Best Dog Toothpastes
Dog toothpastes make brushing easier and more efficient as they thoroughly clean and protect your dog’s teeth. Check out the best dog toothpastes for sparkly canines and optimal oral health – and pick one for your pet!
Even though some pet parents tend to overlook the importance of brushing their pet’s teeth, it doesn’t change the fact that you have to do it regularly. To maintain your pet’s oral health optimal, you will have to make sure that the hygiene is up to standards, and that means scrubbing those canines at least every other day, ideally every day. There’s no special technique you should follow, as your pet’s anatomy will dictate the motions: you brush your pet’s teeth the same way you do yours, but adjust the movement to the size of their mouth. On the other hand, when it comes to tools, that’s where the rules change. You should use specially designed toothbrushes for pets and dog toothpastes to make sure your pet’s teeth are really clean – and that you haven’t accidentally harmed them, as what flies as safe for humans doesn’t always bode well for dogs.
Dog toothpastes are a must when you’re cleaning your pet’s teeth as they are designed to be both palatable and safe for pets. You should never use human toothpaste on dogs, no matter if it’s natural or not, because ingredients in human toothpaste can seriously endanger your pet. While there are some dog toothpastes that contain fluoride (though it’s still a controversial topic), for instance, the levels of fluoride in human toothpaste are much higher and can poison your pet- and even have a fatal outcome. The same goes for xylitol, a common sugar-free sweetener that’s used in human toothpaste, but happens to be extremely toxic to dogs and even a small amount of it can kill your dog. Needless to say, brushing your pet’s teeth with your toothpaste is not just a bad idea, it’s a dangerous one, so you shouldn’t do it at any cost. Besides, dog toothpastes have another thing going for them in addition to being completely dog-safe: they are designed to make brushing more bearable to your pooch.
Why do I need dog toothpaste?
The “secret” is in the flavor – unlike regular toothpaste that is minty fresh and cool, dog toothpaste is usually beef or liver flavored, with an occasional cheese, chicken, or bacon aroma. Yup, sounds disgusting, but dogs go bananas for it, so it does work! It makes them more receptive to the prospect of tooth brushing, especially if they are no longer a puppy. And of course, it makes things infinitely easier for you too. I mean, it’s clear why brushing is more appealing to dogs with the right toothpaste – they’ll taste something yummy and be occupied with it while you brush those canines clean. To boot, there are also special enzymatic dog toothpastes, for instance, aimed with dogs that have plaque buildup and need some boost to get rid of all that tartar the non-invasive way. In other words, dog toothpastes should be an unavoidable part of your pet’s grooming routine, and like everything else, they should be chosen with care.
Every dog is different and so are their dental hygiene needs, so be sure to pick a toothpaste that’s suited for your pet’s age, condition of the teeth, taste preferences, etc. To help you find out what type of dog toothpaste is the best choice for your pet, we’ve put together this comprehensive buying guide, complete with a list of best dog toothpastes on the market. Just read on and find a perfect pick!
1. Editor’s Choice: Petrodex Enzymatic Toothpaste for Dogs
This non-foaming, no-rinse dog toothpaste has an enzymatic formula that helps tackle tartar build-up on your pet’s teeth and eliminate bad breath. It is effective both as a preventive and a potent tool to help reduce the existing plaque on your dog’s teeth. In fact, many dog owners opt for this formula precisely for its potency and the ability to help improve the oral health of dogs with neglected teeth. Dogs also love this toothpaste ‘cause it tastes like poultry and doesn’t have to be rinsed out: a win-win however you look at it! For best results, though, you’ll have to be consistent with it and brush your pet’s teeth at least two to three times a week – you can get a soft-bristled Petrodex toothbrush designed for pets if you want to use the recommended type of toothbrush.
2. Runner Up: Virbac CET Vanilla/Mint Toothpaste
Safe to swallow, this dog toothpaste contains no fluoride, foaming agents, or any other potentially harmful ingredients. It is primarily the choice of dog owners who regularly brush their dog’s teeth and their pets don’t mind it- because the breath-freshening vanilla and mint flavor might make your pet’s morning breath better, but probably won’t make them salivate at the thought of brushing. With enzymes in the ingredients list, you don’t have to worry about the plaque-preventing powers. Formulated by experts, this toothpaste can be used both on cats and dogs- ideal for multi-pet households. Made in the USA, this potent dog toothpastes also comes in beef and poultry flavor if that’s what your four-legged bestie prefers to vanilla and mint.
