Just like us, dogs need to have their teeth brushed regularly so as to prevent stinky breath and keep their teeth strong and healthy. The problem is, it is often overlooked by a lot of dog owners. Most veterinarians will recommend regular brushing even when they’re still puppies to prevent a number of dental issues from occurring.
In order to make sure that your dog’s teeth are in perfect condition, you’ll have to use a toothpaste specially made for dogs. In this article, we’re going to review the best dog toothpastes on the market. We’ll also provide you with a quick buying guide so you can easily determine which product will suit your pets.
Importance of Cleaning Your Dog’s Teeth
There are a number of reasons why you have to keep your dog’s teeth clean at all times, and it’s more than just keeping his teeth free of plaque and tartar. These are as follows:
Helps prevent stinky breath
I think it’s safe to assume that all dog owners love letting their dogs kiss and even lick them. Unfortunately, this can be quite a turn off if their dog’s breath stinks!
If your dog has a stinky breath, then it could be a sign of poor dental care. If you don’t brush your dog’s teeth regularly using a dog toothbrush, then you’ll surely have to suffer from bad breath that’s caused by the buildup of bacteria inside his mouth. By using the best dog toothpaste for bad breath, you can easily get rid of this issue.
Prevents periodontal disease
Periodontal or gum disease tends to happen when food debris gets lodged inside the teeth and is colonized by bacteria, causing it to turn into plaque then tartar. Due to tartar’s cement-like hardness, it can serve as a protective barrier for bacteria hiding beneath it. As such, they’ll be able to continue producing acids that will eat away the enamel found in the teeth.
This can lead to a slew of problems, one of which is inflammation in the gums. In most cases, this can also exhibit bleeding which can only worsen the problem. The problem with this is that the inflammation can also cause the structures that hold the teeth to become damaged. As a result, your dog may end up losing some of his teeth.
Fortunately, this can be averted by brushing his teeth on a regular basis. Regular brushing will stimulate your dog’s gums and clean his teeth similar to how brushing our teeth does.
Removes plaque and tartar buildup, even prevent it
One of the main reasons why you should regularly brush your dog’s teeth is to remove and prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar. If food particles are left unattended, they will begin to solidify until a number of bacteria start colonizing them.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t just end there. As bacteria continue to multiply, they also release a thin film of a substance known as biofilm, likewise known as plaque. What’s even sadder is that if left unremoved, it will harden over time then eventually turn into a cement-like covering known as tartar.
Tartar will protect the bacteria from the abrasive action caused by a toothbrush and the ingredients in a toothpaste. In most instances, if the buildup of tartar has become too severe, you’ll have no choice but to take your furry friend to a veterinary dentist to have it removed.
Eliminates food debris
A toothbrush can effectively remove debris and food particles found on the teeth with its mechanical action. This can also be achieved by using dog chews specially designed for dental care, although nothing can beat a toothbrush since you can easily control how much pressure you apply on the brush while also allowing you to maneuver it into areas that aren’t normally reached by dental chews.
But how exactly can a dog toothpaste help in this process? Although you can remove any food debris and particles using only a brush, some particles that get stuck should be softened first before you can remove them via brushing. Most dog toothpaste brands on the market come with unique formulations that will help soften those particles and facilitate their removal effectively.
Promotes overall good health
Aside from maintaining a healthy oral health, brushing your dog’s teeth regularly is also very important to keep his health in check. Without regular brushing, you’ll be putting your buddy’s overall health at risk as any oral infections may spread to the other parts of his body.
In fact, some of the most common issues that dogs suffer due to poor oral health include kidney disease, heart disease, infections, and liver disease.
How to Choose the Best Dog Toothpaste
Now that you have an idea about the importance of brushing your dog’s teeth regularly, the next thing to think about is how you can pick the right toothpaste brand for your pet. Here are some of the things you have to consider when you go shopping for a dog toothpaste:
Just like choosing the best dog shampoo, you should also consider the right ingredients when buying a dog toothpaste. We mentioned earlier that a dog’s toothpaste contains a special formula that’s designed for dogs. This is because of their inability to spit out the contents right after brushing.
Apart from fluoride, you also have to consider other ingredients or substances that are non-toxic and edible. Ideally, you want to take note of the following:
- Enzymes – they are proteins that are capable of reducing the bacteria in your dog’s mouth and giving his teeth enough protection against periodontal disease and other oral-related issues. They also help eliminate a dog’s stinky breath. Toothpaste brands that contain this ingredient are labeled as enzymatic.
- Silica – this is a gentle abrasive which can effectively remove plaque and tartar from your dog’s teeth.
