Effective Ways to Improve Pet’s Oral Health With DIY Pet Toothpaste


Your pet’s oral health is just as vital as your own. Bad breath, gum disease, and tooth loss can negatively impact your furry companion’s quality of life. While commercial pet toothpaste can certainly help fight plaque and tartar buildup, making your all-natural DIY Pet Toothpaste is a cost-effective way to keep those pearly whites pearly white. 



Why Oral Health Matters for Pets

Before getting into recipes and how-tos, let’s first discuss why dental care is so crucial for our pets. Dental disease is surprisingly common in dogs and cats, with 80% of pets developing some level of gingivitis or periodontal disease by age three if preventative measures aren’t taken. Gum inflammation and plaque buildup can lead to tooth loss, pain, infection, and systemic health issues down the line if left untreated.

Bad breath, which many owners attribute to normal “dog breath,” is often the first sign that something is wrong in the mouth. Foul odors almost always indicate the presence of plaque, tartar, or gingivitis starting to take hold. Beyond smelling unpleasant, inflamed gums and infected pockets between the teeth and gums provide an excellent breeding ground for bacteria. Over time, these microbes can enter the bloodstream and potentially cause damage to important organs like the kidneys, liver, and heart.


Regular dental care is needed throughout a pet’s lifetime to prevent these problems from cropping up. Just like in humans, toothpaste works to physically remove surface stains and plaque buildup while delivering essential minerals and antibacterial ingredients to keep gum tissue healthy. Brushing is also important for disrupting existing biofilm formations before they harden into unsightly tartar. Maintaining cleanliness between dental visits can significantly reduce the risks of dental disease-related illness for dogs and cats as they age.

How to Choose Ingredients for DIY Pet Toothpaste

Now that you understand why oral hygiene matters, it’s time to dive into formulating your all-natural toothpaste. The following ingredients are commonly used in homemade pet dental pastes due to their beneficial properties:

Coconut oil: As an antibacterial medium-chain fatty acid, coconut oil has been shown to help reduce gingivitis. Its texture also makes it a great base for toothpaste.


Baking soda: The mild abrasiveness of baking soda acts as a natural scrubber to remove surface stains without being too harsh on enamel. It also has antifungal properties.

Xylitol: This sugar alcohol inhibits bacterial plaque formation and suppresses acid production in the mouth. Only use xylitol-free versions, as it’s toxic to dogs.

Essential oils: Oils from trees like clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and peppermint are anti-inflammatory and kill some oral bacteria. Only use pet-safe, diluted amounts.


Hydrogen peroxide: Its antimicrobial properties destroy plaque-causing bacteria. Dilute 35% hydrogen peroxide to 3% before using in toothpaste.

Vegetable glycerin or honey: These humectants keep toothpaste moist without drying out the mouth. Glycerin is preferable for pets.

Fluoride: This optional mineral strengthens enamel to ward off cavities when included at low 0.24% levels, but high amounts can cause pets to ingest too much. Consult with your vet first.

With so many viable options, you have plenty of flexibility to craft a toothpaste tailored to your pet’s needs. The next section provides three sample recipes to get you started.

Easy DIY Toothpaste Recipes for Dogs and Cats

Now that the essential oral care ingredients have been covered, here are three basic toothpaste formulas to try at home:

Coconut Oil and Baking Soda Toothpaste

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 10 drops of lemon essential oil

Melt the coconut oil if solid, then whisk in baking soda until smooth. Stir in lemon oil last. Store in an airtight container.

Baking Soda, Hydrogen Peroxide & Glycerin Toothpaste

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 2 tbsp 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • 2 tbsp vegetable glycerin
  • 5 drops peppermint essential oil

Whisk all ingredients thoroughly until well combined. Seal and label properly.

Clove, Cinnamon & Honey Toothpaste

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 10 drops of clove essential oil
  • 5 drops cinnamon essential oil

Gently warm coconut oil and honey until loosened. Whisk in essential oils, then pour into a small container. Chill until thickened.

These are just a starting point – feel free to experiment with ratios and other safe additions like slippery elm powder or probiotics. Consistency should be thick yet spreadable without being runny. Store homemade pastes in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

How to Brush Your Pet’s Teeth

Now that you have toothpaste, it’s time to teach Rover or Fluffy proper brushing techniques:

  • Start young if possible, as early prevention is key. Use treats and praise to reinforce the process positively.
  • Have them sit or stay, then lift their lip with one hand to examine the inside. Distract with treats if they protest.
  • Apply a small pea-sized amount of toothpaste to a toothbrush made for pets. Soft bristles are best to avoid abrasion.
  • Gently brush each outer tooth surface in a circular motion. Focus on molars in the back and front incisors.
  • Move to the inner tooth surfaces near the gums using a back-and-forth scrub. Massage gums lightly with the brush.
  • Brush for 2-3 minutes, 2-3 times a week. Pets may need to work up to this duration gradually.
  • Give treats and affection afterward on a positive note. Over time they’ll come to enjoy brushing.
  • Check for any areas of redness, swelling, or unusual behavior to catch early signs of dental issues.

Consistency is key – make brushing a regular part of your pet’s routine with time, and they’ll come to accept it. Always go at their pace and reward calm behavior.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions owners have about making DIY pet toothpaste:

Is it safe for my pet?

As long as you only use non-toxic, pet-safe ingredients and stay within recommended amounts, homemade pastes pose very little risk when used as directed. Always check with your vet about any concerns.

Will my pet let me brush?

Patience is needed, as not all pets readily accept brushing at first. Going slowly and keeping sessions brief and positive from a young age helps. Offering treats during and after builds happy associations. Consistency is key for ongoing dental care acceptance.

Can I brush too much?

Over-brushing can cause gum abrasion if done excessively or with too vigorous a technique. Two to three minutes, two to three times per week, is sufficient for most pets. Listen to their body language – if they seem irritated, take a break for the day.

What else can I do besides brushing?

Dental chews and treats, water additives, and regular professional cleanings all help supplement brushing. Raw food diets and moderate kibble may aid in reducing plaque too. But brushing remains the most effective way for owners to clean their teeth directly at home.

Should I still see the vet?

Yes, professional cleanings by your vet are essential at least once or twice yearly, depending on the risks. They can safely remove built-up tartar below the gumline that owners can’t reach. Early detection of any abnormalities is also important for treatment if needed. Homecare supports but does not replace veterinary dental procedures.

By formulating your non-toxic toothpaste and establishing a regular brushing routine, you give your furry companion the best chance at a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. Consistency is key, so be patient and stay positive – your pet will come to accept brushing as a way to keep their mouth in great shape for many years to come. Please feel free to reach out if you have any other questions!


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.