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9 Best Puppy Toothpastes in 2024: Reviews & Top Picks

Written by: Cassidy Sutton

Last Updated on June 5, 2024 by Dogster Team

9 Best Puppy Toothpastes in 2024: Reviews & Top Picks

VET APPROVED

Dr. Lauren Demos  Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Girl owner is cleaning teeth of retriever puppy after shower It’s common for dogs to have bad breath, but you can fix that easily with a simple tooth-brushing routine. Brushing teeth takes only a couple of minutes, and it minimizes severe health problems and expensive dental cleanings in the future.

This post reviews our top picks of puppy toothpaste so you can get a jump start on your dog’s oral hygiene. You’re never too early to start brushing your puppy’s teeth, and we’re here to tell you how to do it.

Let’s dive in!

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A Quick Glance at Our Favorites in 2024

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste
  • Dual enzymatic
  • Tastes good
  • No foaming agents
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Vet’s Best Enzymatic Toothpaste Vet’s Best Enzymatic Toothpaste
  • Enzymatic
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • Veterinarian formulated
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Petsmile Professional Toothpaste Petsmile Professional Toothpaste
  • Vegan
  • Free from sulfates, parabens, gluten, BPA, & silica
  • Great for pets with meat allergies
  • Radius Organic Dog Toothpaste Radius Organic Dog Toothpaste
  • Larger tube size
  • Organic
  • Cruelty-free
  • TropiClean Natural Dog Dental Gel TropiClean Natural Dog Dental Gel
  • Natural ingredients
  • Small size available for testing
  • VOHC-approved
  • The 9 Best Puppy Toothpastes

    1. Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste – Best Overall

    Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste new

    Product Form: Paste
    Flavors: Beef, malt, poultry, seafood, vanilla mint
    Size: 2.5-ounce tube
    Features: Plaque removal, tartar removal, breath freshening
    Active Ingredients: Glucose oxidase, lactoperoxidase, sorbitol, purified water, dicalcium phosphate anhydrous, hydrated silica, glycerine, poultry digest, dextrose, xanthan gum, titanium dioxide, sodium benzoate, potassium thiocyanate

    Our best overall option is Virbac’s C.E.T. dog toothpaste. We love this toothpaste for a few reasons. First, you can use this on dogs and cats, which is highly convenient if you have multiple pets. Who wants to juggle two different kinds of toothpaste?

    Second, they offer several flavors, and all have no foaming agents. Animals love the taste of this toothpaste. It could be because of artificial sweeteners, which we don’t like about this product, but we get it. Brushing your pet’s teeth is hard enough. Might as well make it taste good.

    Our favorite aspect of this toothpaste is its effectiveness, thanks to its dual enzymatic properties. You’ll have to deal with the lid getting crusty, but we think it’s worth it.

    Pros
    • Dual enzymatic
    • Tastes good
    • No foaming agents
    • Great for multi-pet households
    • Multiple flavors
    Cons
    • Heavy on artificial sweeteners
    • Tube becomes crusty

    2. Vet’s Best Enzymatic Toothpaste – Best Value

    Vet’s Best Enzymatic Toothpaste new

    Product Form: Paste
    Flavors: Unflavored
    Size: 3.5-ounce bottle
    Features: Plaque removal, tartar removal, breath freshening
    Active Ingredients: Glycerin, aloe, pectin, neem oil, grapefruit seed extract, baking soda, glucose, oxidase, natural flavors

    If you need to pinch pennies, then go with Vet’s Best toothpaste. This is another enzymatic toothpaste that’s veterinarian-formulated and shows great results in removing plaque, tartar, and freshening breath.

    You can only use it on dogs, so it might not make sense if you have cats. But for dog-only families, this could be the best toothpaste for the money.

    With this toothpaste, you don’t have to worry about artificial sweeteners. Several of the ingredients are natural. Some owners have reported their dogs getting diarrhea after using the product, but they were few and far between. Your dog might not care for the taste either because it’s unflavored.

