Best Dog Toothpastes

PetGuide logo

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.

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! 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!

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!

Shop Now

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.

Shop Now

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.

Shop Now

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 bacteria, neutralizes odors, and prevents plaque build-up.

Shop Now

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. Even without a toothbrush, this gel toothpaste will keep plaque at bay and make sure your pet’s breath is fresh to boot!

Shop Now

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.

Shop Now

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.

Shop Now

Easy to use with a gentle yet powerful formula, this dog toothpaste is a heavy-duty overachiever in its category. With a clear gel form to maximize the contact of teeth with enzymes in its ingredient list, it will successfully dissolve biofilm that collects on your pet’s teeth and make sure there’s no plaque build-up or bacteria overgrowth. As a result, the teeth will be clean and their breath odor-free. The multi-complex enzyme system is highly effective, but the gel is non-drying so you don’t have to worry if your dog has a sensitive mouth. 

Shop Now

In case you’re looking for a natural dog toothpaste, you’ll love this dental care kit. The Pura Naturals toothpaste is cruelty-free, non-toxic and made with food-grade ingredients, as well as free of all harmful ingredients such as xylitol and other sweeteners, fluoride, foaming agents, and other. There’s no artificial flavoring, either, so if you count on meaty taste to keep your doggo focused while you brush, you won’t find it here. The kit also contains a dog toothbrush that’s suited for all breeds.

Shop Now

An affordable solution for keeping your dog’s oral hygiene up to standards, this dental care kit costs less than $10 but contains everything you need to keep those canines sparkly white- and it comes in sizes suited for small and big dogs both. There are two toothbrushes included – one regular and one finger brush, as well as the toothpaste made from all-natural ingredients. To keep your dog’s mouth bacteria-free and their breath deodorized, the formula relies on tea tree oil and vanilla – but there’s also cucumber and mint option available. 

Shop Now

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.

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:

  • Effectiveness

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.  

  • Safety

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. 

  • Ease of use

Most dog toothpastes are foaming agent-free, which means that there’s no need to rinse the remnants of the paste from your dog’s mouth. 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.

  • Palatability

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. 

While there’s nothing too complex about brushing a dog’s teeth, there are some general guidelines you should make sure to follow.

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. 

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. 

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.

We are committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. Learn more about how this works