LIFESTYLE

DIY Dog Toothpaste: Better Doggie Dental Care

dog holding toothbrush in mouth
Wyatt Robinson
Written by Wyatt Robinson

Your four-legged friend is someone who greets you every day with his tail wagging behind him. In return for their love, we hug, cuddle, and even kiss them. That is really cute, and it also makes your dog feel loved. But don’t let the stinky dog breath turn your head away—it will break your pup’s heart. Putting some effort into maintaining his oral hygiene can really help. Let us give you a solution that is affordable, safe, and effective—DIY dog toothpaste.

DIY toothpaste is formulated with ingredients that not just deodorize yucky breath, but they also ensure healthy gums and protection against cavities. Secondly, unlike many commercial dog toothpaste, homemade toothpaste has a pleasant taste. You will not have to deal with your dog squirming away every time you hold him down for some tooth-brushing.

stinky dog breath

Homemade dog toothpaste can be created with everyday ingredients that we usually have on our kitchen shelves. That means they are quite inexpensive as compared to commercial toothpaste brands. Also, because you create the paste yourself, you can rest assured that it is free of any unnecessary ingredients like preservatives, additives, and artificial coloring.

In this article, we are going to canvass a bundle of info about DIY dog toothpaste and their ingredients. Besides sharing some quick homemade toothpaste recipes, we will also give some useful tips for a better brushing experience. In short, you will get to read everything that you should know regarding canine dental health as a pet parent.

Can We Use Human Toothpaste for Dogs?

dog chewing on tooth brush

This is a generic question. You might wonder: we have plenty of toothpaste at home, so why should we bother formulating a special one for our furry friend? The answer is, you know it: Dogs are incompatible with human toothpaste.

Most of the commercial human dental care products today are formulated with ingredients that are toxic to dogs; these include xylitol and fluoride. Other than these, the foaming agents contained in these products can lead to liver damage if swallowed by pets.

As humans, we know that toothpaste is meant to be spat out. But dogs don’t understand that. That’s why they might fall victim to accidental ingestion. So, it is advised not to use human toothpaste on dogs.

DIY Dog Toothpaste Recipes

human brushing dog teeth

Human toothpaste is out of the question. So should you purchase some commercial dog toothpaste? While there are commercial dog toothpaste brands that are quite safe for your dog and convenient, not all of them are free from additives and unwanted chemicals and. So what would be the safest option to go with? Homemade toothpaste for dogs can save the day.

Read on here to find some great DIY dog toothpaste recipes for giving your canine a safe brushing experience. Our recipes come with all-natural and pure ingredients, so even if your dog ingests some, there would be no harm to his overall health. Once you have prepared the paste, the mixtures can be stored at room temperature for several weeks.

Recipe #1: Cinnamon Powder and Coconut Oil

cinnamon powder

Unrefined coconut oil is commonly incorporated as a base in DIY dog toothpaste. It holds different ingredients together. Besides being a natural antiseptic, antifungal, and antibacterial ingredient, it is also known as a natural deodorizer.

If your dog has digestive issues, coconut oil can also help sort them out. Just make sure that your furry sidekick is not swallowing coconut oil regularly, or he could end up suffering from diarrhea.

We suggest unrefined oil because refined coconut oil passes through a specific set of preparation processes, where it tends to lose many of its essential nutrients.

Chicken or beef bouillon is not an essential item for DIY dog toothpaste, but we recommend using these cubes just for the sake of incorporating a pleasant taste for your bestie.

If your pup dislikes the taste of toothpaste and this makes it hard for you to get his teeth brushed, adding beef or chicken bouillon to the DIY toothpaste mixture can make brushing easier. The added flavor will make him sit and allow the brushing to be done peacefully and tastefully.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. of baking soda
  • 1 tsp. of cinnamon powder
  • 1 bouillon cube
  • ½ cup of unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. of water
  • A mixing bowl

Directions:

  • Take a bowl and pour the water into it to dissolve the bouillon cube. Stir it well.
  • Now add baking soda and cinnamon to the bouillon mixture and mix them so well that it all becomes one.
  • Add coconut oil to the mixing bowl and keep on stirring until it all becomes even.
  • The paste is ready to use. Store the remaining toothpaste in a container with a lid.

