Should I Brush My Rottweiler’s Teeth?

A Rottweiler with a range of toothbrushes and toothpaste


Most dog owners do not brush their pet’s teeth regularly, so you’d be forgiven for wondering, “should I brush my Rottweiler’s teeth?’ After all, brushing our dog’s teeth is a relatively recent part of canine care, and most of us won’t remember anybody doing it when we grew up.

However, there are a number of good reasons why you should make brushing your Rottie’s teeth a part of your regular routine. Proper dental care can help prevent gum disease, tooth loss, and other serious health problems in dogs. Additionally, brushing your dog’s teeth regularly can help keep their breath smelling fresh and their mouths healthy.

So let’s take a look at why Rottweiler toothbrushing is so essential for the breed, and how to best take care of our dog’s teeth.

Should I brush my Rottweiler’s teeth?

Yes, pet parents should make brushing their Rottweiler’s teeth a priority. Toothbrushing is about more than white teeth and fresh breath. It reduces your Rottweiler’s risk of periodontal disease, which is linked to heart, kidney, and liver disease, and can even have an effect on underlying diseases like diabetes.

You see, the Rottweiler’s mouth is a microbiome of good and bad bacteria. And essentially, there is a process by which the bad bacteria can affect your dog’s whole body:

  1. Your Rottweiler’s saliva produces a substance called glycoproteins that get stuck on a dog’s teeth.
  2. Bad bacteria make themselves at home on the surface of the glycoproteins and produce acidic by-products that damage the tissue, bone, and enamel of the tooth. This gradually builds into plaque and tartar.
  3. The acidity eats through the lining of the gums so that the bacteria can travel into the gums, causing gingivitis and inflammation in the gums.
  4. This bacteria releases toxic substances called endotoxins and cytotoxins that cause inflammation in the tissue.
  5. The inflammation spreads from the gums to the jaw bone and the tiny structures around the tooth, weakening the bone. At this point it becomes periodontitis. 80% of dogs will have severe periodontitis after age 6.
  6. When white blood cells attack the bad bacteria, they die and release enzymes, which create even more inflammation.
  7. As the bacteria work their way into the blood vessels around the mouth tissues, both the bacteria and their inflammatory toxins are carried to the rest of the body.
  8. This causes low level inflammation throughout the body that increases the risk of a number diseases. The bacteria also reaches organs like the heart and kidneys, causing long-term damage and disease.

So how do we combat this disease to help our Rottweilers stay healthy? It’s simple. We brush their teeth!

How to brush a Rottweiler’s teeth

  1. Start brushing your Rottweiler puppy’s teeth as early as possible

Tooth brushing should start when they’re a puppy because it will get them used to the process and make it easier for you to brush their teeth as they get older. Additionally, starting early will help prevent plaque and tartar buildup on their teeth.

If you’re having trouble getting your dog to sit still long enough to brush their teeth, you can try a few things.

  1. start by getting your Rottweiler puppy used to having their teeth and mouth touched.
  2. take a few minutes every day after playtime, when they are tired, to run your finger over their teeth and gums.
  3. be sure to praise them and give them plenty of treats so that they make a positive association with the act. Be sure to reward them primarily for sitting still while you work.
  4. Introduce the toothbrush gradually, starting by just touching it to their teeth.
  5. Gradually build up to fully brushing and adding doggy toothpaste. But be sure that you have successfully trained your dog to sit still for the process, so it does not become a struggle. You don’t want to be wrestling your fully grown Rottweiler!

This is what good toothbrushing looks like:

How often should I brush my Rottweiler’s teeth?

Ideally, you want to brush your Rottweiler’s teeth daily. So in the evenings when you have brushed your own teeth, make it a habit to take two minutes to brush your Rottweiler’s teeth too. This way it becomes part of your daily routine.

At least once a day, but twice a day is even better. If you can’t brush your teeth that often, be sure to do it at least three or four times a week. Additionally, it’s important to take your dog to the veterinarian for a professional cleaning at least once a year.

Do I need to use a special toothbrush?

You’ll need a very soft toothbrush because their teeth and gums are much more delicate than human teeth. You can find a variety of dog toothbrushes at your local pet store or online.

Generally speaking, you’ll want to choose a toothbrush that is small enough to fit in your dog’s mouth comfortably and has soft bristles to not damage the enamel or the gums.

Why is it important to use dog toothpaste?

While you can technically brush your dog’s teeth with water, using dog toothpaste is much more effective. These kinds of toothpaste are specifically designed to remove plaque and tartar from your dog’s teeth.

They contain ingredients that are safe for them to ingest and come in a range of dog-friendly flavors. Additionally, some dog toothpastes contain enzymes that can help reduce plaque and tartar buildup.

Common Dental Diseases in Rottweilers

The most common type of dental disease in dogs is plaque and tartar buildup. This can lead to gingivitis, which is an inflammation of the gums. If not treated, gingivitis can progress to periodontal disease, which is a serious infection of the tissues around the teeth.

Periodontal disease can eventually lead to tooth loss and other serious health problems. Therefore, it’s important to brush your dog’s teeth regularly and take them to the veterinarian for professional cleanings.