    Pros
    • Enzymatic
    • No artificial sweeteners
    • Veterinarian formulated
    • Natural ingredients
    Cons
    • Caused diarrhea in some dogs
    • For dogs only
    • No flavor

    3. Petsmile Professional Toothpaste – Premium Choice

    Petsmile Professional Toothpaste new

    Product Form: Paste
    Flavors: London Broil
    Size: 2.5-ounce bottle
    Features: Plaque removal, tartar removal, breath freshening, teeth whitening
    Active Ingredients: Deionized water, glycerin, citric acid, carbopol 934p, potassium hydroxide, sodium benzoate, phosphoric acid, cetylpyridinium chloride

    Want to throw some cash at a premium option? Petsmile Professional toothpaste is our favorite option.

    Petsmile Professional toothpaste is a VOHC-approved1 toothpaste. Unlike other flavored toothpaste, this paste is sugar-free and vegan with a London Broil flavor.

    If you don’t know what London Broil is, it’s a method of cooking a steak. Petsmile uses liquid spices to capture the essence of the steak without using animal protein. Not all pets care for the London Broil flavor, though. Still, it could be a nice option for pets with protein allergies.

    Aside from flavor, this paste is free from sulfates, parabens, gluten, BPA, and silica. It’s also safe for cats, so your dollar stretches further. The only other downside is that it’s not enzymatic.

    Pros
    • Vegan
    • Free from sulfates, parabens, gluten, BPA, & silica
    • Great for pets with meat allergies
    • Sugar-free
    • Great for multi-pet homes
    • VOHC-approved
    Cons
    • Pricey
    • Some pets don’t like the taste
    • Not enzymatic

    4. Radius Organic Dog Toothpaste

    Radius Organic Dog Toothpaste new (1)

    Product Form: Paste
    Flavors: Cinnamon and sweet potato
    Size: 2.88-ounce tube
    Features: Breath freshening
    Active Ingredients: Water, glycerin, guar gum, sweet potato powder, rice powder, sunflower seed oil, lecithin, coconut oil, papaya fruit extract, olive leaf extract, fennel seed extract, laminaria digitata extract, cinnamon powder, sodium chloride, peppermint Indian leaf oil, clove bud flower oil, thyme leaf oil, stevia rebaudiana extract powder, citric acid, xanthan gum

    Radius dog toothpaste is for all you organic lovers. It has a unique flavor of cinnamon and sweet potato and a slight hint of coconut oil. The oil makes the paste slippery, so things could get messy if your puppy is unruly.

    We love that this paste is free of several additives, including xylitol, a toxic ingredient for dogs. It does contain guar gum, so if that’s an ingredient you want to avoid, it’s best to move on from the product.

    This is also a cruelty-free product. Sadly, it’s not enzymatic. It’s only good for freshening your dog’s breath. There’s also no expiration date on the tube. But overall, it’s a good product that gets the job done with good ingredients.

    Pros
    • Larger tube size
    • Organic
    • Cruelty-free
    • Free from several additives, including xylitol
    Cons
    • Limited features
    • Contains guar gum
    • Not enzymatic
    • No expiration date on tube
    • Slippery consistency

    5. TropiClean Natural Dog Dental Gel

    TropiClean Natural Dog Dental Gel new

    Product Form: Gel
    Flavors: Unflavored
    Size: 2-ounce bottle
    Features: Plaque removal, tartar removal, breath freshening
    Active Ingredients: Water, naturally derived alcohol, glycerin, carbomer, spearmint, mild cleanser, zinc chloride, green tea leaf extract

    Tropiclean is one of the leading brands of natural pet products. Their products smell great, taste great, and work! For the most part, at least. There are always some limitations with natural products.

    For instance, this toothpaste isn’t enzymatic, and dogs don’t care for the flavor. We imagine it’s either because of the naturally-derived alcohol in the gel or the subtle mint flavoring. Either way, the toothpaste still works wonders. Owners report cleaner teeth, fresher breath, and peace of mind. This is another VOHC-approved tooth gel.

