Good dental hygiene is not something that only humans need to be concerned about. Your dog needs his teeth brushed regularly as well – with toothpaste! And not just because you dislike smelling his bad breath whenever he kisses you. It should be part of his routine grooming and care because it is crucial to ensuring his good health.
One of the most common disorders that dogs (and even cats) get is periodontal disease. Your pooch can experience gingivitis – swelling gums which can be painful – and even lose their teeth. But the problems don’t end there. Bacteria in the mouth can enter your dog’s bloodstream and spread to his other organs such as his kidneys, liver, and heart.
Obviously, you need to be proactive in preventing dental diseases from occurring in your dog. Proper dental care is key. Of course, brushing your pet’s teeth isn’t going to be easy. You need to make sure that it’s going to be a pleasant experience. You also need to make sure you choose a toothpaste that is specially formulated for dogs and has all the necessary ingredients to fight plaque and bacteria while keeping your dog’s teeth stain-free.
So, what’s the best dog toothpaste? We tested the highest-rated ones on Amazon to see which works best on curing bad breath, taking out stains, and preventing tartar buildup. We also checked which ones were recommended by our local vets and consumer reviews. Check out the results of our toothpaste test below.
#1 Best Overall Dog Toothpaste: Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic
- FOR DOGS AND CATS: Enzymatic toothpaste specifically formulated using an enzyme system for dogs and cats to reduce plaque, freshen breath, and ensure a clean mouth with Poultry flavor pets love
- SAFE FOR DAILY USE: Includes no foaming agents so this toothpaste is safe for pets to swallow
- VET RECOMMENDED: Virbac is the Top Recommended dental brand by Veterinary professionals and Made in the USA
- USE WITH A TOOTHBRUSH: Use a soft bristled toothbrush such as the CET Dual Ended Toothbrush, Apply daily or as directed by your veterinarian, Your veterinarian may give you specific directions follow this professional advice closely
Virbac has been working on helping pet owners and veterinarians keep their animals in good health for over 50 years. So, it’s not really surprising that they were able to produce toothpaste that’s safe for dogs (and even cats!) while ensuring good dental health.
The C.E.T. toothpaste does not contain any foaming agents or ingredients like fluoride that are harmful to your pooch. We checked. No need to worry about making your dog spit because swallowing this toothpaste is a-ok. More importantly, it has undergone clinical testing which showed that it does deliver serious antibacterial action. The numerous enzymes in the toothpaste will keep your dog’s breath fresh and reduce the amount of plaque buildup on your dog’s teeth.
While your goal may be plaque removal and prevention of tartar, your dog certainly won’t care. Fortunately, this C.E.T. dog toothpaste comes in a variety of flavors which your pet will enjoy. There’s beef, poultry (a fur-vorite of our doggos), seafood, malt, and vanilla-mint (which we preferred). Not only will your dog’s teeth be noticeably cleaner, you’ll find your pooch eagerly waiting for you when you yell “brush time!” Our pets certainly had no problem enjoying this toothpaste.
Are there any drawbacks to using this brand? Only one we could find. Some consumers reported that their toothpaste went “bad” rather quickly which means just buy what you need instead of stocking up.
Click here to check out Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic
#2 Best Natural/Organic Dog Product: RADIUS USDA Organic
- [THE ULTIMATE CLEAN FOR YOUR DOGGO] This organic dog toothpaste is all-natural and designed to fight plaque and harmful bacteria, keep breath fresh, and make your pup’s teeth pearly white!
- [HOW DOES IT WORK?] Veterinarians recommend brushing your dog’s teeth 2-3 times a week. Apply a pea-size amount of toothpaste to the toothbrush and be sure to thoroughly brush all teeth...and don’t forget about those gums!
- [BEST OPTION FOR THE BEST PUPPER] Our natural dog toothpaste is non-toxic and made with food grade ingredients. No xylitol, chemicals, pesticides, GMOs, glutens, fluoride, synthetics or any other nasty ingredients of any kind.
- [SAFE FOR YOU AND YOUR PUP!] Our dog toothpaste is safe for dogs of any age. Not only that, but its safe (and delicious!) for humans too. No more stanky dog breath AND a toothpaste you can use too? Win-win for the pup parent.
- [MADE IN THE USA] We are proud to say that, unlike many major oral care brands, our puppy toothpaste is made and manufactured right here in the USA. Our products are cruelty free and made in American factories that have eco-friendly practices and comply with strict quality standards. RADIUS spreads smiles across the U.S. - people and canine alike!
