Dog Toothpaste Top Picks

Daily toothbrushing is the gold standard of at-home dental care for pets. At-home maintenance—in addition to annual professional dental cleanings—is essential for ensuring your dog’s “smile” remains healthy and pain-free. Here are our Top Picks for dog toothpaste.

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Dog Training Treats Top Picks

Our trainer-approved dog training treats Top Picks are low in calories but high in motivation! These high-quality training treats will have your pup in the zone and eager to please.

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Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste

  • 4.6/5-star Amazon rating from more than 23,000 reviews
  • Veterinary-approved and recommended
  • Uses a unique double-enzyme system
  • 5 flavor options: poultry, malt, beef, seafood, and vanilla mint
  • Formulated by an almost 100-year-old pet-care company
  • Poultry flavor
  • Triple enzyme, non-foaming formula
  • Safe to ingest

Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste

  • Developed from more than 30 years of experience blending premium quality and plant-based ingredients
  • Formulated and recommended by veterinarians
  • Odorless, enzymatic gel
  • Comes in a powerful veterinary-strength formulation
  • Safe for your dog to swallow
  • Poultry-flavored formula
  • Hydrogen peroxide-producing formula that does not require rinsing

Information as of 6/30/22

The Daily Dog does not provide veterinary advice. All information is general in nature and for informational purposes only. Always consult your veterinarian.

Up to 85% of dogs suffer from dental disease by age 3. This astonishing fact means that now is the best time to tackle plaque and oral bacteria with doggy toothpaste—before it’s too late. Daily toothbrushing is the gold standard of at-home dental care for pets. Your veterinary team undoubtedly does an excellent job of removing stubborn plaque and tartar during a professional dental cleaning. However, at-home maintenance is still essential for ensuring your dog’s “smile” remains healthy and pain-free.

Before you begin a toothbrushing regimen for your dog, purchase the appropriate products for canine teeth. If you do not know where to start, our buyer’s guide has all the tips you need to find the right toothpaste for your furry pal.

What is Dental Disease in Dogs?

Dental disease is an all-encompassing term that describes a wide range of pet oral health issues, with periodontal disease and fractured teeth the most common in dogs. Periodontal disease describes infection and associated inflammation of the periodontium (i.e., the tissues surrounding the teeth). Oral bacteria and debris accumulation on the teeth cause dental disease. This accumulation (i.e., plaque) hardens, mineralizes, and turns into cement-like tartar. You must brush the teeth at this stage to remove the plaque before it hardens into tartar.

You must know what to look for to spot dental disease signs in dogs. Pets are excellent at hiding pain, which makes catching dental disease more difficult. Stay on top of your dog’s oral health by monitoring them for the following dental disease signs:

  • Brown, yellow, or gray tartar buildup on the teeth
  • Red, inflamed, or bleeding gums
  • Foul-smelling breath
  • Gingival recession
  • Missing, loose, cracked, or worn teeth
  • Reluctance to eat dry food or hard treats
  • Chewing on one side of the mouth

 

Daily toothbrushing is one of the best ways to check your dog for dental disease signs because each time you lift your dog’s lips and quickly examine the teeth and gums, you can spot early signs and get treatment before the disease progresses. 

How Can I Prevent Dental Disease in My Dog?

While daily toothbrushing—twice daily, if you can—is the best way to prevent dental disease in your dog, other methods can also help control plaque and tartar. Incorporate a combination of the following products and dental care tasks into your dog’s regimen:

  • Dental treats
  • Chew toys
  • Prescription dental diets
  • Oral rinses, sprays, and wipes
  • Water and food additives
  • Professional oral sealant
  • Veterinary dental cleanings

 

If you cannot brush your dog’s teeth daily, toss your dog a dental chew or treat or fill their dish with prescription kibble.

Choosing the Best Toothpaste for Your Dog

When scrubbing your dog’s teeth, ensure you have the best toothpaste for the job. Consider the following factors:

  • Ensure the toothpaste is formulated specifically for pets
    Never share your toothpaste with your dog, as human toothpaste can harm pets. Human toothpaste contains xylitol, an artificial sweetener, and fluoride, which is only acceptable for people who can spit it out. Always ensure your dog’s toothpaste is specifically designed for dogs.
  • Check the ingredients for quality
    As with any product, dog toothpaste can contain many artificial ingredients, flavorings, and preservatives, making them less desirable for your pooch. Search for a product that does not have the following:
    • Parabens
    • Sulfates
    • Alcohol
    • Chlorine
    • Silica
    • Allergens
    • Animal by-products
  • Pick a palatable flavor and texture
    Toothpaste can vary in palatability for your pup. Your pup may surprisingly turn up his nose at a delicious-sounding flavor, and you may need to try various flavors to find an enticing one. In addition, choose a toothpaste with the right consistency. Paste that is too thick will not spread easily on the teeth and will form clumps in your dog’s mouth, while thin toothpaste will simply run off the brush and out of your dog’s mouth before you brush.
  • Research the brand
    Always research the toothpaste brand. A reputable manufacturer will disclose the product’s ingredients, sourcing, and manufacturing process. Also, check online reviews from other pet parents, who will provide information on how well-tolerated the toothpaste is and its consistency, quality, and efficacy.
  • Choose a toothpaste accepted by the Veterinary Oral Health Council
    Not all dental care products are created equal. Some manufacturers have spent the time and effort to obtain acceptance by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC). The VOHC is an organization that evaluates research to judge a product’s ability to slow plaque and tartar accumulation. A product granted the VOHC’s seal of acceptance has been proven effective at battling dental disease in pets and is, therefore, one of the best options you can purchase.

 

Daily at-home dental care is essential for keeping your dog’s teeth and gums healthy. The right products make your task easier and more effective, so research before choosing the best toothpaste for your pup.

Looking for more articles about dog-friendly activities and pet-parenting advice? Check out the Blog at TheDailyDog.com.

THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY:

Melissa RVT

Melissa Murray, RVT

Melissa Murray graduated from Purdue University with her associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in veterinary technology and has worked at the same veterinary practice since 2011. Cutting back on her clinical hours, she joined the Rumpus Writing and Editing team in 2018, where she enjoys the flexibility granted by a remote veterinary copywriting position. With the best of both worlds, Melissa furthers her knowledge of pain management and anesthesia protocols while discovering creative ways to write about dental disease for the thousandth time. She has currently traded her hobby farm animals in for raising human children—at least until they’re old enough to help with chores!

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