Alternatives to Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth

By Coty Perry

As a dog owner, you have probably spent a considerable chunk of time trying to get your dog to allow you to brush their teeth. 

While we all know it is necessary to brush their teeth, sometimes the task is next to impossible. Dogs tend to squirm away from the toothbrush the second we attempt to clean their teeth.

Some great alternatives to brushing your pup’s teeth include dental dog wipes, chews, food supplements, bones, sprays, gels, dental treats, dental toys, and even coconut oil. These alternatives can help you clean your dog’s teeth without brushing. 

Alternatives to Brushing Dogs Teeth

When brushing your dog’s teeth fails, there are always some good alternatives you can count on to get the job done. Dogs need good oral health, so there are many safe alternatives to brushing. 

You should still bring your dog to the vet for regular checkups to ensure they and their teeth are in good health. Dogs are not as prone to developing cavities as humans, but issues can still arise. 

Dogs experience common issues when not practicing good dental hygiene, including tartar, gingivitis, and plaque buildup, leading to bad breath and teeth staining. Some of the most common alternatives to brushing include the following:

Dental Wipes

Dog dental wipes are an easy way to clean your pup’s teeth. You just need to put the wipe around your finger and wipe your dog’s teeth, scraping off the plaque. 

Even though it just wipes the plaque off, these wipes are approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council. Your dog will likely tolerate your finger in his mouth over a toothbrush, making dental wipes an easier alternative.


Chews for your pup are a great alternative to brushing. They are healthy, tasty, and effective in keeping your dog’s teeth clean. Dental chews, like SmartBones SmartSticks Peanut Butter Chews or Greenies Dental Dog Treats, are great to give to your dog to promote good oral health. In addition, chews are a good way for dogs to relieve stress and anxiety.

Chew Toys

Dental chew toys act similarly to chews. While chew toys are not edible, they are a healthy way for your dog to scrape away plaque and tartar off their teeth. A good chew toy to give to your dog is the Nylabone Power Chew Ring. 

It not only keeps your pup from chewing the furniture, but its raised edges help keep the plaque and tartar buildup under control. Chew toys can also help overcome behavioral problems; your dog will enjoy playing with them.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is an excellent additive for your dog’s food and treats. It has antimicrobial properties to ensure your dog’s teeth and gums stay healthy. It helps to kill bacteria that can lead to gum disease or tooth decay. Your dog will probably enjoy the taste too!

Final Thoughts

There are many alternatives to brushing dogs teeth. While these alternatives will help rid your pup of plaque and tartar buildup, taking your dog for a checkup with the vet annually is essential to ensure he maintains good oral health.

Photo of author
Coty Perry
Coty is a self-proclaimed cat whisperer and animal lover. Growing up his mom ran a dog training business out of his childhood home so you can say it was complete chaos 24/7. Today, when he comes home after a long day of writing about animals, he’s greeted by his two loving cats Marley and Cozmo.