While the C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste is the best overall, some pet parents prefer to go all natural. Of course, you can go make your pup some homemade dog toothpaste. But that’s not always an option for owners, which means looking for an organic option. And that’s where the Radius Organic Canine Dental Gel comes in.
This all-natural dog toothpaste is made of food grade ingredients such as coconut oil, sweet potato, and cinnamon. It doesn’t contain any GMOs, pesticides, xylitol, fluoride, glutens, or any other harmful ingredients. In fact, it’s USDA certified organic. The coconut oil is a natural whitener while its antibacterial properties help reduce the amount of bacteria in your dog’s mouth. And in case you’re curious, this toothpaste does not contain rosemary and green tea extract which can be harmful to dogs.
It’s not just its cleaning properties and organic ingredients that we love. The taste and smell of the toothpaste is great too! Our doggos definitely had no problem having their teeth brushed with this toothpaste; they were willing to sit still the entire time we brushed their canines. We can even vouch for its taste. Yes, you read that right. We sampled it because we wanted to know if we would love it, too. While sweet potato is not a flavor we look for in our toothpaste, it wasn’t unpleasant. The cinnamon and mint was pleasant though. Speaking of the mint, we did find that our pup’s breath smelled fresh for at least a day which was more than we expected.
So, what’s the catch? Well, aside from the fact that this is not an enzymatic toothpaste, we were concerned that it contained Stevia. According to research one of our staff did, stevia is not toxic to dogs. However, consuming too much of it can cause diarrhea in your pup as well as other gastrointestinal issues. That being said, the amount of stevia in this toothpaste didn’t seem to have caused tummy problems in any of ours. Just keep this in mind when you’re making your final decision.
Click here to check out RADIUS USDA Organic
#3 Best Dental Care for Puppies: Arm & Hammer Clinical Gum Health Enzymatic Toothpaste
- Gentle toothpaste
- Give your dog's teeth a healthy boost
- for sensitive gums
Just like you would with a human child, your pup needs to learn the importance of dental hygiene early on. What better way to ensure they have good oral health than a toothpaste that’s safe for puppies?
Arm & Hammer’s Dog Dental Care Toothpaste is the perfect choice for your little one. It is made of natural ingredients including baking soda which has powerful cleansing action. It also contains enzymes which reduces tartar buildup while eliminating bad breath.
What we liked about Arm & Hammer is that they offered three different products to suit the varying dental needs of our dogs. One was for promoting gum health in adult dogs and puppies. This particular toothpaste includes healing herbs which can help soothe inflamed or sensitive gums. These herbs include calendula, aloe vera, flax seed oil, and goldenseal. Our only pup in the group didn’t have inflamed gums, so we couldn’t really test this claim.
Another type was formulated for tartar control while another was designed for fresh breath. Of course, all of them seem to be effective in helping maintain good oral health. They certainly ensured that our pup had fresh breath. We didn’t need to hold our breath while getting licked in the face.
We did find that each type of toothpaste had a different flavor. The healthy gum one had a poultry flavor with a fresh minty smell. While some doggos did love the taste and smell of the toothpaste, we found that one of our dogs just tolerated it. The tartar control had a beef flavor while the one for fresh breath came with a vanilla-ginger flavor.
Based on our testing and consumer reviews, the flavors seem to be a hit and miss, so it’s best if you just buy one pack initially. The toothpaste doesn’t cost a lot (unlike some others on the market) which shouldn’t make you feel too bad if your pup ends up disliking the flavor.
Click here to check out Arm & Hammer Clinical Gum Health Enzymatic Toothpaste
#4 Best Dog Dental Care Made in the USA: Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste
- SOOTHING AND EFFECTIVE - Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dental Gel Toothpaste is a veterinarian formulated soothing and effective mix of aloe, neem oil, grapefruit seed extract, baking soda, and enzymes
- CLEANS AND FRESHENS - Freshens breath and gently cleans away plaque and tartar
- PART OF A HEALTHY REGIMEN - Supports your dog’s dental hygiene between annual cleanings at your vet’s office. Directions: Apply with a brush or rub with your finger on your pet’s teeth 2–3 times per week. For maximum results, allow no food or water 1/2 hour before and after application. Visit your veterinarian once a year for a professional cleaning
- NATURAL FLAVORS - Your dog will love the great taste. You will love how it brightens and whitens teeth while freshening the breath
- SAME FORMULA, NEW PACKAGE - The same great Vet’s Best dental gel is now available in an easy to use squeeze tube
Supporting USA made products is a cause we can all get behind. Add in 25 years of experience in the field of doggy dental health and you get Vet’s Best Enzymatic Toothpaste.
