In a rush and just want my recommendation? I think the Vet’s Best Enzymatic Toothpaste is a great choice.
Bad breath is not to be taken lightly. Dogs get bad breath for the same reason that humans do. It comes from bacterial build-up in their mouths.
As your dog’s caregiver, it is essential that you take steps to ensure they stay in good health. This means brushing their teeth on a regular basis.
To do this properly, you need a good dog toothpaste. The best toothpaste will be safe for your hound, and provide an effective cleaning agent that will remove plaque and tartar. This will help keep their breath fresh, gums healthy, and teeth clean.
In this article, I’m reviewing the following dog toothpastes.
- Vet’s Best Enzymatic Toothpaste
- Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste
- Petrodex Enzymatic Toothpaste
- Arm & Hammer Fresh Breath Enzymatic Toothpaste
- Posh Wag Pet Toothpaste
Do I Need to Brush My Dog’s Teeth?
Many pet parents wonder if they have to brush their dog’s teeth. After all, much of the chewing a dog does on treats or bones helps to scrape off the tartar, so they kind of take care of their own dental health, right?
The reality is that your dog cannot completely take care of tartar and plaque through chewing alone. Chewing can handle loose food and mild tartar, and your dog’s tongue does a good job of cleaning the insides of its teeth, but the outside needs some extra attention.
Here is where you need to provide proper brushing. According to VCA Hospitals, not brushing your pup’s teeth can lead to gum disease, inflammation, and infection. Your dog could lose teeth and suffer pain from infected gums without the right dental care. Some heart conditions have been attributed to poor mouth hygiene.
So, the short answer here is that you must brush your dog’s teeth to ensure good dental health and avoid issues that could cause pain and other health problems.
Do I Need to Use a Toothpaste Made for Dogs?
Human toothpaste is not safe for your hound. Human products typically contain ingredients that are not safe for dogs or in proportions that are not safe for dogs. For example, xylitol, a common toothpaste ingredient, is toxic to dogs.
Your toothpaste contains a warning that tells you not to swallow it due to harmful substances in the product that could make you sick. You can’t really stop your dog from ingesting it, so that also makes it unsuitable for use in dogs.
Homemade options are also typically not healthy. Baking soda is most often used in a homemade option, and while baking soda is not harmful to your pet, if your pet ingests too much of it, it can lead to stomach issues.
Most often, using a human toothpaste will lead to stomach upset and digestive issues. It won’t usually cause serious injury unless you continue to use it. The safest option, though, is always to use a toothpaste made specifically for dogs.
The good news is that dog toothpaste comes in flavors that are palatable to your dog. Human toothpaste is unpleasant for a hound.
How Do I Brush my Dog’s Teeth?
The AKC explains that you need to brush your dog’s teeth at least three times a week. You need to make it part of your dog’s regular ritual, just as you would nail trims.
Keep things positive when you are doing it. You want to get your pup used to doing it gradually, so you may start without using toothpaste and just rubbing your finger along his teeth, and then you can work up to use the toothpaste and a brush or finger brush.
To begin, you want to hold your dog’s head gently, yet firmly, and pull the mouth open to show the teeth. You only need to focus on the outside of the teeth as they are the most vulnerable to plaque and decay. If your dog is comfortable with the process, then you can go over the insides as well.
Put a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on a toothbrush or your finger. Then, firmly rub your dog’s teeth using a motion similar to what you use when brushing your teeth.
5 Best Dog Toothpaste Options
Many companies make toothpaste for dogs, so it can be tough to know what to buy. To make it easier for you, here are five options that I think represent the best dog toothpaste products on the market.
Vet’s Best Enzymatic Toothpaste is a veterinarian-created formula made specifically for dogs. It is a gel formula that will not foam, which makes it easier to keep your pet from swallowing it, but do not worry if it does swallow some as it is perfectly safe.
The toothpaste handles tartar and plaque. It will protect your pup’s teeth, slowing down tartar in the future. It soothes inflamed gums, and it whitens teeth. You can expect fresh breath after each use as well.
The standout feature of this toothpaste is it contains only natural ingredients: grapefruit seed extract, natural flavors, neem oil, enzymes, aloe, and baking soda. Plus, it is made in the USA. It comes in a grape flavor.
- Natural ingredients
- Created by veterinarians
- Some concerns over the use of neem oil, which may have adverse effects on some dogs
- Accompanying toothbrush is too bulky
The gel toothpaste from Virbac C.E.T. removes plaque easily. It helps stop tartar build-up and keeps your dog’s teeth white. The brand is a top recommended brand by veterinarians.
The toothpaste formula uses dual enzymes to increase the abrasiveness, which makes it ideal for pups with a lot of build up. It also uses natural antibacterial action to keep your dog’s teeth clean. It comes in five flavors, including beef, chicken, and vanilla mint.
- Recommended by veterinarians
- Dual enzyme formula
- Some flavors smell bad
- Very short shelf life
The dog toothpaste from Petrodex comes in a poultry flavor dogs love. It is a non-foaming formula that requires no rinsing. It’s tough on reducing tartar and removing plaque, working to quickly remove even tough build-up. The toothpaste will also fight bad breath.
It does contain sorbitol, which can cause loose stools in some dogs. You should watch for reactions and try to prevent your pup from swallowing too much of the toothpaste.
- Works well on heavy plaque build-up
- Pleasing flavor
- Does not contain enzymes as the label says
Arm & Hammer is a well-known and recognized brand name. Known for baking soda, the brand has put its most famous ingredient to use in a toothpaste made for dogs. The careful balance of ingredients ensures this product will not upset your dog’s stomach. It is even safe for use on puppies.
The vanilla ginger flavor is a huge hit with dogs and pet parents. It doesn’t have an off-putting smell like many dog toothpastes. Plus, it freshens breath while killing bacteria and removing plaque.
This toothpaste uses natural ingredients and is a leading pet dental brand. It controls tartar and soothes gums.
- Well-known brand name
- Unique flavor
- Does contain sorbitol
- Has a not safe for humans warning
Ortz Pet Toothpaste freshens breath with a chicken flavor that dogs really enjoy. It comes with two types of brushes that both work well and make it easy to care for your dog’s teeth.
The toothpaste helps to prevent gum disease and controls bacteria. It freshens breath as well. You should note it is made in China.
- Dogs enjoy the flavor
- Includes brushes
- Has a bad smell
- Small size tube
I’ve made it simple by providing you with five of the best dog toothpaste options. All of them are excellent options, but my favorite is the Vet’s Best Enzymatic Toothpaste.
This veterinarian developed paste contains only natural ingredients. Any concern over the inclusion of neem oil is unfounded since it is only in tiny proportions, moreover, neem is not listed as being toxic to dogs.
However, the choice is yours at the end of the day, and I am sure you will be pleased with any of the selections from the list. Your hound will be happy too, with clean teeth, healthy gums, and fresh breath.
Be sure to head over to reviews of the best dog toothbrushes, so you can pair up with your favorite toothpaste.