Jan 25
smirking dog

Happy Smiles and Waggly Tails: Your Dog’s Teeth With Dr Claire

Just as we do, dogs need daily attention to keep their mouths clean and free of foul odour producing bacteria and tartar. Healthy mouths not only make those close cuddles more pleasant, they also goes a long way to help avoid the hip pocket pain with professional cleaning.

Home care for your dogs teeth:

Tooth Brushing

When done properly, it’s a great way to look after your dogs teeth. For it to be effective it needs to be done daily. The mechanical action of the brush on the tooth is what helps, you can also get flavoured pet toothpastes which add to the enjoyment!

However, it won’t help an already sore and unhealthy mouth. Importantly, brushing a sore or infected mouth will not only waste your and your pet’s time, it will sadly cause your fur kid unnecessary pain.

This means we need to start before there’s a problem, and if there is a problem – only start after that has been treated.


Its importance can never be overlooked. Your pet needs to be fed a balanced and highly digestible diet, that is appropriate to their individual needs.


There are many dental chews that help reduce the formation of plaque. It’s the mechanical action of the chew against the teeth that helps, so if your pet is a one bite and swallow kind of kid, then unfortunately that chew isn’t doing much to help that mouth!

Water Additives

There are many options here which are registered for pets, but they are not all the same. It’s important to check the ingredient list and always run it by a Vet. Some can be good on a short term basis but a major issue to consider is that the taste or look could deter your lovely pet from drinking as much water as they need.

Regular Veterinary Checks

Regular professional checks ensures early intervention and prevention of sore, sorry mouths. Because sadly, your pet is ageing far more quickly than you and a yearly check-up is only the equivalent of you seeing your doctor around once every seven or so years!

Take-home messages:

  1. Tooth brushing is great, but to be of value it should be done daily.
  2. Tooth brushing is for healthy mouths, as a way to help prevent a problem, not to treat one.
  3. Ultimately, your pet’s home-care plan needs to be enjoyable for you and them, and tailored to your life. Specific recommendations can only be made after learning more about your situation.

About The Author

Claire is a QLD graduate with over 15 years experience as a neighbourhood Veterinarian in Australia and the UK. Animal lover and the founder of Vetchat, born from a passion to help pet carers everywhere access trusted advice earlier, for healthier, happier pets. Grateful to be carer to her beautiful Red-dog.