Bristly DIY Dog Toothbrush: A Review - Steph Osmanski
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bristly toothbrush review dogs

Bristly DIY Dog Toothbrush: A Review

Bristly is a new kind of dog toothbrush that allows your pup a bit more independence when it comes to teeth brushing. Instead of having to side-swipe your dog with a sneak attack that involves a finger-sized toothbrush and peanut butter-flavored toothpaste, Bristly provides your dog with a fun alternative while also taking care of your dog’s oral health. Do you know how important it is to brush your dog’s teeth? According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, four out of five dogs will suffer from oral disease by the age of three years old.

But before I get into all the reasons why I prefer using Bristly, let’s talk about oral hygiene in dogs.


Maybe you’re wondering how often you should be brushing your dog’s teeth. Well, dogs are a lot like humans especially when it comes to caring for their bodies. Ideally, you should be brushing your dog’s teeth once per day. If that sounds like a daunting task, you may need to do some work to get you and your doggo more settled into an oral hygiene routine.

A routine can help both you and your dog get more accustomed to the teeth-brushing process.

When you avoid brushing your dog’s teeth on a frequent basis, you’re giving plaque more time to develop, grow, and ultimately, fester. And we all know the downsides of plaque: it puts your dog at risk for gum disease, malodorous breath, tooth decay, and health issues. 

What’s the key to getting your dog more comfortable with teeth-brushing?

Touch your pup’s gums. The more a dog is accustomed to any kind of touching, the more normal it becomes. That’s why vets recommend touching a puppy’s paws and ears often when they are young. The more the pupper comes accustomed to ear- and paw-touching, the less issues they will likely have at the groomer when the groomer attempts to cut their nails and clean out their ears.

Start by letting your dog lick the toothpaste off your hand.

The first trick to making dog teeth-brushing easier is tricking your dog into thinking toothpaste is a treat. In a way, it is! After all, most doggy paste is peanut butter or meat-flavored. They should totally love it, not shy away from it! 


Well, the same concept goes for tooth brushing. Now if you’re going to be using the Bristly as your main modicum of brushing your doggo’s teeth, then getting your dog more comfortable with gum-touching isn’t as important. But still, I think it’s a good practice to be in. The more you touch your dog in places associated with hygiene and grooming, the more natural and normal it becomes for them. In the long run, that means your dog puts up less of a fight. 

Now you’re ready to introduce the toothbrush.

Here’s what I love about Bristly: It’s a mostly hands-off tool. When it’s time to brush Koda’s teeth, I squirt some toothpaste into Bristly’s toothpaste reservoir. (There’s a hole at the top of the toothbrush/toy; that’s where the paste goes.) Then, Koda saunters over to the Bristly because she knows it’s time to chew and in turn, brush her teeth. 

bristly brush

Keep reading to learn more about some of Bristly’s coolest features!

The entire toothbrush is meat-flavored.

As if a bacon-flavored toothpaste running through it’s core like a lava cake isn’t enough, the entire Bristly brush is flavored like meat to attract your dog’s attention (and tongue). The flavor “promotes chewing and increases palatability,” according to Bristly’s IndieGoGo page.

Paw pads are specifically made with puppy grips in mind.

The bottom of the Bristly is designed with your pup’s grip in mind. Two stabilizing paw pads allow dogs to easily hold the brush without it slipping or sliding away. The grippable bottom is designed to stay in your dog’s grasp as they gnaw away.

Toothpaste reservoir self-dispenses.

Once toothpaste is squirted into the top of the Bristly, the self-dispensing reservoir does the rest. You’ll notice the toothpaste leak down the Bristly over time in order to create a more even distribution of the paste. Your dog then works his way down the Bristly, attracted to both the meat-flavor of the brush itself and the flavor of the toothpaste. I will say, I think it’s smartest to use the Bristly on a wood floor or tile only. If you allow your dog to brush his teeth using Bristly on a carpet, you will, I repeat you will, find stains on your rug. 

Bristles delve deep into the gum line.

These Bristly bristles get the job done. They run deep into your puppy’s gum line and are specifically designed to loosen plaque and tarter build-up that may already exist there.

Would you try Bristly for your dog? Leave a comment below!

Disclaimer: Bristly sent me a free sample for the purposes of this review.

Steph Osmanski
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