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We’re baffled enough when choosing toothpaste for ourselves or our kids. So how the heck can you get a dog safe toothpaste?
Fret not! This article explains it all in a nutshell. There are a few main types of doggie toothpaste, and if you don’t like (or trust) any of them, you can even make your own!
(Scroll down for the recipe!)
But before we dive in, let’s get one thing clear…
Can You Give Dogs Toothpaste?
ALL dogs (including older ones) with built-up tartar benefit from daily brushing with dog toothpaste. Daily brushing using dog toothpaste reduces the amount of tartar and plaque while whitening the teeth and preventing dental disease.
Dental disease is commonly known as periodontitis eventually causes secondary infections in the blood leading to a weakened immune system and, in most severe cases, damage to the dog’s kidney or liver.
So yes, there’s so much more to toothpaste than getting a nice, clean and fresh doggie smile.
And no, toothpaste ISN’T bad for dogs, as long as it’s the proper kind of toothpaste. Unlike human toothpaste, dog toothpaste is tailored to be safe for dogs.
There are four typical types of dog toothpaste on the market
1) Calprox based toothpaste
2) Enzymatic dog toothpaste
3) All natural ingredients toothpaste
4) Homemade dog toothpaste
Calprox based dog toothpaste
Calprox formula comes in the form of encapsulated calcium peroxide and minerals. Protein pellicle, a bio-film usually forms on a dog’s teeth and remineralizes the enamel.
It is the bio-film to which plaque, bacteria, and stains stick to. If the protein pellicle is left undisturbed on your dog’s teeth, it leads to tooth decay and periodontal disease.
The Calprox works by gently dissolving the bio-film. Calprox-based toothpaste is safe and gentle on your dog’s enamel while breaking down the biofilm and preventing the buildup of plaque and tartar.
Most dog and cat toothpastes contain silica, which is highly abrasive and tends to thin out the enamel over time. A thin enamel makes the dog’s teeth super sensitive incrementally leading to feeding problems.
Unlike them, Calprox based toothpaste contains no silica, parabens, sulfates, known allergens, animal by-products, triclosan, microbeads, polyethylene, and BPA. Calprox is the proprietary formula of the Petsmile brand.
Petsmile Professional dog toothpaste is the only doggie toothpaste that utilizes Calprox as the main ingredient. This toothpaste has been approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council.
It also allows you to clean your dog’s teeth without brushing. So your pooch is likely in for some tooth massage!
Enzymatic dog toothpaste
Enzymatic toothpaste contains an enzyme called glucose oxidase made from a fungus that produces penicillin. When glucose oxidase comes into contact with glucose and oxygen, it forms an antibacterial. The enzymes produce hydrogen peroxide that attacks plaque and tartar.
You can prevent dental disease in your doggo by using enzymatic toothpaste for daily brushing. When enzymes come into contact with your dog’s teeth, they protect from infections, gum disease, pain, and inflammation.
Enzymatic toothpaste is safe for dogs of all ages. Even if you are unable to reach all corners of the mouth when brushing, the enzymatic toothpaste penetrates all corners of the mouth and the dog’s natural tongue movement will finish the job.
When purchasing enzymatic toothpaste, ALWAYS check the label to confirm that it does not contain Xylitol as an ingredient. Even in small amounts, Xylitol is lethal to dogs.
Leading brands like VIRBAC C.E.T Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste offer dual enzyme actions that effectively clean the teeth, and fight plaque and tartar build-up.
All-natural ingredients toothpaste
As the name suggests, this type of toothpaste contains all-natural ingredients.
One of the leading natural ingredients that are effective for cleaning dog’s teeth is bentonite clay. Bentonite clay is a lovely soft and fine-textured and forms paste when mixed with water.
The paste has been historically featured in medicinal and cosmetic solutions. Bentonite clay is calcium-based volcanic ash formed from volcanic activity millions of years ago. Humans have used clay for centuries for preservation, skin beautification, cleansing, and purification because it is safe when ingested.
Bentonite clay as the main ingredient in toothpaste attracts impurities out of whatever you apply it to. Its strong electromagnetic charge when mixed with water allows it to act like a magnet attracting all sorts of undesirable elements into its mixture and out of the teeth and gums of your dog.
Bentonite clay as the main ingredient in the toothpaste removes toxins, food particles, plaque, and tartar.
