Can I brush my dog’s teeth with human toothpaste?

Hello, dedicated dog parents! Are some of you wondering if you can brush your dog’s teeth with human toothpaste? Ensuring optimal dental well-being for your beloved four-legged friend is a top priority. Now, let’s address a common question: Is it wrong to use human toothpaste on my dog?  Join me as we delve into the dos and don’ts together, ensuring those delightful canine grins stay radiant and your furry friend maintains robust health!

Can I brush my dogs teeth with human toothpaste

The Risks of Using Human Toothpaste on Dogs: What You Need to Know

Before we dive into the details, it’s crucial to consider the introductory phase if your dog is new to brushing. The best thing to do is begin brushing their teeth when they are a puppy to get them used to it immediately. Begin with brief sessions and gradually extend the duration to facilitate a smooth and comfortable adaptation process. This gentle approach sets the foundation for a positive brushing experience for your furry friend. I told you it’s a journey!

Superior Dental Health For Dogs

For superior dental health and lasting fresh breath in your dog, it is crucial to incorporate regular teeth brushing into their routine. Brushing at least once a day, ideally 2-3 times per week, is highly recommended. This consistent practice stands out as the most effective way to uphold optimal oral hygiene for your furry friend.

Additionally, it’s wise to arrange a professional dental cleaning for your dog at least once a year. This proactive approach ensures that any plaque and tartar buildup, not easily addressed by routine brushing, can be expertly managed by a veterinarian. This comprehensive care contributes significantly to maintaining your dog’s overall oral health.

Table of Contents

Why Human Toothpaste Is Not Safe for Dogs: Artificial Sweeteners:

  Additionally, watch out for sweeteners like xylitol – a definite danger for dogs. Ingesting it can lead to issues like low blood sugar and liver complications. Not something we want for our pals!


Another key point is that ingestion of this sweetener by your dog can lead to confusion in its pancreas, as it mistakes the sweetener for real sugar. In response, the pancreas tries to release sufficient insulin to store it, potentially causing issues such as low blood sugar, liver failure, seizures, or, in severe cases, death in dogs. Symptoms typically manifest within 30 minutes of consumption and may include:

Foaming Agents:

Foaming Agents and Upset Stomachs: Human toothpaste, containing foaming agents, has the potential to cause stomach upset in dogs, as they lack the ability to spit out the foam. To avoid any tummy troubles for our furry friends, it’s best to opt for toothpaste alternatives crafted specifically for them.

  1. Disorientation/confusion
  2. Nausea
  3. Fatigue
  4. Tremors
  5. Lethargy
  6. Seizures

The Food And Drug Administration(FDA)  has a list of foods that contain Xylitol.

Fluoride Toothpaste:

Fluoride Risks in Human Toothpaste: Commonly, human toothpaste incorporates fluoride, presenting potential hazards if ingested by dogs.  An alarming factor is the presence of the artificial sweetener xylitol, a widespread toothpaste ingredient and notably 10 times more toxic to dogs than chocolate!


Overconsumption Of Fluoride:

Overconsumption of fluoride by dogs can lead to gastrointestinal distress, including upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, necessitating prompt veterinary attention. For the safety of our canine companions, it’s recommended to be mindful of these risks and consider toothpaste alternatives designed specifically for dogs.

Dogs, particularly small breeds, exhibit heightened sensitivity to fluoride, elevating the risk of toxicity. Prolonged exposure to elevated fluoride levels can lead to bone and teeth issues, contributing to dental fluorosis, characterized by tooth discoloration and pitting.

Joint pain and stiffness may occur due to skeletal fluorosis caused by excessive fluoride intake. Severe cases may manifest neurological symptoms like tremors and seizures.

To prevent fluoride toxicity in dogs, avoid products with high fluoride concentrations, such as human toothpaste. If you suspect fluoride ingestion or notice toxicity symptoms, seek prompt veterinary care. Always consult your veterinarian before using dental products or treatments on your dog.

Alternatives to Human Toothpaste for Dogs:

  1. Dog-Specific Toothpaste:

Now, opt for toothpaste tailor-made for dogs, safe for them to swallow and flavored to make it a treat for their teeth. 

