When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
I’ve long understood the importance of brushing my dog’s teeth. Years ago, I worked as a veterinary assistant where I saw firsthand what happens when a pet’s teeth are not taken care of. Sadly, it’s all too common to see teeth extracted during routine dental cleanings due to years of neglect.
“Proper dental care is a vital component of your pet’s overall health and well-being,” said veterinarian Dr. Ashlee Redmond. “Bad breath isn’t just an unpleasant smell — it could be a warning sign of more serious dental disease.”
There are many dog toothpastes and toothbrushes to choose from as well as no-brush gels, water additives, and dental chews. Redmond pointed out that home dental care products do not replace daily brushing or professional dental cleanings, but they can be supportive of overall dental health.
Dog dental products can help prevent the formation of plaque and tartar in between cleanings. Veterinarians recommend professional dental cleanings at least once a year. These are performed just like human dental cleanings, but dogs must be anesthetized so the veterinarian can clean under the gum line where plaque and tartar hide.
For this guide, I tested 23 dental products with my dog, giving strong consideration to those that have received the seal of acceptance from the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC). All non-VOHC products we tested also got the okay from Redmond to rule out anything that could be potentially unsafe. Read more about how we selected and tested products at the end of this guide. Learn more about how Insider Reviews tests and researches pet products.
These are the best dog dental products in 2021
Best dog toothpaste: Petsmile Professional Pet Toothpaste, $27.99 on Chewy
Petsmile Professional Pet Toothpaste is clinically proven to remove plaque and stains, eliminate bad breath, and prevent tartar buildup, and is the only dog toothpaste that’s VOHC accepted.
Best dog toothbrush: Bodhi Dog Doggie Toothbrushes, $7.99 on Amazon
Bodhi Dog Doggie Toothbrushes include six long-handled toothbrushes with dual brush heads to work for any size dog as well as six fingertip brushes, making this product a great value.
Best dog dental gel: Pet::Essential Healthy Mouth Dog Topical Gel, $68.22 on Healthy Mouth
Using natural ingredients, Pet::Essential Healthy Mouth Dog Topical Gel is proven to reduce bacteria in the mouth and break down plaque.
Best dog water additive: Tropiclean Dental Health Solution for Dogs, $19.99 on Chewy
Clear, odorless, and tasteless, Tropiclean Fresh Breath Dental Health Solution uses zinc gluconate, cetylpyridinium chloride, and green tea leaf extract to defend against plaque.
Best dog dental treat: Greenies Fresh Regular Dental Dog Treats, $14.98 on Chewy
Greenies Fresh Dental Dog Treats clean your dog’s teeth as they chew, temporarily freshen their breath, and offer complete and balanced nutrition.