QQ: Did you know you’re supposed to brush your dog’s teeth twice a day? LOL. Me neither.
I’ve been feeling high and mighty about my once-monthly doggy dental treatment forever. Yikes. But it’s true, according to Jan Bellows, DVM, president of the Foundation for Veterinarian Dentistry.
Don’t fret though, according to Whitney Miller, DVM, director of veterinary medicine at Petco, brushing two to three times a week still puts you ahead of the game.
When looking for a doggy toothpaste, you gotta keep a few things in mind. First of all, dogs and cats have less enamel than human teeth, according to Dr. Miller, so that harsh human toothbrush is a no go on Fido’s sensitive chompers. You should also NEVER substitute human toothpaste for dog toothpaste, as stuff like fluoride and xylitol can be harmful for dogs. It’s fine for humans because we know to spit it out after rinsing, but when was the last time your dog complied with “spit it out”? Ya feel?
You also wanna find a flavor that’s best for your dog. A peppermint flavor will only make things harder for you and annoy your dog. That’s why there are puh-lenty of chicken and meat-flavored toothpastes out there.
1. Best Expert-Recommended Toothpaste
This toothpaste might not look like much, but lots of vets and dog experts say this French brand is their go-to toothpaste recommendation. Tiffany Tobaben, DVM, medical director at Operation Kindness, recommends the Virbac toothpaste, as does Meg Marrs, founder of K9 of Mine. With 607 4.5-star reviews on Amazon, it seems like regular dog owners dig it too. Plus, the toothpaste comes in Poultry, Seafood, Vanilla Mint, and Malt flavor. Exotic! And doesn’t the packaging look very French pharamacy-chic?
2. Best All-in-One Dental Kit
Dr. Miller recommends the Well & Good Dental Kit because it features a soft bristled toothbrush (remember, less enamel = softer toothbrushes!) and a chicken-flavored toothpaste that helps fight tartar. There are also two little finger nubbin brushes included in the kit so you have options. For the price, you can't afford not to try it.
3. Easiest Way of Keeping Your Dog’s Teeth Clean Without “Traditional” Brushing:
If you know you won’t be able to maintain a regular brushing routine, you can try Bright, from the makers of Barkbox. The system uses a special chicken-flavored toothpaste and comes with a 30-day supply of chicken treats that you squeeze the toothpaste on. The chewing action from the treat, along with the triple-enzymatic formula, is meant to maintain fresh doggy breath in a maintenance way. If your pup has a sensitive stomach and can’t handle treats, like ever, (moi), you can also put a bit of the Bright toothpaste on a dental chew like a Benebone instead.
4. Best for Puppies
Well & Good also carries a special puppy kit (although IMHO, fucking with puppy breath is a SIN!) that includes a soft brush, mint-flavored fresh breath spray, and a special formulation of their chicken-flavored toothpaste for puppies.
5. Best VOHC-Approved Toothpaste
PetSmile is one of the rare toothpastes that’s approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC), which publishes a list of approved dental products). There are weirdly way more dog-chews and water additives on the VOHC-approved list than actual toothpaste, but this puppy made the cut.
6. Best Dental Wipes
If your doggo isn’t quite ready for toothbrushes yet, you can try dental wipes, suggests Gary Richter, DVM, veterinary health expert for Rover.com. When choosing a wipe, Dr. Richter recommends looking for something with baking soda (which these wipes have) or other natural ingredients to help remove any stains.
7. Best Peanut Butter–Flavored Toothpaste
For being such a tried-and-true flavor dogs love, you’d be surprised how few peanut-butter-flavored toothpaste options are out there. Dr. Marrs likes this Nylabone Advanced Oral Care toothpaste, which is one of the rare products that does come in elusive PB flavoring. Who knew doggy toothpaste would actually sound so yummy...to a human?
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