Looking for the best dog toothpaste for your best friend? Cleaning your dog’s teeth is a tricky but important part of dog ownership. According to a study by Vetstreet.com, 85% of all pets have periodontal disease by the time they reach 3 years of age!
At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Dog Toothpastes:
- Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste (Poultry Flavor) – Our Top Pick
- Petrodex Enzymatic Toothpaste Dog Poultry Flavor
- Paws & Pals 14 oz. Pet Dog Enzymatic Toothpaste Dental Care Kit
- Ark Naturals Breath-less Brushless Toothpaste
- Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste
As dog owners, many of us take our canine’s teeth for granted.
Relatively few owners brush their dog’s teeth or inspect their pet’s mouth regularly, and this neglect of consistent dog dental care often leads to cavities, gum disease, and other health problems.
Additionally, cavities and broken teeth can also be extremely painful, causing your dog to refuse food or become depressed.
Therefore, ensuring your canine’s teeth are fresh, clean, and most importantly healthy, is not something you can afford to overlook as a responsible owner. The first step you’ll need to take in your quest to keep your dog’s teeth clean is to pick out the best dog toothpaste.
In this article, we’ll discuss what to look for in a healthy toothpaste for dogs and conclude with 5 of the best dog toothpaste brands for clean and healthy canine teeth.
What To Look For in the Best Toothpaste For Dogs
Similar to regular human toothpaste, there are some important things you want to look for when selecting a dog toothpaste for your canine.
The main concern is looking for dog toothpaste ingredients that will avoid the buildup of plaque, which happens when bacteria build up on the teeth, turning from a soft film into hardened material if not regularly cleaned away. Over time, this can lead to tooth decay as well as problems with the gums such as gingivitis.
The most popular types of dog toothpaste must also be formulated for animal consumption only. Tempting as it may be to simply reach for the Colgate as you do yourself, your dog requires tailored ingredients that will target their individual issues without doing any harm in the process.
Then there is tackling the breath issue. Your dog most likely eats and licks pretty much everything in sight, so it’s no wonder halitosis is quite the issue among our canine friends. Dog toothpaste is also formulated with flavors and textures your dog is more likely to appreciate, not to mention they must also be non-harmful if they swallow some, which let’s face it, is inevitable with a dog.
The dog toothpaste you select should have breath control as one of the features as inevitably if the breath is not made fresher, you are more likely to discontinue the use of the product or have to try another brand instead, which is added expense on your part.
Best Dog Toothpaste Reviews
Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste (Poultry Flavor)
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Petrodex Enzymatic Toothpaste Dog Poultry Flavor
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Paws & Pals 14 oz. Pet Dog Enzymatic Toothpaste Dental Care Kit
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Ark Naturals Breath-less Brushless Toothpaste
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Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste
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This Virbac dog toothpaste is recommended and indeed used by vets; therefore, it has a clinical appearance from the look of the box as opposed to a more consumer-based appeal.
This particular toothpaste has also been used by owners who have faced hefty teeth cleaning bills at their vets, and who wish not to repeat this costly experience without scarifying the dental health of their dog.
This dog toothpaste is so effective that even placing it around the dog’s individual teeth can make a huge difference due to the formula which uses enzymes to break down the bacteria, as opposed to the physical scrubbing motion.
Being poultry flavored it’s sure to be a winner with your pooch, and this particular toothpaste can also be used by cats too.
Though don’t be alarmed at the flavoring as this product will actually help neutralize odors caused by bad breath ensuring your dog’s breath is fresh and clean.
While it’s difficult to find any downsides with this product, it doesn’t mention if it’s suitable for improving gum health or indeed treating gum issues.
However, you could also argue that by using a veterinary-recommended dog toothpaste, it will drastically help to avoid gum issues from occurring in the first place.
- Poultry flavor
- CET formulated which provides natural antibacterial protection
- No foaming agents make it safe to swallow
- Can be simply smeared around the dog’s teeth and still makes a difference
- Suitable for use on cats
- May require the purchase of an additional brush to use
- No mention of treating existing gum problems
A product recommended by a vet is a one to give serious attention to, so if you choose this Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste, then take comfort that your vet would approve.