    Pros
    • Natural ingredients
    • Small size available for testing
    • VOHC-approved
    Cons
    • Suitable for puppies 12 weeks and older
    • Not enzymatic
    • Dogs don’t care for the taste

    6. Oratene Brushless Dog Dental Gel

    Oratene Brushless Dog Dental Gel new

    Product Form: Gel
    Flavors: Mildly-sweet general flavor
    Size: 0.99-ounce tube
    Features: Plaque removal
    Active Ingredients: Aloe vera, dextrose, glyceryl polymethacrylate, hydroxyethyl cellulose, polyglycitol, potassium iodide, sorbitol. natural enzymes: glucose oxidase, lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase, lysozyme

    Number six on our list is Oratene brushless dental gel. This gel is for dogs with progressive periodontal disease and other dental issues. It has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral protection to help fight infection.

    Most puppies won’t need to use this gel, but there are always exceptions, and this gel is 100% safe for puppies. It’s free from xylitol and alcohol.

    Oratene is also enzymatic, so brushing is much easier. It tastes great, but it has artificial sweeteners in it. This probably isn’t a big deal if your dog’s teeth are infected.

    Pros
    • Great for dogs with severe dental issues
    • Enzymatic
    • Cruelty-free
    • Free from xylitol and alcohol
    • Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral protection
    Cons
    • Contains artificial sweeteners

    7. Nylabone Oral Care Dental Kit

    Nylabone Oral Care Dental Kit new

    Product Form: Paste
    Flavors: Molasses
    Size: 2.5-ounce tube
    Features: Plaque removal, tartar removal
    Active Ingredients: Toothpaste—sorbitol, water, silica, glycerin, cellulose gum, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, sodium copper chlorophyllin, sodium hexametaphosphate, tetrasodium pyrophosphate, flavor, titanium dioxide, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, and magnesium aluminum silicate; Toothbrush—nylon and rubber

    Nylabone’s oral care toothbrushing kit is a lifesaver for new dog owners. This straightforward, affordable brushing kit comes with one tube of toothpaste, one finger brush, and one regular toothbrush. The regular toothbrush in this kit is curved, so you can reach the back molars more easily than a standard baby toothbrush.

    The downside to the toothbrushes is that some owners don’t like the fit of the finger brush, and the bristles fall apart on the regular toothbrush.

    The toothpaste is considered non-enzymatic, but we noticed sorbitol in the ingredients, a cytoplasmic enzyme. The flavor is 50/50 with most dogs. Some like it, and some loathe it.

    Pros
    • Comes with a regular and finger toothbrush
    • Affordable
    • Toothbrush has an angle to reach molars
    Cons
    • Flavor is a hit or miss with dogs
    • Not enzymatic

    8. Maxi-Guard Dental Cleansing Wipes

    Maxi-Guard Dental Cleansing Wipes new

    Product Form: Wipe
    Flavors: Unflavored
    Size: 100-ct container of wipes
    Features: Plaque removal, tartar removal
    Active Ingredients: Deionized water, glycerin, zinc gluconate, l-lysine, taurine, carboxymethylcellulose, methylparaben, propylparaben

    Number eight on our list is Maxi-Guard dental cleansing pet wipes. These wipes are easy to use because you don’t have to deal with a toothbrush or sticky toothpaste. Each wipe is 3 inches in diameter, so one or two wipes should do the trick.

    What’s nice about these wipes is that you can use them on your dog and cat, so they’re highly convenient. The downside is they’re not as effective as a standard toothbrush and enzymatic toothpaste. Plus, you can’t reach the back molars as well.

