A Step-By-Step Guide To Clean Golden Retrievers Teeth At Home

Grooming your golden retriever is a crucial part of taking care of your golden retriever, and cleaning their teeth is often an underappreciated part of the grooming process.

While grooming their coats may definitely be the thing that takes the most effort, a good dental care routine may actually have a stronger impact on their health than any other part of their grooming.

Unfortunately, I have seen so many people do all kinds of mistakes when cleaning their dogs’ teeth that I just had to make this complete guide. This guide will tell you everything you need to know to clean a golden retriever’s teeth at home effectively and quickly.

Now, let’s see how and when you should clean golden retrievers teeth at home.

How to Clean Golden Retrievers Teeth

brushing dog teeth to illustrate how to clean golden retrievers teeth at home

There are 4 main parts to cleaning your golden retriever’s teeth;

  • Find the right time & place
  • Prepare the tools 
  • Introduce them to the tools
  • Start brushing their teeth 

Find the right time & place

Choosing the right time to brush their teeth is really important, try to choose a time when your dog has had a decent amount of exercise so they are more inclined to sit still for this process.

A golden retriever needs a solid 30 minutes of moderate-to-intense exercise at least. You want your golden retriever to be tired from the exercise but not so exhausted from it that they just want to go to sleep.

You want your golden retriever to be as calm as possible while you’re cleaning their teeth. You can learn about more ways to calm down a golden retriever here.

As for the place, you need someplace where they are comfortable but not their feeding spots. Most people will do it in the bathroom, and if you do, make sure to close the door while you’re in there and wipe down the floor before you get in there.

Prepare the tools 

Before you start the process, you will need to prepare all your tools and anything else you will need.

Get the toothpaste you need, the toothbrush, and anything else you may need within arm’s reach.

Keep in mind that you can’t use human toothpaste neither can you use a human toothbrush. Human toothpaste actually has some chemicals such as fluoride which can be toxic to your dog.

A human’s toothbrush can’t be used as well because it’s a little too hard for them and it can be really abrasive to their gums.

You should use only toothbrushes that are especially made for dogs; it will have two sides that are different amd it can reach back into their gums.

You can also use a finger brush; it has some bristles and will be easier to use but it can be a little tricky because you would need to use your fingers to brush their teeth and some dogs are not really comfortable with that not to mention some dogs are very sloppy.

Now that you have your tools, you need to introduce your dog to the tool so they are comfortable with them.

Introduce them to the tools.

Put some of the toothpaste on your finger and it will not be a problem to get them to eat it.

If after a few days, your dog stops licking the toothpaste then you will need to try a new flavor for them.

If you can’t make your dog stay still you will need to kneel and make them feel relaxed. Never make them feel threatened by doing anything forceful such as holding them forcefully or restricting their movements.

After you put the toothpaste on the toothbrush, start with getting them used to have the toothbrush near their mouth.

If your dog won’t let the toothbrush near their mouth, you can hold their mouth closed so they wouldn’t lick all the toothpaste.

Start brushing their teeth

Time for the brushing and you need to remember to start slow and gentle.

If you are using the finger brush, stick your finger under their gum and start brushing gently and lightly.

Make sure you are getting the brush all the way to the back of their teeth.

If you are using the toothbrush, it will be pretty simple too. Start brushing their teeth gently and stick it all the way back under their gums, the toothbrush should be inclined at 45 degrees to the teeth and brush in a circular motion.

You don’t have to rub it in because the toothpaste gets smeared all over their teeth on its own.

Looking for more instructions? follow the steps in this video:

Recommended Tools for Golden Retrievers Dental Care 

I have tried a lot of things over the years with my dogs, some based on the recommendations of my vets and some based on what my friends were using for their dogs.

These are the ones I’m currently using because I found out to be the best during the last few years;

How often to Brush Golden Retrievers Teeth? 

Ideally, you should brush your golden retriever’s teeth twice daily if possible. If that’s not possible, you should at least aim to brush their teeth three to four times per week. It’s not recommended to brush their teeth less than three times weekly as this can lead to tartar buildup.

In an ideal world, you should brush your dog’s teeth twice daily just like us and you should definitely make room for brushing their teeth in their daily routine so they can expect and make their peace with it. It’s not recommended to brush their teeth less than three times per week as this can lead to dental issues such as tartar buildup.

If they have sensitive gums, brushing their teeth three times a week is recommended to prevent any inflammation or bleeding in their gums.

You can consult your vet on how often you should brush your golden retriever’s teeth.

Training Your Dog to be okay with the dental care routine 

There are a few things you can do to train your dog to be okay with the dental care routine.

