Can You Brush Your Dog's Teeth With Human Toothpaste?
Dog owners are used to having a smelly-mouthed dog breathing on their faces. While dental chews may clear up their bad breath for a time, you may wonder if you should brush your dog's teeth as well. If you do decide to brush your dog's teeth, is it safe to use human toothpaste? Here's what you need to know about brushing your dog's teeth with human toothpaste.
The Case for Brushing Your Dog's Teeth
Wolves don't have their teeth brushed. Why do dogs need their teeth brushed? One argument against brushing your dog's teeth is that their ancestors don't do it and their teeth seem to be just fine. One stark difference, however, is that wolves regularly chew on bones to clean their teeth.
Not every dog is given a bone to chew. The act of chewing is both mentally stimulating for a dog and helps them clean off plaque from their teeth. That's why dental chews are so popular. Yet some dental chews can pose health risks. If they shatter, then your dog may choke.
This leads many dog owners to prefer a safer method to ensure their dog's teeth are healthy.
Brushing is that method.
Should You Use Human Toothpaste?
If you've made the decision to brush your dog's teeth, then your next decision should be what toothpaste to use. Your first instinct may be just to use the same kind of paste that you use for your own teeth. However, before you start applying it to your dog's brush, you should check the ingredients.
Many kinds of toothpaste utilize the ingredient xylitol. This is extremely poisonous to dogs. It's found in tubes of toothpaste, peanut butter, and other kinds of foods and snacks. Consuming xylitol can send your dog to the vet immediately.
Instead of using human toothpaste, you can find other kinds that are made for dogs specifically. Those who want to make sure they're using an environmentally-friendly toothpaste may even consider DIYing it.
How to DIY Your Dog's Toothpaste
Those who want to use a toothpaste that is both safe for your dog and for the environment will want to use the following ingredients:
- 2 1/2 tablespoons organic coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 2 drops of peppermint oil
It's essential that you only use a teaspoon or less of baking soda. This can become toxic to them if they consume a lot of it. Peppermint oil is also a safe oil to use on dogs. However, you'll want to make sure that the oil is pure. Some essential oils also contain chemicals that can be toxic or dangerous for dogs to ingest.
Once you have the ingredients, you simply mix them together, then place the paste in a glass jar for a month's supply.
How to Use the DIY Paste with Your Dog
With the paste ready to go, one of the best ways to get your dog used to its taste is to let them lick a small part of it. That will ease the shock of its flavor and make them think it's a treat instead. Then slowly and gently brush the paste along your dog's teeth.
In no time, your dog will have clean, white, teeth and their penchant for bad breath will be significantly decreased.
Start Brushing Your Dog's Teeth Today
To ensure your dog doesn't succumb to gum disease, you should brush their teeth. Avoid toothpaste that contains xylitol. Instead, try making a DIY paste that is proven safe for dogs or purchase a dog-friendly toothpaste. You'll love your dog's white and bright smile.