If you want to start taking care of your dog’s dental health and are thinking of using your own toothpaste to do so, DON’T. Human toothpaste is extremely toxic for dogs and can lead to serious health issues. But, don’t panic just yet, because you can still care for your dog’s teeth, the correct way.
Let’s dive into why toothpaste is bad for dogs, and how you should take proper care of your dog’s dental care.
Why is human toothpaste bad for dogs?
Our pups should never be given the toothpaste we frequently use ourselves, because doing so wouldn’t help care for their teeth, but instead directly damage their health. That’s due to two ingredients human toothpaste usually have, which are incredibly toxic for our dogs: xylitol and fluoride.
Xylitol for dogs
Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol used in toothpastes and adds a sweet flavor similar to sugar, but without contributing to cavities and decay.
If consumed by a dog, xylitol can have serious bad effects on them. Since it resembles the flavor of sugar, your dog’s body will start to produce massive amounts of insulin, which can cause the body cells to absorb too much glucose (sugar) from their blood.
If this happens, your pup may experience symptoms such as vomiting, collapsing, feeling lethargic and experiencing weakness.
Fluoride for dogs
Fluoride is found in human toothpaste and is used to prevent tooth decay, but if consumed by a dog, it can have a fatal effect.
It can affect brain development and bone strength, or, even worse, result in a fluoride poisoning, which is an extremely severe fast acting type of poisoning, that can lead to death.
If your dog eats large amounts of toothpaste by accident, you should rush them to the vet immediately. Some of fluoride poisoning symptoms are:
- Excessive drooling
- Rapid heart rate
- Labored breathing
- Loss of appetite
How to clean dog’s teeth?
Even though human toothpaste is not the answer for taking care of your pup’s dental care, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do anything at all. Your dog’s teeth need to be cleaned, and here’s how to do it.
One of the more effective ways is to use dog dental wipes, they are very easy to use and will help your dog maintain clean teeth, a refreshing breath and prevent dental diseases.
Dental treats are another great complementary way of cleaning your dog’s teeth. Your dog will love them, they won’t even know they are having their teeth cleaned, and they will have a great time eating them.
But be sure to make the right choice of dental treats as some popular options, such as Greenies have had fatal effects in dogs due to their ingredients. Instead, try natural options such as Bully sticks.
You can also implement the use of dog teeth cleaning toys, they tend to look just like any other toy, and your pup will definitely feel like they are. What makes them different is having small holes, so when a dog is chewing it as they would with any other toy, their teeth get cleaned.
What happens if you don’t clean your dog’s teeth?
If a dog's teeth are not properly cleaned, it can result in serious dental diseases, such as halitosis (which causes terrible bad breath), tooth fracture, oral infections and periodontal disease.
To learn more about dental disease in dogs, read this blog.
Some of the most common symptoms of dental disease in dogs are:
- Bad breath
- Excessive drooling
- Weight loss
- Reduce appetite
- Missing teeth
- Red or bleeding gums
If your pup is showing any of these symptoms, make sure to take them to the vet so they can get their teeth examined.
But, let’s not wait for these symptoms to appear, and let’s start taking care of our dog’s dental health right now.