How To Clean Dog’s Teeth Without Brushing


Trying to brush your dog’s teeth can be a real struggle with some dogs, and many people don’t realize just how important it is that our dogs have clean teeth.Clean dog's teeth without brushing

Over two-thirds of dogs over 3 years of age suffer from some degree of periodontal disease, making it the most common disease affecting our dogs according to the VCA Hospitals.

Periodontal disease can lead to life-threatening health problems including heart, liver and kidney damage. Periodontal disease is one of the most preventable illnesses in dogs.

Brushing your dog’s teeth is the best way to prevent periodontal disease in dogs, but if that is something that you struggle with, there are other methods you can use on how to clean dog’s teeth without brushing.

Any assistance you can provide your dog with cleaner teeth will help keep them healthier and help keep your expenses down from your veterinarian having to clean your dog’s teeth.

Let me show you several methods for cleaning your dog’s teeth without brushing.

Water Additives, Gels, Sprays And More For Cleaning Dog Teeth

There are several different routes you can take to keep your dog’s teeth clean and breath fresh even if your dog won’t let you brush their teeth.

Water Additives For Removing Dog Tartar

Using a water additive to your dog’s drinking water is probably one of the easiest methods for helping to keep your dog’s teeth clean. You usually just add a capful to their water bowl and it will work from there.

A water additive will help clean and deodorize your dog’s teeth and helps prevent tartar buildup and bad breath. It will help your dog’s teeth stay whiter as well.

There is a wide variety of water additives that are available. I would recommend looking where it is made before purchasing any of them.

You can purchase flavorless, mint flavor, peanut butter flavor and many more. I have found that the flavorless is the easiest to use, because some finicky dogs might not drink their water with the different flavors or odors.

The water additive that I recommend is Oxyfresh Dental Care Water Additive. It is made in the United States and is odor free and tasteless.

You can choose the brand that you believe will work best for you by clicking on this link that will take you directly to water additive products on Amazon.

Gels For Removing Dog Tartar

Using a gel on your dog’s teeth is another option that will help kill bacteria that causes bad breath. It will break down plaque and tartar and works under the gum line.

There is no brushing required with using the gels on your dog’s teeth.

To use, apply the gel directly onto your finger and wipe on your dog’s teeth and gums.  It can work even better if you use a finger tooth brush when applying.

There are a variety of products that are available, but the one that I recommend is Tropiclean Fresh Breath Plaque Remover Dog Teeth Gel.

You can use this link to see all the gels that are available from Amazon if you are looking for a different choice.

Sprays For Cleaning Dog’s Teeth

There are sprays available for cleaning tartar and plaque from your dog’s teeth and keeping their breath fresh. I personally like the water additive or the gels better than the spray, since I think that they are easier to use.

It is recommended to spray directly on your dog’s teeth and gums and the spray will work with your dog’s saliva to remove tartar and soften plaque. It is advised to do before bedtime for the best results.

If you decide you want to go the route of a spray for cleaning your dog’s teeth, I would recommend Trudog Dog Breath Dental Spray. It is made in the United States with all natural ingredients and it helps support and boost your dog’s immune system.

Dog Dental Wipes For Cleaning Teeth

Another option for cleaning your dog’s teeth without brushing is to use dog dental wipes. (I don’t recommend for puppies or younger frisky dogs. You will end up in a fight with them trying to get the wipe back out of their mouth.)

With one hand, lift your dog’s lip over the teeth. With the other hand, use dental wipes over your dog’s teeth and gums from front to back on both sides.

Use twice daily or after meals.

Dog dental wipes will reduce plaque, tartar build-up and freshens breath.

I don’t have a particular wipe that I would recommend. You can see all the dental wipes that are available on Amazon with this link.

Bones For Cleaning Teeth Without Brushing

There are several specially designed bones for cleaning your dog’s teeth, and there are a few that aren’t designed specially for teeth cleaning that can help with removing tartar from your dog’s teeth.Bones help clean dog's teeth

The hardness of the bones do help with removing tartar, but they are not going to work at removing the brown plaque stains and don’t work as well as brushing your dog’s teeth or using one of the recommendations from above for cleaning your dog’s teeth without brushing.

Dog Dental Chews For Cleaning Teeth

There are many dog dental chews on the market that can help reduce tartar buildup and freshen their breath. I am not so sure that they will remove plaque though even though they say that, but if you keep the tartar off their teeth, you won’t end up with additional plaque buildup. (Brown teeth)

They almost always have a special shape or design that helps cause friction on your dog’s teeth as they chew them, which will help remove the tartar. It is a clinically proven texture that reduces tartar buildup and usually made of a stiff rubbery texture.

There are a lot of ingredients in these dental chews, so if you have a dog that has sensitivities to foods, you should look over the ingredient list before purchasing. The good news though, is that many come with some vitamins that are important to your dog’s health.

You should feed your dog 1 daily to help remove the tartar from their teeth.

There are many dog dental chews that I would consider to be fairly equal, but if I had to choose one to recommend, it would be Greenies Dental Treats. They are made in the United States with all natural ingredients plus vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

Greenies has a variety to choose from including chews for puppies, weight management, grain-free, and aging care which is a softer chew for older dogs.

Bully Sticks

I have been using bully sticks with my new puppy for the last few months, and he loves them and will chew on them for long periods of time.  The price is a bit higher than some other chews, but they last much longer than most chews.

Bully sticks clean dog's teeth

Bully sticks help clean dog’s teeth.

They are a firm stick that will soften a bit as they get wet. These are not raw hides, which can be hard for your dog to digest and cause problems.

There are no artificial favors, no hormones and no chemicals on this product. They are an all natural beef prizzle stick that is long-lasting.

Chewing on a bully stick will help remove tartar and plaque from your dog’s teeth.

If you aren’t familiar with bully sticks, I suggest looking for odor free sticks. They can really get quite stinky if they aren’t odor free. Also, look for bully sticks that are from the United States. There are more controls over the quality.

The bully sticks that I have been using and would recommend are Pawstruck Bully Sticks. They are long-lasting, made in the United States and are odor free (even though I have had a few that had some odor).

Hard Food For Cleaning Your Dog’s Teeth

Carrots are a great food to give to your dog that will help clean their teeth, and they are healthy for them.

I give my dog several small carrots a day as a treat and he loves them.

You could also try apples or other hard fruits or vegetables. Healthy and low in calories.

Fresh Dog Food

I recommend staying away from canned dog food, as that tends to stick to their teeth more. Dry kibble is slightly better, since it doesn’t stick to their teeth, but your dog probably won’t get much benefit from the hard food for removing tartar. Most dogs crunch once or twice and then swallow their dog food almost whole.

A fresh cooked diet will have more benefits for keeping your dog’s clean without brushing their teeth. A fresh diet will change the chemistry in your dog’s mouth by providing more working enzymes in your dog’s saliva that will keep their teeth cleaner than regular kibble will.

You can take a look at my 3 best fresh dog food recommendations for help in this area.


The best way to keep your dog’s teeth free of plaque is by keeping the tartar from their teeth. I do feel that brushing your dog’s teeth is the best way to do this. I know this can be hard at times, and some dogs just won’t let you brush their teeth. You might want to look at the review for the ultrasound toothbrush for dogs.  It is a much easier way to brush your dog’s teeth.

If no brushing is allowed with your dog, I believe the sprays, water additives or gels will produce a better result to clean dog’s teeth without brushing. You just need to be consistent on how often use these methods to prevent the tartar from turning into hard plaque, which is much harder to remove.

Using bully sticks or dental chews are better than doing nothing and I would consider them a great addition to the gels or sprays.

You will save money in the long run by keeping your dog’s teeth clean right from the start, but it is never too late to not let their teeth get worse.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and I will get back with you. You can follow justforyourdog.com on Pinterest or FaceBook for all the latest doggy updates.

Some of the links within this post are affiliate links of which I might receive a small compensation from sales of certain items.




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