3. Customer’s Choice: Vetoquinol Vet Solutions Enzadent Enzymatic Toothpaste for Dogs
Made in the USA, this dog toothpaste boasts a triple enzyme system that has a powerful effect on the plaque: regular brushing with this enzymatic toothpaste will both prevent the future build-up of tartar and help polish teeth in case of existing plaque. The bacteria-fighting ingredients will keep your pet’s breath odor-free and their teeth sparkly white and healthy. To boot, your pet will love brushing when you use this toothpaste as it tastes like poultry- and which pooch doesn’t like chicken? Non-foaming, this toothpaste doesn’t have to be rinsed out and it’s safe to swallow.
4. Best All-In-One Dental Kit: Paws & Pals Pet Dental Care Kit with Brush
Budget-friendly and convenient, this dental care kit has everything you need to take care of your pet’s teeth. In addition to one dual-headed toothbrush and one fingertip toothbrush that will make brushing a breeze, there are also two tubes of veterinarian-approved toothpastes included. Paws & Pals toothpaste is beef-flavored, so even picky pooches that are not big fans of brushing will quickly become one. The formula is ideal for maintaining good oral health, as it fights bad breath, tooth decay, tartar build-up, gum disease, and plaque. It is also a good choice for multi-pet households as it can be used for both cats and dogs.
5. Best Toothpaste for Fussy Dogs: Vet’s Best Dental Gel Toothpaste for Dogs
If your dog is really not a fan of the toothbrush, a dental gel alternative could be what you need to make sure that their dental hygiene is up to par. This potent toothpaste in the form of a gel doesn’t necessarily have to be brushed on the teeth (although it is still the ideal form of application) – you can simply use your finger to rub it on your pet’s teeth and gums and still get all the anti-bacterial and anti-fungal benefits this product offers. This toothpaste was formulated by veterinarians and contains a potent mix of natural ingredients such as aloe, neem oil, grapefruit seed extract, baking soda, and enzymes, all working together to keep your pet’s teeth healthy and clean without having to fuss over brushing. Even without a toothbrush, this gel toothpaste will keep plaque at bay and make sure your pet’s breath is fresh to boot!
6. Petsmile Professional Dog Toothpaste
If the price is not the issue and you want only the best for your pampered pooch, then this is the one to go for. This dog toothpaste is the only one that has been awarded by the Veterinary Oral Health Council for its plaque prevention properties and that already speaks volumes about its quality. The “secret” is in the proprietary Calprox ingredient that has been proven to ensure superior plaque-prevention, as well as fight bacteria and improve your dog’s breath. Just smear it around your pet’s teeth with your finger and you’re all set! And the unusual yet (apparently!) supper yummy London Broil flavor will make your pet excited about his brushing routine.
7. Well & Good Tartar Control Toothpaste for Dogs
Did anybody say PB? If your pet is one of many doggos who go bananas for some peanut butter, this toothpaste is your best bet. Formulated to reduce tartar build-up and keep your dog’s mouth healthy and clean, this no-rinse toothpaste comes in delectable PB flavor in order to coax your pet into fuss-free teeth brushing. This is also one of the more affordable dog toothpastes out there, so if you need something budget-friendly without compromising on the quality, you can’t go wrong with this one.
8. Zymox Oratene Toothpaste Gel
Veterinarians and pet parents have been using Zymox products for over 20 years. You can’t beat a well trusted brand like that, nor can you beat its powerful formula. The product is a clear gel filled with enzymes and as it makes direct contact with your dog’s teeth it will dissolve the accumulated biofilm build up and get rid of plaque and excessive bacteria growth. You dog’s teeth will be clean and yes, their breath will be odor free! This product is recommended for those with dogs with sensitive teeth as well as sensitive dogs in general, because it has a formula free from xylitol, alcohol, detergents, and harsh chemicals to ensure your pet gets the best possible oral care without any harsh or harmful ingredients.
9. RADIUS Organic Canine Oral Care Kit
If you have been searching for an all-natural and organic solution to caring for your dog’s dental health, this organic canine dental gel from RADIUS is a great product. The toothbrush offers firm bristles to efficiently clean your dog’s teeth. The oval-shaped brush head works for both small and big dogs, protect their delicate mouths against damage with its corner-free design. There are also soft and ultra-soft options for puppies and seniors.