While it doesn’t mention the treatment of existing gum problems as one of its benefits, this product does contain a powerful enzymatic formula that will help irradiate plaque buildup, even if you struggle to reach all the teeth with the brush. Therefore, by getting this issue under control, it will help prevent gum issues from occurring in the first place.
There have been many owners who have used this poultry flavored toothpaste after facing expensive teeth cleaning bills, and have found with regular use they have not had to go through that experience again. This product has been more than sufficient to keep their dog’s mouth healthy and free from disease.
Finally, being suitable for cats is a huge plus given the expense of taking care of our animals. Therefore, if used effectively it could greatly reduce your vet bills and keep both pets happy and healthy.
The Petrodex enzymatic poultry flavor toothpaste is one of the highest-rated kinds of toothpaste for dogs based on customer reviews, with a high percentage of customers giving this product a favorable rating.
Similar to the Virbac, this dog toothpaste also has an enzymatic formula, meaning it’s the composition of the toothpaste itself rather than physical scrubbing which is the most effective part of the product.
If you are looking to avoid expensive veterinary teeth cleaning bills, then this dog toothpaste will certainly help. A great tip is to introduce brief scraping of the teeth into their nightly routine after brushing your dog so they are relaxed.
By doing it in brief stages, you will ensure your dog does not dislike the experience and it is a good way to ensure overall dental hygiene. Because of the enzymatic formula, even rubbing this toothpaste onto each tooth will be of great benefit to the fight against tartar and plaque buildup.
The formula is poultry flavored, which is something your dog will appreciate as not only does it taste great, it won’t make them sick if they swallow some, due to the fact it is also non-foaming.
This is one of the main differences between human and animal toothpaste, as typically humans do not swallow foaming toothpastes as we can read the label to see not to. However, with a dog, you must ensure you are using a formula that will not harm them if they do swallow it.
- Enzymatic formulation
- Poultry flavor
- Fights bad breath
- Non-foaming so safe for dogs to ingest
- Available to buy in bulk to spread the cost
- Ink on packaging prone to rubbing off on the owner’s hands, so be careful!
Petrodex Enzymatic Toothpaste is an effective toothpaste for your dog’s dental needs and one which tastes great too, although you may also need to purchase additional tools such as brushes or scrapers if your dog has a more ongoing problem. It doesn’t contain any foaming ingredients so you know it’s safe to use even if your dog swallows some.
You might want to also give them a little to try first so they associate the taste with something positive rather than something they will hate having done.
Value-wise, being able to purchase in bulk means even if you are on a budget you don’t have to scrimp on taking care of your dog, so you can cut down the cost of what can be a very expensive experience.
Paws & Pals have got everything covered to set you up for a great doggy dental routine. In this twin pack, you’ll also receive a double-ended toothbrush, with different sized heads to reach the more difficult spots; it has a rubberized brush for more sensitive areas.
Both of these tools will greatly enhance the results of the product, and will also help to dislodge bacteria and plaque on the teeth before it becomes anything more serious to your dog’s health.
The dog toothpaste itself, once again, contains an enzymatic formula and, in conjunction with the supplied brushes, will give added protection against buildup, meaning if used effectively and regularly, it will cut down the need for professional, not to mention expensive teeth cleaning performed by your vet.
Onto its flavor—this beef-flavored dog toothpaste is something your dog is sure to enjoy especially if something so vital for their health and well-being actually tastes like a treat! Surprisingly there were also a few canine testers who did not appreciate the taste, though overall the taste was a big hit with dogs.
The packaging of these products also is very appealing and definitely looks like a dog toothpaste and not a regular human toothpaste. While this might seem like a nonentity, you could argue the other two dog toothpastes look no different from a human toothpaste on the face of it.
Every aspect of Paws & Pals has been thought out to want to make owners use it; therefore, the dog is more likely to benefit too.
- Beef flavored
- Toothbrush included
- Enzymatic formula
- Fights plaque and bad breath
- Can be used on both cats and dogs
- 2 packs are excellent value for the money and ideal if you own more than one dog
- Clear instructions on how to use on the back
- Beef flavor surprising not a hit with all dogs who’ve tried it
Paws & Pals Pet Wash Toothpaste would be an excellent starter kit for anyone new to brushing dog teeth, especially if your dog is still a puppy and you are looking to introduce the practice at a young age so they become used to it.
