By: Randa Kriss, AKC
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As humans, we brush our teeth thoroughly every day, but many of us don’t do the same for our dogs. Periodontal disease is the most common clinical condition in adult dogs according to the AKC Canine Health Foundation. To prevent illness and keep your dog healthy, it’s important to clean your pup’s teeth. Although many dogs may not like it initially, finding the right dog toothpaste, introducing it slowly, and brushing consistently, can help with the process.
To help owners improve their dogs’ oral health, we’ve compiled a list of 10 dog toothpaste options in a range of flavors and consistencies — we’re sure you’ll be able to find something that your dog will like.
What You Need to Know About Dog Toothpaste
Before we discuss our 10 dog toothpaste products, it’s essential to cover some basics about periodontal disease and dog toothpaste. First, periodontal disease is a disease of the teeth and gums caused by plaque and gingivitis. Food particles and bacteria accumulate along your dog’s gum line and form plaque. Not only can periodontal disease affect your dog’s mouth, but it also can carry bacteria into the bloodstream. It can make it difficult for your dog to eat, as well as affect organs filtering and pumping blood.
Brushing your dog’s teeth, therefore, is one of the best things you can do to prevent periodontal disease. Typically you can clean your dog’s teeth with a toothbrush designed for dogs, and of course, dog toothpaste. Most types of dog toothpaste contain scrubbing ingredients that help wash away stains and plaque. A specific kind of dog toothpaste called enzymatic toothpaste contains enzymes that help reduce bacteria, which can lessen tartar buildup and improve bad breath.
The most important thing to remember about brushing your dog’s teeth is don’t use human toothpaste on your dog. The reason? The majority of human toothpaste has Xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is toxic to dogs. Xylitol can cause blood sugar drops in dogs, as well as potential liver damage. To keep your dog safe and to improve your pup’s oral health, then, you’ll want to consider some of the following toothpaste options.
Dog Toothpaste with the Most Flavors
If your dog is picky with flavors or tastes, this is the brand for you. This Virbac toothpaste is great for safely and effectively brushing dogs teeth and comes in five different flavors. This toothpaste contains the C.E.T. dual enzyme system and is formulated for both dogs and cats to provide natural antibacterial action, remove plaque, and prevent tartar formation. Additionally, this toothpaste helps eliminate mouth odors and contains no foaming agents — meaning it is safe for pets to swallow. The 3.2-ounce tube is manufactured in the USA and comes in the following flavors: Poultry, malt, beef, seafood, and vanilla-mint.
Verified reviews rave about the effect this toothpaste has had not only on their dogs’ teeth but also on their attitude toward brushing. Reviewers say that the toothpaste makes their dogs’ teeth notably whiter and cleaner. Moreover, reviewers report that dogs who previously didn’t like having their teeth brushed because of the taste, didn’t mind this toothpaste. Some customers, however, also report that this toothpaste can “go bad” quickly, so it’s essential to use it consistently once you buy it. Price: $14.
Best Organic Dog Toothpaste Kit
If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution, you’ll want to check out this Dental Solutions Kit, which includes dog toothpaste and a toothbrush. The toothpaste in the kit is USDA certified organic and made in the USA. It’s also free from chemicals, dyes, preservatives, and artificial additives. This dog toothpaste will safely freshen your dog’s breath, remove tartar, and fight plaque. The toothpaste comes in a gel form in a 0.8-ounce tube. The kit also includes an easy-to-hold toothbrush with bristles so that you can gently clean your dog’s teeth and massage your pup’s gums.
This organic dog dental kit is Amazon’s top choice for organic toothpaste for dogs. Additionally, customer reviews say this dog toothpaste is effective, easy to use, and smells great. Users share the toothbrush is easy to hold, and their dogs tolerated the brushing much better than on other occasions. The only complaint that users seem to have is that the toothpaste tube is small. Price: $16.99.
Veterinary Oral Health Council Approved Dog Toothpaste
If you want to keep your dog’s teeth cleaned but are concerned about the brushing process, you’ll want to take a look at this toothpaste. The Veterinary Oral Health Council approves Petsmile Professional Dog Toothpaste. The toothpaste contains an ingredient called Calprox, which is proven to safely prevent plaque, fight bacteria, and improve bad breath. This dog toothpaste is meant to be used two to three times per week and requires no toothbrush. Owners can simply use the finger applicator to rub the paste on their dog’s teeth.
The Petsmile toothpaste contains safe ingredients and is free of fluoride, parabens, sulfates, and other ingredients that could be harmful to dogs. The toothpaste comes in a 4.5-ounce tube and is “London broil” flavored to appeal to dogs. Customers who have reviewed this product say it’s easy to use and works well. Reviewers also say their dogs seem to like the taste and are less resistant to brushing with this paste. Some reviewers also feel, however, that this toothpaste is expensive compared to other products on the market.
