When it comes to a dog’s long-term health, their mouth is often the place most overlooked. These homemade dog toothpaste recipes can help prevent disease.
4 Incredibly Easy Ways to Make Homemade Dog Toothpaste
With the growing importance of organic dog food diets on the rise, it makes perfect sense that homemade dog toothpastes with all-natural ingredients would be a trend as well. People want to make sure they are giving their dogs the best possible quality of life (and a longer life).
One of the things most often overlooked with dogs is their dental hygiene. Cleaning your dog’s teeth regularly is just as important as it is for you and I to brush. Maybe even more so; due to the fact a dog has more teeth to take care of. Since they are not able to brush their teeth themselves; that leaves us in charge of our pup’s “pearly whites”.
Because human toothpaste is not safe for dogs, we need to use a toothpaste specifically made with their health and safety in mind. People are turning to their own kitchen, with some everyday items you’ll find at the grocery store, to clean their teeth with all-natural (and safe) ingredients. Plus, they get to pick the flavors their dog approves of.
- 4 Incredibly Easy Ways to Make Homemade Dog Toothpaste
- Try These 4 Dog Toothpaste Recipes Out for Yourself
- Quick Daily Oral Care “Hacks” to Keep a Dog’s Teeth Clean & Healthy
- Final Thoughts:
Why Brushing a Dog’s Teeth Regularly Is So Crucial
We’ve all heard that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s; but that saying is actually taken out of context. The fact is their mouths have fewer germs, but the bacteria that’s in a dog’s mouth is actually worse than ours. They need regular oral care just like the rest of us.
An annual trip to the vet for a checkup is an important step in maintaining your dog’s health and well-being. One thing any good vet will not skip over is your dog’s teeth; but is once a year enough “routine maintenance”?
Just like us humans, more care is needed on a regular basis to make sure your dog’s teeth stay in good health. Dog’s need proper mouth care as well, especially if their diet is mostly store bought. Most manufactured dog foods bought from a store, have a higher likelihood of accumulating bacteria and plaque in the mouth; compared to a homemade dog food diet.
A regular brushing routine will add to the quality of your dog’s life, and even help them live longer. Plaque left unchecked, will result in tartar buildup on the teeth, leading to gum infections and other future issues. From there, it can advance to gingivitis and periodontal disease, which also leads to heart problems, liver, or kidney damage.
How Do You Brush a Dog’s Teeth?
*Consult with a veterinarian before starting a brushing routine with your dog.
First and foremost, it’s extremely important that you NEVER use human toothpaste to clean a dog’s teeth. The fluoride and other ingredients are dangerous for a dog to ingest.
Because your dog will not be rinsing; they will naturally be swallowing the toothpaste left over from brushing. It’s a good idea to use it in moderate amounts.
Human toothbrushes are a bit abrasive for your dog’s gums and not designed for the shape of their mouth. Having a toothbrush specifically designed for dog will give them a more comfortable teeth cleaning experience. They make different size brushes, depending on the size and breed of your pooch.
Most vets carry items like this on hand; you can also shop online or at a pet store for a wider variety of options. Using a cotton ball will also do the trick because of their soft surface and ability to spread the toothpaste in your dog’s mouth.
You will only need to focus on brushing the outside of your dog’s teeth, particularly focusing on the back of your dog’s mouth. Over 90% of tartar buildup will be on the outside of their teeth, and the back of their mouth.
One approach to brushing effectively, is to start at the back of the mouth and move your way forward; brushing in a 45 degree angle swiping motion. Although, some experts recommend that a straight forward-and-back motion gets the best results.
Vet Demo on How to Brush a Dog’s Teeth:
When Is The Best Time?
The best answer to when is the best time to start keeping your dog’s teeth clean and healthy is “before it’s too late”. It’s kind of a joke; but not really though. The earlier on you can develop this habit with your dog, the better.
It’s best to make a daily practice out of brushing your dog’s teeth; at the very least 3 or 4 times per week to keep up with plaque buildup. Brushing once a week or once a month is not effective enough to maintain good dental health. If you think about it, we wouldn’t have such healthy mouths and gums either if we only brushed once a month, it makes sense.
There are a handful of other useful things you can do to clean a dog’s teeth on top of brushing brushing (we will go over these shortly). They can be added into your dog’s daily eating habits or even their play time. Chances are, they’re already doing at least 1 or 2 of them.
