Owner brushing dog’s teeth

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Keeping your pooch’s teeth clean and strong is an important part of your dog’s overall wellbeing. Preventing unnecessary dental diseases and tooth decay is important in keeping your pup happy and healthy, as teeth and gum conditions can be extremely painful. It can also cause bad dog breath which can easily be solved with basic dental hygiene. Choosing a toothpaste that your dog enjoys can help this process become a fun part of your pup’s routine.

Read more and discover the best dog toothpaste for your furry friend.

The Importance Of Dental Care For Dogs

Like humans, without regular dental care, dog’s can suffer from gum disease and other ailments, caused by plaque, bacteria and tooth decay. Dental diseases can begin early in life, so it is important to take care of your dog’s teeth. The most common disease diagnosed is periodontal disease – affecting 80-90% of dogs over age 31 – which stems from an infection in the mouth but can then lead to bacteria getting into your dog’s bloodstream, leading to more sinister problems such as organ dysfunction.1

Periodontal disease affects 80-90% of dogs over age 3.

Lack of dental care can also lead to teeth falling out as your pup gets older, making eating painful and affecting the overall mood of your pet. Therefore, brushing your dog’s teeth is the easiest way to prevent any unpleasant diseases from occurring. Under no circumstance should you ever use human toothpaste on dog’s as many human toothpaste formulas contain an ingredient (xylitol), that is toxic to dogs and could potentially lead to xylitol poisoning. Instead there is an array of specialized dog toothpastes you can choose from, ranging in flavors from chicken to peanut butter - whichever your pup prefers.

If you cannot brush your pet’s teeth as regularly as you would like, it is important to look into other methods of oral hygiene such as Veterinary Oral Health Council-approved dental chews and treats. If your dog’s teeth are already covered in brown and yellow stained tartar or their gums are inflamed or bleeding, it is important that you take them to your veterinarian who can perform a professional cleaning.

Best Dog Toothpastes

You may find yourself thinking what is the best toothpaste for dogs? With such a wide variety on the market, it can be difficult to choose. The following dog toothpastes come in a variety of flavors and formulas so you can find the best toothpaste for your dog.

1. CET Enzymatic Dog & Cat Poultry Flavored Toothpaste

Often recommended by vets, the Virbac CET Enzymatic Dog & Cat Poultry Flavored Toothpaste is a great option for picky dogs with a succulent poultry flavor that they know and love, making brushing easy. It is also available in a variety of other meaty flavors and can be conveniently used on cats as well. Designed to be swallowed, this toothpaste causes no unpleasant foaming in the mouth for a hassle free formula.

Enzymatic toothpastes are specially formulated with a dual enzyme system to generate hydrogen peroxide, combating existing plaque and tartar buildup, while working to eliminate any bacteria that may cause additional plaque. For best results apply with a pet-friendly soft-bristled toothbrush, such as the C.E.T. Dual Ended Dog & Cat Toothbrush.

2. CET Enzymatic Dog & Cat Vanilla-Mint Flavored Toothpaste

The Virbac CET Enzymatic Dog & Cat Toothpaste also comes in Vanilla-Mint flavor to keep your pooch’s breath fresh and minty with a taste they’ll love. Formulated with the same non-foaming recipe, this toothpaste can be swallowed by your dog and is specially formulated to be safe, effective and appealing to your pet.

Designed with a formula highly praised amongst veterinarians as it dissolves the buildup of plaque on the tooth, allowing for a healthier, fresher mouth. Therefore, enzymatic formulas are often regarded as the best dog toothpaste to combat bad breath, as they help to prevent plaque and tartar build up.

3. Petsmile Professional Pet Toothpaste

Approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council, contains Calprox which aims to safely prevent plaque and fights bacteria. This product does not need to be applied with a toothbrush and can be conveniently applied with your fingers. Free from fluoride, parabens, sulfates, and other ingredients that could be harmful to dogs and can be applied two-three times a week.

How To Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

The first step to superb oral health care is to look into dog care equipment that can make upkeep of your dog’s oral hygiene easier. A quality doggy toothbrush has a curved, long handle so you can easily clean their back teeth without too much hassle. It is also important to choose a time of day when you know your dog is most calm and a room with good quality lighting so you can efficiently see what you are doing.

