The idea of brushing your canine’s teeth may sound silly to you at first. However, when you consider that dogs suffer from the same type of problems with their teeth as we do, you will realize that dental hygiene is as important to them as it is to us. They are prone to buildup of plaque, which leads to serious problems with their teeth, gums and even internal organs, if left untreated.
Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dental Gel is one of the better dog toothpastes on the market. Ultimately, the most important thing is to help your dog preserve its teeth and this toothpaste can manage just that – it helps fight plaque and tartar and helps your dog maintain healthy gums.
Popular among dog owners as it cleans teeth well and gives your dog a fresh breath, those who have bought this for their dog have noticed that tartar effectively disappears after using for some time. The best part is that this dental gel is natural, so there are no suspicious ingredients that can harm your dog’s health.
- Natural ingredients that relieve mouth issues
- It is recommended by vets
- Doesn’t dissolve as easily as others
- Somewhat hard to push out the tube
Enzymatic Toothpaste for Dogs & Cats – Poultry Flavor – large 90 gm. tube (over 3 oz.) by Vetoquinol
It’s nice to know that this product is suitable for both dogs and cats. If you happen to have both, you no longer have to buy separate products. Both dogs and cats seem to love this enzymatic toothpaste and they look forward to the event of cleaning their teeth.
It gives them sparkling teeth and helps them maintain healthy gums, while also being delicious – as it has a poultry flavor which cats and dogs alike are very fond of. Many dog trainers and vets also recommend this brand, so rest assured that it’s definitely one of the top recommended products you can get.
- Improves your dog’s gums
- Dogs love the flavor of this toothpaste
- Suitable for both dogs and cats
- Can be a bit pricey
Petrodex Enzymatic Toothpaste Dog Poultry Flavor, 6.2 oz
The Petrodex toothpaste for dogs helps control plaque as well as bad breath. As a result, you are able to give your dog healthy teeth and nice smelling breath in no time. Dogs seem to like the flavor, which is understandable since it tastes like poultry.
In addition, owners say that their dogs generally enjoy having their teeth brushed, thanks to the delicious flavor. With this toothpaste, your only problem will be trying to stop your dog from devouring the toothpaste!
- Easily loosens the tartar found on dogs’ mouths
- Effectively cleans teeth
- Leaves dogs with good-smelling breath
- Some dogs don’t like this brand
Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste
This fresh flavored toothpaste is formulated for both dogs and cats and helps fight the formation of plaque. In addition, it also gives your pets a minty fresh breath. Your pets may try to eat the toothpaste because of its delicious flavor, but luckily, that is perfectly alright because the product does not contain foaming agents.
The best thing about this toothpaste is that it comes in a rather interesting array of flavors. Think beef, malt, poultry, seafood and vanilla-mint. Each has its own dog fans and you won’t run out of flavors to try, in the case of your dog not liking one of them.
- The dogs have fresh breath after brushing
- Not only dogs, but cats also love the taste of this brand
- May have a medicinal smell that puts off some dogs
Paws & Pals 14 oz. Pet Dog Cat Enzymatic Toothpaste Dental Care Kit with Dual Toothbrush for Oral Hygiene – Fights Plaque Freshens Breath – Cleans and Restores – Pack of 2 – Beef Flavor
Tooth decay, tartar and plaque can really ruin a dog’s teeth and lead to gum disease. However, this toothpaste seems to solve these issues. Dogs love this product because it boasts a strong beef flavor and in addition, you also get a soft brush included.
This kit is all you need to keep your dog’s teeth healthy and strong. The product seems to be very popular thanks to the toothbrushes of different sizes that come with it. With the couple of toothbrushing options that this product provides, cleaning your dog’s teeth will be a piece of cake. Its beef flavor and soft brushes will even make it easier for dogs who hate getting their teeth brushed.
- Has a dental care kit included
- Gives you multiple brush options
- Dogs love the taste
- The brushes aren’t as sturdy as expected
- Doesn’t whiten your dog’s teeth
Petrodex Twin Power Toothpaste for Puppies and Small Dogs, Poultry Cool Mint Flavor, 2.5 oz
This toothpaste can help you keep tartar and plaque away while also giving your pooch fresh breath. The most popular feature about this product is definitely the flavor, which dogs can’t seem to get enough of.