The toothpaste is a USDA certified blend of organic coconut oil, cinnamon, and sweet potato. These three natural ingredients work to whiten teeth, reduce bacteria in the mouth, freshen the breath and reduce the risk of tooth decay. At the same time, it has a delicious taste that will make it easier to convince even the most reluctant of dogs to get on board. It is free from GMOs, chemicals, pesticides, xylitol, fluoride, saccharin, parabens, SLS, SLES, glutens, detergents, and synthetics of any kind. To boot, there’s also a puppy version of this kit available, so you can start off your pooch on the right foot when it comes to oral hygiene – it will save you so much trouble in the long run.
10. Arm & Hammer Dental Fresh Breath Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste
Designed to kill bacteria as you brush your dog’s teeth, this toothpaste for dogs relies on the powerful cleaning effect of baking soda and enzymes to keep those chompers sparkly and clean. The enzymes work to break down plaque and tartar, eliminating the build up of bacteria and ensuring good oral health, whereas baking soda cleans teeth and gums while simultaneously neutralizing odors. A win-win combination for fresh-smelling puppy smooches! The formula will also actively help whiten your pet’s teeth and prevent further accumulation of plaque if you use it regularly. What’s more, this dog toothpaste comes in a vanilla ginger flavor that doesn’t just smell yummy but tastes great, too – dogs love it!
Are human toothpastes safe for dogs?
As we’ve already mentioned, you should never use your own toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth. Just because it’s safe for you, doesn’t mean it’s good for your four-legged friend, too! Human toothpaste is particularly dangerous to pets as it often contains one or both of the two highly toxic substances: fluoride and xylitol. Both of these chemicals are used in the formula for human toothpaste as they are safe and contribute to oral health and general palatability of the toothpaste, but when it comes to canines, it’s a whole other story.
Both fluoride and xylitol are so poisonous to dogs that, if ingested in higher quantities and if your pet is not immediately treated for poisoning soon after, they could cause death. This is the main reason why human toothpastes should not be used for brushing dog’s teeth. To boot, the flavor of our toothpaste is usually disgusting to dogs who don’t appreciate the cooling effect of mint, so even if it was safe to use one- it would make teeth brushing even more disliked by your pet.
What to look for in dog toothpastes
Now when you know why it’s important to use pet toothpaste, how do you choose one? There are so many different choices and flavors out there and many pawrents get confused when it’s time to pick one for their pet specifically. Not all pooches have the same needs – some need a toothpaste that focuses on breath-freshening, others require help with plaque and tartar buildup, and some finicky pooches need a specially flavored toothpaste if you’re to brush their teeth in the first place. Having in mind that every doggo is unique, here are some of the shared features that all dog toothpastes should have:
If the toothpaste is not actively working to remove and prevent plaque buildup, eliminate bacteria from your pet’s teeth, and make his breath smell less fishy, why use one in the first place? The main thing to consider if the toothpaste you pick works as promised- and there are different promises out there, peeps. For regular maintenance of good oral hygiene, any quality dog toothpaste will do – just look for a formula that fights bacteria and freshens breath. However, in case your pet has tartar buildup, you might consider dog toothpastes for removing plaque, such as those with enzymatic formula, that could help even with existing buildup and not just prevent a future one.
Your primary concern should always be your dog’s safety – especially when it comes to products that they are likely to ingest, such as toothpaste. We’ve already covered why you should never use human toothpaste on your dog, but even when made for dogs, toothpastes can still be unsafe for your pet. Choose formulas made by trusted brands, and make sure to double check the ingredient lists in case your dog has allergies. Of course, the general rule applies here – the same with other products made to be ingested by your dog: always go for the most natural and certified option there is!
- Ease of use
Most dog toothpastes are free of foaming agents, which means that there’s no need to rinse the remnants of the paste from your dog’s mouth (A task that would just bring more hard work). These toothpastes are safe to swallow – there are no harmful ingredients that could upset your dog’s stomach or worse. This makes your life so much easier because you won’t have to go through the hassle of trying to get your pooch to stay still while your brush AND rinse afterward! This would be an impossible feat for many (not to say all) pet parents, so stick to easy and safe to use, foaming agent-free dog toothpastes.