If your pet is used to being handled, begin by lifting the top lip up to touch the top row of teeth, then repeat on the bottom, ensuring you praise and reward your dog for good behavior during this step. Then, allow your dog to try some of the toothpaste off of your finger so you can gauge whether they like it and will tolerate you putting it in their mouth.

Apply the toothpaste to the toothbrush then begin brushing, starting with the top teeth, holding the top lip up at the same time. If your dog is tolerant of the toothbrush, then repeat the same steps on the bottom row of teeth, ensuring to praise them profusely. Once your dog is used to these steps and is calm during the brushing procedure, you can begin to introduce brushing the insides of the teeth.


What do vets recommend for brushing dogs’ teeth?

Every vet is different and every dog is different, so there is no single, universal recommendation agreed upon by the veterinary community. Factors such as pre-existing health conditions and your dog’s temperament can affect the advice they give. Speak to one of our veterinarians to get personalized advice for your pup or shop at the Dutch pharmacy to explore the vet-recommended dental products and more.

What toothpastes should dogs avoid?

Ensure to only use dog-friendly products on your pooch’s teeth, never human toothpastes. Human toothpastes can contain many ingredients that are toxic to them, such as xylitol, which can lead to serious health problems.

How can I get plaque off my dog’s teeth?

The most effective way to remove plaque from your dog’s teeth is by brushing them regularly. The recommendation for most dogs is daily. This prevents a buildup of plaque and tartar, leading to less bacteria in the mouth.

Owner brushing dog’s teeth

Final Notes

Cleaning your dog’s teeth may seem like a chore but it’s an important part of keeping your pooch happy and healthy. Enzymatic toothpastes are great at removing plaque and dissolving existing bacteria, preventing the reproduction of more. These toothpastes often come in a range of meaty flavors that your dog will enjoy, or mint flavors if you’re trying to combat bad breath. Meanwhile, if your dog is excitable it may be more appropriate to use a toothpaste that can be applied directly with your fingers, although it may be more difficult to perform a thorough cleaning.

If you are struggling to find the best method at maintaining good oral hygiene for your pet, talk to one of our licensed vets and they can create a customized plan for your dog. Or, you can browse the website to learn more about our services or have a look through our range of vet-approved oral care essentials.



  1. “Periodontal Disease.” Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, 13 Feb. 2023, https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/riney-canine-health-center/canine-health-information/periodontal-disease.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Dutch?

Dutch is an online veterinary pet telehealth service, created by pet parents and board-certified veterinary specialists. We use a science-backed approach to provide pets relief for their everyday physical and behavioral health issues. Dutch connects you with licensed veterinarians over video chat and messaging to help you get care for your dog or cat quickly wherever you are — without the stress or expense of a vet visit. We also partner with pharmacies who can deliver prescription medication (in applicable states only) and over-the-counter treatments directly to your door. Dutch isn’t a veterinary practice or pharmacy, but a company that helps facilitate these services for pet parents to make veterinary care more accessible to all.

What is a visit with Dutch like?

When booking a video call with a vet, you'll be asked a few questions about your pet’s health issue. Depending on the issue, you may also be asked to fill out a longer questionnaire about their symptoms and share photographs of them so our veterinarians can better understand what’s going on. You’ll then pick an appointment time that works best for you.

During your video call, one of our licensed veterinarians will talk to you about the symptoms your pet is experiencing, ask you questions, review your pet’s medical history if you’ve provided it, and answer any questions you have. The vet will ask to see your pet and their environment. And they may ask you to perform some simple checks on them if needed.

After your video call, the vet will send you a message with a custom treatment plan to help your pet feel better, including a link to buy any recommended prescription or over-the-counter medications. Place your order and we’ll ship it free.

How much will it cost for Dutch to treat my pet?

The Dutch membership starts at $11/mo for unlimited access to the vet. No more long waits for appointments or surprise bills.

In addition to the base membership plan, our veterinarians may also recommend additional medication (Rx and/or OTC) that you will have the option of adding to your plan at an additional cost.