Can Dog Use Human Toothpaste?
You’ve probably heard that you shouldn’t give your dog human toothpaste.
It’s harmful to them because it contains fluoride and other chemicals.
But, there are a few different types of toothpaste available today.
Some of them aren’t safe for dogs at all.
Why human toothpaste is dangerous for dogs
When it comes to toothpaste, dogs and humans have different needs.
Human toothpaste contains a variety of chemicals to combat oral germs and plaque buildup; these include:
- various flavors (like mint or cinnamon)
- polyethylene glycols/PEGs
- sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)
- and more.
Toothpaste for pets also contains some of these ingredients but in different formulations that are safer for their mouths.
Important to note is human toothpaste is not safe for dogs at all if ingested!
Fluoride is the active ingredient in most antiplaque products designed for use by people with healthy teeth and gums.
However, this same chemical is toxic when taken internally by your dog.
Ingestion of one tablespoon of fluoridated toothpaste can cause serious illness in a 10-pound dog.
This is because the fluoride concentration found in many brands could be fatal over time—even causing death within 24 hours after ingestion!
Symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and seizures.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) is used in toothpaste as a foaming agent that creates the texture of toothpaste when it’s applied to your dog’s teeth.
SLS can irritate dogs’ skin and mucous membranes, causing redness and irritation in their mouths.
If ingested by your pet, SLS may cause vomiting or diarrhea within 12 hours.
At higher doses, the chemical can lead to severe anaphylaxis (which can be fatal).
If it is swallowed with other substances (like antifreeze), excessive amounts can cause serious illness or even death.
How valuable is dog toothpaste for your dog’s dental health?
Dog toothpaste is no different than pink soap for washing your car.
It’s the physical act of brushing that does most of the work when it comes to keeping your dog’s teeth clean and healthy.
The key here is consistency, regularity in frequency, and good technique.
These are far more important than what brand or flavor of animal-safe toothpaste you use.
Brush at least two times a week, following these simple steps:
- Make sure your hands are free from food particles and other debris. Then open up your dog’s mouth with one hand while supporting their lower jaw with the other hand. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush designed for dogs (never a human toothbrush). Wipe away any plaque along the gum line as you go down each side of his mouth between molars and canine teeth.
- Remove any loose food before giving him treats afterward so he doesn’t accidentally swallow toothpaste.
- Use a soft, wet cloth to wipe your dog’s teeth and gums after eating or drinking anything he shouldn’t have. (Read here about food your dog should never eat. If you don’t have time to do this every day (or if it’s more convenient for you), use an animal-safe toothbrush and dental wipes on his teeth only when necessary!
So why do we even use pet toothpaste for dogs?
Human toothpaste is not safe for dogs.
Most human toothpaste contains fluoride to strengthen teeth.
But humans should never use fluoride with animals because it can be toxic to them and make their bones brittle.
Pet toothpaste is specially formulated for dogs’ oral health needs and comes in flavors that they like (poultry, malt, beef, seafood).
If you want your pets to have fresh breath and healthy gums, too, look into using pet-specific toothpaste.
Final Thoughts, Can Dog Use Human Toothpaste?
Dogs can not use human toothpaste.
Dog toothpaste is a great way to keep your pets’ teeth and gums healthy.
But it’s not a substitute for regular brushings—like humans. You can’t rely on the dental maintenance benefits of one product!
Is any human toothpaste safe for dogs?
What can I use as toothpaste for my dog?
There are a few things you can use as toothpaste for your dog.
You can use baking soda, which will help remove plaque and tartar from your dog’s teeth.
You can also use hydrogen peroxide, which will help to kill bacteria and whiten your dog’s teeth.