- Sweeteners – their main purpose is to provide the toothpaste with a more appealing taste. Mostly, dog toothpaste will contain sorbitol which is a natural sugar alcohol found in most fruits.
- Emulsifiers – these are salt which can control the buildup of tartar. They’re also found in a number of dairy products like ice cream and cheese.
Naturally, dogs will try to swallow their toothpaste upon application. As such, you’ll have to choose a product that comes with amazing flavors to let him enjoy the experience.
The good thing is, there are lots of toothpaste brands on the market that come with a wide variety of flavors. Among the flavors, you can find peanut butter, vanilla, mint, peanut, seafood, chicken, beef, and more. There are even those that are combinations of one or two flavors.
Perhaps the most important factor you should look at is choosing a toothpaste that’s specially made for dogs. Don’t make the mistake of using your own toothpaste for your dog as it tends to have chemicals that might be safe for us but can be fatal for dogs. Besides, we don’t actually swallow all those chemicals compared to them.
Since our furry friends are incapable of gargling and spitting, their only means would be to swallow the foamy substance. This is where the problem is. When swallowed, chemicals in a normal toothpaste can irritate the lining of their stomach, thereby causing stomach upsets and other potential issues.
11 Best Dog Toothpastes
Petrodex Enzymatic Toothpaste Dog Poultry Flavor
Designed to Prevention of Periodontal Disease
When it comes to an enzymatic toothpaste, this one from Petrodex is no doubt one of the best out there. It has the Advanced Dental Care formula which features its signature blend of 100% organic and natural ingredients. Also, the enzymes found in its formula are derived from Aspergillus niger.
Although it’s a bit more expensive compared to other dog toothpaste brands, it’s definitely a solid choice as it’s quite effective and has a poultry flavor and taste that dogs love. Due to its taste, your dogs will definitely love the flavor, and most dog owners even claim that their dogs get excited during their brushing session.
Overall, it’s an excellent combination of value, flavor, and formula. As long as you don’t mind getting another tool to provide your dog with a full cleaning, then this is surely what you want to try.
Why We Like It:
- Comes with all-natural ingredients
- Its amazing flavor makes dogs excited for every brushing session
- Promotes fresh breath
Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Tartar Control Dog Toothpaste
An Excellent Tartar Control Choice
This tartar control toothpaste from Nylabone comes with ingredients that are capable of reducing the buildup of plaque and tartar. Additionally, it’s one of the best toothpaste brands that can prevent the onset of periodontal disease in your dogs.
It’s available in a delicious peanut butter flavor and comes in 2.5-ounce tubes. Due to its all-natural formula, it’s capable of giving your pet a fresher breath and healthier gums – not to mention it’s one of the most affordable options on the market.
Why We Like It:
- Its Denta-C formulation helps prevent and eliminate the buildup of plaque and tartar
- Comes in a delicious peanut butter flavor
- Capable of preventing periodontal disease
Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste
A Great Inhibitor of Plaque Formation
The Virbac CET toothpaste comes in a variety of flavors to choose from. If you don’t like brushing your dog’s teeth with a toothpaste which smells like poultry, then you should consider getting this one. There are a number of flavors including seafood, beef, malt, and vanilla-mint. This is surely a plus, considering that some dogs can easily get fussy as to what they want.
The goal of this toothpaste is to give your pets a healthy dental care that is 100% natural. Since it’s an enzymatic toothpaste, it can deeply clean your furry friend’s teeth and provide him with natural antibacterial action.
Why We Like It:
- There are no foaming agents, thereby making it safe to swallow
- Can be used even on cats
- Features a variety of flavors to choose from
KISSABLE Dog Dental Kit
A Complete Dental Care Combo in One
This dog dental kit from Kissable comes in different packages where you can purchase just the toothpaste, a combination of a toothpaste and toothbrush, and another kit that comes with finger toothbrushes. According to dog owners who have tried this on their pet, they claim that it enabled them to perfectly brush their pet’s teeth using just a toothbrush made for children.
Although it may not be the #1 choice out there, it certainly is a solid choice as it can keep your dog’s breath fresh and clean for a longer time. That said, it’s without any doubts one of the best dog toothpaste for bad breath out there.
Why We Like It:
- Its vanilla flavor is appealing to most dogs
- Contains natural ingredients including kaolin, hydrated silica, and tea tree oil
Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dental Gel Toothpaste for Dogs
Good Choice for Keeping Your Dog’s Teeth and Gums Healthy
If your dog suffers from bad breath, then this enzymatic dental gel toothpaste from Vet’s Best is definitely a good choice. With its formula, you can surely prevent, even eliminate, the buildup of tartar and plaque in your dog’s teeth. Aside from that, it also keeps his gums healthy and his breath fresh and clean.