Let’s be honest for a second: most dogs detest brushing. From minor protests to total boycott, it’s likely that every pet pawrent met with some form of outcry when they held a pet toothbrush in their hand. That’s why you need all the help you can get when it comes to brushing your pet’s teeth and the right flavor of toothpaste can be your biggest advantage. There are plenty of flavors when it comes to dog toothpastes, from the “regular” such as beef, chicken, bacon, and liver, all the way to the more unusual faves such as peanut butter and vanilla. Flavored dog toothpaste is the oldest trick in the book: it’s a lure that is sure to work. Yes – some might consider it cheating, but hey, if it works it works!
Brushing dog’s teeth: general guidelines
While there’s nothing too complex about brushing a dog’s teeth, there are some general guidelines you should make sure to follow. People often overlook this, but teeth brushing is a big part of general dog health. A majority of healthy issues can begin at the mouth, and that is why proper hygiene is a must. And knowing how to properly do the job is equally important. Of course a lot will depend on your dog’s breed: taking care of the elongated jaws of a German shepherd will not be the same as maintaining a stumpy jaw of a French bulldog- there will be some maneuvering needed in each case. Either way, some general guidelines still apply, and if you stick to them, you won’t have too much trouble.
How to brush your dog’s teeth?
To properly brush your pet’s teeth, you’ll need the right tools. A toothbrush designed for dogs and dog toothpaste are a must! Start brushing when your pet is relaxed, and be sure to reward him afterward so he associates brushing with a yummy treat. As for the brushing itself, it’s easy when the pooch is cooperative. Lift their lips with your finger and place the brush at a 45 degree angle, gently brushing in circles. Pupper jaws have unique shapes. Moreover, certain breeds are thoroughly different compared to some others, and teeth brushing can be a challenge. Finding the appropriate toothbrush will help you reach all those nooks and crannies, and to properly clean every corner – from the canines to the molars. Thorough cleaning is crucial – any food particles that remain can become a problem.
At what age should you start brushing your pet’s teeth?
The earlier you start, the easier it will be to get your pet accustomed to teeth brushing. Ideally, you’d begin sometime around the age of 2 to 4 months, but it’s never too late to start. In case your dog has never had his teeth brushed (or not frequently enough) you might have to take them to professional dental cleaning in case the teeth plaque buildup is severe due to neglect of oral hygiene. Needless to say, if you start brushing your dog’s teeth quite early on, you will help to maintain a healthy set of teeth throughout their life. With special dog toothpastes, you will ensure proper dental hygiene, healthy teeth development, and will minimize the threat of cavities, plaque, bacteria, and gum inflammation. Thus, the rule remains – the earlier, the better.
How often should you brush your dog’s teeth?
Ideally, you’d scrub those canines clean every day, but not everyone’s schedule allows it – brushing your pet’s teeth 3 times a week will be enough to keep their dental hygiene up to standards. Of course, in some cases this number can go somewhat higher or lower – you can follow your own intuition or follow your vet’s guidelines. For senior puppers, teeth can become a sensitive point. Gums can become aching and inflamed, teeth can fall out or get plaque buildup, and soothing solutions become a necessity. In these cases, teeth should not be brushed too often, as to not make the situation any worse or more painful for your old friend. What is more, it is best to follow your vet’s instructions and be as gentle as possible. Also, dog toothpastes can really help here – especially those designed to soothe the gums, to invigorate, and protect cavities.
How can I freshen my dog’s breath?
The easiest and most effective way to freshen your dog’s breath is to regularly brush their teeth – this removes the buildup of plaque and bacteria, which are the main culprits for bad breath (excluding underlying medical issues). You can also use water additives or breath-freshening sprays in addition to teeth brushing, if needed – but if your pet has clean and healthy teeth, it probably won’t be. However, if your pet already has a stubborn build-up of tartar, professional teeth cleaning might be required to make their bad breath go away.
Can dog toothpaste make dogs sick?
Yes, it can, if the formula is unsafe for dogs, which can happen. Dog toothpastes are usually no-rinse which means dogs will ingest some or all of it during the teeth brushing process, so it is important to go for formulas without harmful ingredients such as xylitol, which can be fatal to dogs but is commonly used as a natural sweetener. Additionally, if your pet has a sensitive stomach, go for natural, gentle formulas that won’t irritate their tummy if swallowed.
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