    Pros
    • Brush-free option
    • Great for multi-pet households
    • Mess-free
    Cons
    • Difficult to reach molars
    • Not enzymatic
    • Need to use more than one wipe

    9. Pawtitas Natural Dental Scrub

    Pawtitas Natural Dental Scrub new

    Product Form: Powder
    Flavors: Unflavored
    Size: 4-ounce bottle
    Features: Plaque removal, tartar removal, breath freshening
    Active Ingredients: Certified organic neem, baking soda USP, certified organic stevia, certified organic spearmint extract, certified organic peppermint extract, Himalayan salt, certified organic cinnamon

    Last on our list is Pawtitas Natural Dental Scrub. Truthfully, most people would prefer to steer clear of powders because they’re messy. But some people prefer powders over pastes, so we have to cover our bases!

    This powder has no artificial sweeteners or preservatives, and it’s human-grade. If you’re vegan, you’re in luck. There are no animal proteins in this cleanser, either.

    Keep in mind that the powder is difficult to use with a wiggly dog. It’s also not enzymatic, so it only does the basics of removing plaque.

    Pros
    • No artificial sweeteners or preservatives
    • Human-grade
    • All natural, organic ingredients
    • Vegan
    Cons
    • Messy
    • Difficult to use
    • Expensive
    • Not enzymatic

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    Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Puppy Toothpaste

    Why Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth Is Important

    About two-thirds of dogs1 will develop dental disease, or periodontal disease, in their lifetime. This is when the gums become inflamed or infected, and teeth rot. Periodontal disease first occurs as a milder form of dental disease called gingivitis. Bacteria from excess plaque infects the gums, and the gums become red and swollen. If left untreated, the condition turns into painful tooth loss.

    Dental cleanings are great ways to clean your pet’s teeth, but not everyone has the money to take their pet in twice a year. That’s where teeth brushing comes into play.

    Teeth brushing is simple, cheap, and an excellent way to keep your pet’s gums and teeth healthy.

    When Should I Start Brushing My Puppy’s Teeth?

    It’s best to start brushing your puppy’s teeth when it’s fully weaned. Around 8 weeks old is a good age to start if you can, or when the puppy can comfortably eat dry food. Brushing teeth isn’t something a dog is used to, so starting early in life will help your puppy expect and enjoy the experience.

    Types of Teeth Cleansers: Which One Is Best?

    As you can tell from the list above, there are all kinds of toothpaste, from powders and pastes to gels and wipes. The list goes on.

    So, how do you know which teeth cleansers are best? Well, that entirely depends on you and your dog’s needs. Let’s look at a few options.

    • Paste: The most common type of tooth cleanser. Usually comes flavored.
    • Powder: A dry, powdery cleanser. Can be used dry or sometimes mixed in water to create a paste.
    • Gel: Similar to paste but has a more glossy effect. It’s typically less thick and produces less foam.
    • Wipes: Comes pre-packed, ready to use. A toothbrush is not required but may not remove as much plaque or freshen breath.
    • Dental chews: Removes plaque as the dog eats the treat.

    Paste or gel tends to yield the best results, but either one of these options will work. The important thing is to establish a toothbrushing habit.

    silicone pet toothbrush that fits on finger and toothpaste
    Image Credit: Maryia_K, Shutterstock

    Common Dog Toothpaste Ingredients

    Some common ingredients you’ll find in medicated or store-bought teeth cleaners include:

    • Sorbitol
    • Glycerin
    • Water
    • Guar gum
    • Cellulose gum
    • Tetrasodium pyrophosphate
    • Hydrated silica
    • Ascorbic acid phosphate
    • Sodium lauryl sulfate
    • Sodium benzoate
    • Potassium sorbate
    • Titanium dioxide
    • Sodium copper chlorophyllin
    • Sodium hexametaphosphate
    • Magnesium aluminum silicate

    It’s up to you which ingredients you want to avoid. However, one ingredient all pet parents should avoid is xylitol.

    Xylitol1 is a naturally occurring substance used as a sugar substitute. It’s usually extracted from corn fiber or birch trees and manufactured into a white powder that looks and tastes like sugar. Unfortunately, it’s highly toxic to dogs and causes hypoglycemia, seizures, liver failure, and sometimes even death.