It consists of 100% natural ingredients including enzymes, grapefruit seed extract, neem oil, and aloe vera to make sure your dog’s teeth are shiny and clean. The best thing is, these ingredients also have antifungal and antibacterial properties which can keep your dog’s dental health at its optimum level.
Although there’s no clear indication with regards to its flavor, you can always rely on this toothpaste to keep your pet’s mouth clean and fresh.
Why We Like It:
- Made of natural ingredients with antibacterial and antifungal properties
- Comes in an easy-squeeze tube
- Prevents the buildup of bacteria inside of your dog’s mouth
Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Natural Peanut Flavored Dog Toothpaste
Unique Denta-c Formula Made for Optimum Dental Care
Another quality dog toothpaste from Nylabone, this peanut-flavored product can help prevent gum disease from occurring in your dog’s mouth. Aside from its antibacterial properties, it also comes in a delicious peanut butter flavor which is quite appealing to most dogs.
It also has a unique Denta-C formula which can effectively remove the buildup of plaque. Additionally, it will keep your dog’s breath fresh and clean and his gums healthy at all times.
Why We Like It:
- Prevents plaque buildup which can prevent gum diseases from occurring
- Features a unique Denta-C formula
- Most dogs find its peanut butter flavor appealing
Nutri-Vet Enzymatic Chicken Flavored Canine Toothpaste
Affordable Option for Maintaining Your Dog’s Oral Health
This chicken-flavored toothpaste can serve as an effective alternative to Petrodex. Basically, it has the same enzyme system which was derived from Aspergillus niger. It also comes in a delicious chicken flavor which is appealing to most dogs.
The best part about the Nutri-Vet toothpaste is its non-foaming insulation to make sure that your pet won’t experience any stomach irritation when swallowed. However, its main selling point lies in its very affordable price on a per ounce basis. As such, you might want to give it a try as it can keep your dog’s teeth healthy at a relatively low price.
Why We Like It:
- Features a non-foaming insulation
- Very affordable price
- Comes in a yummy chicken flavor
Paws & Pals Pet Dog Cat Enzymatic Toothpaste
An Effective Breath Freshener and Plaque Remover
The Paws & Pals toothpaste is an excellent choice for a great dog oral care routine. Aside from the toothpaste, it also comes with a dual-head toothbrush so you can optimize your dog’s dental cleaning process.
With its enzymatic formula, it can certainly provide a reliable germ-killing action while keeping your dog’s teeth protected from plaque and tartar buildup. Its beef flavored blend is something that your dog will surely like. However, some dogs might not appreciate its beefy taste, although it’s a huge hit with most dogs.
Why We Like It:
- Includes a dual-head toothbrush in the package
- Comes in a yummy beef flavor
- Its enzymatic formulation can prevent gum diseases
Arm & Hammer Dog Dental Care Toothpaste for Dogs
A Unique Option Featuring 3 Different Enzyme Systems
The Arm & Hammer dog toothpaste comes in three different flavors: vanilla ginger, chicken, and beef with a minty scent. Aside from that, it also features three enzyme systems that can help control and remove the buildup of tartar and plaque as well as promote better gum health and fresh breath.
Its unique formulation is certainly something that you can’t find in other similar systems. Due to its natural enzyme systems, you don’t have to worry about any stomach upsets on your dog. Lastly, it’s 100% safe and can remove, even prevent, the buildup of plaque when used on a regular basis.
Why We Like It:
- Available in three different flavors
- Comes with three enzyme systems namely glucose oxidase, lysozyme, and protease
Tropiclean Fresh Breath Plaque Remover Pet Clean Teeth Gel
A Brushless Alternative to Cleaning Your Dog’s Teeth
If you don’t feel like using a dog toothbrush for cleaning your dog’s teeth, then this teeth gel from Tropiclean is what you need. Basically, it comes in gel form which can be applied to your dog’s teeth even without using a toothbrush.
All you need to do is apply a gel on the corner of your dog’s mouth and let his saliva do all the rest. The problem is, there are some dogs that don’t drool a lot. If that’s the case, you’ll have to use a dog toothbrush so you can give his teeth a thorough cleaning.
Why We Like It:
- Features natural ingredients and decaffeinated green tea leaf extracts to keep your dog’s teeth and gums healthier
- Provides you with a toothbrush-less alternative to cleaning your dog’s teeth
- Can effectively remove any tartar and plaque buildup
Naturel Promise Fresh Dental Clean Gel for Dogs/Cats
Minty Fresh Gel Alternative for Dog Teeth Cleaning
Yet another dental cleaning gel specially made for dogs, the Naturel Promise gel is capable of killing germs in your dog’s mouth which can lead to plaque buildup, gingivitis, and stinky breath. The good thing is, you can apply it on your dog’s mouth without the use of a toothbrush.
