There are many benefits to making your own dog toothpaste – it’s inexpensive, safe for your pup, and incredibly easy!
We love our dogs, but their breath can be nasty. If Fido’s ever breathed in your face before giving you a sloppy kiss, then you can probably relate. But while offensive dog breath puts a serious damper on your couch snuggles, it’s also the first sign of poor oral health. Luckily, you can ditch your dog’s halitosis by making him some DIY dog toothpaste!
Do I have to brush my dog’s teeth?
Yes, you need to brush your dog’s teeth. It’s not convenient or fun (for you or your dog), but it needs to happen. No other dog dental routine will replace regular tooth brushing. Food and water additives can help, but nothing works as well as good ol’ fashioned elbow grease!
Your dog’s bad breath is caused by oral bacteria, which can lead to dental decay, tooth pain, and some hefty vet bills if left unchecked. Visiting your vet on a regular basis will help catch early signs of dental issues, but preventative measures – like tooth brushing – are vital.
Never use human toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth. The foaming agents in these products can cause your dog to choke, and many human toothpastes contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs.
Once you have the right paste (see below), use a small toothbrush or a finger brush to gently massage your dog’s gums and brush his teeth in small circular motions. Some teeth are not easy to reach, but do your best to brush as far back as your dog will let you.
How to make your own dog toothpaste
There are many types of dog toothpastes, but not all of them contain the healthiest ingredients. The good news is that you can easily make your own healthy, dog-safe toothpaste at home with only three ingredients:
1. Coconut oil
Controlling oral bacteria can be done using only one ingredient: coconut oil. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which is an effective bacteria-controlling acid.
Coconut oil alone will help, but to really freshen your dog’s breath, add some finely chopped or muddled mint leaves to his toothpaste. Mint is also an effective bacteria-killing ingredient.
3. Baking soda
The first two ingredients are great for maintaining your dog’s dental health and keeping his breath fresh, but for dogs with existing plaque build-up, you’ll need a toothpaste with a little more grit. Baking soda will help to scrape off some of the more stubborn bacteria that can lead to tartar if it’s left to fester.
Make small batches at a time for convenience. Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl and store in a covered container at room temperature.
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- ½ tsp finely chopped mint leaves
- ¼ tsp baking soda
You only need a small amount of toothpaste to get the job done, so a pea-sized amount is fine if you don’t want to store it.
Brush your pet’s teeth daily for the best results. The more consistently you practice brushing your dog’s teeth, the better you’ll both be at it!