The 8 Best Toothpastes for Dogs in 2021

Smart dog jack russell terrier holds a blue toothbrush

Just as with pet parents, regular tooth brushing is one of the most important things you can do to keep your dog’s mouth healthy and maintain overall wellness. In this review, we’re going to give you our top 8 picks for the best dog dental toothpaste in 2021.


PRODUCT RATING PRICE SIZE
Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste Our Choice 9.8 Average price 2.5 Ounce
Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste 9.2 Low price 3.5 Ounce
Pet King Brands Oratene 9.0 High price 2.5 Ounce
Petrodex Advanced Dental Care 9.0 Low price 6.2 Ounce
Arm & Hammer Fresh Spectrum 8.9 Average price 2 Ounce
Nylabone Advanced Oral Care 8.8 Low price 2.5 Ounce
Nutri-Vet Enzymatic Toothpaste 8.6 Low price 2.5 Ounce
Vetoquinol Enzadent Enzymatic 8.5 Average price 3.17 Ounce

The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) explains that “Tartar starts to form within a few days on a tooth surface that is not kept clean, and provides a rough surface that enhances further plaque accumulation. Once it has begun to grow in thickness, tartar is difficult to remove without dental instruments.”

VOHC goes on to add that “The key to management of gum disease (for humans or pets!) is prevention. As long as the surfaces of the teeth are cleaned frequently, the gums will stay healthy. Excellent oral health is maintained by daily oral hygiene. The gold standard is brushing.”

Dental Disease in Dogs

Dog toothpaste is essential for ensuring that our furbabies have clean teeth and healthy gums.

Dental disease can easily be severe in dogs, resulting from a lack of regular tooth brushing and a poor diet. Dental problems in dogs can vary from mild plaque and gingivitis to painful swelling and inflammation of the gums — and, in severe cases, even tooth loss.

Vet brush pet dog teeth coated with plaque with toothpaste
  • Impacted teeth – Infections can result from your puppy’s impacted teeth and cause a foul odor.
  • Gum disease and swelling – Gingivitis may occur early in your puppy’s mouth even though he’s a puppy.
  • Worms – Parasites like roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and whipworms can be passed from your puppy’s mother at birth or through her milk and affect breath. Worm infestation can cause death in your puppy and should be ruled out as a cause of your puppy’s bad breath.
  • The buildup of odor-producing bacteria – Gastrointestinal tract infections may be the cause of halitosis in your puppy.
  • Kidney disease – Your puppy’s breath will have an odor like urine.
  • Liver disease – breath will be bad, and your puppy may vomit, have a loss of appetite, and have yellow-tinged corneas. Always reach out to your veterinarian if you’re concerned about puppy bad breath or dental issues in your pets.

Small Dog Breeds More Prone to Dental Disease

Smaller breeds are more prone to dental disease, and most especially when they get older. Breeds at risk for dental disease include the following:

5 Ways to Prevent Your Puppy from Having Bad Breath

  • Take your puppy to your veterinarian for regular checkups to ensure your puppy does not have underlying health or dental conditions that may cause bad breath.
  • Care for your puppy’s teeth from day one by brushing his teeth with canine toothpaste.
  • Feed your puppy balanced and nutritious, high-quality pet food.
  • Provide safe chew toys that will keep his breath fresh and not damage your puppy’s teeth.
  • Keep your dog hydrated with plenty of fresh, clean water to maintain a healthy breath.

Is Human Toothpaste Safe for Pets?

It is not safe to use human toothpaste on dogs. There is specially-formulated pet toothpaste in different flavors like chicken, beef, mint, and seafood. If pets ingest human toothpaste, they will get ill, because human toothpaste ingredients are harmful if swallowed.

Most human toothpaste features Xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is toxic to pets. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol found in many human products, including toothpaste, and can result in severe health complications if pets ingest this.

Poison Control adds that “When swallowed by canines, xylitol absorption is rapid. Vomiting can be seen in only 30 minutes, but full symptoms can be delayed for up to 12 hours. In dogs xylitol stimulates insulin secretion and can lead to profoundly low blood sugar; this causes weakness and loss of coordination. If left untreated, dogs may eventually develop seizures or collapse. With large ingestions xylitol has also been linked to liver failure in dogs.”

Good Oral Care

ProDen's Plaque Off System

By providing good oral care, we can help prevent dental disease in dogs. While there is no substitute for regular brushing your furbaby’s teeth, dental chews like ProDen’s Plaque Off System mini dental care chews help clean teeth, freshen breath, and reduce plaque and tartar through abrasive action.

Pet dental care preferences vary on a large scale with pet parents; it’s essential to understand how dog toothpaste works and how that combined with a healthy diet and dental chews can support oral health.

