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Just because we know we should brush our dog's teeth with dog toothpaste and a toothbrush every day, doesn't mean we always do.
All pet parents want to keep our dogs' teeth clean to help our dogs live a longer and healthier life but remembering to brush your dog's teeth and even finding the best toothpaste can be difficult.
Why is that, despite our best dental hygiene intentions?
We forget, we don't have time, or we have a dog that's less than cooperative when it comes to brushing his/her teeth. It's all plausible but for your dog's overall health it's so important you develop a habit of brushing your dog's teeth daily. If you haven't checked out the step-by-step guide on how to brush your dog's teeth yet, I highly recommend you do that. It explains how to make brushing super easy!
That's where this easy dental hygiene hack comes in - make your own irresistible dog toothpaste!
When you make your own dog toothpaste, you know exactly what ingredients are going into it. You can choose an all-natural toothpaste recipe, which is always a bonus and making your own toothpaste is more budget-friendly.
You can also ensure your dog will love the toothpaste you make as you tailor the taste to your dog's preferences. Plus, it's really easy to make toothpaste to freshen breath and fight tartar buildup and only requires a few simple ingredients.
Here's my go-to, 3-ingredient, natural dog toothpaste dogs love
The best dog toothpaste is one dogs come running for like a treat when the jar opens. If your dog doesn't get that excited for toothpaste, we'll take even just welcoming the smell of it.
I've tried lots of recipes for homemade dog toothpastes but this one is my favorite. It's got a great taste that dogs love, it's easy to make, and it helps to fight plaque and tartar and give your dog fresh breath!
The secret sauce to my DIY dog toothpaste
Coconut oil. Dogs love coconut oil it and it has the added benefit of being naturally antibacterial in your dog's mouth (and proven to be as effective in oral care as the standard chemical ingredient in human toothpaste).
Coconut oil also helps get rid of your dog's bad breath. It's a win-win!
How to make my 3-ingredient natural dog toothpaste
The organic ingredients you'll need:
- Dollop of unrefined, organic coconut oil
- Dash of cinnamon (Ceylon cinnamon is best but any cinnamon will do)
- Fresh chopped mint or parsley
How to prepare & use the toothpaste you're making:
Step 1: Finely chop fresh mint or parsley
Step 2: Add the mint or parsley to coconut oil and cinnamon. Mix together well.
Step 3: Dip your dog's soft bristled toothbrush (or finger brush) into the mixture and brush away from the gum line. Repeat on all upper and lower teeth, paying special attention to canines and molars.
Step 4: Give anything left over as a treat and/or rub onto your dog's gum line for additional antibacterial benefit to promote healthy gums.*
*Note: if your dog has not had coconut oil before, start with a small amount and work your way up as a large amount right off the bat can cause loose stool. 1/4-1/2 teaspoon for small dogs and up to a teaspoon for medium & larger dogs is a reasonable amount. If your dog is sensitive to fats, use in moderation.
Time-saver tip when brushing your dog's teeth
Instead of making just enough toothpaste every time, make a jar of this natural toothpaste for dogs and keep it on hand. This way, you're always ready to brush your dog's teeth and freshen that bad breath daily. Mix cinnamon into a jar of coconut oil. Add the parsley or mint as you use it or go without the fresh herbs if you don't have any handy. And voila! Pet toothpaste you can use over and over again.
Do you need a special pet toothpaste for dogs (& cats)?
Yes. Dog toothpastes are a must-have since human toothpaste should never be used on dogs (or cats). Common ingredients in human toothpaste can make pets seriously ill, and xylitol, the sweetener often used in human toothpaste, is extremely toxic to pets and can lead to liver failure.
And since we should all be brushing our dog's teeth daily for the best oral health, dog toothpaste is a must.
Why I recommend these natural ingredients for the best dog toothpastes
- Coconut oil has been proven to reduce certain bacteria found in the mouth. A study performed by the Journal of International Society of Preventive & Community Dentistry showed that coconut oil stood up in effectiveness against the popular dental ingredient, chlorhexidine. The study concluded that "Coconut oil is as effective as chlorhexidine in the reduction of S. mutans." - a common organism causing dental disease.
- Cinnamon has antibacterial, anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties. Most dogs love the taste too!
- Fresh mint and parsley help keep your dog's breath fresh the natural way. And as much as we love dog kisses, who doesn't want to avoid bad breath if you can?
Now that you have the secret to making dog toothpaste...
A couple important dog oral health reminders...
- The best dog toothpaste is the toothpaste your dog loves! (And of course, is also natural, healthful, and effective for your pet's teeth to fight bacteria, prevent plaque and tartar, avoid periodontal disease, soothe sensitive and inflamed gums, and with all that, freshens breath.)
- Keeping your dog's teeth clean and healthy can add 3-5 years to their lives. All the motivation we need to brush, wipe, or otherwise clean their teeth every day. (Learn how to easily brush your dog's teeth here.)
Better dental health is a critical foundation for our dogs' overall health -- and often overlooked until we face a serious dental issue.
So, if you've been wanting to switch your dog to a natural toothpaste or make your own, I hope this easy recipe will help get you started!
The bottom line on taking care of your dog's teeth
Brushing your dog's teeth is one of the best things you can do for your dog's health. It's so important to start when they're young, but it's never too late.
This easy homemade toothpaste recipe is a great way to introduce brushing or make it more enjoyable for both you and your pup. And it's all natural, so you can feel good about what you're using.
Next up in Dental Health on Dogly
Now that you've learned how to make your own dog toothpaste, you're ready to learn how to brush your dog's teeth.
Continue on to the next guide or hop over to the Dental Health Channel if you'd like to ask a question in the Community discussion. And if you ever need more personalized overall wellness help for your dog, please reach out!