We do our best to brush Gren’s teeth almost every day. Granted, it’s a two-person operation: one person has to put the dog in a headlock and the other risks getting covered in paste and dog saliva on “scrubby duty,” but we do it because we love our little fiend.
I finally came to the end of the supply of dog toothpaste (vanilla flavoured, if you must know) that came with the latest doggy toothbrush (which I have since abandoned for a soft people toothbrush). As I was about to go out and get some more, I chanced to look at the “all-natural” ingredients list. Sorbitol? I don’t even know what that is, but it’s the second ingredient. And why does it need to be sweetened with stevia? Since when do dogs need sugar?
So I’m going to make my own. And there’s a ton of recipes on the internet. Many of them require you to use glycerin, which I guess is the sticky-togethery ingredient that actually makes the paste into a pasty substance. But that sounds like a pain in the ass, so I’m going to go with a version that uses coconut oil instead (used in small quantities coconut oil is beneficial to your pet’s health), and modify it a wee bit.
Start with a bouillon cube, and dissolve that in 1 tablespoon water. Or, in my case, use this gel-like one instead. This is mostly for flavour, so use something your dog will like. Gren has issues with chicken and beef so I would use pork or vegetable.
Add in 2 tablespoons baking soda (a deodorizing abrasive), and 1 teaspoon cinnamon (a fragrant abrasive).
I also ground up about 1 teaspoon dried parsley (for fresh breath) and added a pinch of ground cloves (an anti-parasitic).
Looks tasty! Actually it didn’t smell as awful as I thought it might: just like vegetable soup with too much cinnamon added. Not bad in the end.
Then you need to work in about 1/2 cup coconut oil. If you have trouble mixing everything up you can soften the oil or melt it, but you want it to be solid in the end.
You can store this mixture at room temperature in a sealed container for several weeks. Brush often!
Many sites actually recommend using your finger and a clean washcloth instead of a toothbrush for maximum efficacy, so we might try that at some point. Fortunately, Gren seems to like the taste of this stuff better than what we were using before, so he struggles a lot less.
Immediately after we brush his teeth Grenadier goes and gets his Tricky Treat Ball, which we fill with the other half of his dinner. Trundling around with the ball, he will snarf up the kibble that falls out of the hole, and in gulping it down he will produce more saliva to further aid in cleaning his teeth. When he’s done he usually drinks a whole whack of water too, to wash everything down. And then he goes to sleep.
15 thoughts on “Toothpaste for your Furbaby”
my dog is allergic to coconut oil. Is it necessary?
Technically none of these ingredients is necessary. The main purpose of the oil here is to give the toothpaste solidity and a base for the other ingredients – it does have some benefits of it’s own but they’re small. If your dog can’t have it then I don’t see why you can’t just leave it out.
Tea tree oil is toxic and should not be ingested.
or you can replace it with some olive oil
You could but then the toothpaste won’t be solid and things get messy …
Be aware that tea tree oil is now being considered a poison for animals. There are plenty of online resources that don’t sensationalize. Of course, one should research on their own and not take anyone’s online word for it 🙂
My lab has had two strange, possibly unrelated problems recently, and I don’t know if we can correlate with brushing. The poor boy just doesn’t want to talk about it with us. Imagine!
I think any substance like that in large quantities would be toxic, though I also think that the miniscule amount that makes it into his mouth with brushing, and the even smaller amount that he swallows, would not be a problem, but thanks for the tip.
I hope your lab reveals his secrets to you soon!
Someone said you can use glycerin instead of coconut oil if you want.
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What if it is too liquidy? What should I do?
You’ll find it’s easier to use when liquidy but you can always put it somewhere cool so the coconut oil can harden.
I’ve read in several different places recently not to use tree oil on dogs because it is highly toxic to them. I would research each ingredient individually and in depth, before I would put it in Fido’s mouth. I use coconut oil.
Do I have to use baking soda? Is there another alternative?
Baking soda is your best choice for an abrasive. It tastes terrible but it works.
Just tried this and my dog is following me around looking for more! He used to run away for brushing time! So excited!
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