Dental hygiene is key to keeping your dog’s teeth happy. And when it comes to homemade doggie toothpaste there are a variety of options! Here we’re going to run through a few of the best-liked toothpaste recipes for you to try out, with ingredients like baking soda, mint leaves, or even coconut oil.
Why Should I Try Homemade Toothpaste for Dogs?
When it comes to keeping your pup happy and healthy, one thing a lot of people neglect to remember is their teeth! It’s all well and good to provide them with textured toys to help them to avoid plaque, but to brush your dog’s teeth would by far the best way to keep on top of their dental hygiene. With homemade dog toothpaste, you know exactly what your dog is being given, and on a little side note, it is also the more environmentally-friendly option.
Can I Just Use Human Toothpaste?
Absolutely not! We humans spit out our toothpaste when we’re done, and the instructions specifically state not to swallow it, as the fluoride, detergents, whitening agents, and various other ingredients can be harmful in large amounts. A dog is not able to spit out the toothpaste when they are done, and a dog’s stomach is far more sensitive than a human’s when it comes to such chemicals.
How to Apply The Toothpaste
Before we get on to the recipes themselves, let’s just go through the best ways to apply them. One way of going about it, which may prove a bit awkward, so it will require a bit of training (the younger you start the easier it will be), is to use a toothbrush.
But don’t worry! If you find that your dog just doesn’t take to having a stick pushed around their mouth, you can also get finger-brushes, which are shaped in a way that they can slot onto the end of your finger. This may feel more natural to your pup and would also help you to be sure you’ve got all the nooks and crannies, as you can feel where you are going.
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DIY Dog Toothpaste Recipes
Now on to the fun bit, making the toothpaste! Natural dog toothpaste can provide you with a reassurance of what they are consuming, and if your dog is more sensitive with their foods this is a fantastic affordable alternative to store-bought. If the recipe seems a bit much for your dog, don’t worry, simply use what you can and store what’s left in a cool dry place for next time.
How to Make Doggie Toothpaste
Each recipe will have a slightly different method of mixing together the ingredients ready for use, simply follow the instruction provided to be sure you get it just right!
Let’s Start Simple
So, we’ll go with the simplest dog toothpaste recipe first:
- 1 tablespoon of water (or broth for a meatier taste)
- 1 tablespoon of baking soda
Thoroughly mix the two ingredients together until they form a paste, the baking soda will provide a slightly abrasive texture to help with the more stubborn stains. Just be sure to follow the recipe exactly, as excessive amounts of baking soda can upset your dog’s stomach.
Add A Little Flavour
Next up should make for an interesting flavor combination for your pup, perhaps a mix of ingredients you wouldn’t ordinarily think of:
- 1/3 cup of coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons of baking soda
- 1 tablespoon of strong beef broth
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/4 cup of coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon of fine table salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons of baking soda
- 6 sprigs of Parsley (for an extra bit of flavor)
- 1/2 teaspoon of beef bouillon
I know! Sound like utter madness, but cinnamon has actually shown to be one of those ingredients that pups rather enjoy, and the cinnamon smell will act as a lovely spiced mouthwash. The coconut oil will also act as a binding agent for the rest of the ingredients as well as hydrate the teeth and gums. Simple mix the lot together thoroughly and keep it all on a containing when it’s not being used.
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Perhaps the most familiar of ingredients when it comes to toothpaste – mint:
- 1 cube of beef or chicken broth
- 1/4 cup of coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons of baking soda
- 6-8 mint leaves
The mint leaves will need to be pulverized for this recipe to work, so it is best to put the entire mixture into a food processor and blitz them all together. This recipe is not to be used all at once! It requires only a pea-sized portion per use.
The Holistic Approach
You don’t need to worry as much about your amounts with this one, as it’s all completely natural:
- 1 cup of coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon of kelp
- 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
- 1/8th tablespoon of dried parsley
These ingredients will give your dog healthy teeth without any chemical element whatsoever, and so it is the least likely to cause an upset stomach for your dog and will give them lovely breath at the same time.
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Alternative Options to Help Keep Your Pup’s Teeth Clean
Store-bought toothpaste can do the job just as well as homemade dog toothpaste, and you can find great buyer guides that can give you some advice about which toothpaste to choose.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to brush your dog’s teeth through fear of causing unnecessary stress, you can also get Dental Sprays, which on top of helping with their oral hygiene, can be a big help with bad breath!
Always Seek Help If Your Dog’s Teeth Don’t Seem to Clean Up
If your pup’s teeth are still not cleaning properly, or if their breath is still awful, after you have given them a good scrub for a couple of weeks, or if they show signs of pain whilst you are cleaning them, it may be time for a trip to the vet. If decay has already started to set in before you’ve started brushing their teeth, it will need to be taken care of by a professional. Your family veterinarian would be the best person to approach in regards to treatment. You can then continue with brushing the (as per your vet’s advice) once the damage is taken care of.
Is it Worth it?
When all is said and done, your dog uses its teeth for eating and playing, the two things a dog does most of, and wouldn’t you rather be sure they’re comfortable whilst they do it? If your dog has to struggle with painful teeth and bad breath it will only bring them down. Homemade dog toothpaste may seem difficult at first, but perseverance is key, and it will pay off in the end. Happy dog, happy life!
- Jan Reisen, Dog Toothpaste Should Be in Your Canine Medicine Chest – The American Kennel Club
- Emily Cardiff, How to Naturally Improve the Dental Health of Your Dogs and Cats – One Green Planet