This toothpaste is actually a special two-in-one paste – your dog will have a solid gel to freshen its breath while enjoying the micro-polishing benefits of the whitening paste. It even has a patent pending for the technology it utilizes – an odor-neutralizing feature that really gets rid of bad breath effectively.
It’s a perfect combination that will help you keep your dog’s teeth in good condition. If you have a puppy or a small dog like a Deer Head chihuahua, this is one of the best products available on the market.
- Gets rid of your dog’s bad breath
- The flavor is well-loved
- It is not an enzymatic toothpaste
Arm & Hammer Advanced Care Enzymatic Toothpaste for Dogs
The Arm & Hammer toothpaste allows deep cleaning while being very gentle, so your dog will have fresh breath every time you brush his or her teeth.
One of the features that makes dogs like this product so much is that it’s beef-mint flavored, which makes teeth cleaning enjoyable for your dog. With 3 delicious flavors like chicken, vanilla ginger and beef with mint scent, your dog will find teeth cleaning so much more enjoyable.
If your dog is not quite used to cleaning its teeth, try putting a small amount on your finger and invite your dog to lick it first. You can then slowly progress to rubbing your finger along your dog’s teeth and gums.
- Dogs enjoy the flavor of this brand
- Deep cleaning while being gentle at the same time
- Some dogs need persuading
Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Natural Peanut Flavored Dog Toothpaste
One of the most important features of this product is that it’s made with Denta-C, which is scientifically proven to reduce plaque. It’s natural peanut-flavored as well, which might just be the solution to your dog fighting you over teeth cleaning.
Nylabone is one of the most popular dog bone toys around so it’s no wonder that their toothpaste product is so well received. Luckily, it doesn’t disappoint and most dog owners stick by this brand to keep their dog’s teeth clean and healthy.
- The flavor is a favorite of many dogs
- Easily removes plaque
- Some dogs had bad reactions to this brand
Nutri-Vet Enzymatic Chicken Flavored Canine Toothpaste, 2.5 Ounce
This non-foaming formula is not only safe and healthy for your dog, it also comes in a delicious poultry flavor to help make teeth cleaning a lot easier. If your dog tends to have build up of tartar quite frequently, this toothpaste will help to combat that effectively.
Most dog owners prefer this brand as it’s worked well for their dog in terms of preventing tooth problems such as decay or loosening. In fact, most of their dogs now love to clean their teeth, thanks to the tempting flavor. It also helps that the chicken flavor is quite strong, tempting dogs even more strongly to give in to their owners.
- Many dogs love the flavor
- Dogs don’t mind having their teeth brushed by this brand
- Has artificial flavors
Waggletooth 3 oz. Enzymatic Unflavored Toothpaste Bundle with 8 oz. Breath Freshening Water Additive and Soft Finger Toothbrush for Small to Large Dogs, Dental Care and Oral Hygiene Kit (3 items)
This is the only unflavored toothpaste in the list but it still does the job very effectively, nonetheless. Great for small breeds like the shih tzu chihuahua or larger breeds, this toothpaste comes with mint flavored water which aids in decreasing bacteria in your dog’s mouth.
You’ll feel at ease using this for your dog as it’s formulated with human grade ingredients. If you’re not sold on the toothpaste itself, you’ll be glad to know that this even comes with a patent pending special toothbrush with a 360 degree bristle design – a perfect companion to the toothpaste.
- Has a water additive that gives dogs fresh breath
- Comes in a 3-item bundle
- With a 360-degree toothbrush
- The included toothbrush can get bitten through by your dog with enough force
Why It’s Important to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
Dental diseases are the most common conditions in dogs. Since they are not self-sufficient and cannot take care of their dental hygiene, they need us to take care of it for them – this includes brushing their teeth at least once a week. Teeth cleaning is just as important as grooming their fur and clipping their nails.
Types Of Dog Teeth
At 4-6 weeks old, pups start getting their first teeth, most commonly referred to as “milk teeth.” There are 28 of them and they are quite tiny and sharp, with weak roots, allowing them to be replaced at around 4 months of age with permanent adult teeth.
Dogs finish teething at around 6 months of age, when the number of teeth rises to 42. They can be divided into four groups: incisors, canines, premolars and molars. The incisors are small teeth in front of the jaw and are used for scraping meat from bones, picking up items and grooming.