Prevention is Key

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) explains that “Prevention of the most common oral disease in pets consists of frequent removal of the dental plaque and tartar that forms on teeth that are not kept clean.” You get to do this by brushing your dog’s teeth every day with a dog toothpaste and providing your dog with dental chews.

Regular Brushing

Regularly brushing your dog’s teeth is one of the most effective things you can do to keep your dog’s teeth healthy during dental cleanings. This may also reduce the frequency of periodic dental cleaning by your veterinarian.

How Dental Products Work?

Owner brushes side teeth behind cheek with special toothbrush and toothpaste for pets

Dog oral care products are available in various flavors like vanilla ginger, beef, poultry, peanut butter, tasteless, and even spearmint. Canine toothbrushes are designed for your pet’s mouth and crafted to reach all surfaces.

There are multiple dental products for cats and dogs like the Arm & Hammer Advanced Care and Clinical Care product lines that feature sprays, foams, toothpaste, rinses, gels, wipes, and balms.

Dental Gels & Balms

They are crafted in different sizes and models, giving pet parents several options to best meet their pet’s preferences. You can also opt for gels and balms that can be applied to gums and teeth using a finger brush or just by using your finger.

Dental Sprays & Foams

If your furbaby dislikes toothbrushes, you have the option of dental sprays and foams that have easy applicators and form long-lasting protection against plaque and tartar buildup.

Pet Dental Products

Numerous pet dental products are marketed with claims to improve dental health, but not all are effective. As usual, it’s best to talk with your veterinarian about any dental products, dental treats, or dental-specific diets you’re considering for your furbaby.

How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth?

Dog Toothpaste

Numerous dog toothpaste features unique formulations that help quicken the removal of particles on teeth. Dog toothpaste provides friction when brushing. This improves the ability of your brushing action to grab smaller, deeper plaque.

Oral Bacteria

Colonies of bacteria grow inside your dog’s mouth, creating pockets of space around his teeth. Plaque begins to form in the pockets, resulting in inflammation and possibly gingivitis.

Brushing your dog’s teeth every day and feeding probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria, will help prevent harmful bacteria and also helps to support gastrointestinal health and optimal immune system function.


Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste

Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste
: 2.5 Ounce
9.8 - ratingAverage price Our Choice

Virbac Enzymatic toothpaste is specifically formulated using an enzyme system for dogs and cats to reduce plaque, freshen breath, and ensure a clean mouth with either a vanilla mint flavor, poultry, malt, seafood, or beef flavor that pets love.

Virbac C.E.T. features no foaming agents, so this dog toothpaste is safe for pets to swallow. It is a vet-recommended toothpaste, and the C.E.T. brand has been around for 30 years.

Key feature

  • Affordable for multi-pet homes
  • Veterinary formulated and approved
  • Available in 5 different flavors that dogs love
  • Unique dual enzyme system

Pros

  • No foaming agents
  • Safe for dogs
  • Enzymatic toothpaste specifically formulated using an enzyme system
  • Reduces plaque, freshens breath, and ensures a clean mouth
  • Safe for daily use
  • Safe if swallowed
  • Top recommended dental brand by veterinary professionals
  • Made in the U.S
  • Optional C.E.T. dual-ended toothbrush purchase
  • No need to rinse

Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste

Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste
: 3.5 Ounce
9.2 - ratingLow price

Vet’s Best is another popular brand and is veterinarian formulated. It features a soothing and effective mix of aloe, neem oil, grapefruit seed extract, baking soda, and enzymes. This is also an enzymatic pet toothpaste that freshens breath and gently cleans away plaque and tartar.

Vet’s Best dog toothpaste is an all-in-one pet toothpaste to control tartar and plaque. This pet toothpaste also features over 39,000 positive reviews from satisfied pet parents.

Key feature

  • Affordable for multi-pet homes
  • Controls plaque and tartar
  • Vet formulated
  • Crafted with neem oil & enzymes

Pros

  • It soothes gums & freshens breath
  • Whitens teeth
  • The U.S.A. made
  • Premium blended natural ingredients
  • Provide antibacterial and antifungal qualities
  • No need to rinse
  • Non-drying

Pet King Brands Oratene Brushless Toothpaste Gel for Dogs and Cats

Pet King Brands Oratene Brushless Toothpaste Gel for Dogs and Cats
: 2.5 Ounce
9.0 - ratingHigh price

Oratene brushless toothpaste gel features a pleasant flavor that helps to keep your pet’s teeth & gums clean & smelling fresh. This is an easy-to-use pet dental gel. You need to apply the gel with a toothbrush or your finger.

