It’s Pet Dental Health Month! And that means we’re zeroing in on the mouth!
Your pet’s mouth is full of different microbes – germs, bacteria, and if you’re not staying on top of it, plaque. That plaque buildup can lead to dental disease. And that dental disease, well, it can lead to disease elsewhere in the body… It’s actually really important to pay attention to your dog’s oral health.
That means keep plaque at bay and keeping teeth (and the whole mouth) clean. And you can do that just as you would your own oral health – brushing!
But we don’t just use any old toothpaste! This DIY dog toothpaste recipe is a great alternative to some of the not-so-natural options out there.
DIY Dog Toothpaste Recipe
Have you ever read the label on commercial dog toothpaste? How many of the ingredients do you know?? How many can you actually even pronounce?!? Yes, that’s why we make our own…
It’s really easy to make DIY dog toothpaste at home. You just need a few simple ingredients and you’re good to get brushing!
IMPORTANT: Never, ever use your toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth! Human toothpastes contain ingredients that can, at minimum, cause digestive upset, and at worst, be completely toxic! Some human toothpastes contain high levels of sodium which may make your pet ill, while others contain xylitol which is toxic for dogs!
Ingredients (the amount you make will depend on the size of your dog. Add a little more or a little less for your pet’s size):
- Coconut oil – coconut oil has antimicrobial properties that effectively remove harmful bacteria, fungi, and viruses in the mouth. It contains lauric acid, which is an effective bacteria-controlling acid.Coconut oil can also help reduce plaque buildup, fight gum disease and prevent tooth decay.
- Probiotics – probiotics help to repopulate the good bacteria and restore the natural microbial balance in the mouth. In fact, research shows they slow the growth of bad bacteria that can cause common dental diseases like periodontal disease and chronic bad breath. Our go-to is Love Bugs from Adored Beast Apothecary.
- CBD oil – CBD oil can help fight any inflammation in the mouth and help fight disease-causing bacteria. Adding it to toothpaste (or giving it beforehand) may also help reduce the stress of the event and relieve some of your pet’s anxiety. Our go-to is CBD oil from Source CBD.
- Mint – mint will not only help freshen breath, it’s also an effective bacteria-killing ingredient.
- 1 tsp – 1 tbsp of coconut oil
- 1/16 – 1/8 tsp of Love Bugs pre and probiotic blend
- a few drops of CBD oil
- a pinch of finely chopped or muddled mint leaves
In a small glass jar (this makes storage of leftovers easy), mix together all of the ingredients. For the coconut oil, you don’t need to melt it. If the coconut oil is chunky, that’s honestly even better because it makes it easier to get a good amount on your finger or your dog’s toothbrush.
Gently rub in a circular motion, going slowly, but making sure your pet is comfortable.
Tips for Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth
Some dogs love having their teeth brushed, especially those who’ve grown accustomed to it and have it done on a regular basis.
Others, well, it can be a bit chaotic the first few times you do it. But remain steadfast! Brushing your dog’s teeth is important, and it contributes not just to oral health, but overall health as well.
- If you’re new to brushing, do your best to make it a positive experience. Offer lots of praise throughout the process.
- Choose a quiet place where you pet can best relax.
- Start out with short sessions – you don’t want to stress your dog out! You can always do the top left on Monday, then bottom left on Weds, then top right on Friday, and bottom right on Sunday. This gives your dog lots of time to get used to it.
- You can use a dog fingertip toothbrush or even just a piece of gauze (if you’re next, gauze is less intense, and you can graduate to a toothbrush later on).
- Let your pet taste the toothpaste before you put it on the gauze or toothbrush. Then, apply a little to the gauze and let your pet sniff it so they see what it is.
- In between brushings, consider raw bones to keep plaque under wraps. As your dog chews a raw bones, the fibres act like a toothbrush, gentle brushing away plaque. It’s also a good jaw workout and provides valuable mental stimulation! Here are some tips if you’re new to raw bones.
Once your pet gets the hang of things, set a day as “toothbrushing day.” So, whip up a batch of this DIY dog toothpaste and brush on a regular basis to keep them comfortable, and keep those pearly whites nice and healthy!
The Veterinarious team is made up of pet owners, pet lovers, and pet experts from around the globe! We’ve banded together to create a community of like-minded pet people to give you the latest research and health advice for your beloved beast!