Natural ingredients toothpaste consisting of Bentonite clay has many positive aspects in the body. It cleans the dog’s teeth, preventing periodontal disease and promoting oral health.
The toothpaste is ingestible and even tasty! If (or rather, when) the dog swallows it, it will be beneficial to their body. When ingested the clay does the following:
- Relieves digestive discomfort like gas, constipation and bloating
- Remove dangerous heavy metals such as lead from the system. Lead poisoning can occur as a result of the dog ingesting toothpaste that contains Sodium Hexametaphosphate.
- Assist with internal parasite removal.
- Together with diatomaceous, cleanses the digestive tract. All-natural ingredients dog toothpaste comes in different flavors like cinnamon and spearmint or the unflavoured variety.
Homemade dog toothpaste (+ recipe)
Human toothpaste is dangerous for dogs and contains harmful ingredients which can make dogs ill and damage their kidneys and liver.
On the other hand, dog toothpaste purchased from pet stores can be expensive and may contain harmful ingredients and chemical additives. So, where does that leave us, and what is a healthy but affordable option?
Home-made dog toothpaste is a healthy and safe herbal mixture with plenty of health benefits free of dangerous chemicals. Let us look at the benefits of the ingredients and how they work to promote dental health.
Seaweed-like kelp is packed with antibacterial properties and promotes plaque removal. It also infused the mouth and body with healthy and essential minerals and chlorophyll.
The yellow hue on turmeric may linger for a while on the teeth but that is a small price to pay to prevent plaque buildup. Turmeric is a natural and safe teeth whitener with antimicrobial, antioxidant, antibacterial, and powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
So, it helps fight gum disease while healing receding gums. It also fights the inflammation that causes the gums to become irritated and bleed.
- Coconut oil
Coconut oil is antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, and is a powerful deodorizer. It also eliminates bad breath instantly. Unrefined virgin coconut oil is fat that digest fast and easily, improving the absorption of the other ingredients. It also acts as the base for this toothpaste recipe.
It leaves the breath fresh while injecting a high dose of antibacterial and antioxidant action into the dog’s mouth and teeth. Cinnamon works fast and it goes well in most homemade toothpaste mixtures.
Parsley has been used for centuries as an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory medicinal plant because it is full of a potent mix of vitamins and minerals that promotes general dental health. Also, if you smell parsley, you will notice it is an instant deodorizer.
- Place the coconut oil in a hot water bath if it is too hard and solid to soften.
- Add the turmeric, kelp, and parsley flakes and mix thoroughly.
- Store in the fridge between uses.
- Before using the toothpaste, soften it by placing it in a warm water bath. Use a very soft bristle toothbrush or a finger brush for your dogs.
- Avoid microwaving or cooking this toothpaste by all means to retain the enzymes and nutrients. Excess heat kills the enzymes and nutrients rendering them useless.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I disinfect a dog’s mouth?
By brushing its teeth and gums using toothpaste specifically made for dogs to remove plaque and tartar, bacteria, stains, and other dirt.
Daily brushing with Calprox based toothpaste (see Petsmile), enzymatic dog toothpaste, all-natural ingredients toothpaste, or homemade dog toothpaste leaves the dog mouth clean, smelling fresh, and kills bacteria.
If you cannot brush, place a small amount of the toothpaste on the dog’s tongue and teeth and leave it. The toothpaste will naturally spread in the mouth disinfecting as it moves around. If you cannot make a homemade dog toothpaste, settle only for vet-recommended dog toothpastes.
What should you consider when buying dog toothpaste?
Consider purchasing safe toothpaste with plenty of health benefits and free of dangerous chemicals like Xylitol and other harmful ingredients and chemical additives. The toothpaste should contain enzymatic systems or Calprox and preferably be flavored favorably to make the dog enjoy teeth brushing sessions.
Sorbitol in dog toothpaste is safe because it is not toxic to dogs like Xylitol although it is also a sweetener. Sorbitol may make the toothpaste more palatable especially if you are making homemade toothpaste or using some other dog toothpaste substitute.
What is the best way to brush teeth?
To avoid periodontal disease, tooth decay, gingivitis, and bad breath, it is ideal to brush teeth daily for dogs requiring intensive dental cleaning for a week, then switch to every other day.
Brushing teeth two or three times a week will suffice for dogs in need of maintenance. This brushing formula works for all the above types of toothpaste.