Dogs require regular dental care, and the best dog toothbrushes can help keep your pup's mouth squeaky clean. Dog toothbrushes come in two primary styles — standard toothbrushes (which look like human toothbrushes) and toothbrushes you wear on your finger. Choose between them based on the size of your dog’s mouth and their tolerance of the brush, since standard brushes may have better reach for bigger mouths, but finger brushes offer more control. Either way, the best toothbrushes have soft bristles for a gentle cleaning — and experts recommend brushing at least two to three times per week at minimum.
If you decide on a standard toothbrush, look for one that's dual-sided, with a large brush for general cleanings and a small brush to get into nooks and crannies. Choose one with a long handle so that you can easily reach all of your dog's teeth. That said, many pet owners have more success with a finger toothbrush, since it’s easier to use. Finger toothbrushes can also be a good way to introduce your pet to the concept of brushing before switching to a standard brush. Just be aware that a finger toothbrush has a more limited reach, so it may not be a good choice for dogs with large mouths. If you aren’t sure which toothbrush style is right for your dog, there are kits that come with both kinds.
While they can't remove quite as much tartar and plaque as a toothbrush and toothpaste, dental chews are also an effective option for teeth cleaning, particularly if your dog won’t let you brush their teeth otherwise. Look for dental chews with the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) seal of approval, which indicates they’ve been found to reduce plaque or tartar by at least 15%. For a more effective clean, though, make sure you check out the three best dog toothbrushes available on Amazon below, which are effective, gentle, and inexpensive (especially when paired with the best dog toothpaste).
1. A Pack Of Dual-Sided Toothbrushes
If you’re looking for a dual-sided toothbrush for your beloved pooch, these toothbrushes from Pet Republique are your best bet. The toothbrushes feature a large brush head on one side that's ideal for general cleaning, and a small brush head on the other end that's perfect for getting into all of the nooks and crannies in your pet’s mouth. Best yet, the bristles are soft for a gentle clean. The toothbrush handle is long (just over 8 inches!) and narrow, which is ideal for reaching the deep areas of the mouth.
This set comes with three black-handled toothbrushes and three yellow-handled ones — a major plus if you have more than one pet and you want to assign them each their own brush color.
This pick is also available in a three-pack, as part of a kit, or in finger toothbrush format. Pet Republique donates 15% of their profits to the American Animal Rescue Society, so you can feel good about your purchase.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "We have two French Brittanys. They are smallish dogs and we were having trouble finding pet tooth brush that wasn't too big for them. These are perfect. The "big" part is good for general cleaning and the small size good for getting into corners. The fact, for us, that they came in two different colors allows us to have one color for each dog. Not that our two Brittanys are thrilled by using a tooth brush of whatever color. :) But they are getting used to the whole idea."
2. A Set Of Finger Toothbrushes
Struggling with using a traditional toothbrush to clean your pooch’s teeth? These dog toothbrushes from H&H slip directly onto your finger, allowing you to have full control over the brush in your pet’s mouth. Soft, curved bristles ensure that you can achieve a thorough cleaning without causing harm. And the best part? Tons of reviewers on Amazon commented that their pooch tolerated this style of brush quite well; this pick has a solid 4.1-star rating on the site, among 1,700 and growing reviews.
These finger toothbrushes are recommended for dogs 20 pounds and up. Choose from either a four- or eight-pack, and small and large sizes (based on your finger size).
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "I have 7 dogs that aren't too cooperative when it comes to grooming. I tried toothbrushes but I didn't have good control with them. These finger brushes give better control because you can hold their heads still while you have one finger in their mouths. They seem to enjoy the feel of it on their gums too. I think they're fantastic and the price is great!"
3. A Fan-Favorite Dog Toothbrushing Kit
Not sure which toothbrush you and your pet will favor? Start by purchasing this kit from Nylabone, which comes with both a finger toothbrush and a gently angled standard toothbrush for you to try out. Also included in the kit is a tube of peanut-flavored toothpaste that's designed to reduce plaque — and to taste delicious to your pup. Amazon reviewers are wild about this pick, giving it an impressive 4.5-star rating on the site, among 1,900 and growing reviews.
While the exact length of the toothbrush isn’t listed, according to one reviewer, "it's easy to brush with the extra long handle."
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "Great way to keep your dog's breath fresh and their mouth clean! My puppy loves it because she thinks [it's] a game. The finger brush is wonderful for getting them used to the sensation and the large brush is great for adult dogs. The toothpaste must be tasty because she licks up ever bit of it!"
Also Great: A Dental Chew For Dogs That Don’t Like Brushing
With more than 10,000 reviews on Amazon and a stellar 4.8-star rating overall, these Greenies dental dog treats are adored by reviewers on the site, and it makes total sense why. Dogs absolutely love them — my own pooch included! — and they’re an effective option for cleaning teeth. In fact, the treats are VOHC accepted, so they've been found to reduce plaque or tartar by at least 15%. The chews are made with natural, easy-to-digest ingredients, and they also contain spearmint to help freshen breath.
It’s recommended to give your pooch one treat per day. Choose from a variety of different quantities — 3, 6, 12, 18, 27, 36, 54, or 72 treats. This Regular pick is specifically is designed for dogs 25 to 50 pounds, but Greenies are also available in Teenie (for dogs 5 to 15 pounds), Petite (for breeds 15 to 25 pounds), and Large (for dogs 50 to 100 pounds).
Do note that these dog treats contain wheat, and they're not suitable for dogs less than 6 months of age.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "Greenies are great to help keep my dogs breath under control. As he gets older, it's becoming more and more important to take care of those canines. I'm thoroughly impressed with how greenies help with that without worrying about brushing his teeth (which he hates and I feel like I accomplish nothing!)"