The importance of taking our dog’s oral hygiene seriously cannot be overstated, so in my series about dog dental care the next topic we’ll be addressing is toothpaste for dogs.
While looking for toothpaste for my dogs, I was surprised by the number of ingredients in some of the formulations I researched, and concerned about how many I had never heard of. You have to wonder why these kinds of ingredients are necessary, she says naively. I guess the same can be said about so many products we use.
One ingredient I did see in many toothpastes was something called Poultry Digest or Animal Digest. Sounds a bit disturbing doesn’t it? Well, there’s a good reason for that.
This is what I found, and I’m quoting: “A material which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and undecomposed animal tissue. The animal tissues used shall be exclusive of hair, horns, teeth, hooves and feathers, except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good factory practice and shall be suitable for animal feed. If it bears a name descriptive of its kind or flavor(s), it must correspond thereto.”
Xylitol is another ingredient that is known to be toxic to dogs and can cause seizures, liver failure and even death.
Choosing the best toothpaste for dogs
Toothpastes come in different flavours and textures, so you’re bound to find one your dog likes. You might get lucky with the first one you buy, or he’ll be a bit pickier and you will have tried several before hitting the jackpot.
There is one thing I would like to recommend – when you find a toothpaste you’d like to try, contact your vet with the list of ingredients. Your senior dog may have health issues that would make certain ingredients risky, so better to be safe.
Also, the word “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean what you think, so don’t rely on that label to guarantee you are purchasing an all natural product. It is often just a marketing tool, and because there is little or no regulation, the criteria for something to be able to call itself natural is vague.
Will your dog let you brush his teeth?
The best toothpaste in the world will be of no benefit, if you can’t get near your dog’s mouth. Some dogs will be more than accommodating the first time you come at him with a toothbrush, others will have to be bribed out of their hiding spot. For I have included a video that should help.
Here are a few doggie toothpastes I found that may interest you
Made in the U.S.A., this peanut flavoured toothpaste is made with all natural abrasives to help control plaque and fight bad breath
While not technically a toothpaste, this herbal dental spray removes tartar and prevents the buildup of plaque. Made of a blend of Peppermint Leaf, Wild Indigo Root, Echinacea Angustifolia Root and Spilanthes Plant, it is easy to use and a great alternative for dogs who don’t like having their teeth brushed.
Again not technically a toothpaste, this product is just sprinkled onto your pet’s food and works systemically. Perfect for pets who won’t let your near their mouth, or if you’re having a hard time brushing your dog’s teeth. Proven to reduce plaque and tartar, you should start to see results between 2-8 weeks, and of course greater benefits with continued use.
Made in the U.S.A., this peppermint flavoured gel is made with all-natural holistic ingredients, removes plaque and tartar and kills the bacteria that causes bad breath. A toothbrush can be used but isn’t necessary, perfect for dogs that are a bit “uncooperative” when it comes to having their teeth brushed.
Consisting of natural ingredients like neem oil, grapefruit seed extract, aloe, and enzymes, this gel has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal qualities to fight bacteria that cause bad breath.
Made of quality ingredients sourced in the U.S., this tooth gel helps fight periodontal disease by reducing plaque and tarter. It’s as easy as applying a couple of drops to your dog’s teeth every day, no toothbrush required but you can use one if you prefer.
Toothpaste for dogs – conclusion
There are so many toothpastes available, you’re bound to find one your dog is happy with. I’m so glad you’re doing what you can to keep your dog’s teeth and gums clean and healthy. I’ve been through dental surgery with more than one dog, so if you can avoid it all the better. I hope you found this post on toothpaste for dogs helpful, and if you’d like to tell us which toothpaste yours prefers I’d love to hear from you.