There’s no need to brush or rinse away. We like this gel because it’s easy to use and effective. It’s also a non-drying, brushless dental care for cats and dogs ideal for everyday use and doesn’t cause excess salivation.

Key feature

  • Enzymatic gel
  • Patented MD2 Enzyme System and patented LP3 Enzyme System based on 40 years of advanced enzyme technology
  • Crafted with Mutanase + Dextranase to regulate pH levels
  • It contains LP3: lactoperoxidase, lysozyme, and lactoferrin with anti-inflammatory properties

Pros

  • Free from Xylitol, alcohol, detergents, and harsh chemicals for gentle and painless oral care
  • Cleans teeth & promotes good oral health
  • Pleasant flavor
  • No need to rinse
  • Non-drying
  • Beneficial for aging pets that may be averse to brushing
  • Promotes healthy gums

Petrodex Advanced Dental Care Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste

Petrodex Advanced Dental Care Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste
: 6.2 Ounce
9.0 - ratingLow price

Sentry Petrodex Advanced dental care toothpaste for dogs contains natural abrasives to help reduce plaque and tartar formation safely. This toothpaste is crafted with patented enzymes and helps clean teeth, freshens breath. It features only natural ingredients, no artificial preservatives or additives.

Petrodex pet toothpaste also polishes teeth and is a non-foaming formula, with no rinsing required. This enzymatic dog toothpaste is safe for all breeds and can also be used by puppies.

Key feature

  • Enzymatic toothpaste
  • Patented enzymes
  • The finger toothbrush is dual-ended for small and large tooth surfaces
  • Poultry or peanut butter flavor options
  • Affordable
  • No-rinse formula
  • Larger 6.2 oz. size

Pros

  • Veterinary strength enzymatic formula for optimal dental care
  • Features ingredients that freshen breath
  • Safe & effective
  • Controls plaque & tartar effectively
  • Easy to use
  • Kit includes a pet toothbrush with dual ends
  • Fights bad breath
  • Safe for puppies

Arm & Hammer Fresh Spectrum Puppy Dental Kit for Small Dogs

Arm & Hammer Fresh Spectrum Puppy Dental Kit for Small Dogs
: 2 Ounce
8.9 - ratingAverage price

Arm & Hammer Fresh Spectrum is another all-in-one puppy and adult dog starter kit for cleaning teeth. It includes a 360-degree toothbrush for dogs for optimal brushing and a silicone finger brush.

This dog toothpaste baking soda enhanced formula for puppies deodorizes bad breath and keeps dog teeth clean and healthy. The toothpaste features coconut oil and baking soda to help fight oral disease in pets. It also has a comfortable grip handle for a secure grip.

Key feature

  • Priced well
  • 360-degree toothbrush to get all surfaces
  • Pet dental kit featuring toothbrush, silicone finger brush, and pet toothpaste
  • Baking soda enhanced

Pros

  • Polishes clean & whitens teeth
  • Crafted with an innovative brush head
  • Powered with baking soda and coconut oil for effective pet oral hygiene
  • The silicone finger brush for puppies acts as a massager for your pet's gums
  • Effective & environmentally safe and economical
  • Breath freshening products

Nutri-Vet Enzymatic Toothpaste for Dogs

Nutri-Vet Enzymatic Toothpaste for Dogs
: 2.5 Ounce
8.6 - ratingLow price

This is another veterinary formulated dog toothpaste that’s effective and priced well for multi-pet homes. Nutri-Vet features an extensive range of specialized, veterinary formulated pet supplements and complementary pet products that promote health and well-being in pets.

Veterinary formulas combined with innovative delivery systems and high palatability profiles have placed Nutri-Vet as the leading provider of natural animal products in the U.S.

We like their enzymatic pet toothpaste because it’s a non-foaming, great-tasting pet dental paste specially formulated for pets. Most pet products, including supplements from Nutri-Vet, are priced affordably. Daily use can help prevent the buildup of tartar that may cause irritation of sensitive gums and loosening or even loss of teeth.

Key feature

  • Affordable for multi-pet homes and rescues
  • Reputable pet company
  • Enzymatic pet toothpaste
  • Promotes good dental hygiene and helps avoid doggie breath

Pros

  • Veterinary formulated
  • Non-foaming
  • Helps freshen breath
  • Great taste for pets
  • Features glucose oxidase that helps kill bacteria and break down plaque
  • Features hydrated Silica that helps remove plaque
  • Sodium Benzoate keeps toothpaste free from microorganisms
  • Sorbitol prevents toothpaste from drying out
  • Chicken-flavored toothpaste tastes great to dogs

Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Natural Dog Dental Kit

Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Natural Dog Dental Kit
: 2.5 Ounce
8.8 - ratingLow price

Nylabone, known for makers of safe, healthy chews since 1955, features the Nylabone Advanced Oral Care line with Denta-CTM. This is a scientifically formulated blend of ingredients clinically proven to reduce plaque that harbors bacteria. The Tartar-control pet toothpaste freshens breath, cleans teeth, and reduces plaque and tartar. It’s made in the U.S.A. with super-safe ingredients.

