The Dog Tale is reader-supported. We may earn a commission if you buy something through our site; this doesn’t change our recommendations.
Brushing your dog’s teeth is important for fighting bad breath, plaque build-up, gingivitis, and dental disease. Although store-bought options are available, making dog toothpaste at home is an easy way to save money and monitor what ingredients go into your dog’s body. We’ve prepared three natural, homemade dog toothpaste recipes in this guide.
In this guide:
How to make doggie toothpaste
We’re working on a video tutorial to show you how to make doggie toothpaste at home. But for now, here are three recipes for you to try:
3 natural DIY dog toothpaste recipes
The simple recipe
This recipe is simple and easy to adapt to your liking. For example, if you need homemade dog toothpaste for bad breath, you can add fresh parsley or mint leaves. Also, if you are looking for homemade dog toothpaste without coconut oil, this recipe is for you. Both of the other recipes include it because I love the health benefits that coconut provides to teeth, and my dog enjoys the taste.
- 1 Tbsp baking soda
- 1 Tbsp beef broth, chicken broth, or vegetable broth (onion-free & garlic-free)
- Optional: 1 pinch of finely ground parsley flakes
How to make
- Mix ingredients into a paste; if you use fresh leaves, you’ll want to mix ingredients in a blender.
- Store in an airtight container and place in the refrigerator.
Place a pea-sized amount on a dog-friendly toothbrush.
The cinnamon spice recipe
This recipe is from Dr. Katie Kangas, DVM. She includes probiotic powder in her recipe to reduce general inflammation, to outnumber the harmful bacteria in your dog’s mouth with good bacteria, and to improve bone density in the periodontal pockets (i.e. the spaces where infection begins). If you do not want to use probiotics, you can omit this ingredient.
- 2 tsp. Coconut oil
- ½ cup Baking soda
- ½ tsp. Cinnamon
- ½ tsp. Probiotic powder
How to make
- Mix all of the ingredients together until smooth.
- Place the remainder in a jar and store it in the refrigerator.
Apply a pea-sized amount to the dog’s toothbrush when using.
The gingivitis kicker
This homemade dog toothpaste with coconut oil originates from Dr. Karen Becker, DVM. The first two ingredients alone make an excellent toothpaste, but with the addition of the extra ingredients and proper brushing, this concoction will help treat inflammation of the gums (gingivitis).
The freshness of peppermint, the sanitizing benefits of colloidal silver, and the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric help heal inflamed gums. According to the VCA, the addition of colostrum can effectively support the treatment of periodontal disease. Note: You shouldn’t give colostrum to any dog that has a dairy allergy.
To fight gingivitis, add:
How to make
- Measure and mix the ingredients.
- Apply to gauze wrapped around your finger, or apply a pea-sized portion to a doggie toothbrush.
- Store the remaining dog toothpaste in a glass jar and keep it in the refrigerator.
FAQs about homemade toothpaste for dogs
How important is brushing my dog’s teeth?
There are no substitutes for brushing your dog’s teeth. According to one study, brushing the dog’s teeth was more than 3x more effective than dental chews or a dental diet.
If you find brushing your dog’s teeth too difficult, there are a few things you can give your dog to help clean their teeth. It’s helpful to give them crunchy vegetables like carrots or frozen celery. You can also try a toothbrush toy like the Pamlulu Dog Chew Toy to help them brush their own teeth. But it’s still important to try to brush their teeth several times a week.
Even with regular brushing, your dog will still require dental care. Plaque buildup can lead to dental disease and tooth extractions, which is why veterinarian Dr. Steven Thompson, DVM, DABVP, recommends having your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned at least once per year.
Certain pet insurance companies, such as Lemonade, offer free annual cleanings as part of their optional wellness policy add-ons. Check out our Lemonade Pet Insurance review for more details on that coverage.
Can you brush dog teeth with human toothpaste?
No. Never use human toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth. Human toothpaste may have ingredients that are harmful to your dog. Take Xylitol, for example. Xylitol is a sugar substitute that is toxic to dogs, even in the smallest pea-sized amount used for brushing. Stick with one of these homemade toothpaste recipes or a vet-approved dog toothpaste, such as Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste.
>> Read more: Pumpkin Pet Insurance Review
What can I use for dog toothpaste?
If you are looking for a dog toothpaste substitute, you’ll be happy to know there are a variety of ingredients you can use to make your own DIY doggie toothpaste. Some veterinarians recommend using baking soda because it is mildly abrasive and has antibacterial properties. Another common cleaning agent is coconut oil.
Sometimes other ingredients, like meat broth, make the paste more appealing to the dog’s taste buds. Common ingredients for breath fresheners are parsley, cinnamon, and mint. Review the recipes above for a few ideas.
>> Read more: Pawp Pet Insurance Review
Can I make a DIY dog toothbrush?
If you’re in a hurry and you need to brush your dog’s teeth now, you can use gauze pads. Wrap the gauze pad around your finger and use circular motions to brush your dog’s teeth gently. Use a clean section of the pad as you go so you aren’t spreading more germs around your dog’s mouth. You can also use a soft-bristled children’s toothbrush; just skip the children’s toothpaste.
Store-bought dog toothbrushes are best because they come in a variety of shapes and styles, such as a multi-head brush that brushes all sides of the teeth at one time. If you have an uncooperative puppy like mine, you may have more luck with a fingertip brush that slides onto the end of your finger.