The gel contains natural ingredients for giving your dog healthy teeth and gums without any irritation, making it 100% safe even if he swallows it. Additionally, it can even be used on your cat.
Why We Like It:
- Doesn’t require the use of a toothbrush for cleaning your dog’s teeth
- Made of 100% natural ingredients
Tips for Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth
Brushing your dog’s teeth has to be a fun and enjoyable experience that he’ll always look forward to. Therefore, when brushing your dog’s teeth, you have to take note of these tips, especially if it’s your first time doing so:
- Place a tiny amount of toothpaste on your dog’s toothbrush. Allow him to lick it off. Doing so will let him get acquainted with the taste of the toothpaste, thus making brushing a lot easier.
- Make sure you perform this routine within the first few weeks so your dog will get used to the toothpaste’s taste. Don’t perform any brushing just yet. Only when he’s grown comfortable with the routine that you can then start brushing.
- To brush your dog’s teeth, gently raise his lips to expose his gums and teeth.
- Start brushing. Don’t forcefully open his mouth as it can only cause panic and struggling which in turn can only make the brushing process a lot harder.
- It’s ideal to get your dog comfortable with brushing right when he’s still young. Meanwhile, if you have a newly adopted pooch, you can get him comfortable using your touch.
- Start by touching the inside of his mouth then the front and back teeth. After that, brush the front teeth using a quality toothpaste. As you brush, pay close attention to how your dog reacts and always ensure his comfort. Once you’re done, move on to the back teeth.
- Your dog should get acquainted with this routine after a few rounds. Make sure not to forget brushing the back of the teeth.
- Before and after each brushing session, make sure you reward your dog for his good behavior with the help of a dog treat.
If you are unfamiliar with brushing your dog’s teeth, you can also consult your vet and ask him to demonstrate the proper brushing technique.
Q: How often should I clean my dog’s teeth?
A: Just like us, dogs can also benefit from daily brushing. In fact, veterinarians recommend that you brush your dog’s teeth every single day. Although this might sound too much, it can actually help maintain his oral health and prevent any oral-related diseases from occurring.
The reason for this can be attributed to a dog’s normal behavior. A dog will lick his fur which in turn will harbor a lot of germs that he might have picked up on his outdoor adventure. He may also lick on soil or other objects lying on the ground. Aside from that, most dogs will eat almost anything that is given to them. There are even some that eat garbage to look for something to chew on.
That said, it only makes sense to brush your dog’s teeth every day to make sure that they can have healthier gums and teeth.
Q: Can I use human toothpaste?
A: A dog’s toothpaste is specially designed for canine use for a reason. It’s mainly due to the fact that a toothpaste made for humans come with ingredients that can be harmful to dogs if swallowed – one of which is fluoride. After all, dogs are incapable of spitting the foam of a toothpaste and will swallow it instead.
If you use human toothpaste for brushing your dog’s teeth, it can lead to stomach upsets and irritation. Also, fluoridated toothpastes are extremely toxic to dogs and may cause vomiting and diarrhea.
Q: What if my dog swallows the toothpaste?
A: There’s no problem if your dog happens to swallow his toothpaste as long as it’s made for dogs. After all, dog toothpaste comes with ingredients that are considered 100% safe even when swallowed by dogs.
However, you should keep an eye on products that contain xylitol as swallowing it can cause liver failure and hypoglycemia. If left unattended, it can prove to be fatal for your pet. Fortunately, the ones we’ve included in this list don’t contain any toxic chemicals and ingredients that may harm your dog.
Similar to looking for a high-quality dog paw balm, there are a number of important factors you should consider when choosing a quality dog toothpaste. Once you’ve found the best dog toothpaste that corresponds to your dog’s needs, you should make sure to brush his teeth on a daily basis so you can prevent dental issues from surfacing.
Hopefully, you can find all the information you could ever need and come across the best toothpaste for your dog’s oral health.
Good Dogs Co
- Petrodex Enzymatic Toothpaste Dog Poultry Flavor
- Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Tartar Control Dog Toothpaste
- Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste
- KISSABLE Dog Dental Kit
- Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dental Gel Toothpaste for Dogs
- Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Natural Peanut Flavored Dog Toothpaste
- Nutri-Vet Enzymatic Chicken Flavored Canine Toothpaste
- Paws & Pals Pet Dog Cat Enzymatic Toothpaste
- Arm & Hammer Dog Dental Care Toothpaste for Dogs
- Tropiclean Fresh Breath Plaque Remover Pet Clean Teeth Gel
- Naturel Promise Fresh Dental Clean Gel for Dogs/Cats