Key feature

  • Priced well for multi-pet homes
  • Toothpaste requires no rinsing to minimize mess
  • Savory flavor your pet will enjoy while leaving your furbaby with fresh smelling breath
  • Made in the U.S.
  • Dog oral kit features finger brush, toothpaste & dog toothbrush
  • Veterinarian recommended

Pros

  • Made with Dental-C, which is scientifically proven to reduce plaque that harbors bacteria
  • Cleans teeth and freshens breath
  • Adult dog toothbrush has an angled neck for better reach
  • Features Denta-C that's scientifically proven to help reduce plaque that harbors bacteria
  • Dog finger brush gently slips over finger to remove plaque and food debris
  • Crafted with natural peanut flavor, dogs enjoy
  • Helps prevent bad breath, reduce plaque & tartar buildup, and promote healthy gums

Vetoquinol Enzadent Enzymatic Toothpaste for Cats & Dogs

Vetoquinol Enzadent Enzymatic Toothpaste for Cats & Dogs
: 3.17 Ounce
8.5 - ratingAverage price

Vetoquinol Enzadent Enzymatic Poultry-Flavored Toothpaste is non-foaming and does not need to be rinsed. Vetoquinol has been around since 1933. This cat and dog toothpaste is crafted with a delicious poultry-flavored enzymatic solution for cats and dogs.

We like this pet toothpaste because it’s for both cats and dogs and effectively helps to eliminate your pet’s bad breath and combat harmful oral bacterial growth.

Key feature

  • Triple enzyme dental pet formula is effective in polishing and removing plaque from teeth easily in this enzymatic toothpaste specifically developed for pets
  • Boosts dental health and hygiene, and combat tooth and mouth illnesses
  • Can be safely swallowed

Pros

  • Non-foaming formula can be safely swallowed and doesn’t need to be rinsed out
  • Triple enzyme formula effectively cleans pets’ teeth and can be safely consumed without rinsing
  • Helps to combat tooth and mouth illnesses by brushing your pet’s teeth regularly!
  • Reduces plaque
  • Eliminates bad breath
  • Minimizes risk of gum and tooth issues

Frequently Asked Questions

Bulldog care

Q. How do I remove plaque from my dog’s teeth?

A. The best way to remove plaque is to regularly brush your dog’s teeth with a dog toothbrush and dog-safe toothpaste. Dental treats can also be an effective way to look after your pet’s teeth if used together with dog toothpaste.

Q. Can I scrape tartar off my dog’s teeth?

A. Most dogs three years and up usually will show signs of early dental disease or will already have a bit of plaque and tartar that cannot be removed by brushing or chewing. So it is necessary to visit your veterinarian twice yearly for a professional dental cleaning.

Q. What happens if you don’t brush your dog’s teeth?

A. If you don’t brush your dog’s teeth every day, plaque can build up, putting your pet at risk for bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay. Neglect can also cause painful infections. Severe infection can spread, causing life-threatening conditions just as with humans. Just as important are twice yearly professional veterinary dental cleanings. Never forget these especially as your pet ages.

Q. Does coconut oil clean a dog’s teeth?

A. Gingivitis, if detected by veterinarians early on, can be completely reversible. Coconut oil on your dog’s teeth or in their diet may be beneficial to dental health. Research by the National Institute of Health demonstrates that coconut oil decreases plaque buildup on teeth and helps fight gum disease.

Q. At what age should I brush my dog’s teeth?

A. You should begin to brush your pup’s teeth between the ages of eight and sixteen weeks. This is important for dental health. Begin brushing your pup’s teeth as soon as possible so that he gets used to this in the same way as being groomed or having his ears cleaned and nails trimmed.

Q. Is it okay for my pup to swallow pet toothpaste?

A. It’s impossible to have your dog rinse toothpaste from his mouth the way we do when we brush our teeth. That said, that is why you should refrain from using any human toothpaste on your pets. Human toothpaste contains ingredients that are toxic to pets.

Also, pets cannot spit out toothpaste, so you should only use dog toothpaste. Pet toothpaste for cats and dogs contains ingredients that are safe for your furbaby to ingest. They also feature taste flavors that pets enjoy, like chicken, beef, and seafood.