Can Dogs Use Human Toothpaste?

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Can Dogs Use Human ToothpasteWhile brushing your dog’s teeth may seem absurd, responsible pet parents will want to maintain their dog’s overall health. The best way to do this is to prevent dental problems by using the right dog toothpaste — while many dog owners may neglect their pet’s teeth, it’s imperative that you pay attention to your dog’s mouth. In this article, we answer the question, “Can dogs use human toothpaste?” while discussing how you can help improve your dog’s dental health.   

How Many Teeth Do Dogs Have? 

Before we can understand more about our dogs’ dental needs, we first need to know how many teeth our pets have throughout their lives. Dogs will grow 2 sets of teeth during their whole lifetime; a puppy will come with 28 deciduous teeth which are also known as milk, baby, or primary teeth. Once they become adults, they will have 42 secondary teeth which will permanently stay with them.    

Can Human Toothpaste Be Used on Dogs?

The short answer is no. Human toothpaste should never be used to clean your dog’s teeth since there are ingredients in them that can have toxic effects on dogs. For starters, when dogs are exposed to too much fluoride, they can get poisoned — this is why toothpaste is meant to be rinsed rather than swallowed.    

However, your furry friend won’t be able to spit out the toothpaste. While adult dogs won’t be able to feel much when using commercial toothpaste in small amounts, long-term exposure to it will only increase the levels of toxins in their bodies. Another ingredient your dog shouldn’t be exposed to is sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which is what makes toothpaste foam. 

When dogs are exposed to SLS, it can cause serious health issues which is why toothpaste for dogs won’t foam when you brush your pet’s teeth. Finally, a sugar substitute known as Xylitol is usually found in human food and dental products. While it’s been linked to fighting tooth decay in humans, it doesn’t have the same effect on our dogs’ dental care. 

Unfortunately, this ingredient is known to slowly kill our pups, causing liver failure and low blood sugar in canines. So before you give anything to your pooch, be sure to check the ingredient list first. You may also double-check with your vet to ask them about natural ingredients you may not be too sure of.  

Why Do Dogs Need Toothpaste?

Dogs have their own toothpaste which is designed to be perfectly safe for your pooch that it can even be swallowed. But apart from that, they offer plenty of benefits without exposing your pet to toxic substances. 

Eliminates Bad Breath 

Much like humans, dogs can have bad breath too, but what most pet owners won’t realize is that this can be related to lung, gastrointestinal, or dental issues. If your dog’s breath suddenly smells different or has a sweet or bad scent, be sure to visit your veterinarian for a wellness check. Regular check-ups and annual dental cleanings are the most important things to ensure your canine’s overall well-being and can help prevent periodontal disease.  

Maintains Oral Health

Gum disease is one of the most common issues surrounding our dog’s teeth and more specifically around the gums. Moreover, the minerals found in dog saliva as well as food and bacteria can lead to plaque buildup which can then lead to an inflammatory condition such as gingivitis. The best way to take care of your dog is to brush your dog’s teeth regularly using enzymatic dog toothpaste that has been designed exactly for this purpose. 

Prevents Tooth Decay

These days, there are pet toothpaste products that are formulated to prevent tooth decay, which can effectively remove plaque from dog teeth. However, your dog will still need daily brushing — if you find an irregularity in your dog’s mouth, don’t try to brush their teeth. Instead, contact your vet and ask about possible treatment options.  

Helps Minimize Infections

When your dog suffers from infections and inflammations, it’s often a sign of dental disease that will need treatment at your vet’s office. Because it will be in a lot of pain, your dog may avoid eating and drinking properly and you may see redness and swelling around their gums. Other symptoms may include the following: 

  • Excessive drooling
  • Whining
  • Continuous pawing
  • Fatigue
  • Plaque and tartar buildup
  • Bad breath
  • Lack of interest

Effectively Removes Tartar

The buildup of tartar can lead to oral disease — while it will take a while to form, it can quickly damage your pup’s teeth. Tartar is also a hot spot for bacterial growth which may lead to more dental issues such as tooth loss. Using high-quality dog’s toothpaste while brushing their teeth on a regular basis can help to prevent tartar while ensuring your dog’s smile stays healthy. 