Canines, also referred to as “fangs,” are used to bite and hold on to bones, toys, or another animal. Premolars are used for chewing, while the molars handle the breaking down of hard larger items, such as bones, large kibble or dog biscuits.
For your canine’s dental hygiene to be adequate, you must always consult your veterinarian. He or she will instruct you with the right ways and tools of caring for your dog’s teeth. They will also possibly advise you to have your dog’s teeth cleaned by special machines first, before you continue with a routine at home.
Just like humans, it is recommended that dogs have their teeth cleaned by a professional once a year. The veterinarian dentist will use a special dental pick to scrape away the tartar buildup and polish the surface of the teeth. The result is whiter teeth, relieved of tartar caused by plaque deposits.
Professional teeth cleaning helps in detecting possible dental problems early on and resolves them without serious consequences. Tartar buildup can lead to periodontal diseases – such as gingivitis – and if the bacteria find their way to the bloodstream, more serious ailments may develop. These ailments may lead to possible heart and kidney failure, shortening your pet’s lifespan significantly.
Once your dog’s teeth are professionally cleaned, keep up with the oral care at least once a week using toothbrush and toothpaste that are suitable for your dog’s jaw.
How To Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
As we all know, brushing a dog’s teeth is not a simple task. First, you must make sure your dog gets used to your fingers in his or her mouth. Try a little trick first and dip your finger in peanut butter and as your dog licks it off, take the opportunity to run your fingers around the inside of its mouth.
Once your pup accepts your finger, you are able to move on to wrapping your finger in a thin layer of gauze. Once that’s done, massage its gums, which will remove plaque, food and debris.
Once your dog gets used to your gauze-wrapped finger, progress to specialized toothbrushes. You are able to use a finger brush, or a brush with an angled head and soft bristles, to get to every nook and cranny of your dog’s mouth.
Apply a pea-sized bead of dog toothpaste, or just wet the brush with plain water. Hold your dog’s mouth open and brush along the gum line, moving from the molars to the incisors. After you finish brushing, give your dog some water, as it will likely be thirsty.
Can You Use Human Toothbrushes?
Many toothbrushes made for humans have bristles that are just too hard for your dog’s sensitive gums. However, veterinarians approve of using child-size toothbrushes with rounded hands and soft bristles. But, they are proven to be hard to use, especially with big dogs. That is why it is recommended to use toothbrushes specially designed for your dog’s mouth.
Why Buy Dog Toothpaste
You have the option to choose to use plain water, but it may be better to opt for dog toothpaste, which has a specially designed formula for dogs. That is because it will effectively prevent tooth decay from happening. It will reduce plaque, tartar and bacteria buildup in your dog’s mouth and will get rid of bad doggy breath, as well.
How To Choose The Best Toothpaste For Your Dog?
Knowing your dog’s taste is a good indicator of which toothpaste you have to pick out for him or her. For example, if your dog loves food and treats, getting a flavored toothpaste is a good option.
Some dogs will take a long time to get used to the new routine of brushing their teeth, so getting a good-tasting, quality toothpaste is a good last resort. On the other hand, if your dog doesn’t care for the taste too much, try to make your own toothpaste – without special flavoring.
Making Your Own Dog Toothpaste
Whether you want to have control over the ingredients of the toothpaste, or want to save some money, you are able to easily make your homemade dog toothpaste. You will usually need only 5 minutes to make a batch from simple ingredients such as turmeric, parsley, kelp, bouillon cube, baking soda, cinnamon and natural coconut oil. As it is made from fresh ingredients, the homemade toothpaste has to be refrigerated between uses.
How It’s Different From Normal Toothpaste
The normal toothpaste meant for human dental hygiene has different ingredients and is not safe for your dog. Please remember that no matter how much you care about your dog’s teeth, you must never use your toothpaste to brush its teeth. If you don’t have dog toothpaste at hand, make your own or just use plain water.
Some common ingredients in dog toothpaste include silica, enzymes, emulsifiers and sorbitol. Silica is a gentle abrasive that helps in removing plaque and tartar. On the other hand, enzymes are special proteins for reducing bacteria in your dog’s mouth – thus, reducing the bad breath.
Emulsifiers are actually salts, used for controlling buildup of plaque and tartar, while sorbitol is sugar alcohol used to add transparency to toothpaste. It is a natural sweetener for taste, found in some fruits and is perfectly safe for your pet.
