- 1 Selection Of The Best Dog Toothpastes
- 2 Best Dog Toothpaste Buying Guide
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
- 4 Sources
The best dog toothpaste is formulated specifically for canines to improve bad breath and reduce the tartar buildup on your pup’s teeth.
When you find a great toothpaste your pet actually likes, their attitude toward having their teeth brushed will improve dramatically too.
Dogs put anything and everything in their mouths, not only the things they’re supposed to like puppy food, dog treats or even dog laxative or other medication. From eating grass that wasn’t treated with enough dog repellent to chewing on the dog whistle (if you leave it out), to licking at the insects outside of the dog house, their mouths are always at work.
Do they care if their dog flea treatment is supposed to keep them flea-free? No, they’ll lick their treated fur just as soon as you turn around. Give them too much space on their dog bicycle leash and they’ll try to get into leaves or dirt by the side of the road.
Put them on the dog grooming table and they are going to lick or chew it, as well as the dog nail clipper or dog nail grinder and definitely the dog dryer and dog brush (the dog dematting tool is too sharp even for their adventurous tongues).
Why can’t they just sit behind their dog gate, drink from their dog water bottle and chew on their dog plush toy you may wonder. Everything is food; they sometime think that even the dog conditioner and dog shampoo is a snack.
This is why good dog oral hygiene is crucial. All the germs they come in contact with can cause serious issues without the right dog toothbrush and toothpaste to eliminate plaque, bacteria and tartar. Take care of them so they can continue to explore the world through their mouths!
Selection Of The Best Dog Toothpastes
Here are the best dog toothpastes for most people according to Outlinist:
Best Dog Toothpaste Buying Guide
Taste and Flavor
Taste is important when it comes to finding the best dog toothpaste. First, get out of your head about what flavors you’d like because dog toothpaste with mint flavor just doesn’t appeal to dogs, though vanilla-mint paste is popular for its sweetness.
Flavors range from cucumber to peanut butter, but your best bet is going with one that has a meaty flavor like chicken or beef. Put a bit on your finger, if your pet licks it off, you know they’re interested.
A dog toothpaste with enzymes prevents dental diseases, provides protection against tartar, inflammation, infected teeth, gum diseases and other oral issues that may come from poor dental health. But the toothpaste must be used daily.
Enzymatic toothpastes contain glucose oxidase, which is an enzyme that happens to be made from the same fungus used to make penicillin. It takes on antibacterial qualities and is completely safe for dogs to swallow which makes it a vital ingredient for many toothpaste formulas.
When regular brushing doesn’t remove plaque, it begins to harden, becoming tartar. Tartar attaches to tooth enamel and can travel past the gum line causing irritation and inflammation. To remove tartar from dog’s teeth, find toothpaste formulas that contain silica, a gentle abrasive that scours away tartar and plaque.
Chemical agents called emulsifiers are also good at breaking down and cleaning the tartar on the enamel of dog’s teeth. The most common one in dog-formulated toothpaste is tetra potassium.
Brushing alone only removes half of the plaque in your pup’s mouth. If it’s kept in check, it cannot accumulate so tartar cannot form. Though enzymatic toothpastes are great for breaking down plaque, dog toothpaste containing chlorhexidine also effectively removes plaque, and is also an antiseptic.
Chlorhexidine works by binding to the oral surfaces and tissues of a canine’s mouth and is slowly released into the oral cavity. It has a bitter taste on its own so it’s usually combined with tasty flavors like chicken broth.
A dog with bad breath is still just as loveable, but maybe you don’t want them licking your face so much. If you’re looking for toothpaste specifically for the purpose of helping keep your pet’s mouth fresh and their gums clean, a formula that includes baking soda is highly recommended.
Baking soda will help whiten teeth, wear down plaque buildup and coat teeth to protect them against plaque and tartar. Again, this should be done 3-4 times a week, if not daily, to reap the benefits.
Strong and Healthy Gums
Using toothpaste for dogs that strengthens the gums will make them more resilient when it comes to battling bacterial infections. Ingredients in a toothpaste such as peppermint essential oil, coconut oil, baking soda and calcium magnesium are great for strengthening gums as well as teeth.
When the gums are strong, it takes a lot more effort for bacterial organisms to force their way through the gums’ tough structure. If there is any inflammation or bleeding in the gums, look for ingredients like aloe to soothe your doggy’s pain.
The ingredients that aren’t in a toothpaste formula are just as important as those that it contains. Dogs cannot rinse their mouths so not a single ingredient in the toothpaste should be toxic or cause them any harm when it’s swallowed.
Some dog toothpaste ingredients to avoid are fluoride, tea tree oil, xylitol and alcohol as these can be toxic to a dog over time, even in small amounts. Also be careful of high amounts of sweeteners as they are addictive and increase dental decay.
For fussy dogs that have really put their foot down about letting you brush their teeth manually, there is brushless toothpaste for dogs. These products can simply be squeezed directly into a dog’s mouth. The gel then starts working its magic to clean teeth, remove plaque, protect the gums and freshen the dog’s breath.
Some gel formulas work by using a dog’s saliva to aid in the cleaning process, so make sure your dog drools a lot if you use those formulas.
Another alternative to sticking your fingers or a toothbrush inside of your dog’s mouth, dental sprays are effective at removing tartar, reducing and eliminating plaque and removing odor-causing bacteria. They are very easy to use and can be added to a dog’s water bowl or be sprayed directly onto their gums and teeth.
When using these, read the instructions carefully as some of them need an hour to break down plaque and bacteria. This means a dog shouldn’t have food or water until the cleaning process is complete.
