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January 03, 2022

Best Toothpaste for Dogs in 2022 - Improve Dental Health & Hygiene

Pets Dental

Content sponsored by Limited - Green Living Sponsorship Badge

Limited - Green Living - Dog Toothpaste Green Living/for PhillyVoice

Dogs don’t smile the way humans do, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be checking on your dog’s teeth on a regular basis. You might think that toothpaste for dogs is just some kind of marketing ploy, but the reality is dogs need to keep up with their dental hygiene the same way humans do. Since we’ve domesticated dogs, we take on the responsibility of caring for their health, including their dental health.

Now, we know some dogs will just kind of let you dig into their mouth with a toothbrush and use a pet toothpaste, but most dogs will wonder what in the world you’re doing! Especially if you’re starting a dental hygiene routine with a dog that’s older, it may take a few tries to really get him engaged with the process. To help you understand how we put this list together, we let you know what we looked for with each brand and we itemize the pros and cons of each product. Since we know you have questions, you can scroll down to the bottom of this article to find the answers most dog owners have right off the bat!

5 Best Dog Toothpaste Options

  1. Vets Preferred – Editor’s Choice
  2. Virbac – Runner Up
  3. Sentry – Honorable Mention
  4. Vetoquinol – Customer Favorite
  5. Vet’s Best – Growing Reputation

How Did We Select Our Top 5 Dog Toothpastes?

When putting this list together of best dog toothpaste products, we wanted to make sure that we identified what makes these dog toothpastes worth buying. In our quest to provide an unbiased set of recommendations, below we list some of the factors that helped us decide on the order of this list.

• Affordability
Many pet owners don’t consider pet toothpaste as part of their pup’s regular care. However, when you see that dog toothpaste is an extremely affordable product, you see how easily you can incorporate it into your dog’s overall care routine to promote healthy gums and keep your dog’s breath fresh.

• Customer Feedback
Anecdotal evidence that an enzymatic toothpaste is working wonders is something that puts a smile on our faces. Knowing that a dog toothpaste is doing its job and really cleaning your pet’s teeth means the product is worth investing in.

• Company Reputation
Company reputation is another important factor. When a supplier has a reputation of providing high-quality products, it’s obvious by the kind of feedback they get. We always encourage you to only purchase products from reputable sellers.

• Variety
Each product in the list below has its unique selling point. Sometimes it’s a unique flavor, sometimes it is a triple enzyme system, and sometimes a toothpaste is formulated specifically for dogs of a certain life stage. We value variety when shopping but not overwhelming selection. We kept this list short and pointed for your convenience.

Top 5 Dog Toothpaste Options Reviewed

1. Vets Preferred – Editor’s Choice

Limited - Green Living - Vets Preferred

Pros:

• Save an extra 20% with Amazon coupon
• Tastes like a treat
• 100% money back guarantee
• Veterinarian grade dental care

Cons:

 Toothbrush sold separately

Product Highlights
This enzymatic dog toothpaste by Vets Preferred has a delicious peanut butter flavor that will have your dog pleasantly confused, thinking that you’re just giving him a tasty treat. It comes in a three ounce tube and is specifically formulated to introduce teeth brushing to your dog. You start by letting him taste a small amount of the toothpaste on the tip of your finger. Once he realizes it’s delicious, you can gently rub the toothpaste on his teeth and gums.

Your dog will lap it up! Step two is to add a small amount of the toothpaste to a toothbrush that you purchase separately and allow your dog to taste the toothpaste on the toothbrush. Finally, move forward with step three: expose your pet’s teeth and gums and gently start the brushing process. With the tasty flavor and plenty of encouragement, you and your dog will be able to develop a tooth brushing routine in no time.

Key Benefits
This is a gentle enzymatic toothpaste that’s perfect for dogs that have sensitive stomachs and kidney problems because you can get a gentle and effective clean without upsetting their insides or their tooth enamel. This dog toothpaste also cleans teeth and gums. It reaches those hard to access dental spaces and reduces plaque and tartar buildup. It also aids with reducing discoloration. Dogs are prone to developing gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis, but when you use this dog toothpaste, it soothes and strengthens your dog’s gums.

Of course, you love a good cuddle with your favorite canine but sometimes the bad breath is too much. This toothpaste contains ingredients with antibacterial benefits, which means that with regular brushing, your dog’s breath will smell refreshed, and you won’t need to lean away when he comes in for a sloppy kiss. Finally, when you use this advanced enzymatic toothpaste, you improve your dog’s overall quality of life. Buildup of oral bacteria can lead to more than just bad breath. It can affect your dog’s heart, his liver, and his kidneys. By prioritizing oral care for your dog with this toothpaste, you’re also protecting his organs.