Canine toothpaste contains only non-foaming ingredients that are safe for your dog to swallow in small amounts, as it doesn’t know how to spit the toothpaste out. If you are extremely cautious about the ingredients, use all-natural dog toothpaste that contains ingredients like tree oil and vanilla.
A toothbrushing routine can be very hard for your dog to accept. It may take some time before your dog agrees to sit still as you take care of its dental hygiene. That’s why getting toothpaste with its favorite flavor may help speed up the process.
Flavor options include poultry, beef, peanut, vanilla and mint. You may have to try out a few different flavors before you figure out which one works the best for your dog. In general, anything that seems like a tasty treat should make brushing your dog’s teeth much easier.
Read The Labels
When it comes to commercially produced oral care products, just because they advertise as safe for your pet, doesn’t mean that is actually the case. Unfortunately, over the past few years, cases of cancer in dogs are on the rise and experts believe additives in pet food and care products are to blame.
As the legislation is not designed to protect the consumer, you have to be very careful when choosing the right product for your pet. Be sure to read labels and avoid harmful ingredients that are listed below.
Ingredients to Avoid
Artificial Color And Flavoring
Artificial coloring agents are cancerogenic and may be contaminated with heavy metals that are toxic to the brain and causing numerous health issues – even cancer. Artificial flavoring agents such as glycerol monostearate, phosphoric acid and propylene glycol are equally dangerous. Be careful and search for the products with natural flavoring, such as peppermint essential oil.
BHA, BHT, EQ and Propyl Gallate are chemical compounds used as artificial preservatives, proven to disrupt endocrine function and cause cancer. Rather than these, look for the products containing natural preservatives, such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E.
Corn, gluten and soy are sometimes used as fillers and are proven to cause inflammation and allergies in dogs, even when they have an organic origin. GMO plants are known to cause the growth of tumors and other health issues in dogs.
DEA, MEA and TEA-related ingredients are used to make toothpaste foam and are suspected carcinogens. There is no way your pet won’t get harmed, because as previously mentioned, it doesn’t know how to spit the toothpaste out. As a result, these substances will end up in your dog’s organism in great quantities.
Fluoride will cause joint pain, limited range of movement, brittle bones and a high chance of bone fracture.
Gelatin And Stearic Acid
These are by-products coming from different parts of animals, such as bone, cartilage, ligaments and skin. They are high in harmful substances such as antibiotics, growth hormones and pesticides.
Sugar causes tooth decay and makes the problems worse instead of coping with your dog’s dental problems.
Artificial sweeteners such as Xylitol and HSH contain toxic substances that can cause liver damage and even death.
Many products contain alcohol in high percentages. To make the matters worse, this is not always listed as an ingredient, so just reading the label won’t do the trick.
To make sure the product is alcohol free, do the smell check. Alcohol will kill all the bacteria, including the good ones in your dog’s stomach and can cause dryness, irritation and pain in your dog’s gums.
Grapefruit Seed Extract
Although this ingredient sounds natural, be careful, because it commonly contains a substance called Methylparaben. This chemical compound mimics estrogen and is linked to allergies and cancer. The safety of the grapefruit seed extract depends on its purity – so, unless you are 100 % sure of the manufacturer, try avoiding products with this ingredient.
Ingredients used for removing stains and whitening teeth, such as Sodium Hexametaphosphate, are considered to be safe in small dosages. However, as your dog will always swallow the toothpaste, there is justified concern that it will have an adverse effect on its health.
Instead, choose products with more natural ingredients serving the same purpose, such as pure baking soda – without aluminum in it.
When it comes to your dog’s health, dental hygiene should not be neglected under any circumstances. Brushing your dog’s teeth is just as important as grooming its fur and clipping its nails. Dental problems hurt your pet and are not so easily spotted, as he or she may continue to eat just fine, while suffering from tooth decay and abscesses.
Teeth provide a direct way for bacteria to get into the bloodstream and reach the internal organs, such as heart, liver and kidneys. This causes irreversible damage and shortens the lifespan of your pet.
As an owner, you are responsible for your dog’s wellbeing. You must provide your pet with the best dental care possible, as you would for any other member of your family. Additionally, remember that your dog should have its teeth cleaned by a professional at least once a year. Then, continue with your teeth brushing routine at home, at least once a week, preferably more often.
If you have any questions regarding your dog’s dental health, please feel free to write in the comment section below.