This dog toothpaste is a vet-formulated toothpaste that is made of carefully selected natural ingredients such as aloe, neem oil, baking soda, and grapefruit seed extract. These ingredients have antibacterial and antifungal properties that not only keep your dog’s breath fresh, but also promotes healthy gums and teeth. And it’s not just marketing speak. Aside from our own experience, plenty of consumers have reported in their reviews how effective this toothpaste is in getting rid of tartar and preserving their dog’s teeth.
That’s not all. Aside from noticeable improvements, this enzymatic toothpaste doesn’t require the use of a toothbrush. You can use your finger or finger brush and still get the same positive effects. Of course, it also doesn’t hurt that plenty of doggos seem to like the taste of the toothpaste. Our pets liked it enough that we didn’t have a problem brushing their teeth using an actual toothbrush instead of just our fingers.
One last thing we want to say about this doggy toothpaste is that it’s very affordable. In fact, aside from being the best locally made toothpaste for dogs on our list, we also consider this the best budget option. More importantly, it comes in a 3.5-ounce tube that is bigger than is typically offered on the market. With just an additional dollar or so, you can get an actual toothbrush to go with the toothpaste. In short, you get the best bang for your buck with Vet’s Best.
Click here to check out Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste
Last update on 2021-09-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The Top 4 Picks for Best Dog Toothpaste: Reviewed for 2021 FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Can you brush dog teeth with human toothpaste?
No, you can’t. Most human toothpastes contain an artificial sweetener called Xylitol which is toxic to dogs. This ingredient can cause your dog’s blood sugar to drop and even potentially harm his liver. Human toothpaste also contains fluoride which is also bad for our fur babies. Dog toothpaste, on the other hand, is specially formulated to be safe for our pups. More importantly, they can be swallowed. You can’t exactly teach your dog how to spit.
How should I brush my dog’s teeth?
If you want to incorporate dental hygiene into your dog’s regular routine, you need to make sure that the entire experience is pleasant for him. Below are some steps you need to take to ensure the best results for your pup.
- Choose a quiet place where your dog won’t get distracted while you’re brushing his teeth.
- If you have a small dog, hold him securely in your lap. His head should be facing away from you. For a large dog, you will need to sit on a chair and let your dog sit between your legs while you hold his head in a comfortable position.
- Use your finger or a soft cloth to gently rub the outer surface of your dog’s teeth in a back-and-forth motion. You don’t need to rub all of his teeth during the first few times. You need to make sure he is comfortable with the process before going for the whole mouth. Quit if he gets agitated. It might take a few weeks for your dog to get acclimated.
- When he seems comfortable with the process, let your dog sample the toothpaste from your finger. You can reward your pet with a treat to make this a more positive experience.
- Introduce the toothbrush once he’s used to the toothpaste. Let him lick the toothbrush until he’s used to it.
- Once acclimated, start cleaning his teeth with the toothbrush and toothpaste using small, circular motions. Talk to your doggo throughout the process. Perform the cleaning in short intervals, consistently praising and petting him in between.
It shouldn’t take you more than a minute to brush your pet’s teeth – approximately 30 seconds for each side.
How often should I brush my dog’s teeth?
Vets recommend that you brush your doggo’s teeth at least three times a week, whether you’re using store-bought toothpaste or a DIY version. This helps remove any plaque while preventing tartar buildup. However, it is in your dog’s best interests to brush his teeth twice a day. It’s best to make this part of their routine while they are young. It may take longer to get your old pooch to get used to brushing if you haven’t done it before, but avoiding the cost of periodontal disease will make it worth your while.
How do you make homemade dog toothpaste?
As we’ve already mentioned, some pet parents like knowing what exactly their child is consuming. If you’re not sure that you can trust the brands in the market, you can make your own DIY all-natural dog toothpaste.
To make homemade dog toothpaste, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
- 3 Tablespoons Baking Soda
- 1/2 Teaspoon Fine Sea Salt (don’t use table salt)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
For freshness, you can add 6 mint leaves. You can also add 1/2 teaspoon of beef, chicken, or vegetable bouillon to make your toothpaste taste delicious for your fur baby.
Put all your ingredients in a food processor and pulse until they have fully combined. Store your DIY toothpaste in an airtight container in your refrigerator. This should last you a good two weeks.