The 10 Best Dog Toothpastes
This wiki has been updated 20 times since it was first published in March of 2018. Just as proper oral hygiene is essential to human health, it is equally so for the health of your four-legged family members. These canine toothpastes are formulated to fight bad breath, plaque and tartar buildup, and gingivitis, and can help to reduce the occurrence of costly vet visits, prevent tooth decay, and inhibit the development of infections that lead to heart disease. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
April 13, 2020:
Just as poor oral hygiene can lead to health problems requiring professional intervention by a dentist, the same thing can happen to your pet when a proper brushing regimen isn't followed to stay ahead of plaque, tartar, and funky dog breath. While it's definitely a good idea to get yourself (and family) to the dentist every 6 months for a checkup and to use a good-quality human toothpaste between visits, we've done a majority of the research to help you find the best equivalent for your canine family members as well. While we can't promise you'll never have to take Fido to the vet, our list of dog toothpastes is a great step in reducing the frequency of those visits that are attributed to dental issues. A main difference you'll notice between these toothpastes and the ones you use on yourself is that the canine variety is typically a non-foaming, enzymatic formula that is safe to swallow. Some toothpastes geared for kids are also safe to swallow. In that respect, think of your pet as a furry kid to make brushing something to look forward to rather than to dread. It may take some time to desensitize your dog to the experience, but be persistent and stick to a regimen.
One of the most important considerations for these toothpastes is cleaning power. They should be able to help remove plaque and tartar and inhibit their accumulation between brushings. Regardless of the brand chosen, cleaning power is still dependent on following a regimen of regular application so the paste can do its job. It might be unrealistic to expect any toothpaste to eliminate plaque and tartar entirely, but at the very least, it should reduce the number of vet visits attributed to dental neglect. The less you have to take your dog to the vet for professional scaling (requiring general anesthesia), the better.
The Petsmile Professional offers Fido a tasty beef flavor with a patented formula that dissolves the layer of protein harboring odor-causing bacteria and stains. It's also engineered by the same creators of the Supersmile brand for humans. Since you'll be using toothpaste often, you also want to know that it's effective. We've added Bluestem Oral Care, as it's been tested in vitro for efficacy against several forms of oral bacteria.
Pay attention to the ingredients contained in the formulas, both for safety and effectiveness. With the combination of aloe, grapefruit seed extract, and baking soda in Vet's Best Gel, this formula is powerful without irritating a dog's gums. Additionally, it comes with a 3-headed toothbrush for cleaning your pup's teeth from multiple angles. This comes in handy if you have a particularly fidgety pooch. I'm often surprised at the number of times I visit the vet feeling guilty that I couldn't always reach every single tooth in my dog's mouth when following a brushing regimen. Upon revealing this to my vet, he has told me that any brushing at all is more effective than never doing it at all. Remember that dogs spend a lot of time licking their mouths (and plenty of other things), so by using formulas like Tropiclean Fresh Breath that coat the teeth, the product can do its job with minimal fanfare. It may not be a complete substitute for traditional brushing, but I've used it before on my own dogs and can attest to the fact that it freshens their breath and inhibits the development of plaque when used on a regular basis. Even more helpful is the fact that once you've administered it to each side of the mouth, a dog's tongue will pretty much do the rest.
If your pup is prone to gingivitis or inflamed gums, Pura Naturals Dental Gel can certainly help, thanks to its use of organic cinnamon, sweet potato, and coconut oil.
If you're not afraid of a toothpaste that's a little more abrasive than some others in its class, Virbac CET is a worthy contender. Its patented enzyme system continues to work even after you've finished brushing Fido's teeth.
We've also included the Kissable All-Natural, as it's one of the few toothpastes out there that uses organic stevia as a sweetener. This enhances flavor without affecting a dog's blood sugar levels.
Finally, Ark Naturals Dental Chews have been included for those small pooches whose teeth are difficult to clean by brushing or who simply can't stand the idea of anyone poking around inside their mouths with a tool. They are easily digestible and contain a toothpaste center to freshen breath.
Foundation for Veterinary Dentistry The Foundation for Veterinary Dentistry consists of veterinarians, veterinary technicians, wildlife biologists, and pet owners who are all united under the same desire to make oral health a priority for relieving animal suffering while also advancing the science of veterinary dentistry. The foundation believes in providing education, research, and outreach to communities in order to improve dental care for animals. veterinarydentistry.org
Veterinary Oral Health Council The Veterinary Oral Health Council authorizes the use of its registered seal on products designed to fight plaque and tartar buildup on an animal's teeth. The council maintains separate lists of currently-accepted products for dogs and cats as well as information on periodontal disease. The council began in the 1980s and released its first seal of acceptance in June 1998. vohc.org