About 5% of dogs may develop tooth cavities. As Rottweilers are quite hard on their teeth, they also have a tendency to fracture their teeth, which can cause a range of painful problems

Other less common types of dental diseases in dogs include tooth resorption, which is the breakdown of the tooth’s structure, and it’s also important to note that dental disease is often a sign of other underlying health problems, such as diabetes or kidney disease.

Therefore, it’s important to take your dog to the veterinarian for an examination if you notice any symptoms of dental disease.

Symptoms of Dental Diseases in Dogs

Signs of early dental disease on a Rottweiler, including swollern gums and brown calculus at the base of the teeth

The most common symptom of dental disease in Rottweilers is bad breath. Other symptoms include:

  • Yellow or brown buildup on their teeth,
  • Bleeding and red gums,
  • difficulty chewing,
  • pawing at their mouth,
  • and decreased appetite.

If you notice any of these symptoms, be sure to take your dog to the veterinarian for an examination.

Treating dental disease in Rottweilers

The best way to prevent dental issues in dogs is to brush their teeth regularly and take them to the veterinarian for professional cleanings. However, if your dog already has dental disease, the treatment will depend on the severity of the condition.

In some cases, simple teeth cleaning may be all that’s needed. However, your dog may need surgery to remove their teeth in more severe cases.

What are some signs that my Rottweiler needs to see a veterinary dentist?

There are a few signs that you should take your dog to a veterinary dentist.

  1. If your dog’s breath smells bad,
  2. If their gums are red and inflamed,
  3. If there is a clear yellow or brown plaque on their teeth,
  4. If your Rottweiler is drooling more than usual,
  5. If you notice that they’re having trouble chewing or eating.
  6. If you notice any loose or missing teeth, this is a cause for concern.

If you notice any of these signs, take your dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Dental problems can lead to serious health problems if they’re not treated promptly.

Regular dental care is important for dogs because it helps prevent gum disease, tooth loss, and other serious health problems. Additionally, tooth brushing regularly can help keep their breath smelling fresh and their mouths healthy.

What alternatives to are there for brushing a Rottweiler’s teeth?

If you’re not able to brush your Rottweiler’s teeth regularly, there are a few alternatives that you can try. First, you can give them dental chews or treats designed to help reduce plaque and tartar buildup. Additionally, you can use water additives or oral rinses that are designed to help keep your dog’s mouth healthy. Lastly, you can take your dog to the veterinarian for professional cleaning.

Toys that help keep your Rotteiler’s teeth clean

There are a few different types of toys that can help keep your pet’s teeth clean. One type of toy is a rope toy that you can use to play tug-of-war with your dog. This can help remove plaque and tartar from their teeth while also providing them with some exercise. Another type of toy is a rubber ball designed to massage your dog’s gums. And lastly, there are chew toys that are specifically designed to help clean your dog’s teeth.

Rope toy: Helps remove plaque and tartar from teeth while providing exercise

Rubber ball: Massages gums

Chew toy: Helps clean teeth

Dental chews to help with oral hygiene

Rawhide bones

Greenies Dental Chews


Blue Buffalo Blue Bones dental chews

Zuke’s Mini Naturals Dental Chews

Water additives:

Virbac CET Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Rinse

Nylabone Oral hygiene Water Additive

Arm and Hammer Water Additive

Professional dental cleanings:

Your veterinarian can provide professional dental cleanings for your dog. This process involves removing plaque and tartar from your dog’s teeth and gums. Additionally, your veterinarian may also recommend x-rays or other diagnostic tests to check for underlying dental problems.

Getting professional cleaning is not a replacement for daily at-home dental care. Instead, it should be used in addition to regular brushing and other at-home oral care.


Can I use human toothpaste and brushes with my dog?

You should not use human toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth. Human toothpaste is generally too abrasive for dogs and can even be toxic if swallowed. Instead, choose toothpaste that is specifically made for dogs. These products usually contain safe ingredients for dogs and have a flavor they’ll enjoy.

Can I use baking soda to brush my dog’s teeth?

No, you should not use baking soda to brush your dog’s teeth. Baking soda is too abrasive for dogs and can damage their enamel.

Many pet owners I speak to don’t brush their dog’s teeth. Is it really necessary?

Yes, it is necessary to brush your dog’s teeth. Like humans, dogs need to have their teeth brushed regularly to prevent gum disease and tooth loss. It’s a key part of your dog’s dental health.

Additionally, brushing your dog’s teeth can help keep their breath smelling fresh and their mouths healthy.

Due to poor dental care, as many as 80% of dogs over the age of three have some form of gum disease, which can lead to more serious health problems if left untreated. Therefore, it’s important to ensure you’re brushing your dog’s teeth regularly.

Just because most pet owners don’t brush their dog’s teeth doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Regular dental care is essential for your dog’s overall health and well-being.

About Tamsin de la Harpe 17 Articles
Tamsin has worked extensively in dog behavior problems and is passionate about canine nutrition. She has worked with trainers who specialize in Shutzhund and protection training, and worked with many Rottweilers. Her passion for dogs shows in her writing and she loves sharing her knowledge with Rottie lovers!