Brush Up! 12 Dog Toothpastes to Clean Teeth and Gums

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Brushing your teeth is part of your daily routine, but how often do you brush your dog’s teeth? If the idea sounds absurd to you, you might want to do a little research. Brushing your dog’s teeth is one of the most important routines you can develop. Not only does it keep bad breath at bay, but it prevents periodontal disease, which is as serious for pets as it is for people, impacting teeth, gums, and their overall health. Finding a good dog toothpaste is an important part of establishing good oral care habits.

Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste

This toothpaste, available in several flavors, contains more enzymes than other brands to deliver an extra-deep clean and serious antibacterial action.

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According to some estimates, periodontal disease affects most dogs and cats by the time they reach three years of age. It can lead to painful infections and tooth loss, so staying on top of your dog’s dental care is an important part of maintaining your dog’s health. If tooth or gum disease goes untreated, the bacteria can enter your dog’s bloodstream, causing serious kidney, liver, and heart issues. Not to mention bad breath!

First, let’s start with a primer on brushing your dog’s teeth, with this video:

What Is the Best Toothpaste for Dogs?

The best dog toothpaste contains dog-safe, plaque-fighting ingredients. All of the toothpastes on our list are vet-recommended, and many contain natural, herbal ingredients. Here’s a shortlist of our picks—read on for more information and our more in-depth reviews of each.

1. Petsmile Professional Pet Toothpaste
2. Sentry Petrodex Enzymatic Toothpaste for Dogs
3. Paws & Pals Dog Toothbrush and Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste
4. Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste
5. Vet’s Best Enzymatic Toothpaste
6. Nylabone Advanced Oral Care and Tartar Control Toothpaste
7. Arm & Hammer Advanced Care Tartar Control Dog Toothpaste
8. EZ Dog Pet Toothpaste
9. Nutri-Vet Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste
10. Fresh Breath by TropiClean Dental & Oral Care Gel for Dogs
11. Kissable Natural Dog Toothpaste Dental Kit
12. Vetoquinol Enzadent Enzymatic Toothpaste for Dogs

Which Toothpastes Do Vets Recommend?

All of the picks on our list are veterinarian-approved. It’s important to pick a toothpaste that is specially formulated for dogs, with ingredients that are safe for pets. Dog toothpastes tout a variety of plaque- and stain-busting ingredients. Mild abrasives, such as hydrated silica or baking soda, help lift away particles as you scrub. Enzymatic formulas are made with an enzyme called glucose oxidase that, when mixed with glucose and oxygen, becomes anti-bacterial to target tartar buildup, oral diseases, and bad breath in your dog’s mouth.

Never use human toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth. Ingredients such as xylitol, fluoride, and other additives can all damage your dog’s health when ingested. Xylitol is particularly toxic, with small amounts causing blood sugar drops and ultimately liver failure. It’s in many human sugar-free toothpaste formulas (as well as in sugar-free gum).

You may or may not need to brush daily, depending on your dog’s dental needs. Your veterinarian can help you assess that.

What Can I Use for Dog Toothpaste?

One important feature of dog toothpaste is that it can be swallowed, because dogs can’t spit it out like humans do. So whether you use commercial dog toothpaste or make your own, you’ll note that the ingredients are made to be appealing and edible to canines. Broths or water, combined with baking soda, make for a good DIY toothpaste base, which you can combine with other dog-safe ingredients, such as coconut oil and mint leaves, to further clean and freshen breath.

Does Dog Toothpaste Really Work?

Just like with pet parents, the right toothpaste does work! Scrubbing away plaque and bacteria help keep your dog’s risk of periodontal disease low. Of course, it also helps if your dog likes their paste, so some experimentation may be necessary. However, though tooth brushing is a very important part of your dog’s overall oral health, it should be supplemented with other healthy dental practices, such as regular checkups and the use of dental chews. Always consult a veterinarian if your dog is experiencing persistent oral health problems in case of an underlying problem.

Read on for our reviews of the best dog toothpastes currently available.

The Best 12 Dog Toothpastes

We rounded up 12 toothpastes that address issues like gum disease, plaque, stains, and bad breath, as well as some that target tartar buildup removal. We also included some options made from all-natural ingredients.

