The 16 Best Toothbrushes for Dogs in 2019

*This article is about the 16 best toothbrushes you can buy for dogs in 2019.

Let’s admit it, puppy breath is pretty adorable, but that’s about the only time we can count on our dogs to handle their own oral hygiene situation and it works out well for everyone.

While those little puppy mouths haven’t yet built up the bacteria or plaque that contributes to bad breath and other tooth and mouth conditions, the same cannot be said for our dogs at any other stage of life. 

Fresh breath is an added bonus to pursuing healthy oral hygiene. Beyond wanting to be able to cuddle with our dogs without having to hold our breath, responsible pet owners want to ensure that we are doing everything possible to help our dogs live long, healthy lives.

Consistent tooth brushing helps to prevent gum disease and other oral issues that can ultimately result in damage to your dog’s heart, liver, and kidneys. 

We easily prioritize making sure they have a comfy bed, their favorite brand of healthy food, plenty of exercise and attention, and maybe even a few accessories; however, teeth cleaning is an easily overlooked area.

Honestly, I sometimes forget to make my human children brush their teeth, so making sure the dogs’ pearly whites are, in fact, pearly white, can easily feel like one task too many.

This is where knowing what type of toothbrush best suits your dog and best suits you comes in handy.  We will take a look at the 16 top dog toothbrushes for 2019 here to help you find the size, style, and shape preference that is best for your dog and your own personal comfort level. 

I have compiled a list of the most affordable, highly rated dog toothbrush suggestions and divided it into three main styles of toothbrush: traditional, finger brush, and rubber chew stick;

Tips For Selecting A Toothbrush For Your Dog

Regardless of what size your dog is, one factor for every dog owner needs to be how soft the bristles are.  Dogs do not need firm bristles.  As a matter of fact, hard bristles are detrimental to them. 

A good rule of thumb is to refer to a toothbrush intended for a baby; the bristles on any toothbrush you consider for your pet should be, at minimum, as soft as a baby’s toothbrush.  The softer the better.  

3 Categories of Dog Toothbrushes

There are three main categories of toothbrushes for dogs: Traditional Toothbrush, Silicone Finger Toothbrush, and Rubber Toothbrush Stick.

Before running out and buying a toothbrush (or logging on and ordering one if you’re into time efficiency), familiarize yourself with the categories of available canine toothbrushes.

You will want to consider the size of your dog breed, the dexterity of your hands, your comfort level with having (or not having) your fingers in your pet’s mouth (again, the size of dog and their mouths is important here), and most importantly, what your dog is most comfortable with.

The Traditional Toothbrush

This is virtually the same style that we, as humans, use. The major (and most important) difference is that the handle of the brush is longer and has different angles that allow maximum access to your pup’s mouth without harming them.

While all dog toothbrushes have longer handles than the ones you’ll find on the toothbrushes in your own bathroom, some are shorter than others (for smaller breed dogs).

Consider, not only your dog’s mouth size, but your own hands as well. Handles that are around 6” can be difficult to use effectively; if you struggle with manipulating your hands with ease, or if you have larger hands, this may prove to be a difficult size for you.

Many of the “traditional” toothbrushes have dual heads, typically with one end having a larger bristle head than the other. This is ideal if you have a larger dog because it allows great surface coverage but has a smaller end for getting into those tighter places.

It is important to note that not every traditional style toothbrush is dual-headed. Again, this will fall to your preference of features.

Recommended Traditional Toothbrushes

  • Duke’s Pet Products 8 ½” Dual Headed Toothbrush – This super soft bristle brush has two different sized bristle heads which allows you to adjust between the sizes to reach hard to get spaces in your pet’s mouth. If your pet has a very small mouth, the length of the handle may be a bit overwhelming, but otherwise, this is a great deal for two dual headed toothbrushes. Amazon Price Check
  • Pet Republique Toothbrush – This package includes six dual-headed toothbrushes that come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. The brushes are made from FDA approved food-grade materials to help you feel confident about the safety of the product you are giving your pet. In addition to there being enough brushes to last about a year, 15% of profits will be donated to the American Animal Rescue Society, so it tics several boxes there. Amazon Price Check
  • Pienoy 50 piece Dual Headed Toothbrush – If you are looking to buy in bulk, or you have a lot of dogs to tend to, this may be the right deal for you. This dual-headed, super soft-bristled brush has a 1” bristle head on the larger side and a ½” bristle head on the opposite end. With a 100% satisfaction guarantee, these professional-grade toothbrushes could be a great resource to you. Amazon Price Check

Silicone Finger Toothbrush

This style slips onto your finger and allows you to use the soft, silicone brush (each brand has varying sizes and patterns of bumps or nubs that will act in place of bristles).

The difference in this and the traditional dog toothbrush is primarily about you and your pet’s comfort level.

Using this will obviously require you to have your finger in the dog’s mouth, so consider if that bothers you and if your pet’s mouth allows sufficient space to move your finger throughout effectively and without discomfort for your pup.

This style does make it easier to massage your dog’s gums to promote healthy blood flow and healthy gums. It is also typically good with bigger dogs because it allows you to really get to those harder spots at the back of their mouth.

