Disclaimer: I purchased these products on my own, and was not compensated or given free products for this review.
I have been using Nutri-Vet canine toothpaste for a while, but recently lost the tube. I needed more dog toothpaste, but I decided to go to PetSmart instead of waiting for another Amazon order.
Nutri-Vet wasn’t available at PetSmart. I decided to choose the Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Puppy Kit because it also included a small toothbrush and a finger-brush with rubber bristles. Until then, I was using a soft-bristled human child toothbrush for Matilda’s teeth.
Now I realize that dog toothpaste isn’t a simple purchase. They’re not all the same. Here’s what I discovered:
Nutri-Vet Enzymatic Chicken Flavored Canine Toothpaste
This was, again, the first canine toothpaste I used.
Taste: It had a mild chicken scent, making it attractive to my dog. After a few tries, she realized she enjoyed the taste. If your dog doesn’t like the taste of their toothpaste, they’re not going to let you smear it on their teeth. I tried it for myself, and found it to be tolerable, and it did clean my teeth. It does not foam like human toothpaste, which is good, because dogs do not need to rinse afterwards.
Potency: I used this for months. Matilda has an issue with retained baby teeth – she quickly collects tartar between her crowded teeth. I noticed that the discoloration almost completely disappeared when I made a point to brush daily. It contains the glucose oxidase enzyme, which works on plaque as the toothpaste sits on the teeth. I definitely noticed a difference from right after brushing to hours later.
Value: It’s 3 dollars on Amazon. And it lasts a long time.
The reason it’s so cheap? It’s made in China. Products made in China have been shown to be contaminated. The FDA has warned consumers to be wary of dog foods and human toothpastes made in China. I haven’t heard of anyone having a problem with this toothpaste, but I’ll be looking out for an alternative, just to be safe.
Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Puppy Dental Kit
This is the toothpaste I purchased at PetSmart a few days ago.
Made in the United States.
Value: The dental kit costs $11 and includes the toothbrush and finger brush. This is a reasonable price… if I were able to use it.
Taste: When I opened the tube, I instantly noticed a strong, sickly sweet odor. This toothpaste is incredibly sweet. It smells like pancake syrup. But still, I gave it a try. I smeared some on the brush, and let Matilda have a few licks before I started to brush her teeth. I had to stop because the bristles on the brush are simply too stiff. It’s too much like a human toothbrush, with rubber nubs that poked her gums. She wasn’t pleased, so I stopped. The fingerbrush worked better, but it didn’t seem to reach the crevices of her crowded teeth.
Later, I squeezed some on a plush toy, and encouraged her to tug the toy to help the toothpaste reach her back teeth. She wouldn’t play with the toy, but she did begin to lick it. Then, she gagged.
I tried it for myself. It tasted as sweet as it smelled. Way too sweet. And it didn’t seem to clean my teeth.
The first ingredient is sorbitol, used as a sweetener and to keep the toothpaste moist inside the tube. It’s not an unusual primary ingredient in human toothpaste, but I suspect there was simply too much used in this formula.
Potency: I can’t use this any longer, the overly sweet taste makes Matilda gag, and she does not tolerate brushing as well as she did with the other product.
I’m going to find other ways to clean my dog’s teeth.
I’ve heard of natural dog toothpaste recipes, but I don’t know if they’re proven to work. With Matilda’s small size, I can’t risk her consuming even a tiny amount of something that is not safe.
Recipes include ingredients like coconut oil (what doesn’t it do?), baking soda, and cinnamon.
Raw bones are another option. They naturally contain enzymes that can break down plaque. However, I have trouble finding raw bones that my dog can eat.