Recipe #2: Simple Baking Soda

spoonful of baking soda

Baking soda is an all-natural anti-bacterial ingredient that prevents gum diseases and tooth decay. The abrasiveness of baking soda is helpful in removing tartar buildup and other impurities from the dog’s teeth.

When you are using baking soda, you’ll still have to be watchful to prevent swallowing. Ingesting large amounts of baking soda may cause electrolyte imbalances in your pup.

Cinnamon can be used as a safer alternative to baking soda, or you can use it with baking soda as well. It not just comes with a pleasant taste—its powdery form works as an abrasive that rubs away plaque buildup.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. of baking soda
  • 1 tsp. of water or chicken/meat broth (for added flavor)

Directions:

  • This is a very quick and simple recipe. Just take a container and mix the said amounts of both ingredients in it. You are free to pick between plain water or meat broth.
  • Mix it well to form a unified paste. The DIY toothpaste is ready for use.

Recipe #3: Fresh Parsley/Mint

mint for dog toothpaste

A combination of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins, parsley ensures great dental health. It not only acts as an antibacterial property, but it is also known to be a natural way to eliminate bad breath. Make sure you are not using spring parsley—it might be toxic for pets.

Mint can be used as an alternative to parsley (both ingredients can also be used together). It too helps in refreshing your dog’s breath.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp. of baking soda
  • 1 bouillon cube
  • 1 tsp. of parsley or chopped mint leaves (about 6 leaves)
  • ½ tsp. of salt
  • 1 tsp. of water

Directions:

  • Grab a bowl and pour all these ingredients.
  • Keep on mixing until you get a paste-like consistency.
  • The paste is ready to use. It can be stored at room temperature.

Recipe #4: Kelp and Turmeric

Turmeric for dog toothpaste

Kelp is seaweed enriched with salts and minerals; it is highly beneficial for your dog’s oral health (also good for humans). With its antibacterial properties, it is considered a great item to help remove plaque and tartar buildup. It is also a good source of minerals and chlorophyll.

Turmeric helps both humans and pets achieve their desired pearly white teeth. Other than this, its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties make it one of the best ingredients for gum diseases. Another top advantage that turmeric offers is the prevention of plaque buildup.

Ingredients:

  • ½ tsp. of kelp
  • ½ tsp. of turmeric
  • 1 cup of unrefined/virgin coconut oil
  • 1/8 tbsp. of dried parsley flakes

Directions:

  • Pour some coconut oil into a bowl. Make sure that the coconut oil is not solid. You need to have it in a melted-down form so it will mix smoothly with the other ingredients.
  • Mix all the other ingredients into it to form a safe and organic DIY toothpaste.

Recipe #5: Sage Leaf and Tea Tree Oil

Sage leaf for dog toothpaste

The antibacterial, antiseptic, astringent, antihidrotic, and antispasmodic properties of sage help in curing bacterial and fungal infections in the mouth. It can even be rubbed directly onto the teeth.

This recipe also calls for some tea tree oil. When picking out essential oil products for your dog, be sure to choose a chemical-free one that is strictly monitored during the production to ensure their purity. A recommended brand is Young Living. Be careful because many essential oil products come with toxic properties and alcohol. If your dog swallows them accidentally, he might end up poisoned.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of organic coconut oil
  • ½ cup of fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp. of fresh sage leaves
  • 2 tbsp. of baking soda
  • 1 tsp. of cinnamon
  • 2 to 3 drops of tea tree oil (antiseptic properties)
  • A splash of broth

Directions:

  • Put all these ingredients in a food processor and mix them well.
  • Your DIY dog toothpaste is ready. Store it in a proper container for future use.

The Importance of Your Dog’s Oral Hygiene

examining dog teeth

Some pet parents do not follow a regular oral hygiene routine for their dogs. In that case, bad breath is not the only issue that you are likely to face—there is a lot more to it.