Customer Feedback
Customers comment on the sweet scent of the toothpaste, noting that it kind of smells like butterscotch. One verified buyer started using this dog toothpaste with her puppy and he took to it right away. She notes that the fact her puppy loves the taste of the toothpaste is what helps her get the brushing completed more easily. Another customer is both relieved and excited to have finally found a product that his dog loves. Usually very cautious when trying out new products, he gave this one a shot and loves it. His dog’s breath is fresh again!

Learn more about Vets Preferred Dog Toothpastes


2. Virbac – Runner Up

Limited - Green Living - VerbacGreen Living/for PhillyVoice

Pros:

 Poultry flavor pet toothpaste
• Autoship and save
• Removes plaque
• Freshens breath

Cons:

 Some customers noted the paste is slightly runny

Product Highlights
This enzymatic toothpaste by Virbac C.E.T. is part of a product line that is number #1 recommended by veterinary professionals. It has a poultry flavor and comes in a 2.5 ounce tube. You can choose to purchase one tube or buy it in a pack of two. It’s appropriate for breeds of all sizes in the adult life stage. This same company also sells toothbrushes you can pair with the dog toothpaste at once for your pup.

Key Benefits
This dog toothpaste is specially formulated to be safe and effective for your dog’s teeth and contains the C.E.T. dual enzyme system that inhibits the formation of plaque. It makes brushing easy and tasty for your dog. There are no foaming agents in this dog toothpaste and if your pup swallows it - no problem! It’s intended to be swallowed. You can use this dog toothpaste daily and it has a great flavor that pets really take to. It can be used for both dogs and cats, so if you have a multi pet household, you just need one product to take care of your dogs and cats.

Customer Feedback
Pet owners can’t help but rave about the results after using this dog toothpaste. One dog mom tried other dog toothpastes and it became such a struggle that she would just give up trying. However, after she tried this dog toothpaste, she realized her dog loves it. She likes that the toothpaste is poultry flavored, but it doesn’t make her dog’s breath smell like poultry. Simply, her pup’s breath doesn’t smell bad anymore - she describes it as “neutral”. She also noticed that before trying this toothpaste, her pup’s canines had gotten brown. After a couple of weeks, she took her dog back to the vet and her vet was surprised at the progress she had made - her teeth were noticeably whiter. This dog mom is happy she turned to this product because her dog’s teeth and breath have improved drastically.

Learn more about Virbac Dog Toothpaste


3. Sentry – Honorable Mention

Limited - Green Living - SentryGreen Living/for PhillyVoice

Pros:

 Available in two sizes
• Poultry flavor
• Veterinary strength cleaning power
• For all breed sizes

Cons:

 Some customers don’t like the smell, but they love how well it works

Product Highlights
This dog toothpaste is formulated with veterinary strength. This is the original formula by Sentry and it comes in a 2.5 ounce tube or a 6.2 ounce tube. It’s poultry flavored to make it easy for your dog to enjoy. When you first introduce this dog toothpaste, apply a small amount onto your finger and just let your dog taste it. It’s suggested you next apply a small amount onto a Sentry advanced dental care toothbrush or use a finger toothbrush. After, you can gently pull your dog’s lips and cheeks up and begin brushing in short back-and-forth strokes at the gumline. During the first time, just brush a few teeth to get your dog acquainted. Later, you can work your way up giving lots of praise during the process.

Key Benefits
This veterinary strength and the enzymatic formulation provides your dog with an effective and powerful clean. It’s designed to control plaque and tartar with regular use, which promotes oral health for your pet. It also contains ingredients that freshen breath while cleaning your puppy's teeth. With regular use, you’re not only helping to prevent bad breath, but you also help prevent gum disease.

Customer Feedback
This dog toothpaste is rated 4.8 out of five stars. One customer shares that she first tried this toothpaste with her 1.5-year-old pit. Although her dog initially gave her a hard time when attempting to get his teeth brushed, he quickly learned that he liked the flavor of the toothpaste and came to like the nightly brushing process. She uses a finger brush, and her dog feels like he’s getting a treat right before bed.

Learn more about Sentry Dog Toothpaste


4. Vetoquinol – Customer Favorite

Limited - Green Living - VetoquinolGreen Living/for PhillyVoice

Pros:

 Save 50% on first autoship
• Removes plaque and plaque
• Poultry flavor
• Triple enzyme system

Cons:

 Best suited for adult dogs

Product Highlights
The enzymatic toothpaste by Vetoquinol has a poultry flavor and comes in a 3.2 ounce tube. It’s meant to be used with a pet toothbrush. Once you expose your dog’s teeth, simply brush along the gumline using a circular brushing motion. This is a paste that’s suitable for small breeds, medium breeds, and large breeds, so long as they are in their adult life stage. It won’t foam and it doesn’t need to be rinsed, so if your dog likes the taste and ends up swallowing it all, you can rest easy.

