Can You Use Regular Toothpaste on Dogs?

By Coty Perry

Dental hygiene is more important for dogs than a lot of people think. If you’re thinking of putting some Colgate on a brush and going at your dogs mouth to get rid of their bad breath, think again. 

You cannot use regular toothpaste on dogs because it contains a number of harmful ingredients with the main one being Xylitol. This is an artificial sweetener that causes your dog’s blood sugar to drop. 

In this guide, we’ll look a little deeper into why we can’t use regular toothpaste on dogs and some of the alternatives you can choose. 

Can You Use Regular Toothpaste on Dogs? 

No, you cannot use regular toothpaste on dogs. It contains three main ingredients that are perfectly fine for humans but not for dogs. Here they are: 


This is a sugar substitute found in a lot of hygiene products to make them taste better. It’s sugar-free so that’s why it’s used in things like mouthwash, toothpaste, and gum. 

Xylitol can kill dogs because it causes a dramatic drop in blood sugar and it also damages their liver. It’s important to check a lot of things before feeding them to your dog because you wouldn’t believe all the foods that contain this artificial sweetener. 


Fluoride isn’t harmful unless consumed in large doses. In fact, fluoride is the reason why there are dedicated children’s toothpastes that do not contain this ingredient. 

It’s toxic when enough is consumed and over the course of a few months, if you’re swallowing toothpaste everyday, the level can become high enough to where it reaches a toxic level in the body. 

So, if you can’t get your dog to spit out the toothpaste once they’re done then you should never give them human toothpaste. I think you realize how ridiculous that sounds so it should get the point across! 

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate 

The last ingredient is known as SLS and this is an FDA approved chemical that helps create a lather. It’s commonly used in body washes and soaps but is also used in toothpaste so you don’t have to use as much. 

Why is this harmful to dogs? It can be very rough on the gastrointestinal system when consumed at high enough levels. If you’ve ever used dog toothpaste you’ll notice that it never foams up and it’s because this ingredient is excluded. 

What Can You Use For Dog Toothpaste? 

If you can’t use human toothpaste and you don’t have dog toothpaste, is there anything you can use? 

You can make a DIY dog toothpaste with baking soda, mint, and beef malt if you like. Coconut oil is also said to prevent tooth decay. All in all, I would recommend purchasing a dog toothpaste or getting your dog dental chews to help them maintain good oral hygiene. 

Final Thoughts

A lot of people think they don’t have to brush their dogs teeth because they stay clean from chewing on bones and food but this is false. Brushing your dog’s teeth is a great habit to get into and having the right toothpaste will ensure they stay safe. 

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Coty Perry
Coty is a self-proclaimed cat whisperer and animal lover. Growing up his mom ran a dog training business out of his childhood home so you can say it was complete chaos 24/7. Today, when he comes home after a long day of writing about animals, he’s greeted by his two loving cats Marley and Cozmo.