The ideal time to brush is in the evening, after most of their daily routine has already been done, and they’re starting to wind down for the night. That way your dog has already eaten, and they will also be more obliging to hold still for a minute for a quick brush.
Developing the Habit (Making brushing a “treat” for them)
Naturally, some dog’s will let you brush them more easily than others. Like anything, brushing their teeth is a habit that can be formed by repetition. The sooner you can develop this habit with them, the more likely they will let you clean their teeth (or even look forward to it). Here are some tips on how to help train your dog to enjoy the whole experience of getting their teeth brushed.
- Start by opening your dog’s mouth to for a quick inspection. This does 2 things. It get’s your pup more comfortable with you doing so; while allowing you to check for excessive bad breath, swollen gums, or any mouth abscesses.
- Feel around lightly and make sure they don’t feel too much discomfort when you touch their gums or teeth. For the sake of building their level of comfort (and not being bit), tread lightly at first. Even if your dog is well-tempered, they can get defensive if they are caught off guard in their personal space. If they have some anxiety about you poking around in their mouth, give them some space and try again later.
- Once they are comfortable and accustomed to you checking their mouth, lightly and slowly touch the toothbrush to their mouth with the toothpaste on it; so there are no sudden surprises here to them.
- Additionally, one major way to help your dog start looking forward to the whole experience, is by testing out different flavors of toothpaste to see which ones they like best.
Today, they have specially formulated toothpastes on the market, specifically designed for safe-use on dogs (As we mentioned earlier, human toothpaste is 100% unsafe for dogs). Many dog toothpastes are made with the intent of tasting good, to help you brush their teeth without them putting up much fuss about it.
Although these doggie toothpastes are safe, an increasing trend has been for people to make their own batches because they want more control over what’s going into their dog’s body.
Making your own hand-made batch of toothpaste, will ensure that they are consuming all-natural ingredients. There are alot of different herbs, oils, & foods that come from the earth, and also have antibacterial properties and other health benefits (many of them are safe for a dog’s consumption). With the assortment of different flavors, it gives your dog some options to warm up to.
Here are 4 dog-friendly toothpaste recipes, made from all-natural ingredients to help you get your dog in the habit of brushing happily.
Try These 4 Dog Toothpaste Recipes Out for Yourself
1. Baking Soda & Olive Oil Toothpaste
This is the “bare-bones” recipe for dogs that have no problem letting you brush due to the flavor. If your dog is cool with it, this one is the quickest, easiest one to mix together to clean their mouth. It’s effective and straight to the point. The recipe is made to order in a small single-use batch as needed. There’s no need to store it.
Baking soda is only safe to ingest in small amounts, but is very dangerous when large quantities are consumed; as PetMD states. It’s important to NOT overdo it with the baking soda, in order to avoid expansion in your dog’s stomach. To play it safe, DO NOT use baking soda with small dogs under 10 pounds.
According to Cuteness.com, the safe amount of baking soda that can be consumed is 1 teaspoon for every pound your dog weighs. It’s also a good idea to consult with a veterinarian about baking soda consumption before using it on your dog.
- 2 teaspoons of baking soda (use sparingly)
- 1 teaspoon of water
- 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil
- 1/2 pinch of salt
- Mix baking soda, water, and salt together in a bowl or cup to form a paste.
- Use as needed; apply small amounts at a time on the toothbrush (see note below).
This is the most downright simplified formula used for cleaning your dog’s mouth. It serves it primary purpose to clean teeth and gums, effectively neutralizing bacteria, and helping to prevent infection.
We just want to reiterate that over-consuming baking soda is harmful or fatal to dogs or people. Make sure to NOT overuse baking soda as a preventative caution. The minimal amount of baking soda in this toothpaste recipe weighs on the side of caution, and is safe to use. If your dog over consumes baking soda, go to the emergency vet IMMEDIATELY!
2. Peppermint Leaves with Turmeric & Clove Toothpaste
This recipe helps fight bacteria and reduces inflammation. Peppermint helps as an antibacterial to keep your dog’s mouth clean, and prevent gum disease. It’s also good for the stomach and freshens breath.
- 2 fresh peppermint leaves (ground down)
- 2 tablespoons of water
- 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 pinch of salt
- Mix ingredients together in a blender or fine grinder until the mint leaves are fully ground down.
- Add more water as needed.
- Keep in an air-tight container; use as needed.