Virbac has specialized in animal dental health for 30 years, and their dog toothpaste formula boasts more enzymes than other brands to deliver an extra-deep clean and serious antibacterial action. From seafood to vanilla mint to beef, there’s bound to be a flavor your dog will love.

Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste

This toothpaste, available in several flavors, contains more enzymes than other brands to deliver an extra-deep clean and serious antibacterial action.

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Recommended by the Veterinary Oral Health Council, this toothpaste is available in a range of flavors, including the interestingly-named “London broil” that apparently dogs really like. It contains proprietary Calprox, which breaks down film on teeth and remineralizes enamel. It can be used with a brush or rubbed around with a finger for daily dental health maintenance.

Petsmile Professional Pet Toothpaste

Available in a range of flavors, this toothpaste contains a proprietary ingredient that helps break down plaque on teeth and remineralize enamel.

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With a smooth texture and irresistible poultry flavor, this dog toothpaste is the perfect product if you aren’t sure what type of toothpaste to start with. It features a patented enzymatic formula that reduces plaque and tartar buildup while freshening your dog’s breath. Since this toothpaste doesn’t foam, there’s no need to rinse once you’re done brushing your dog’s teeth.

Sentry Petrodex Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste

This enzymatic toothpaste will reduce plaque buildup and freshen your dog’s breath. Plus, it has a delicious chicken flavor.

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For nonstop protection against gum disease, tartar buildup, tooth decay, and bad breath, this dog toothpaste cleans and freshens your dog’s breath with an easy-to-use formula and a delicious beef flavor your dog will love. This kit comes with two tubes of toothpaste, a dual-headed dog toothbrush, and finger brush for optimal hygiene options.

Paws & Pals Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste

This kit has everything you need to brush your dog’s teeth: a dual-headed toothbrush, a finger brush, and a beef-flavored toothpaste.

Vet’s Best super gentle dog toothpaste is made with all-natural aloe and grapefruit seed extract as well as baking soda and other dog-friendly ingredients to support oral hygiene. You only need to use it a few times a week to improve your dog’s dental health.

Vet’s Best Enzymatic Toothpaste

Made with all-natural ingredients, like aloe, grapefruit, and baking soda, this toothpaste will gently clean your pet’s teeth.

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Available in an array of flavors your dog will drool over (liver or peanut, anyone?), Nylabone Advanced Oral Care toothpaste is a quality offering from the makers of the popular chew toys; it includes proprietary ingredients formulated to reduce bacteria-harboring plaque.

Nylabone Tartar Control Toothpaste

From the makers of the popular dog chew toys, this toothpaste contains proprietary ingredients to reduce harmful bacteria and plaque in your dog’s mouth.

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From the makers of the popular baking soda-based human toothpaste, this Arm & Hammer dog toothpaste fights tartar buildup with the natural power of baking soda. This package comes with a 2.5-ounce tube of breath-freshening enzymatic toothpaste, a finger brush, and a dual-ended toothbrush so you have everything you need to support your dog’s dental health.

Arm & Hammer Dog Toothpaste

This dog toothpaste relies on baking soda to help reduce tartar buildup. This kit also includes a finger brush and a dual-ended toothbrush.

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Featuring an all-natural formula and a delicious vanilla-mint flavor, this toothpaste promotes healthy gums and prevents tartar buildup while freshening your dog’s breath. Made with gentle natural ingredients, including a touch of antibacterial tea tree oil, this toothpaste is safe for all dogs and puppies.

EZ Dog Pet Toothpaste

Not only does this toothpaste have a vanilla-mint flavor that dogs will love, it’s also made with gentle, natural ingredients.

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This enzymatic formula polishes your dog’s teeth and freshens their breath while preventing plaque and tartar formation for improved dental health. It comes in an irresistible chicken flavor tailor-made for doggie palates.

Nutri-Vet Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste

Polish your pet’s teeth with this enzymatic toothpaste that comes in a yummy chicken flavor.

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TropiClean natural clean teeth gel doesn’t require brushing. Simply squeeze a few drops into your dog’s mouth and his saliva will do the rest, coating his teeth with gel for a quick and easy clean. This dog toothpaste features non-caffeinated green tea extract, a natural ingredient that helps fight bacteria.

