By not using the best dog toothpaste you can afford, you're putting your dog's teeth, gums and periodontal health at risk. Over 80% of American dogs develop dental issues by the time they reach three years of age. Yep, that's how bad it is to not know how to brush a dog's teeth.
Dog Toothpaste and Dental Hygiene
Dogs aren't subject to tooth decays like humans do; however they are more at risk with plaque buildup, tartar and gingivitis. These are then resulting is extremely problematic symptoms that are listed below. Dental problems and canine gum disease are at the absolute top of health conditions veterinarians witness every day in their practices.
The good news is that all dental problems are totally preventable if you brush your dog's teeth regularly using one of the reviewed dog toothpastes below. It's fast and easy to do and if you get your dog used to it from his puppy stage, he will almost enjoy it.
Symptoms of Bad Dental Hygiene in Dogs
By opening your dog's mouth and taking a look at how the teeth look, you quickly figure out if something seems wrong. Signs of a serious dental condition are multiple and include these common symptoms:
- Persistent bad breath
- Yellow tint on most teeth
- Chewing on one side only
- Dropping food from mouth
- Crooked, stained or discolored teeth
- Tartar and calculus along the gum line
Oral hygiene for dogs is not only limited to teeth; it's also about the gums. Periodontal diseases include inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) and the loss of bone and soft tissue around the teeth (periodontitis).
If you notice any of the below symptoms when examining your dog's dentition, give a call to your vet for specific medication or periodontal therapy:
- Swollen and red gums
- Excessive drooling
- Bleeding gums
Most people start thinking about buying dog toothpaste because of bad breath and it's generally a good news because it's early and your dog's teeth should still be in good condition.
Bad Dental Hygiene Affects The Dog's Entire Body
Dental hygiene using dog toothpaste regularly matters even more when you know through multiple studies that a bad oral health affects the entire body, not just the teeth and gums.
Bad bacteria can quickly accumulate in your dog's mouth if you don't brush its teeth regularly. When there are too many bacteria, gums will be infected and your dog's bloodstream will be contaminated. Such periodontitis are known to have a bad influence on your pet's liver, kidneys but worst of all, it may negatively affect your dog's heart.
How To Brush a Dog's Teeth?
Bad bacteria are eliminated at each brushing which should occur daily or a couple of times a week. Tartar takes more time to arrive in some dogs but is very fast to build up with some others; a daily or weekly brushing will fight tartar and plaque build up. Adjust the frequency once you figure out if your dog is lucky or not with tartar.
For those who hate reading, this is a great video teaching you how to brush your dog's teeth using one of our recommended best dog toothpastes below. If you are feeling overwhelmed you can use a brushless dog toothpaste or a tartar control spray instead.
Important points to remember when using a canine toothpaste to brush your dog's teeth:
- Dog toothpastes do not foam!
- Fluoride and foaming agents are toxic for dogs
- Never, ever use a human toothpaste for your pets
- Over 90 percent of the tartar is on the outside of the teeth
- Start at an early age to make it effortless for the rest of eternity
- The first times may be difficult but things will get better for sure
Now, this is how to brush a dog's teeth, step by step:
- Use one hand to lift and hold your dog's lip up
- Place the toothbrush on the teeth at a 45 degree angle
- Point the bristles towards the gum line
- Brush with a straight or oval motion
- Spread the toothpaste on every single tooth evenly
- Focus on the outer side, the tongue will clean the inner
That's it! You've brushed your dog's teeth and it took you a minute or two, maximum! Definitely not rocket science and it just requires a commitment from your part to do it. See, it's pretty fast and easy.
Top 5 Best Dog Toothpastes
When a dog owner wakes up and starts browsing for the best dog toothpaste adapted to their pet, I always recommend them to start off with a professional dental cleaning. This is to start with a fresh slate and treat any currently existing disease.
No more waiting, here are our reviews of the best dog toothpastes available in 2017.
1. KissAble Toothbrush and Toothpaste Combo Kit for Dogs
— Best All-Natural Dog Toothpaste
Because pet toothpaste must have a potent action in a short amount of time (before pets digest it), all-natural products are rare to find so don't get too worried. KissAble has come up with a very popular natural dog toothpaste providing a quick action against bad breath while also enhancing tartar control.