What’s the Best Toothpaste for Dogs?

Because there are already so many options available in the market, many dog owners find it difficult to choose the right product for their pooch. While it may help to look at brands in particular, the best thing to look at is the list of ingredients. Below are just a few things you should look for when choosing the best toothpaste for your dog. 

Coconut Oil

This provides many benefits for your pup, including keeping your dog’s oral health at tip top shape. It can help to kill viruses, bacteria, and fungi as a result of lauric acids — some studies have also shown that coconut oil can reduce gingivitis. Regular brushing using coconut oil along with your pet’s toothpaste can help combat gum disease and minimize plaque buildup. 


Many people will confuse coconut oil with MCT oil but they’re actually different from each other; MCT oil is derived from coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and dairy products. Manufacturers can create MCT oil through the extraction of a pure concentrate when refining coconut or palm oil. Just like coconut oil, MCT oil can keep your dog’s gums and teeth healthy by fighting bacteria.   

Green Tea Extract

Green tea is a great natural toothpaste that features compounds that can fight bacteria and control inflammation. Because it’s rich in antioxidants, green tea extract can minimize saliva acidity and dental plaque. Moreover, this ingredient can be useful in fighting cavities and can help treat gum diseases. Finally, it can kill germs that can help your pooch keep it’s breath fresh. 

Choosing the Best Pet Toothbrush  

When choosing the best toothbrush for your puppy, be sure to consider its size and your experience in teeth brushing. Be sure to get products that are designed specifically for dogs and their specific needs. It’s also important to get products for small dogs separate from big dogs and they should have an angled head or choose one that’s double-headed. 

Pet stores will often carry toothbrushes for dogs with soft bristles that are gentle on your dog’s teeth and gums. If this is your first time giving your pup tooth brushing, it may need some time to get used to this new routine. Using finger brushes is the best way to get started, but once you become more confident with brushing, you can switch over to the ones we mentioned above.

A double-headed toothbrush is a great choice because it can surround the tooth surface while allowing you to brush the front and back teeth simultaneously. However, no matter which option you go with, ensure that you choose one that comes with a long handle. Doing this will help you maneuver it easily, and will help in times when your dog becomes restless. 

How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth at Home 

When it comes to a dog’s body, it can become a challenge to do any kind of cleaning process such as bathing, grooming, and brushing their teeth; this is especially true for older dogs. If you want to give your dog healthy teeth, then be sure to follow the proper technique for brushing teeth outlined below. 

  • Choosing the Right Time: When your dog is relaxed and calm, this is the best time to get them accustomed to daily tooth brushing. Be sure to get them started at a young age so they won’t mind regular brushing when they grow older.  
  • Get to Your Position: Make sure that your dog is comfortable at all times and avoid holding them down while you brush their teeth. Instead, try sitting or kneeling to help keep your pup calm but if they get too anxious, you can always try again next time. 
  • Start Brushing: When your pet is comfortable enough with brushing their teeth use a finger toothbrush and toothpaste to brush in small circles throughout their mouth. Be sure to use your index finger since this will give you the most control.  

Be sure to stay along your dog’s gum line to ensure that you clean their tooth carefully, and don’t forget to reward them afterward with their favorite peanut butter to ensure they have a positive experience. Alternatively, you can also give them dental chews and provide them with lots of praise whenever they use them.   

Can Dogs Use Human Toothpaste?  

Now we know that dogs shouldn’t use human toothpaste, so it’s best to stick to ones specifically made for pets. Be sure that you look for the right tools for brushing your dog’s teeth to ensure that they have a great takeaway every time you clean their mouth. However, homemade dog toothpaste may not be the best for dental care since it may cause more harm than good.