How To Build a Dog Dental Care Kit

Dog dental care

There’s no time like the present to start a dog dental care routine. Ideally, you should be brushing your dog’s teeth every day to prevent bad breath and tartar buildup, which can lead to periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is serious; it not only causes your dog pain, it can also affect organ and body functions. And because it’s irreversible, prevention is the best you can do.

So how can you start a dog dental care routine? Build a kit filled with everything you’ll need to care for your dog’s teeth, from toothbrushes and toothpaste to products that promote dental health.

1. Toothbrush and Toothpaste

These are the most important items in your dental care kit. You’ll want to select a toothbrush with an angled tip that makes it easy to reach the back of your dog’s mouth, or a rubber finger brush that fits over your finger (many dogs more easily accept a finger brush than an actual toothbrush). With Nylabone’s Advanced Oral Care Kit, you can try both for $8 if you’re a PetPlus member. The kit also includes a peanut butter flavored toothpaste, and dogs go crazy for the stuff. You should never use human toothpaste on a dog as it could be toxic; stick to toothpastes intended for furry friends, and choose a flavor that will make brushing time fun.

RELATED STORY: How to Brush a Dog’s Teeth

2. Mouthwash

Want to give your dog dental care routine a leg up? Incorporate a mouthwash, like C.E.T. Aquadent, which is formulated by veterinary dental specialists. A mouthwash helps to whiten your dog’s teeth, freshen their breath, and even removes plaque and tartar buildup. All you have to do is add a small amount to your dog’s water every day and bingo! Your dog won’t taste it, but you’ll notice the difference in their teeth. Brushing + mouthwash = dental disease one-two punch.

3. Dental Treats

It’s great to reward your dog with a treat every once in a while, but when you do, you should consider giving a treat that has health benefits. Greenies are easily digestible, toothbrush-shaped dental chews that freshen your dog’s breath and have a textured surface to remove plaque and tartar. And they really work (I’ve tried them on my dog). Unfortunately, Greenies are pretty expensive. But with a PetPlus membership, they can cost a lot less — 46% less in fact. They make a great addition to a dog dental care kit.

RELATED STORY: My Dog’s Breath Smells! What Should I Do?

4. Dental Dog Food

While any dog can develop periodontal disease, some breeds — such as brachycephalic breeds with flat faces and small and toy breeds with tiny mouths — are most at risk. Ask your veterinarian if you should be feeding your dog a food that promotes dental health, such as Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Dental Dry Dog Food. The texture and shape of the food helps to “brush” the surface of the teeth while your dog eats, sodium tripolyphosphate helps to reduce plaque buildup, and minerals improve digestive function, which can affect dental health.

What’s in your dog dental care kit? Leave a comment and let us know, and if you need to stock up, consider signing up for PetPlus. PetPlus is a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more. Learn more at


Pet Hack: DIY Pet Toiletries

Your pet’s hygiene is incredibly important which means they’ll need the proper pet toiletries! If you don’t brush your pet’s teeth, they will be at risk for developing dental disease. If your dog or cat has long, narrow, or hairy ears, you should clean them to prevent ear infections. And of course, every pet needs the occasional bath to keep their coat clean, healthy, and primed for cuddling. But what’s the cost of all of these primping products?

It can be minimal if you make your pet’s toiletries at home. Not only will you save money, you’ll also know exactly what ingredients are going into your pet’s products. In addition, kids love getting their hands dirty and learning new things, so get the family together and try out some of these DIY recipes.

DIY Pet Toothpaste

This recipe is incredibly easy. Your pet will love the delicious taste, and you’ll love their fresh breath that comes from added parsley. Always consult your veterinarian to be sure that this recipe is appropriate for your pet; pets with gum disease, dental decay, or other health issues may require special treatment.


– 2 tablespoons baking soda

– 1 tablespoon low-sodium beef or chicken broth*

– 1 teaspoon fresh or dried parsley

*You can also use 1 tablespoon of water and 1 low-sodium bouillon cube


1. Mix together the baking soda, broth, and parsley until it forms a thick paste

2. Use the paste immediately to brush your dog or cat’s teeth, or place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to a week

DIY Ear Wash

This is another super easy and cheap recipe. It only requires two ingredients: vinegar and water. The vinegar reduces bacteria and the water dilutes the vinegar. Some pet parents choose to include alcohol in the mixture for its drying effect, but others omit it fearing that it will be too harsh or sting their pet’s ears. This recipe omits alcohol, but if you would like to use it, you can add a splash.


– ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar

– ⅔ cup water


1. Pour the ingredients into a small plastic bottle with a nozzle — the kind used to apply hair color. You should be able to find one at a beauty supply or craft store. Shake to mix.

2. Before cleaning your pet’s ears, check them for swelling, redness, a foul smell, pain, or discharge. If you see any of these symptoms, it may mean that your pet has an ear infection, and you should contact your veterinarian before proceeding with a wash.

3. If your pet’s ears look healthy, squeeze the solution onto a cotton ball or soft cloth, then wipe down the inside of your pet’s ears. Be sure to do this gently, as an abrasive touch can irritate the skin and cause infection.

DIY Pet Shampoo

Inexpensive + easy + natural = yes, please! Homemade pet shampoo is the perfect solution for pet parents who want to keep their pal smelling and looking fresh without emptying their wallets. Just be sure to follow the instructions closely; choosing the wrong ingredients or having the wrong balance of ingredients can irritate or harm your pet’s skin.


– 2 cups apple cider vinegar

– 2 cups natural, organic dish soap with a 7-8 pH (avoid soaps with strong scents or artificial additives)

– 4 cups water

– 4 oz vegetable glycerin


1. Mix the apple cider vinegar and dish soap in a large bowl

2. Mix in the water

3. Add the vegetable glycerin

4. Pour the mixture into a clean, empty bottle. You can use an old shampoo or dish soap bottle from around the house, or purchase one from a beauty supply or craft store.

5. Shake well to mix (and shake before every use)


Ready to give the DIY thing a shot? Leave us a comment and let us know which recipes you try!