However, at any age, this toothpaste and the accompanying tools will give you everything you need to not only clean your dog’s teeth but also help dislodge any forming plaque or troublesome spots.
The formula and taste are a hit with the majority of dog testers, and the whole brand aesthetic is appealing to owners. On the whole, Paws & Pals have delivered a well thought out product which most importantly works well to protect your dog’s teeth and also freshen their breath.
Ark Naturals Brushless Toothpaste is a great option for busy owners, as it eliminates the need for brushing your dog’s teeth. Instead, you can simply give your pet one of these great-tasting chews and let him go to town.
Ark Naturals Chewables feature abrasive ridges on the outside, which help to scrape plaque and food residue from your dog’s teeth, while the inside of the chews contains a patented dog toothpaste, which will help eliminate tartar buildup and bacterial growth.
These chews also feature cinnamon, vanilla, and clove, which will help improve your dog’s breath.
- Veterinarian recommended for large breeds
- Made in the USA
- Contains no corn, soy, wheat, artificial colors or artificial preservatives
- Eliminates tartar, plaque, and bad breath
- Most dogs enjoy the taste of these chews
- Most owners found that the chews significantly improved their pet’s breath
- Great for dogs who don’t like their teeth brushed
- Too hard for some dogs to chew
- Some dogs chew them too quickly to reap the benefits they provide
Ark Naturals Brushless Toothpaste Chewables are great for owners looking for an easy way to keep their pet’s teeth clean and mouth healthy. Instead of having to corral your dog every night and wrestle with him during the tooth-brushing process, you can simply toss him an Ark Naturals Chewable and let him clean his own teeth.
Most dogs love the way these chewable taste and owners were very happy with the way they improved their dog’s breath. A few owners reported that their dog ate them too quickly, which reduced the ability of the chewable to remove plaque completely. Other dogs had trouble digesting because they were too rigid.
However, owners found a few ways around these problems. Those with dogs who ate the brushless toothpaste too quickly found that the chewable would last longer if they were frozen before being offered to their dog. On the other hand, dogs who were unable to chew through them had better luck when provided with chewable that were broken into small pieces.
Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste is a veterinarian-formulated teeth-cleaning paste made with aloe, neem oil, grapefruit seed extract, baking soda, and naturally occurring enzymes. It is not only designed to freshen your dog’s breath but to remove plaque and tartar buildup and whiten your dog’s teeth too.
You can actually use the Vet’s Best Toothpaste in several different ways.
You can apply the paste along with a specially designed toothbrush (sold with or without the paste), you can use your dog’s current toothbrush, you can apply it with your finger, or you can simply add a dab to your dog’s tongue.
The last two application methods are not very effective for removing plaque or tartar, but they will help freshen your dog’s breath quickly and effectively.
- Made in the USA
- Backed by a money-back guarantee
- Designed to freshen breath, soothe gums and whiten teeth
- Most dogs love the way Vet’s Best Toothpaste taste
- An optional toothbrush cleans more effectively than traditional brushes
- Contains baking soda to help neutralize odors and whiten teeth
- Very effective at promoting oral health for dogs with ailing teeth
- While the majority of dogs enjoy the taste, a not-insignificant number of dogs were put off by the flavor
- Some owners found the optional toothbrush difficult to use
If you are just beginning to take care of your dog’s teeth, the Vet’s Best Enzymatic Toothpaste with the optional toothbrush will get you started on the right path. The toothpaste is veterinarian-designed to support complete oral health, by removing tartar and plaque and neutralizing any odors present.
Because this product is made in the USA and designed by veterinarians, you can rest assured that it is safe for your pet and likely to work the way you’d expect of a high-quality dog toothpaste. Some dogs didn’t appreciate the toothpaste’s taste, but others seemed to find it perfectly palatable.
The optional toothbrush worked very well for some owners, but others found it to be poorly designed. Fortunately, both the brush and the paste are very affordably priced, so it won’t cost you much to try them.
Dog Dental Care Tips
1. Feed your dog dry kibble.
Most veterinarians agree that while many dogs prefer wet or semi-moist foods, dry kibble is better for their dental health.