  1. Flavored Dental Gels:

Alternatively, switch it up with dental gels for dogs, offering tasty flavors to turn brushing into a positive experience.

       3. Dental wipes: 

Tailored for Canines: Specifically crafted dental wipes for dogs provide a convenient solution to tackle daily plaque and tartar buildup. Establishing a routine to thoroughly and consistently wipe your dog’s teeth is key – frequent use guarantees optimal results in maintaining their oral health!

Selecting the Right Toothbrush For Dogs:

Ensuring optimal oral care for your canine companion involves thoughtful selection of the right toothbrush. Here’s a guide that seamlessly navigates the process. Not sure how long to brush? 30 seconds on each side will do the trick!

       1. Start with a Dog-Specific Toothbrush:

To begin with, opt for toothbrushes crafted specifically for dogs. Not only do they cater to various sizes and breeds, but they also guarantee a comfortable fit.

       2. Consider Your Dog’s Size:

Moving on, consider your dog’s size when choosing a toothbrush. Smaller breeds may find a petite brush more suitable, while larger dogs may require a larger tool.

      3. Prioritize Soft Bristles:    Similarly, prioritize toothbrushes with soft bristles, ensuring effective cleaning without causing any discomfort.

      4. Explore Finger Toothbrush Convenience:

Transitioning to user-friendly options, finger toothbrushes are convenient, especially for dogs unfamiliar with traditional brushes. They easily slip over your finger for gentle cleaning.

      5. Opt for a Long-Handled Brush:

For enhanced reach, opt for a toothbrush with a long handle, facilitating access to your dog’s back teeth.

      6. Consider Dual-Ended Design:

Exploring further, some dog toothbrushes feature a dual-ended design, offering varying brush head sizes that prove helpful in reaching different areas of your dog’s mouth.

Proven! Lengthen The Longevity Of Your Dogs Life:

Prioritizing your dog’s well-being and longevity requires essential care for their teeth and gums. Astonishingly, 75% of dogs aged three or older display signs of dental disease. Inadequate dental hygiene goes beyond causing bad breath and tooth loss; it can lead to infections that may impact your dogs organs. The development of gingivitis and gum diseases in dogs, similar to humans, is closely linked to excess plaque and tartar.

By consistently focusing on your dog’s oral health, you’re not just preventing these issues; you could be adding valuable years to your canine companion’s life.


Dear pet moms and dads, safeguarding the radiant smiles of our canine companions is paramount. Rather than opting for our own toothpaste, let’s opt for products crafted with our furry friends in consideration. Whether it’s specialized doggy toothpaste or dental gels, let’s prioritize products tailored to meet their needs and ensure our pets receive the care they rightfully deserve. And when uncertainty arises, engaging in a quick conversation with your veterinarian is a prudent move.

Don’t forget to stay on top of your pup’s oral hygiene by replacing your toothbrush (or toothbrush head) every three to four months or sooner if bristles display signs of wear.

Wishing you and your furry pals happy brushing!

Vet Approved -DIY Toothpaste For Dogs:

Frequently Asked

Can I create DIY dog toothpaste with baking soda? 

The concise response is YES, with caution on the quantity! Baking soda, if used sparingly, is suitable; however, its high alkaline content can potentially upset your dog’s stomach. While this may be true, using just a tiny bit provides the mild abrasiveness we need to clean dogs teeth.  (Find a recipe for a baking soda and coconut oil DIY toothpaste below.) Coconut oil, known for its potent antibacterial properties, becomes a valuable component. It contains lauric acid, a robust bacteria fighter, especially against Streptococcus mutans, a key contributor to tooth decay. By integrating coconut oil into your oral care routine, you can efficiently and naturally diminish plaque buildup and alleviate gum swelling.

More Posts You Might Be Interested In: Itchy Dog Ears.

Sources- pawTree


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  1. I like the diy recipe. Even the dog toothpaste you buy in vets office has xylitol. It’s never an easy task but so important for the life and health of our dog.

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