Gum disease is a leading health problem in dogs. You can help your pup avoid the doggie dentist by making your own toothpaste with a few simple ingredients. Plus, who doesn’t want to make hound halitosis a thing of the past? Experiment with our doggie toothpaste recipes to whip your dog’s bad breath into shape and improve their oral health.
🚨 Never use human toothpaste on your dog — It can contain Xylitol, an ingredient that is lethally toxic to dogs. Fortunately, there are plenty of options in the market. If you are a fan of all-natural and want to make your own, we’ve got some great recipes for you.
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4 easy-to-make homemade dog toothpaste recipes
We tweaked four of the most popular homemade toothpaste recipes to meet our quality and nutritional standards. 👩🍳 Then, we tried out a few flavor experiments on Willow, our official betterpet toothpaste tester terrier.
🥥 Super simple DIY coconut oil dog toothpaste
Why coconut oil is beneficial for dog’s teeth
The lauric acid in coconut oil kills bacteria that cause tooth decay and stinky breath in your pup’s mouth. Its antimicrobial properties remove bacteria from your dog’s mouth and help prevent plaque from developing.
Prep time: 5 minutes
- Coconut oil
- Baking soda
Melt the coconut oil in the microwave for a few seconds until it becomes liquid. Combine equal parts coconut oil and baking soda. You can use any dish you like. You can even make extra to store for a couple of days. Simply mix the ingredients by shaking or stirring — and voila — easy peasy doggo toothpaste.
Original recipe from Rachel Fusaro
Editor’s Note: betterpet recommends against giving dogs bone marrow or any raw meat product, as seen in Rache’s tutorial.
🌿 Minty fresh dog toothpaste with olive oil
Prep time: 5 minutes
- ¼ teaspoon dried or fresh parsley flakes (for minty freshness)
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon water (or more as needed)
- 2 ½ tablespoons baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon minced mint leaves (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a dish. A lidded container is helpful if you want to save the excess for tomorrow’s brushing. And the day after that, and the day after that! (Yes, we really want you to brush your dog’s teeth on the daily.)
Original recipe from: Courtney Armer
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🐔 Bouillon-seasoned DIY pupper chomper paste
Prep time: 5 minutes
- 6 tablespoons baking soda
- 1 powder packet of chicken, vegetable, or beef bouillon (you can also corresponding amount of use liquid broth or a bouillon cube)
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 2 teaspoons water
Mix all ingredients. Store the extra for up to three weeks in an airtight container in the fridge.
Original recipe from Top Dog Tips
🌿 Healthy boost kelp and turmeric doggie toothpaste blend
Prep time: 5 minutes
- 1 cup coconut oil
- 2 tsp baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kelp
- ¼ teaspoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
Mix all ingredients. It really is that easy.
Original recipe from: Petwell Supply
The why of brushing your dog’s teeth
👉 An estimated 80% of dogs have some form of gum disease by age three.
Vets recommend brushing Fido’s chompers daily. We understand that is a lot, but it’s a habit you can work on with your fluffy BFF.
While it’s a big commitment, it will pay off in the end. Not only will your dog have fresh breath, but you can help save yourself from pricey doggie dental bills. Why? Because brushing with the right kind of product helps remove bacteria from your dog’s mouth and prevent tartar build-up that can lead to periodontal disease (a.k.a. gum disease).
Gum disease in dogs starts without symptoms but can lead to painful infections and tooth loss. It can even cause life-threatening conditions. While stinky dog breath is no fun, we all want the best for our dogs. Think of brushing as a way to keep the whole dog healthy. Just as it’s important for humans to be kind to our teeth, we must also help our four-legged friends. After all, it’s hard to hold a toothbrush without opposable thumbs.
The how of at-home dental care
First of all, you’ll want to find a good toothbrush for your pup. You can buy made-for-dog toothbrushes that come with a handle. Another option is a finger sleeve. For smaller dogs, you can use a child’s toothbrush. A human toothbrush is OK for pooch use but might be harder to control. Figuring out what works for you and your doggo is part of the slobbery fun!
👉 If you’re not sure exactly how to brush a dog’s teeth, we made a teeth-brushing guide just for you.
And here’s a video tutorial from the AKC to get you started:
Create your own unique DIY dog toothpaste recipe with natural ingredients
You’ve probably noticed that a lot of these ingredients overlap. Feel free to experiment at home to come up with your pooch’s favorite toothpaste recipe. For example: for the first recipe, you could add a little bit of bouillon for the flavor. You could also add parsley, turmeric, and kelp. Soon you’ll have your own unique doggie toothpaste concoction — a pup-approved secret family recipe.
We tried a variation of the minty fresh dog toothpaste recipe with olive oil. We opted to leave out the cinnamon due to the taste preferences of Willow, our betterpet toothpaste tester terrier. We had all the ingredients on hand already, so that was a breeze. The doggie toothpaste took no time at all to make. As you can tell by the photo, Willow was intrigued by the toothpaste. When we went to brush her teeth, she was slightly less enthusiastic. However, we were able to polish up those chompers because Willow is the goodest girl.
The pros and cons of DIY dog toothpaste versus store-bought
Homemade dog toothpaste lets you control everything that goes into your fuzzy BFF’s mouth. DIY doggie toothpaste is quite cheap. You likely have most — if not all — ingredients at home already. (Well, you might not always keep kelp in the cupboard!) For reference, store-bought doggie toothpaste ranges in price from about 2 dollars a tube up to ten dollars.
Bonus: Not all dogs adore the flavor of store-bought toothpaste. Making DIY toothpaste at home allows you to control the flavor and health benefits. Some dogs (my own included) prefer beef bouillon over chicken. Maybe your poochie hates kelp but loves parsley. You have options — all right in your own kitchen. Your own personal pupper toothpaste tester will wag their tail about this.
Our store-bought doggie toothpaste recommendations
If you find that you are short on time or that you don’t have the right ingredients on hand, you can certainly use canine-formulated toothpaste. One thing we can’t stress enough is that human toothpaste is bad for dogs. The good news is, you’ve got options when it comes to doggie toothpaste. Look for what flavors your dog likes. If you can find a product that is enzymatic, that’s even better. Enzymes help with your dog’s breath and dental health because they fight plaque and tartar buildup. Here are three of our favorite store-bought doggie toothpaste options: