives

You can buy dental water additives at pet stores and online at places like Amazon or Chewy.

The Pros of Water Additives

  • Simple to use
  • No mess or clean-up
  • Relatively natural

The Cons of Water Additives

  • Can be expensive for daily use
  • Not as effective as other options
  • Some contain undesirable chemicals, so be aware

Although it’s not a complete solution, water additives can help with your dog’s oral health.

10. Dental Toys

dog using a dental toy to clean teeth | Pupford

Similar to dental treats, dental toys are made specifically for helping to clean teeth.

They typically have special ridges and grooves that are unique for helping scrape off plaque and tartar.

Think of it as a doggy toothbrush toy.

It sounds good in theory, but reviews are mixed on the effectiveness of cleaning teeth. Plus, if you have a power chewer, they may destroy it.

Where to Buy Dental Toys

The most popular place to buy dental toys is from pet stores and online retailers like Chewy or Amazon.

The Pros of Dental Toys

  • Easy to use for you, the human
  • Little to no clean up

The Cons of Dental Toys

  • Can be destroyed by power chewers
  • Mixed reviews on effectiveness of cleaning teeth

As a hands-off option, dental toys can be a nice choice for cleaning your dog’s teeth.

11. Healthy Fruits, Veggies, & Treats

carrots for cleaning dog teeth without brushing | Pupford

Before you doubt the ability of healthy fruits, veggies, and treats for cleaning teeth hear me out!

Whether it’s carrots, watermelon, or some sweet potato treats they carry benefits for cleaning your dog’s teeth.

The more natural the food our dogs eat (just like us), the healthier their teeth are overall.

Unfortunately, many dog treats out there have sugars, syrups, and other nasty ingredients. So, be sure to find natural treats for your pup!

PS- We’ve got your back on that. All of our treats have 2 ingredients or less, none of which are sugar. $$$Check ’em out.$$$

Certain veggies, like carrots, can be frozen to force your dog to have to chew on them to eat. It may not do tons for scraping off plaque, but every little bit helps.

Where to Buy Fruits, Veggies & Treats

I think you know where you can buy fruits and veggies.

If you’re looking for healthy dog treats, shop here.

The Pros of Fruits, Veggies & Treats

  • Healthy and natural
  • Often inexpensive
  • Vitamins and nutrients

The Cons of Fruits, Veggies & Treats

  • Not specific for cleaning teeth
  • Some fruits and veggies aren’t safe for dogs, $$$see which ones here$$$
  • Some dogs don’t love the taste of certain fruits or veggies

For extra help cleaning your dog’s teeth, give some fresh and healthy fruits, veggies, or treats!

Quick Recap of 11 Ways to Clean Dog’s Teeth Without Brushing

  1. Dog Dental Wipes
  2. Bones
  3. Food Supplements
  4. Chews
  5. Sprays & Gels
  6. Coconut Oil
  7. General Chew Toys
  8. Dental Treats
  9. Water Add-Ins
  10. Dental Toys
  11. Healthy Fruits, Veggies, & Treats

Additional Learning

Now that we’ve covered how to clean dog teeth without brushing, let’s look at some must-know information about our dog’s oral health.

Signs of Dental Disease in Dogs

Being aware of dental disease can help you keep your dog from some serious pain.

Some of the general signs of periodontal (dental) disease are as follows.

  • Red/puffy gums
  • Pain while chewing
  • Dark brown spots on teeth
  • Cracked teeth
signs of dog dental disease | Pupford

Also be aware of your dog’s chewing and eating habits.

If it seems like he is hesitant or in pain during meals, that may be a sign of dental problems.

If you’re concerned, contact your vet.

Cost of Professional Dog Dental Cleaning

cost of dog dental visit and cleaning | Pupford

The cost of dental cleanings for dogs will range depending on your location and the number of available clinics in your area.

In most cases, you can expect to pay anywhere from $300-$600 for a cleaning.

Yes, you read that right. $300-$600 or more.

That in itself is reason enough to take care of your dog’s dental health.

Why You Should Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

If the cost of dental cleanings and potential disease aren’t reason enough, then I just don’t know what to say…

All of the tactics we’ve discussed are great, but NONE can fully replace brushing your dog’s teeth.

Regular teeth brushing is a must for optimal doggy oral health.

Best case scenario is to brush your dogs teeth daily. And for most people, 3-5 times per week is realistic.

At an absolute bare minimum, you should brush your dog’s teeth at least once a week.

Need help getting your dog used to a toothbrush? Check out this video below.

Quick Survey

Conclusion and Recap of Ways to Clean Dog Teeth Without Brushing

Best practice is to brush your dog’s teeth at least 3-5 times per week.