- Store levt over toothpaste in a refrigerator for no more than 3 days to insure freshness.
Turmeric & cloves carry anti-inflammatory properties, and aid in digestion. Combined with the fresh peppermint, they provide a number of health benefits on top of keeping their teeth clean. The flavor-packed mix helps your dog warm up to brushing; so as to help them develop good brushing habits.
3. Beef (or Chicken) Bullion & Mint Toothpaste
This toothpaste recipe is a common favorite among dogs because they typically love the taste of the bullion and the minty aroma. A dog will be more obliging to form a daily habit of brushing.
- 1 cube of beef (or chicken) bullion
- 2 teaspoons of baking soda
- 1 tablespoon of ground-powdered mint
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons of water (add more if needed to make a paste)
- Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl (mashing the bullion cube to help dissolve while mixing) to form a pasty consistency.
- Once it’s well-mixed, it’s ready to apply.
- Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator to keep cool and fresh.
- Keep the batch for no more than 3 days to insure freshness.
The bullion is a flavor most dogs love the taste of; and will be easy for you to brush their teeth with. Baking soda & salt will disinfect their mouth and help prevent infection. The mint is going to help keep their breath fresh, and is good for their stomach. Always make sure a batch is still fresh to avoid making your dog sick.
4. Coconut Oil & Cinnamon Toothpaste
The use of organic coconut oil in moderation has many health advantages for dogs (or humans); it’s somewhat of a “all-purpose elixer”. It improves their skin, fur, digestion, balances insulin levels, and all sorts of other wonderful things.
For the purpose of cleaning your dog’s mouth, it has an anti-bacterial effect to keep disease and inflammation at bay. Cinnamon helps prevent bad breath and infection, and chances are, your dog will think it tastes great.
- 1 teaspoon of pure virgin organic coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup of luke-warm water
- 1/2 pinch of salt
- Mix virgin coconut oil and the other ingredients in with luke-warm water to soften the oil.
- Stir until it is soft enough to apply to a toothbrush.
Organic coconut oil is one of nature’s gifts that aids in a good number of natural remedies; both when ingested, or applied externally. One important thing to note about coconut oil is that it is better to use in moderation.
Studies have suggested that overuse of coconut oil over a long period of time may build up fat in arteries for humans. It would be safe to assume that similar results may happen in dogs. The coconut oil & cinnamon recipe would be highly beneficial to your dog’s health; but using no more than twice a week.
Quick Daily Oral Care “Hacks” to Keep a Dog’s Teeth Clean & Healthy
Your dog’s mouth is not just limited to toothpaste or a visit to the vet. There are actually a good number of products designed specifically to keep up with their dental health and hygiene needs. Some of them you may not even be aware of; but you may have been unknowingly helping your dog out all along.
There are a good amount of preventative measures you can take to keep your dog’s “pearly whites” clean and healthy. Consider these options to not be a replacement for brushing; but added measures to compliment it.
Some common daily methods include:
- Rubber Chew Toys (or nylon)
- Rawhide Bones
- Synthetic Bones
- Specially Made Treats
- Veterinarian-Approved Food Additives (added into their food)
- Drinking Water Additives (designed for dog’s dental care)
- Doggie Mouthwash Spray (recipe in the video below)
It’s not as commonly known as you might think that a lot of chew toys dogs use every day also help keep their teeth clean. The edibles are something that will require a bit more consideration.
For example, your dog’s size comes into play, because if you are giving dental dog treats to a 150 pound “giant”, they may barely even chew the treat. At that point the only benefit they get from it, is how much they enjoy the taste of it.
Talking with a vet about some of the food and water additive options available can give you some insight as to what’s best for your pooch specifically. Below is a video to give you some DIY oral care ideas to go along with the toothpaste.
3 Additional DIY “hacks” to keep your dog’s teeth clean:
We’ve found that “giving your dog a bone”, specialty treats, and adding food and water supplements; alongside with brushing your dog’s teeth can greatly reduce the risk of gum diseases and infections. Keeping their mouth clean will also protect their heart & other organs in the long-term.
You can see why brushing is so important; just as it is for us on a regular basis. You now have knowledge of how to get them into the habit, and actually enjoy it! With a few simple recipes for homemade toothpaste as an all-natural alternative, brushing can be a cinch in no time.
*Please remember, NO human toothpaste; and use baking soda very sparingly (if the recipe calls for it).