If you have very small fingers, it can be difficult to find a finger brush that fits snugly onto your finger. Always pay attention to the diameter. ¾” is the “average” size, but often is too loose for those with small fingers.

Recommended Silicone Finger Toothbrushes

  • L.A. Bungalow 360 degree Finger Toothbrush – This BPA free and FDA grade silicone finger brush is unique because the bristles wrap completely around the finger brush, ensuring you can make maximum contact with the surface area. It is larger in size, which is ideal for dogs with bigger mouths and for pet owners with bigger hands. An added bonus is that you get not only two brushes, but two carrying cases as well. This is perfect for keeping one in your car. Amazon Price Check
  • Pienoy Silicone Bristle Variety Pack – This package not only contains 2 silicone finger toothbrushes but also has a sampling of other finger brushes that slip over your finger and have traditional bristles attached instead of the nubs and bumps. This is an ideal way to see what shape/pattern best serves your dog. There are also three silicone bristle brushes that are attached to a handle similar to a traditional toothbrush in case you like the clean of a silicone brush but prefer not to have your fingers in your dog’s mouth. Amazon Price Check
  • Scenereal Silicone Finger brush – This is a slightly different silicone finger brush. While most others slip onto your finger like a thimble, the Scenereal brush slides onto the finger, but there is a flat silicone handle that is 2.6” that you can hold onto. This just comes down to what you are most comfortable with. The bristle head is 1.5” which makes it an excellent size for small dogs. Amazon Price Check
  • Cam-Ulata Silicone Finger brush – This product comes with a satisfaction guarantee and includes 12 multi-colored individual finger brushes. These are intended for smaller dogs, and with options smaller than the typical ¾” diameter, they are a good fit for people with smaller hand /fingers. It is recommended that you boil these brushes before their first use to optimize the softness of the silicone. This seems to be a good value for the quality and quantity of product. Amazon Price Check

Rubber Toothbrush Chew Stick

This is a category with some interesting options that are great for those dogs who don’t like traditional brushing methods. There are multiple shapes and sizes of this, some even with noisemakers inside.

This canine tooth cleaner doubles as a chew toy for your dog. The stick is a non-toxic rubber tower or a multi-pronged shaped like a cactus, in some cases. The outer perimeter is covered in various patterns of knobs and bumps to help remove plaque as your dog chews on it, while the center holds and ultimately distributes the toothpaste.

This style is a great option for those dogs who just can’t get on board with having a toothbrush or finger brush in its mouth. Just remember to clean this product before and after use.

Large Size Dogs:

  • Grasp It Dog Teeth Cleaning Stick – The manufacturer offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee and a 12 month worry free warranty. The middle reservoir is designed to easily be filled with toothpaste, and there is an added peppermint scent with this brand which adds to the appeal for your dog. Let your dogs go crazy chewing their toy while cleaning their own teeth for you! Amazon Price Check
  • I-Pure Dog Toothbrush Stick – This product also comes with a 100% satisfaction / money back guarantee. This brand is also made of durable, non-toxic rubber, but there is an added “faint milk scent” on this toothbrush stick – this differs from the peppermint scent that the Grasp It Dog Teeth Cleaning Stick offers, so if your pet has shown a preference or aversion to one of the scents in the past, let that inform your decision. The scent encourages dogs to chew on it even without toothpaste in the reservoir and still achieve beneficial results (but don’t forego the toothpaste completely, just know it can be beneficial even without).
    I-Pure also comes with a cleaning wand and a bonus (non-teeth cleaning) chew toy for extra entertainment. Amazon Price Check
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Medium Sized Dogs:

  • Emgoods Dog Toothbrush Chew Toy – Emgoods offers a 60-day money back guarantee if you aren’t totally satisfied. This brand is designed for medium-sized dogs (about 20-45 lbs), but pledges that the product is made with the same durability as that of cleaning sticks made for bigger dogs. This brand is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning and convenience. The design style is great for dogs of any age that enjoy chewing. The sturdy base allows pets to steady the toy with their paws, and then chew to their heart’s content. Amazon Price Check
  • Yomerto Brand Chew Toothbrush – If you are unsatisfied for any reason, this product is covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee. Yomerto also comes with a cleaning wand (always be sure to remove the brush before your dog starts chewing), which makes it very easy to clean the chew stick before and after use. This product is only intended for pets in the 20-45 lb range. Remember, your dog can take this on its own and chew their way to clean teeth, but you can also be a part of the process. If your dog likes to “wrestle” toys from you, this can turn toothbrushing into play time. Once your pup has clamped down, feel free to manipulate the chew brush around his mouth, using your dog’s resistance and playing to participate in the brushing experience. Amazon Price Check

Small size dogs:

  • Linzze Dog Toothbrush Chew Stick – A 24 month satisfaction guarantee allows you to feel comfortable with the quality of product. This chew stick toothbrush is intended for small dogs (in the 10-35 lb range), and is 4.3”x1.8”x6.3”. It is easy to keep this product hygienic because it is dishwasher safe and comes with a cleaning wand. Dogs are attracted to the chew stick because it is infused with a peppermint scent, so “getting them to brush their teeth” isn’t a chore at all! Amazon Price Check
  • Heetoo Dog Toothbrush Chew Stick – This chew stick stands out from the others because of its unique cactus shape. The additional prongs provide your dog with multiple chewing options, and the built in squeaker extends your dog’s entertainment, making teeth cleaning a playful experience. Heetoo provides a cleaning wand with your order to make cleaning before and after uses very easy. Amazon Price Check
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Can’t decide on a style, or you want to give a few a try? No problem!