  • First of all, you will need to start when they are still puppies, it’s easier to train them when they are still young.
  • When you are going to brush their teeth, you need to make sure that they are relaxed on that day.
  • Take them to a quiet place and in a quiet time to do it
  • If they are moving you can put them against your legs or against the wall and hold their head up and try to close their mouth to prevent them from licking the toothpaste
  • Let them lick the toothpaste so they can be familiar with the taste.
  • Hold their toothbrush or your finger brush close to their mouth to make them feel comfortable around it 
  • Start brushing their teeth gently 
  • Repeat and reward them at the end of the session with praise or even dental chew treats. You want them to associate teeth brushing with good things.
  • Don’t skip days when first training them. You want to build a strong association by repeating the process daily and even twice a day when you have the time and energy.

How to Clean Plaque and Tartar Off Your Golden Retriever’s Teeth? 

  • Choose a time when your dog has had a decent amount of exercise so they can stay still during the process
  • Get your tools
  • Let them take their position (they are comfortable in)
  • Kneel in front of them or beside them (do not stand above your dog so they don’t feel threatened)
  • Make them feel comfortable around the tools
  • Let them taste the toothpaste (put some of the toothpaste on your finger and let them lick it off your finger)
  • Take your finger and start rubbing it into their teeth and gums slowly (to make them used to the feeling of something rubbing against their teeth and you can put a little tiny pressure while doing it)
  • Repeat the last step 3 to 4 times before you really start brushing their teeth
  • Now it’s time to finally use the toothbrush
  • Lift their lip to expose their gums and teeth
  • Start slow and gently brushing their teeth
  • Hold the brush at 45 degrees to the teeth
  • Brush the canines first for 5-6 seconds only (because the enzymatic toothpaste will soften up the tartar or the plaque by itself)
  • When you are done with canine, you can move to the upper molars (the place that quickly builds more tartar)
  • Reward them with their favorite treat or with a treat that can help to keep their teeth clean.

How to make a homemade Dog Toothpaste?

Here are some homemade recipes to make a dog toothpaste that’s safe for your dog and easy to make.

  • The baking soda one 
  • The cinnamon one 
  • The minty one

So let’s start.

The baking soda one

This is the simplest and most basic one – here is all you will need;

  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda 
  • 1 tablespoon of water or broth (whatever your dog prefers )
  • Mix them into a paste 
  • Simply apply a small amount of the toothpaste(the size of a pea) to the toothbrush or the finger brush
  • Brush it gently into their teeth, under their gum.

The cinnamon one

If you like the smell of cinnamon, this one will be perfect for you and your pooch. All you need is the following;

  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon 
  • ⅓ cup of coconut oil 
  • 2 tablespoons of baking soda 
  • 1 tablespoon of beef bouillon granules dissolved in one tablespoon of hot water
  • Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl
  • Keep it refrigerated in an airtight container 
  • Before you use it, let it cool down first to avoid harming their teeth 

The minty one  

There’s nothing better than a minty smell. Can you imagine your pooch approaching you with a minty smell, that’s the dream, right?

Here is what you will need:

  • 6-7 mint leaves 
  • ¼ cup of coconut oil 
  • 3 tablespoon of baking soda 
  • 1 cube of beef or chicken bullion
  • Combine all of the ingredients into your food processor and pulse them
  • This toothpaste can stay for two weeks only
  • Put it in an airtight container and replace it in the fridge 
  • Let it cool down before your brush their teeth with it 

Related Questions 

Can your brush dog teeth with human toothpaste? 

No, you can’t brush dog teeth with human toothpaste because the human toothpaste contains fluoride which can be toxic for dogs, and they don’t know how to spit it out, in the other hand, toothpaste that is made especially for them will be safer and will have flavors such as poultry to make them love it.

What can I give my dog to clean her teeth? 

You can give your dog the C.E.T enzymatic oral hygiene chews, ProDen plaque off powder, any oral care dry dog food, or greenies dog dental chews dog treats, you can also provide them with carrots and strawberries they are healthy snacks that your dog will clean their teeth and whiten them.

If this article was useful to you and your furry friends, please share it with your family and friends. It might be a useful source for them too and I will be thankful as well.


Hey there, I'm Matt, the author behind Retrievershub.com. With a deep love for dogs and a dedication to strengthening the bond between owners and their retrievers, I've created a hub of resources for enthusiasts like you. Through engaging articles, training guides, and product reviews, I aim to provide practical advice that makes a real difference in your life as a dog owner. Whether you're a seasoned pro or new to the world of retrievers, my approachable and informative writing style ensures that you'll find valuable insights. Join me on this incredible journey of discovering what makes retrievers tick, unlocking their potential, and creating an unbreakable bond with your furry companion. Let's embark on an adventure of dog ownership together. Thank you for visiting Retrievershub.com and being part of our vibrant community.

Recent Posts