If you can’t do that, be sure to implement some of the 11 different ways to clean dog teeth without brushing. Something is better than nothing!

Did I miss any ways to clean your dog’s teeth?

What’s your favorite way to clean your pup’s teeth? Let me know in the comments!

Here’s a podcast about brushing your dog’s teeth, listen away!

Written by Devin Stagg

Since being deprived of dogs during his childhood, he and his wife decided to make up for it by having three dogs, two Lab puppies, and one grandpa Puggle. Meaning you won’t see him not covered in dog hair. When he’s not busy training his dogs and/or picking up their poop, you can find him cheering on Tottenham Hotspur and all Cleveland sports (yes, even the Browns).

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83 Comments on “11 Simple Ways to Clean Dog Teeth Without Brushing

  1. I think brushing dog’s teeth is the best option! Like human, we need to brush our teeth everyday otherwise even if we chew gums, our teeth will still be bad.

  2. We use natural bones and have tried some of the sprays but I am interested in the dental wipes. I think I’m going to give those a try !

  3. Thank you for the informative article! I am currently brushing with enzyme toothpaste 1-2 times per week—definitely room for improvement! I may try some other strategies from this article

  4. I’m still trying to teach my dog to be ok with a toothbrush, but she loves bully sticks and carrots. I’ll have to try freezing the carrots to get a little more chewing time in! Thank you for this information!

  5. Our dogs love chewing. Our Veteran Pup is never a fan of tooth brushing or greenies, but both love rubbery toys and bully sticks! We’re really curious to try Himalayan chews!

  6. I do most of these things! My dog chews all sorts are chews, treats, toys, and more! Plus I brush his teeth with doggy tooth brush and paste!!

  7. I JUST purchased our first teeth brushing kit today! I LOVE the thought of using coconut oil. We were told dental care with daily teeth brushing is the Gold standard! Tonight, will be our first attempt to go after those pearly whites! 😁🐶

  8. Oh, I have to be honest here. I have NEVER done anything about the teeth of ANY of the dogs I’ve had. I used to be a terrible pet owner. But no more! This article was informative and teaches me what I need to know. Thanks once again Pupford. You’ve saved the day for Phoebe and Marley.

  9. Wow what a great article! I had no idea about the coconut oil for doggy breath and I use it for everything that’s for that tip,!

  10. Alula loved split deer antlers, Himalayan yak chews, and bully sticks. She doesn’t care much for soft toys, but I think that’s a bonus because it means I don’t have to pick up toy stuffing. She tolerates having her teeth brushed but I’ve always just bought her teeth cleaning chews. It’s a much more pleasant way to keep her teeth clean for the both of us.

  11. Great advice! We are in the height of the puppy chewing phase right now so we always have chews on hand. Will have to keep this blog for when she gets older!

  12. While I haven’t brushed my dogs teeth I constantly do use lots of the other suggestions. My two year old Shih Tzu is continuously chewing on something. His favorite is split elk antlers (or my furniture lol).

    1. You can start at any age! If you start early it will help familiarize your pup with a variety of things happening in and/or near their mouth and they will be more likely to respond well to teeth cleaning when they are older.

  13. Thank you for all of the tips on cleaning dogs teeth! My dog love chewing on antlers and we have a tooth brush too! May try some of the other ways.

  14. Such an informative article! It really helps that there’s so many options. We have tried brushing out doggies teeth with our fingers, haha. It’s hilarious. But, I do like it better than a tooth brush.

  15. Thank you for this helpful information! Two of my dogs refuse to let me brush their teeth, so I love knowing that there are other options for their dental health!

Dog & Dog Parent Approved

The proof is in the tail wags.

See what some happy pups (and their parents) have to say about Pupford!

Obsessed with Beef Tendons

Otis is obsessed with these chews. He literally leaves giant pools of drool when I pull one out of the bag. And we love it because it’s natural and keeps his pearly whites clean!   Otis

Perfect High Value Reward

My pup is not very food motivated at all but she LOVES these treats. As soon as I open the bag I have her full attention. We love training with these!! Krystal

These Treats are Perfect

These treats are perfect for training. Healthy product, perfect size and Louis loves them! Thank you! Carolyn

Loved by Dog Trainer

I'm a dog trainer, and I have yet to find a doggie client who doesn't love these little treats! And I love that I don't have to worry about running out - they're shipped right to my door regularly. I'm very happy with that treats (and so is my own dog!) Lori

Love at First Bite!

Bought my Pup these antlers and he instantly went to to Chow Town! He chewed on these for three hours non stop at first nibble. He continues to love these daily and satisfies his chewing needs. Thanks Pupford! Saundi