Fresh Breath by TropiClean Oral Care Gel

There’s no need for a toothbrush with this tooth gel that relies on your dog’s saliva to work. You only need to squeeze a few drops in your pet’s mouth.

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This dog toothpaste aims to refresh, with a cucumber mint flavor that freshens breath while it controls tartar. It’s made with all-natural ingredients, including tea tree oil for its antiseptic and antifungal properties, and stevia for sweetening and flavor. It also comes with a specialized three-sided toothbrush that covers multiple facets of the tooth at once and a finger brush.

Kissable Natural Dog Dental Kit

This all-natural toothpaste contains tea tree oil to fight bacteria and a cucumber mint flavor. Also included is a three-sided toothbrush and a finger brush.

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With an irresistible poultry flavor and powerful enzymatic action from glucose oxidase, this toothpaste is just what you need to up your dog’s oral hygiene game. It claims a triple-action ingredient combo to polish and remove plaque from your dog’s teeth while it freshens breath.

Vetoquinol Enzadent Dog Toothpaste

This toothpaste promises to deep-clean your dog’s teeth with its powerful enzymatic formula.

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Other Products to Support Your Dog’s Dental Health

Brushing your dog’s teeth is the best way to support his dental health, but there are other products that can help you keep your dog’s teeth clean between brushings. Here are some of our favorites.

Featuring an all-natural chicken flavor and an abrasive texture to clean teeth, these dental chew sticks fight plaque and tartar while freshening your dog’s breath.

Dingo Tartar And Breath Dental Sticks

These chicken-flavored chew sticks have an abrasive texture that helps clean your dog’s teeth.

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Available in several sizes for all dog breeds, these dog treats reduce tartar buildup, clean teeth, and freshen breath as part of your dog’s daily oral care routine. Available in mini and medium sizes as well.

Pedigree Dentastix Original Dog Treats

These dog treats promise to reduce tartar buildup, clean teeth, and freshen breath and come in several sizes to suit different breeds.

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If your dog hates having their teeth brushed, these dental hygiene chews can help keep their teeth clean. They’re the only dental chew for dogs made with delmopinol, which works, according to the manufacturer, to “loosen and dislodge plaque” and forms a protective barrier against plaque-causing bacteria.

OraVet Dental Hygiene Chews for Dogs

These dental chews contain ingredients that help remove plaque as your dog gnaws on them.

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These plant-based chews help keep your dog’s dental health in check by reducing plaque and tartar, freshening breath, and promoting a balanced digestive system.

Virbac C.E.T. VeggieDent Dog Chews

Keep plaque and tartar in check with these plant-based dental chews for dogs.

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Made with digestible grain-free ingredients, these dental dog treats satisfy your dog’s urge to chew while boosting his dental hygiene.

Whimzees Natural Grain-Free Daily Dental Dog Treats

These dental dog treats are made of easy-to-digest grain-free ingredients.

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Made with real blueberries for a sweet and natural flavor your dog will love, these dental dog treats reduce plaque and tartar while freshening your dog’s breath; they also break down easily for safe and gentle digestion.

Greenies Dental Dog Treats

Available in multiple sizes, these blueberry-flavored dental treats shaped like a toothbrush help reduce plaque and tartar.

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These bone-shaped treats have lots of ridges to help get into your dog’s teeth while they chew—freshening their breath in the tastiest way possible.

Blue Buffalo Dental Bones All-Natural Dog Treats

These treats are bone-shaped with ridges that help remove plaque from your dog’s teeth while he’s chewing.

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Next Steps

Picking out the right toothpaste and dental chews is a great first step—but creating a habit of using them is the most important part of your dog’s oral care routine. If you’ve never brushed your dog’s teeth before, you may need to start out slowly by first getting them used to having their teeth and gums touched. From there, you can use a little bit of toothpaste on your finger or start out brushing just a few teeth at a time.

Keep in mind as well that some dogs are picky about the flavor or consistency of their toothpaste, so you may need to try more than one brand before you find the right fit. Thankfully, as we see here, there are plenty of dog toothpastes on the market to test out—and they’re fairly inexpensive.

Regular brushing will keep your dog’s breath fresh and their teeth healthy—so you can enjoy their kisses, slobber and all, as often as they’re willing to give them!

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