Dental dog chews effectively remove food particles and debris if using a toothbrush and toothpaste is simply out of the question. They come in a range of flavors and the “treat aspect” of chews can make dogs much more interested in cleaning their teeth.
Some chews are formed into brush-like shapes, others have deep ridges made for digging into the tight areas of a dog’s mouth. The best ones should be ridged and include toothpaste in the middle of the treat.
Often contaminated with heavy metals, artificial coloring has been linked to allergic reactions. Artificial preservatives, potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate, also cause allergies as well as formaldehyde releasing preservatives. Another preservative to look out for is methylparaben; it mimics estrogen, causing unwanted reactions as well as disrupting the endocrine system in your pet.
If your dog has allergies or is prone to them, you should consider getting flavors that are allergen free and avoiding dog toothpaste with allergy causing ingredients.
Dyes, parabens, artificial flavoring, artificial additives and high amounts of sugar remove some of the health benefits of brushing. The best dog toothpaste is made of all-natural ingredients and cleaning agents that provide effective protection.
If you’re looking for dog toothpaste for sensitive teeth, natural, gentle formulas are going to work well, but organic formulations are probably going to be the best. These are chemical and cruelty free, safe, effective and come in all-natural flavors that dogs enjoy.
Dog toothpaste and toothbrush kits save you time and effort since you don’t have to buy either item separately. Most kits you see will include a dog fingertip toothbrush, a standard doggy toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste for your pup.
Kits are great because all of the items are from one brand, so if you like what a certain brand offers, you can buy the basic oral care tools you need for your pooch, while getting a little something extra like a dental guide.
How toothpaste comes out of its dispenser, or tube, matters more than you think. Many people enjoy tubes that stand up on their cap as they are easier to squeeze the toothpaste out and maneuver without much fuss, especially as the dispenser starts to get emptier.
You’ll want a tube that cleanly lets the paste or gel exit without glops of paste being everywhere. If you do find that the consistency of a paste is runny, you can simply massage the tube for a thicker texture.
Due to the fact that there are so many ingredients that are toxic and harmful to pooches, it’s always a good idea to make sure the toothpaste you buy is approved by your vet at a minimum, but having Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) approval lets you know it is a good product.
Some formulas are made by actual dentists, but the best dog toothpaste is definitely going to be approved by veterinarians and is a formula they’d use on their own pets.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if your dog swallows the toothpaste?
As long as you are using a toothpaste that is specifically formulated for canines, if your furry friend swallows the toothpaste, nothing will happen. Dog toothpaste ingredients should be 100% safe when ingested by dogs.
If you have toothpaste that contains xylitol as an ingredient, you should keep a watchful eye over your pet as swallowing xylitol could cause hypoglycemia and liver failure. When possible, try to stick with toothpaste formulas that do not contain any toxic ingredients or chemicals that can harm your pet.
Can human toothpaste be used to brush your dog’s teeth?
You should never use your own toothpaste to brush your pooch’s teeth. The best dog toothpaste to use is going to be one that is specially formulated for canines because it will contain safe ingredients. Human toothpaste has a number of ingredients, like fluoride, that are toxic to a dog. It only takes a very small amount of fluoride to harm them.
Also remember that dogs cannot rinse and spit like you can, so any ingredients in a toothpaste must be able to be swallowed safely.
How often should you brush a dog’s teeth?
Similar to us, dogs benefit from having their teeth brushed every day and veterinarians actually recommend that a dog’s teeth receive a daily brushing. It may seem like a lot, but daily brushing helps prevent oral-related diseases and maintain overall oral health.
Daily oral care for dogs is important because dogs lick their fur which often harbors germs they’ve picked up outdoors, lick objects on the floor and even eat from the garbage. It makes sense to brush their teeth every day.
Can toothpaste for your dog upset their stomach?
It is definitely true that some toothpaste formulas designed for dogs can cause upset stomachs. This is usually the case when abrasive ingredients like kaolin, silica and baking soda are used. Since they are naturally abrasive, they can irritate a dog’s stomach lining, leading to diarrhea or vomiting.
For dogs with sensitive tummies, it’s a good idea to use toothpastes that use enzymes like lactoperoxidase, lysozyme and glucose oxidase, which are all friendly and safe for your furry friend’s tummy.
Why is using toothpaste important when brushing a dog’s teeth?
Brushing removes food that has gotten stuck in the crevices of a dog’s teeth or adhered to the teeth’s surfaces. Toothpaste prevents bacteria from growing in you mutt’s mouth, aids in keeping their breath fresh and whitens their teeth.
One of the major reasons toothpaste is necessary is to prevent the accumulation of tartar. The longer you take to remove this buildup the more dangerous it can become, layering upon itself until bacteria is well-established and difficult to remove.
- Effectiveness of a dental gel to reduce plaque in beagle dogs, National Institutes of Health, Mar 19, 2002
- Inhibitory effect for proliferation of oral bacteria in dogs by tooth brushing and application of toothpaste, National Institutes of Health, Aug 1, 2016
- The Effect of Dental Products and Natural Chews on Canine Oral Bacteria, Rutgers University
- Brushing for Pet Dental Health, Veterinary Medicine at Illinois, Feb 1, 2016
- Protect Your Pet's Teeth: Top Tips from a Veterinary Dentist, Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, Feb 13, 2019
- Chew on This: Dental Care for Pets, Tufts Now, Aug 15, 2011
- Dental Hygiene for Dogs, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine, Feb 9, 2012
- Tips on How to Brush Your Pet's Teeth, Community Care College, Feb 19, 2018
- Veterinary tips for pet dental care, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Feb 21, 2018
- Pet Dental Health: A Veterinary Technician's Guide, Broadview University, Jan 24, 2019