Why is human toothpaste bad for dogs?

Labrador Retriever getting teeth cleaned

Human Tooth Paste Dangerous For Dogs

Human toothpaste would be fine for our dogs except that they swallow it, leading to potentially big trouble. The major brands contain additives including sussing agents that make it foam when we brush. It’s not a problem for us humans but a dog who ingests enough of it can develop liver damage.

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There’s more. Many human toothpastes are sweetened with xylitol, a sugar substitute also found in some sugar-free gum, throat lozenges, and chew able vitamins. Dogs who absorb it internally are at risk of a surge in insulin followed quickly by a precipitous drop in blood sugar. It can also cause severe liver disease.

Last but not least; The use of fluoride in pet toothpastes is controversial, and most veterinary dental specialists and general practitioners don’t recommend its use because of the potential problem of toxicity.

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Human toothpastes can have higher levels of fluoride, therefore it is better to stay on the safe side and  NOT use regular human toothpaste for your dog, because in addition to the above most human toothpastes include fluoride, which is extremely poisonous to dogs. Don’t forget that we rinse after brushing, but dogs just swallow the toothpaste. An overdose of fluoride can cause vomiting and at higher levels can lead to kidney damage.


How often should you brush your dog’s teeth?

dog teeth covered with tartarBrushing your dog’s teeth daily helps removes bacteria, plaque and debris and is a great addition to pet health care. Dogs don’t get cavities, but they do get periodontal disease, and brushing helps prevent this. The appropriate toothpaste to use is a pet toothpaste that has enzymes to control plaque.

It makes a lot of sense to brush your dog’s teeth. The plaque on those choppers takes 24 hours to begin converting to tartar (that hard brown stuff on the sides of the teeth), so you only need to brush them once daily. Chicken and beef flavored canine toothpastes are safe and well-accepted by most dogs. Even the fussy ones will go along if it’s introduced gradually.