We’ve all been there – despite your best efforts to keep a watchful eye on your furry co-pilot there has been a time when he or she has eaten doggie delicacies such as cat poop, trash, and dirty laundry.
This results in what I would describe as “morning breath on steroids”.
Before you judge your precious pooch, just remember that while you may not have gone as far as ingesting trash, I’m sure you’ve made your fair share of questionable meal choices. And what’s the best way to get rid of morning breath (or the taste of that 2 day old, leftover casserole you probably shouldn’t have eaten)?
That’s right…Grab the toothpaste!
All jokes aside, doggie dental hygiene is very important to the overall health of your pet.
Most of us brush and floss at least twice a day on top of seeing a dentist once to twice a year (whether or not we were dragged isn’t the point). And sometimes, even our best attempts don’t always yield the results we’d like.
Now think of your poor pawed pal who doesn’t have the luxury of opposable thumbs to help him practice good oral hygiene.
If you love your dog as much as I do – and chances are if you’re reading this, you do – take your dog’s health seriously and implement a brushing routine.
Why Should You Brush Your Dog’s Teeth?
According to veterinarian Dr. Andy Roark, dogs aren’t as susceptible to cavities as humans are due to a lesser ingestion of sugary foods and oral bacteria that unlike ours doesn’t cause acid build up. However, they are susceptible to the other risks a lack of upkeep can cause.
Some of them include gum disease, tooth loss, and tartar build up—the latter of which can cause periodontal disease. This is a dangerous inflammation of the gums and that eventually spreads to the surrounding bones of the jaw. If left untreated it can progress to the point of releasing toxins into the bloodstream that attack vital organs such as the lungs, heart, and even the brain.
Be honest, how many of you just had a mini moment of hypochondria and made a mental note to brush your teeth after this?
The ASPCA recommends brushing your barker’s teeth at least several times a week and aiming for once a day in addition to other preventative methods like chew toys and dental exams.
Brachycephalic breeds like bulldogs and pugs—which I like to refer to lovingly as smooshed faced—should receive extra care. These breeds are particularly susceptible to dental issues due to their sweet little flat faces not allowing for much space between their chompers.
Where Do You Start?
First you’ll need to pick out a good doggie toothpaste.
It is important to never use human toothpaste on your furry friend as it usually contains fluoride which is harmful for dogs (and humans, but that’s another topic).
According to dog magazine and online presence, Dogs Naturally, fluoride is actually considered a class 2 environmental toxin containing high levels of heavy metals and second only to arsenic as a poison. Ance since dogs can’t spit, your doggie ends up swallowing the fluoride. If enough is swallowed vomiting and kidney failure can follow.
Plus, dog toothpaste comes in flavors that are designed to be more appealing to your pooch like beef, peanut butter, and even seafood (whatever you do don’t mistake his for yours…)
Lucky for you, I’ve put together a list of the best 8 brands to help point you in the right direction.
Petrodex is a pretty popular brand among doggie dental caregivers. Their toothpaste is unique because it is enzymatic.
Basically it creates a layer on the teeth containing enzymes that break down plaque. The best part of this kind of toothpaste is that it works even after you are done brushing. The layer of enzymes sticks around for several hours. This is great for dogs that aren’t particularly fond of the whole process since a quick once over is all you’ll need. They do the work so you don’t have to! Check out Petrodex at PetMountain where you can also grab their specially designed toothbrush.
CET Pet Toothpaste
This is my personal favorite. Much like Petrodex, CET is an enzymatic toothpaste. The difference between the two is that CET has a much higher level of enzymes than Petrodex which means even more cleaning and protection power!
It offers a good variety of pup friendly flavors like poultry, malt, beef, seafood, and vanilla mint. This toothpaste would be an excellent option after indulging in a big bowl of doggy ice cream. You can find it at most retail stores and also here at Entirely Pets where it is on sale for $2 off!
I seriously can’t wait to try this one. This isn’t technically toothpaste. But it IS a fresh approach to dog hygiene that doesn’t involve risking your fingers getting chomped.
The founders of Orapup designed a brush that is similar to the brushes surgeons use when washing their hands. It gets in all the little crevices of the tongue helping eliminate bad breath and bacteria. The best part is that your dog does most of the work himself (because brushing your own teeth is hassle enough). This thing is seriously awesome and somewhat hard to explain… check out the video.
All natural ingredients and no brushing required? Sign me up! Tropiclean’s clean teeth gel works by mixing with your pup’s saliva to coat the teeth and mouth in plaque diminishing gel. Just put a couple of drops directly in his mouth…it’s that easy!
What attracted me to this brand is that Tropiclean also offers a line of fresh breath drops, whitening gel, and liquid floss. They even have a line for cats for any of you who have feline friendly households.
Nylabone is a long standing veterinarian recommended brand that is most well known for their chew toys.
Anything that has a veterinarian seal of approval is worth at least taking a look at. Their Advanced Oral Care toothpaste comes with a natural peanut flavor. What I like best is that they also offer a formula made for sensitive teeth.
I can’t be the only person who is a sucker for cute packaging right? KissAble has one of the best looking toothbrushes and cutest logos I’ve seen. It also includes all natural ingredients like tea tree oil which is a natural antiseptic and antifungal.
A potential downside I see to this brand is that it only has this one sort of minty flavor which my pooch doesn’t particularly care for.
This is another tea tree/vanilla flavored toothpaste, but what I like about it is that they actually show you their full list of ingredients which is something a lot of companies don’t do.
This is pretty pricey as far as toothpaste is concerned. But what caught my attention is that it’s made by the same people who made the professional whitening brand SuperSmile for humans. PetSmile only comes in beef flavor which is another potential downside for picky pups. However, it does contain an interesting ingredient called Calprox that works by gently dissolving a thin layer of protein on the surface of teeth that attracts plaque buildup.
As you can see, there are so many great dog toothpaste brands available. What you have to commit to before picking the right toothpaste is actually doing the brushing. Do that and you’ll be well on your way to helping your pet live a happier and healthier life!