The Best Dog Toothpastes For Healthy Pet Teeth

Should You Really Brush Your Dog’s Teeth?

It never occurs to most dog owners that dogs need to have their teeth brushed too.

Most of us only think about it once our pooches breath gets too stinky – or the veterinarian suggests it (often due to discoloration).

Brushing your dog’s teeth helps ensure healthy teeth and gums, AND improves their overall health.

Furthermore, preventing tartar build up means preventing inflamed gums and gum disease.  This also means preventing bacterial infections that can spread directly into the bloodstream.

How To Pick The Best Toothpaste

Flavor is going to play a big role.  Some of dog dental pastes are broth flavored.  Others are salty.  The key thing is that your dog needs to like it.

Once you pick out a toothpaste, you will want to introduce your pet to it.

Get them to lick the paste as if it is a treat. Do this over a few days before beginning to attempt to brush.

How Often Should I Brush My Dog’s Teeth?

Ideally, you should be brushing them at least once a day.  However, for most of us that is a little too optimistic.

Even if you are only brushing once or twice a week, you are providing better care than no brushing at all.

The key thing is to keep it fun.

If the brushing is not working, then you can apply some of the gels onto their teeth and gum by hand. This won’t be as effective as a brush but will still help.

Virbac C.E.T Enzymatic Toothpaste

The CET brand of toothpaste is a top-notch choice.  CET is a well-accepted brand in the pet industry and is the first pick for most pet owners.

What sets this toothpaste apart is that it actually includes more enzymes in the formula than the other brands.  This provides deeper cleaning and anti-bacterial action which helps both with bad breath and plaque removal.

It seems to be one of the most efficient cleaners on the market… which is why it holds almost 3,000 4.5 star reviews.

Plus, the dogs seem to love the mint flavor making them look forward to tooth-brushing time.

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2. Vet’s Best Dental Gel


This dental gel is specifically formulated for dogs (not cats), and includes natural ingredients:

Glycerin, aloe, pectin, neem oil, grapefruit seed extract, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), papain and natural flavors.

There are many reviews of how well it breaks up existing tartar, and soothing irritated teeth and gums.

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3. Virbac CET Plaque Tartar Control


This CET toothpaste has a poultry flavor that many dogs find more appealing than the mint.

The formulation is different from the previous toothpaste and is specifically for dogs that have an existing tartar buildup.

Using the enzymes glucose oxidase and lactoperoxidase – some dog owners have found this is the only one that really works on their dogs teeth.

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My Dog Will Not Accept a Toothbrush

Many dogs will not tolerate their teeth being brushed. If their teeth and gums become irritated enough, your Vet may suggest getting them brush AT the vet clinic.

This will require sedation, and will be expensive!

There are some alternatives, such as a breath spray.

Pets Are Kids Too: Premium Dental Spray

This spray is the most popular dental spray for dogs.

Ingredients: purified water, aloe vera extract, peppermint, spearmint, glycerin, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, baking soda, and very small amount of stevia 🙂

Again, it is not going to be as effective as brushing, but – over time – will begin to break down some of the plaque.

Works best as a preventative, but if your dogs teeth are bad enough, a stronger intervention will be required.

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Virbac C.E.T. HEXtra Oral Hygiene Chews

These strongly-smelling chews have been found to be effective in reducing plaque, tartar, and calculus on your pet’s teeth.

An alternative to toothpastes, they are made from beefhide but are coated with a patented solution of chlorhexidine gluconate. It is this solution that breaks down the tartar.

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What Should I Be Feeding My Dog?

Your dog should always have a dry food (kibble or biscuit) as the base of their diet. This is good for teeth and gums compared with a wet food.

If price is an issue (and it is for most of us), see our recommendations for affordable dog foods.

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