Key Benefits
This dog toothpaste has a triple enzyme system that’s effective in polishing and removing plaque and tartar from teeth easily. It can be used for both dogs and cats, which is great if you have a multi animal household. Dogs really love the poultry flavor. With this toothpaste, you can help prevent tooth and mouth illnesses by brushing regularly.

Customer Feedback
One verified shopper shares that her adopted dog had a tooth pulled by her vet and then he suggested this dog toothpaste. She started brushing her dog’s teeth after watching several YouTube videos on how to do it correctly and she has noticed that this toothpaste has made a massive difference in his dental health.

Learn more about Vetoquinol Toothpaste


5. Vet’s Best – Growing Reputation

Limited - Green Living - Vet's Best

Pros:

 Veterinarian formulated
• Controls plaque and tartar
• Freshens breath and whitens teeth
• Soothes gums

Cons:

 For best results, restrict water and food ½ hour before and after application

Product Highlights
Vet’s Best offers nature’s health care with this veterinarian formulated toothpaste made specially for dogs. It comes in a 3.5 ounce tube that stands upright and is made with neem oil and enzymes. It can be used with any toothbrush, finger brush, or you can just apply the toothpaste directly with your finger.

Key Benefits
This is a gel dog toothpaste that’s packaged in an easy to squeeze tube. It’s designed to fight tartar and plaque, whiten and brighten teeth, promote healthy gums, and freshen breath. It includes ingredients like aloe, grapefruit seed extract, and baking soda. This is a great go-to product to use in between professional cleanings.

Customer Feedback
Pet owners have been able to establish good brushing habits with their dogs with the use of this toothpaste. One dog dad has gotten his pup to love the toothpaste and he eagerly licks his fingers when he squeezes out a small amount. Knowing this, he’s slowly working in a toothbrush as part of the process. Another dog owner has made this a nightly routine; his dog enjoys it and lets him gently brush his teeth without a fuss.

Learn more about Vet’s Best Dog Toothpaste


Why Should You Brush Your Dog’s Teeth?

The first time you notice that your dog’s teeth may need some attention may be when you smell their bad breath. Contrary to popular belief, dogs aren’t supposed to have bad breath. Bad breath signals poor dental care and can even be cause for greater concern because well over 2/3rds of dogs past the age of three have already developed periodontal disease. Periodontal disease affects the gums that surround your dog’s teeth. This results in inflamed gums and infected gums if the condition has progressed.

When plaque and tartar is left unaddressed on teeth and gums, it eventually progresses into gingivitis. When gingivitis remains untreated, the infection continues deep into your dog’s tooth sockets. If you do not get treatment for your dog, he may begin losing his teeth as well.

Much like with humans, there are a whole host of other issues that can occur as a result of poor dental hygiene. Gum disease and tooth decay can be really painful for your dog and could also be incredibly costly for you to get treatment for. Getting your dog’s teeth brushed should be a regular occurrence that you use as a preventive measure to keep your dog’s teeth and gums in good health.

Aside from ensuring good oral hygiene, when you brush your pup’s teeth, you’re also protecting some of his most important organs. For example, the heart, the liver, and the kidneys are all extremely sensitive to oral bacteria. Neglect of your dog’s mouth can actually travel further into his body and create heart disease, liver disease, and kidney disease. It’s vital that you prioritize oral care for your dog to prevent systemic disease, which leads to suffering for your pup, suffering for you, and a long list of veterinarian bills that could otherwise be prevented.

How Often Should You Be Brushing Your Dog's Teeth?

Ideally, if you can brush your puppy's teeth on a daily basis, that’s the best way to keep them clean. However, we recognize that not all dogs will sit through the process without putting up a fight. Having a tasty toothpaste is helpful but dogs may not enjoy the actual brushing sensations, depending on their current gum health. If you are dealing with a pup that needs special care and attention, you should be aiming to brush as part of their daily routine. If you’re having a hard time keeping up with a daily routine, incorporate brushing at minimum three times per week. Three times per week will help remove plaque and will also help to prevent the accumulation of tartar.

Important Ingredients in Dog Toothpaste per the Veterinary Oral Health Council

The Veterinary Oral Health Council studies the effectiveness of different dental products and makes recommendations based on plaque and tartar removal claims. For dog toothpaste to actually be effective, it does require some kind of abrasive ingredient. This could show up on the ingredients list as baking soda or sodium chloride, which is basically salt. You’ll also notice that dog toothpaste is usually infused with some kind of flavor to make the brushing process more pleasant for your pup. Additionally, some toothpastes may also contain antimicrobial agents that make brushing even more effective. These agents help to bring down the bacteria population in your dog’s mouth and prevent the buildup of plaque.

Is It Safe?