Canine oral health is significant because a dog’s mouth can become a breeding ground for alarming stuff like parasites and bacteria. If you don’t brush your pet’s teeth regularly, the breeding will grow out of control, and the microorganisms could end up infecting not only your dog’s teeth but also his body. There are certain heart, liver, and stomach diseases that your dog might develop with time if you don’t get his teeth brushed on a regular basis.

Aging in dogs also tends to bring a number of symptoms related to oral diseases. Periodontal disease (inflamed gums) is an example of it. This disease comes in a number of early and advanced stages; like every other disease, prevention is the best cure for it.

Before it’s too late, keep an eye out for the most common signs of oral and dental issues such as:

  • plaque and tartar buildup
  • cavities
  • redness or inflamed gums
  • foul breath
  • difficulty in chewing
  • loss of appetite
  • lack of interest in treats and chew toys
  • excessive drooling

A theory suggests that small dog breeds (those that are shorter than your knees) are more likely to develop oral issues like severe plaque buildup and periodontal disease. Why? With so little space in their mouth, their teeth tend to grow in a congested manner. So cleaning them up is no simple task.

Some small dog breeds that run a high risk of developing oral and dental diseases include:

  • Chihuahuas
  • Dachshunds
  • Pugs
  • Yorkies
  • Shih Tzus

Do you own a large breed? Don’t be so happy! Even then you are supposed to brush your dog’s teeth regularly. Any dog (irrespective of size or breed) can fall victim to oral diseases.

It’s not that complicated. All you need to do is to follow a regular oral cleaning routine at home. Besides that, regular dental checkups by a well-reputed vet are also recommended.

Tips for a Safe Brushing Experience

treat for dog as reward

Not sure how to approach tooth-brushing because your dog seems to despise the very idea of it? True, your dog might wrestle with you when you are about to take him to the bathroom for a good brushing, but it’s not impossible to do. Let us help in making the routine safe, pleasant, and fun for your dog (and for you).

  • The best time is when your dog is tired and won’t put up much of a fight (after some exercise).
  • You are advised to only brush moderately, especially for the first few days. Increase the time gradually.
  • In the beginning, your dog might get agitated. Do not force the brushing on him. Just let him go.
  • Always use a pea-sized amount of DIY toothpaste.
  • While you are brushing his teeth, do not forget to hug and cuddle him. Speaking lovingly to him would also help keep him calm and cool while brushing.
  • Make sure you have some reward prepared for the little bugger (dry biscuits or a safe chew toy). That is the only way you can keep him coming back for more.
  • Start early with your pup’s brushing routine. The younger your doggy is, the easier he will accept tooth-brushing as a vital part of his everyday life.
  • If you can brush your dog’s teeth every day, that would be for the best. But if not, then make sure you are doing it twice a week.
  • Any recipe that has coconut oil in it must not be stored in the refrigerator. Refrigerating tends to harden up the mixture.
  • If the DIY toothpaste changes in smell or color, discard it.
  • No matter how healthy a set of teeth your playmate seems to have, it is advised that you take your pup to the vet for a dental examination every 6 to 9 months.

Wrap Up

white healthy dog teeth

Never ignore your pup’s bad breath. Next time when he yawns and spews forth some atrocious smell, know that it is time to dig through your kitchen cabinets to unearth some simple ingredients for creating a homemade dog toothpaste. Make certain that your pooch does not ingest the toothpaste too often, even if the ingredients are all natural. Too much of anything is bad.

Have you ever tried making or using DIY toothpaste for dogs? If yes, did it effectively protect your canine friend’s teeth? Share your recipe with us, if it is not already here on our list. How did you find this article? Did it help you in any way in maintaining your pup’s oral hygiene? Pen down your views in the comments section. Happy brushing!

About the author
Wyatt Robinson
Wyatt Robinson

Wyatt Robinson had a great 25-years career as a veterinarian in United Kingdom. He used to be a member of British Veterinary Association and worked in 3 pet hospitals in London and Manchester. He is shining when he sees his pets healthy and full of energy and it is his duty to help other dog owners to keep their best friends full of life.

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