There are combo-packs out there that contain both traditional brushes and finger brushes. This might be a great option for you and your dog while you figure out what style makes everyone the happiest.

  • EC Markt Combo Pack gives you one 2” chewing ball (this is different in structure from the chewing pillars/sticks we focused on, but it offers similar benefits), two 5” silicone finger brushes, two 6” silicone brushes (2 sided) on a traditional handle , and two 8” soft bristle traditional brushes with dual heads, so you really get a solid variety. This could be a great way to determine what works best for you and your pet! Amazon Price Check
  • BC Pets Toothbrush Kit – includes the dual-headed traditional toothbrush we discussed earlier, as well as two silicone finger brushes with carrying cases for each, but offers an additional style of brush: the 2-sided, dual-head brush is similar to the traditional toothbrush but the dual heads are both on top, aligning side by side. This structure allows the front and back sides of the teeth to be accessed simultaneously, allowing for a more thorough clean. Amazon Price Check
  • Jaolex Combo Pack – includes one toothbrush chew stick intended for dogs 20-45 lbs, two silicon finger toothbrushes, a dual-headed traditional toothbrush, and a cleaning wand. This pack offers a sampling of all three major categories of teeth cleaning products so you and your dog can discover which style best suits you (or change up the routine from time to time with different cleaning instruments). If you are unsure as to what style will go over best in your home, this seems like an affordable way to give every style a try! Amazon Price Check

Best Practices For Brushing A Dog’s Teeth

Some things are best left to a professional, however, doggie dental care doesn’t fall into that category… solely. To maintain your dog’s optimum oral hygiene and overall health, work in conjunction with your veterinarian.

Dogs should visit their veterinarian once a year for, not only a professional cleaning but for screenings for any potential oral health issues. Tartar and gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease and abscesses, and those infections can then spread systemically and compromise the kidneys, liver, and heart.

Veterinarians recommend DAILY brushing for pets. Just like so many other areas, our dogs should be treated like our kids (but maybe better, because our dogs never bring home math homework for us to help solve).

Apply the same principles of consistency – just having kids brush their teeth once a week won’t have much long term benefit, so it makes sense that our dogs will need more attention to their dental care than that as well. Veterinarians also recommend against relying too heavily on chew toys and dental treats alone. While they are beneficial, they cannot get to all the small places that a toothbrush or finger brush can reach.

About Dog Toothpaste

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While we are focused on toothbrushes in this article, we can’t ignore the other part of the pair: toothpaste. I’m assuming we can all recall having our teeth brushed with baking soda (if you haven’t inflicted it on yourself, I’m guessing in some stage of adolescence a well-meaning loved one scrubbed the enamel halfway off of your teeth), but if not, TRUST ME, it doesn’t taste very good.

Dogs aren’t going to love it either. Beyond the unappealing flavor (which will make for a harder task for you if it bothers them), it can also upset their stomachs when ingested. Baking Soda is high in alkaline, which upsets the acid level in the stomach and intestinal tract for dogs (since they aren’t rinsing and spitting).

Likewise, while your average, drugstore, human toothpaste is a staple of your daily life, DO NOT make it a part of your dog’s. Once ingested, it will upset your dog’s stomach, which, again, will make your next attempt to brush their teeth all the more difficult.

Dogs will have flavor preference, so a pleasing flavor is important. There are many options aimed at our canine friends, like: mint, meat, chicken, turkey, malt, and peanut butter. It is recommended that you offer your pet a sampling of the flavor before you ever attempt to begin brushing their teeth.

Brushing Tips

Once you have all the supplies ready to go, it’s time to begin your tenure as a dental hygienist. Here are a few tips for making this important experience as easy as possible for you:

  • Remember to never use human toothpaste, rather stick with the brands made for dogs. This is for both their health and happiness. Get a flavor your dog won’t hate having in its mouth!
  • Before a toothbrush is even brought into it, give your dog a taste of the toothpaste you’ll be using to let them acclimate.
  • Lift the upper lip and familiarize yourself with the general appearance of your dog’s teeth and gums. This will allow you to stay aware of any changes that take place.
  • Using the doggy toothbrush you purchased, gently begin brushing the outside surface of your dog’s teeth. Do not worry about the inner facing side of the teeth. Your dog’s tongue and saliva generally take care of that side of things.
  • Whether using a finger brush or traditional brush, gently stimulate the gums as well. Make sure you get all outer surface areas – change to the smaller brush head if you have a dual-headed brush to reach those back teeth.
  • Bask in the success of being a great dog owner, and give everyone a treat (especially yourself).

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