Dog toothpastes are safe, so long as they are formulated appropriately. For example, your dog toothpaste should never foam. Foaming toothpastes are meant for humans and if you use a foaming toothpaste with your dog, you could cause choking or poisoning. Additionally, never swap out your dog toothpaste for human toothpaste. Toothpaste formulated for humans often contains fluoride and xylitol, and while fluoride is effective as an anti-cavity agent in humans, dogs are extremely sensitive to this ingredient, and it can lead to toxicity. Xylitol is a sweetener but it’s also highly toxic if a dog ingests it. So long as you’re using a dog toothpaste like the ones we have selected for you in this list, even if your dog swallows the small amount you use to brush his teeth, it’s not a problem. Some pet parents have tried using baking soda on top of dog toothpaste for a better clean but that’s not a good idea. Baking soda has a high alkaline content, which can upset your dog’s stomach if swallowed. Additionally, baking soda doesn’t have a pleasant taste and may deter your pup from willingly partaking in future brushing sessions.

FAQ

How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth?
If you’re just starting with a brushing routine with your dog, you should know that the most important thing you can do is create a pleasant experience from the start. This means lots of patience, lots of praise, and very gentle touches around his mouth while he gets acquainted with the feel of a toothbrush and the taste of the dog toothpaste. Your dog will be looking at you for reassurance, so be sure to let him know that everything’s okay, that this is good for him, and that you enjoy it as much as you want him to.

Start by going to a spot in the house where you won’t be interrupted. A quiet place helps you and your dog bond over the experience and helps him feel more safe and secure. For smaller dogs, you can sit them on your lap facing away from you or if you have a larger dog, you can sit on a chair just above him and have your dog sit beside you where you can access his mouth.

You can use your finger, a toothbrush, or a finger brush to start. You can even use a piece of cloth or gauze wrapped around your finger to go over the outer surfaces of his teeth. For the first few tries, you don’t need to do a thorough cleaning. It’s just about getting your dog acquainted with the process, so that you can set up healthy habits together. Make sure that when you are actually touching your puppy's teeth, you stay on the outer surfaces to avoid injury through accidental biting - especially if you’re just using your fingers.

After a couple of tries, your dog will know what to expect and he’ll be less nervous. When you notice that your dog is feeling more comfortable with the process, you can move along more of his teeth to provide a more thorough cleaning. You may need to stick with fingers at first and incorporate a brush later; it all depends on how your dog reacts. The gentler and patient you are during the first couple of tries, the easier future brushing sessions will be.

What Type of Toothbrush to Use?
You’ll notice there are several different toothbrushes available on the market that are designed specifically for use with dogs. Sometimes these brushes have angled handles while others might have multiple heads that allow you to tackle the outer surfaces and the inner surfaces of his teeth at the same time. There are also smaller brushes that fit easily into the palm of your hand and even finger toothbrushes that are designed to cover your finger while you brush.

Ultimately, toothbrushes are selected based on preference. You can try different designs to see what might work best for you but it’s the combination of your dog’s size, his temperament, your comfort, and your preference that’ll help you make the right decision. If you’re not sure which brush to select, talk to your veterinarian to see what they suggest.

Can You Use the Same Toothpaste and Toothbrush for Multiple Dogs?
You can definitely share the same toothpaste tube with other members of your canine family but do not use the same toothbrush for all dogs. Each dog should have his own designated toothbrush, and each should be thoroughly rinsed after brushing your dog’s teeth. You should also replace your dogs’ toothbrushes every three months.

Another important tip for maintaining cleanliness is to use gloves whenever possible or make sure you use plenty of soap and water when washing your hands after touching your dog’s mouth. The inside of your pup’s mouth contains a lot of bacteria which can be transferred to other members of your household or other surfaces if you’re not cleaning thoroughly after each brushing session.

Conclusion
Whatever you do, don’t reach for your human toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth. This is because human toothpaste contains an ingredient called xylitol, which is an artificial sweetener that could be extremely harmful for your pup. In fact, most pet parents don’t know what ingredients to look for in a good toothpaste for their dogs. And still, even well-intentioned and extremely careful dog parents don’t even brush their pup’s teeth. To help you understand why brushing with dog toothpaste is an essential part of their care routine, we’ve selected five of the best dog toothpaste options to select from. If you’re starting off with a puppy, even better. You’ll be able to establish good habits early on that will prevent periodontal disease, as seen in most dogs. A good dog toothpaste doesn’t just have all the essential ingredients that help clear your puppy's teeth from plaque and prevent gingivitis, but they also have an enticing flavor that makes your dog think that maybe he’s having a treat during his treatment.

The best dog toothpaste is the one your pet loves and that delivers results. Although brushing your dog’s teeth can be a challenge at first, his dental health is worth it. Just like with humans, daily actions to preserve health pay out in the long run. Your dog’s oral health has a direct effect on some of his critical organs and when you look at it that way, brushing becomes an act of love. Now, you have plenty of great options to choose from and a new bonding routine to set up with your favorite pup!

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