Wet foods provide everything bacteria need to thrive and they often create a film over your dog’s teeth; conversely, dry foods do not coat your dog’s teeth in the same way. Additionally, as your dog chews kibble, it breaks into tiny pieces, which then go on to scrape some of the plaque from your dog’s teeth.
It is wise to select kibbles made with pieces specifically designed to clean your dog’s teeth. Many of the leading brands include such pieces as a matter of practice, so these types of foods are not particularly difficult to find.
2. Brush your dog’s teeth regularly.
A good kibble will help keep your dog’s teeth relatively clean, but you’ll still need to brush your dog’s teeth on a regular basis. For the best results, give your dog’s teeth a good cleaning after dinner each night, but if your dog will not tolerate such frequent brushings, an every-other-day schedule will suffice.
There are a number of different types of toothbrushes for dogs on the market. Some look just like human toothbrushes, while others take the form of a soft “cap” that fits over your finger.
Either style will work, just pick the type that suits you and your dog best.
3. Give your dog plenty of plaque-scrapping treats.
There are a number of dental treats for dogs available that are designed to help scrape your dog’s teeth clean as he chews on them.
These types of convenient treats take on many forms, but the best ones are usually resilient enough to last 5 minutes or more, thereby maximizing the amount of treat-tooth contact.
Greenies Dental Treats, available on Amazon, is one of the best examples of a quality dental chew. Just be sure to select the appropriate size treat for your dog.
Some treats are formulated with breath-freshening ingredients, but this is solely for your benefit – not your dog’s. While it is a good idea to provide dental treats to your dog on a regular basis, you should always be mindful of the extra calories these treats represent.
4. Visit your veterinarian regularly, so he or she can inspect your dog’s teeth.
You’ll need to visit the veterinarian any time you suspect your dog is having a dental health problem, but it is also important to take your dog in for regular checkups, even when he appears completely healthy. While you may not notice the subtle signs that indicate an underlying problem, your vet’s trained eye is quite likely to spot even minor issues.
By identifying problems early and beginning treatment promptly, you can help your dog avoid a great deal of pain and suffering. Early action will also help you to keep the costs associated with your dog’s dental care lower.
5. Start Early for the Best Results
It is important to start taking care of your dog’s teeth as early as possible. This will often enable you to avoid cavities and gum disease completely, and it will also help your dog feel more comfortable having his teeth brushed and mouth inspected.
Don’t rush the process at the start – let your dog sniff the toothbrush and toothpaste, before gently inserting it into his mouth. Don’t worry about being thorough the first few times, it is more important to teach your dog that teeth brushing time is a positive experience and that he has nothing to fear.
It’s also important to begin brushing your dog’s teeth when he is young for your own safety. You don’t want to stick your fingers in a large, frightened dog’s mouth!
Dog Teeth Cleaning Tips
When it comes to the cleaning itself, you are also going to need a soft-bristled toothbrush specifically designed for dogs. Some brands of dog toothpaste may sell accompanying brushes or even have one included in the pack, though it’s worth considering your dog as a complex set of different teeth to clean.
Remember, some will be hard to reach right at the back of the mouth and as a result, these teeth are often the first to show signs of decay. Therefore, your toothpaste and the brush itself both need to be suitable for this complex, but important job.
It’s also worth noting that the sooner you introduce teeth cleaning into your dog’s routine, the easier it will be for your dog to become used to it; therefore, effective dental hygiene becomes the norm.
It is easy to neglect teeth cleaning as it can be a hassle or rely on so-called dental sticks, though nothing can replace proper teeth cleaning with a brush and specially designed dog toothpaste.
Though like many aspects of your dog’s care, teeth cleaning is for life and it regularly needs to be done to maintain proper health. Therefore, as an owner, budgeting for dog toothpaste and any accompanying tools you may need should be a consideration.
One option could be to buy products that are sold in bulk which will prove of greater value than individually buying. You can also look for dog toothpaste that package cleaning tools in with the toothpaste, which reduces the need for additional spending.
Ultimately, your dog needs to have fresh, clean and most importantly, healthy teeth, so they can eat, live, and grow normally, free from pain and disease. A healthy dog is a happy dog!