The combo kit comes with a completely unique toothbrush that actually reaches all three sides of the dog's teeth. Application is very easy and only requires a single stroke on each side of the teeth. It's a genius idea and worth trying – we tried it and we're joining other customers in saying how smart and efficient this dental kit is for dogs!
If that was not enough for you, this KissAble Combo Kit includes a thumb brush, also working extremely well.
2. SENTRY Petrodex Enzymatic Toothpaste for Dogs
— Best Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste
A very popular choice and bestselling dog toothpaste online, SENTRY Petrodex is a deliciously poultry-flavor enzymatic dog toothpaste that is multi-action. Firstly, it efficiently fights bad breath by eradicating and preventing bad bacteria accumulation in the dog's mouth. Secondly, SENTRY toothpaste helps with controlling the plaque build up on each tooth's gumline.
Proudly made in the United States of America and recommended by many veterinarians, Sentry is a safe toothpaste that provides an antibacterial action inhibiting the formation of plaque. It keeps both teeth and gums healthy.
3. Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Foaming Tartar Remover
— Best Tartar Control Dog Toothpaste
Yes, this is an easy to use dental spray for dogs and it's awesome! Nylabone, very famous for their chew toys, have upped their game and created a very safe and very effective foaming tartar remover spray. Simply spray once or twice a day directly onto dogs teeth and gums. And that's that, let me magic happen!
In order to reduce and eliminate plaque that harbors bad bacteria, Nylabone is using a proprietary formula called Denta-C. The active compounds are sodium hexametaphosphate along with Vitamin C, both acting as a safe natural detergent also found in nature.
Once sprayed onto your dog's teeth and gum, avoid water and food for the next hour to make sure the breaking down of plaque and bacteria is over.
4. ProDental Pet Dental Gel
— Best Toothpaste for Canine Gum Disease
When a dog is already showing signs of gum disease such as bleeding, inflamed, swollen or red gums, you should transition to a soothing toothpaste for dogs with gum disease, instead of the regular toothpaste.
The ProDental Pet Dental Gel is not even more expensive! Yet, it uses quality ingredients such as Aloe Vera in order to relieve and soothe minor gum irritations or infections. Natural baking soda is also at the top of the ingredient list, and is a very popular natural choice to prevent plaque buildup and bad breath.
Don't be fooled by the word “gel“, it can be used just like any regular dog toothpaste and you can obviously skip the rinsing like any other product out there. Apply it on all teeth and make sure to overlap on the gums during application, let you dog lick its own lips, and avoid any water or food for the next 45 minutes.
5. Zymox Brushless Dental Gel
— Best Brushless Dog Toothpaste
Safe for daily ingestion, Zymox brushless toothpaste is the ideal solution for dog owners who are either lazy or dealing with a difficult dog. Just like the Nylabone Tartar Control Spray, the brushless technology doesn't reduce the efficiency. Its method of action is through enzymes reducing plaque biofilm and odor-causing bacteria.
Quite the opposite, actually, as Zymox is fighting efficiently against bad breath and plaque buildup. Additionally, its ingredients come together to eliminate irritations, inflammations, dryness and redness of the gums. It's a perfect periodontal gel that focuses on both teeth and gums.
Aloe Vera is also present in the ingredients list which makes Zymox a wonderful brushless toothpaste for dogs affected by gum disease. Because it does not require brushing, it cannot be too harsh on the gum lines either! For fast and easy application, put some gel on your finger and apply it on your dog's teeth. And you're done!
Recipes of DIY Toothpaste for Dogs
If you are the do-it-yourself type, I've rounded up a couple of homemade recipes of toothpaste for dogs:
Most of recipes available online are based on baking soda and then add a little bit of salt and flavor enhancers (beef bouillon for example.)
If your dog shows signs of sensitive teeth, tartar build up, or inflamed gums, I would recommend buying a professional dog toothpaste like the ones we reviewed above. These are the best dog toothpastes available currently and you can definitely trust them!