Additionally, a few reviewers mention that the ingredients can separate when stored in the tube, so it’s helpful to shake it before use. Price: $25
Our Favorite All-Natural Dog Toothpaste
Not only does this dog toothpaste prevent tartar buildup and promote healthy gums, but it also is all-natural. The formula is safe for dogs to swallow. The toothpaste can be used on dogs and puppies and comes in two flavors: Vanilla and tea tree oil, and cucumber mint. You can buy the 2.5-ounce tube in one or two-pack. Customer reviews say that this kissable dog toothpaste is effective, their dogs like it, and it smells great. You might want to keep in mind, however, that other reviewers say specifically that their dogs do not like the flavor — meaning it may come down to your individual dog’s preferences. Price: $11
Best Toothpaste for Dogs or Cats
Multispecies households — this is the dog toothpaste for you. This enzymatic toothpaste from Vetoquinal is not only great for dogs but cats as well. The toothpaste contains a triple enzyme formula created to remove food particles and plaque from your dog’s teeth. This dog toothpaste also helps eliminate bacteria and improve bad breath. The product is non-foaming and safe to swallow. The toothpaste is poultry-flavored, designed specifically for dogs and cats to like the taste. The tube is 3.2-ounces and can be used with a finger brush or regular toothbrush.
The Vetoquinol Enzadent Enzymatic Toothpaste has been named Amazon’s choice for pet toothpaste and boasts an incredible 4.8 out of five stars for average reviews. Verified reviewers who own dogs and cats alike say this toothpaste works well. Many reviewers say their picky dog or pet who didn’t like teeth brushing love this toothpaste. Reviewers also feel that the tube is a decent size. There aren’t many real critiques of this dog toothpaste, a few reviewers who think it’s “just OK.” Price: $10
Dog Toothpaste with the Best Value
With a sizable 6.2-ounce tube, it’s hard to find a better value than this dog toothpaste from Petrodex. This Petrodex Enzymatic toothpaste is made with patented enzymes, is non-foaming, and does not require rinsing. The toothpaste is designed to reduce plaque and tartar, as well as fight bad breath. This dog toothpaste is poultry-flavored and is recommended to be used two to three times per week with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Verified reviewers like how effective this toothpaste is at removing plaque and preventing tartar buildup, with many dog owners posting pictures to demonstrate. Many reviewers also write that their dogs love the taste. The most constant complaint owners have about this toothpaste, however, is that it smells. You might have to consider the trade-off, therefore of the smell versus the value and effectiveness of this dog toothpaste. Price: $10 for 6.2-ounce tube
Easiest Dog Toothpaste to Use
If brushing your dog’s teeth is a huge hassle, this is the toothpaste for you. All you have to do is apply two drops of this gel to each side of your dog’s mouth daily, and the toothpaste itself does the rest. The toothpaste works to help reduce plaque, tartar, and soothe irritated gums. This Topiclean toothpaste is made with green tea and natural ingredients all sourced in the states. It is also safe for both dogs and cats. You can buy this toothpaste in a single pack, with a 4-ounce tube, or in a pack of two.
Verified reviews of this particular toothpaste are more mixed than others. However, reviewers who liked this product say that it works exceptionally well for plaque and tartar buildup and is easy to use with dog’s who don’t like having their teeth brushed. Some reviewers, on the other hand, say their dogs did not like the taste and others state it caused stomach upset. If you have concerns about any dog toothpaste, consult your veterinarian before buying. Price: $12
Our Favorite Peanut-Flavored Dog Toothpaste
For an out-of-the-box flavor and one your dog might enjoy, you might consider this Nylabone peanut-flavored dog toothpaste. This natural peanut-flavored toothpaste similarly encourages your dog to tolerate teeth brushing. The toothpaste is made with Denta-C, a blend of ingredients created to reduce plaque and tartar buildup. This Nylabone dog toothpaste comes in a 2.5-ounce tube.
Similarly to other dog toothpaste, some verified reviewers say their dogs love the peanut taste, while others don’t like it. Reviewers generally feel, however, that the toothpaste is effective, making teeth cleaner and whiter. Price: $3.00
Best Toothpaste for Dogs and Puppies
For a toothpaste for dogs and puppies, this Arm & Hammer Enzymatic toothpaste is safe and gentle. The toothpaste contains baking soda, which cleans and deodorizes while the included-enzymes fight tartar. With other natural ingredients, this toothpaste also eliminates bad breath and brightens teeth, as well as soothe sensitive and inflamed gums. The Arm & Hammer toothpaste comes in a 2.5-ounce tube and is chicken flavored (with a fresh mint scent). Customer reviews say this toothpaste works well — even for those who said their dog didn’t particularly like the taste. Some reviewers, on the other hand, say their dogs’ like the taste and helps prevent expensive veterinarian cleanings. Price: $7
Our Favorite Dog Toothpaste Made in the USA
Made in the USA, Vet’s Best Gel Toothpaste is formulated by veterinarians with natural ingredients. These ingredients, including neem oil, grapefruit seed, and aloe, help keep your dog’s breath fresh and teeth healthy. The toothpaste formula also has both antibacterial and antifungal qualities. You can use this toothpaste gel to brush your dog’s teeth with a toothbrush or with your finger. Vet’s Best dog toothpaste comes in a 3.5-ounce tube. Customer reviews of this toothpaste say that it has improved their dogs’ breath, reduced plaque, and is a good value. Price: $9