    How much xylitol is used in a product varies, but it’s best to steer clear of it entirely.

    Can I Use Human Toothpaste On My Dog?

    Never use human toothpaste on your dog’s teeth. Human toothpaste contains ingredients that can be toxic such as fluoride, or can cause an upset stomach or diarrhea. Some human toothpaste contains high levels of sodium1 which can make a dog sick. Other toothpaste brands contain xylitol.

    Stick to toothpaste designed for dogs with no xylitol.  

    How to Properly Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

    Brushing your dog’s teeth isn’t as complicated as some may think. Your dog’s patience and the type of tooth cleanser you use certainly make a difference, but the task isn’t difficult overall.

    Step 1: Help your dog get used to the cleanser

    This is why a tasty tooth cleanser is important. Your dog won’t want to participate in toothbrushing if the tooth cleanser tastes awful. The texture can also be a little off-putting.

    Instead of jumping into toothbrushing, start by applying a small pea-sized amount of toothpaste to your figure and give your dog a taste. If your dog likes it, move on to step 2.

    Step 2: Swipe the teeth

    When your dog is used to the tooth cleanser, add some toothpaste to your finger and quickly swipe the teeth. Don’t worry about using the toothbrush at this point. Focus on having the toothpaste make contact with the tooth.

    Step 3: Gently brush

    Using the toothbrush or finger brush, gently brush your dog’s teeth. Remember to brush the molars (back teeth) and the canines (front teeth).

    For a great visual representation, check out the video below on properly brushing your dog’s teeth using our provided steps.

    How to Clean Your Dog’s Teeth Without Brushing

    If your dog refuses to let you brush its teeth, don’t fret. There are different approaches you can implement at home.

    Enzymatic Toothpaste

    Enzymatic toothpaste contains enzymes that break down plaque on the tooth, even without brushing. It’s more about making contact with the tooth than brushing. You can apply a bit of toothpaste onto the tooth, and the enzymatic toothpaste will get to work.

    Bones & Dental Chews

    In 2018, a study of eight beagles1 showed that chewing raw beef bone reduced plaque by 70%–88% in just 12 days. Chewing beef bones scraped the plaque off the dogs’ teeth, which minimized the build-up of tartar (calcified plaque). However, bones can also carry huge risks such as fractured or damaged teeth, or of causing a foreign body.

    Dental chews work similarly, except the product is chewy instead of hard. When a dog bites into the chewy treat, the tooth scrapes and scrubs against the treat’s surface, leaving less plaque on the tooth. Chews are a much safer alternative to bones. However, they also can lead to foreign bodies so monitor your dog while they use them!

    Kibble

    Some kibble diets are explicitly designed to cleanse your dog’s teeth. The kibble’s shape uses mechanical abrasion, similar to bones and dental chews. Not all kibble is designed this way, but generally, kibble helps clean the teeth better than wet food.

    Which Toothpaste Is Best for My Puppy?

    All in all, vet-approved toothpaste is best. These kinds of toothpaste were tested to ensure safety and quality.

    But not all toothpaste works the same way. Some kinds of toothpaste focus on freshening breath, while others focus on more serious dental issues. Thankfully, most puppies have healthy teeth and gums, so a basic toothpaste should do the trick. Look at the ingredients and determine what works for you and your puppy.

    At the end of the day, talking to your vet about proper dental hygiene is a great step in the right direction.

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    Conclusion

    Our favorite toothpaste overall is Virbac’s C.E.T. toothpaste. It works wonders, tastes delicious, and can be used on cats and dogs.

    For a cheaper option, check out Vet’s Best toothpaste. It can’t be used on cats, but it’s a more affordable enzymatic toothpaste with more natural ingredients. Our premium choice is Petsmile toothpaste. It’s a little pricey, but it has natural ingredients, is sugar-free, and can be used on multiple pets.

    Based on reviews and personal experience, these are the best kinds of toothpaste to try with your puppy.


    Featured Image Credit: NotarYES, Shutterstock

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