Fluoride Toothpaste and Dogs


In our last blog, we talked about fluoride, and how important it is to make sure to get enough, but not too much fluoride. For example, a child,  when they’re permitted to put their own toothpaste on the brush, they will do it the way it’s shown on TV commercials. One would think they were frosting a cake with their Colgate.

But what about our beloved pets? After the last blog, there was some concern about brushing a dog’s teeth, and the question was asked, is the fluoride in the toothpaste safe?


The answer is NO! 

Human toothpaste is not safe for dogs!

The fluoride in human toothpaste can make your dog sick. Not only that, but some toothpaste contains xylitol, an artificial sweetener that can make your dog sick.

How does this relate to reality? Because usually, when a person’s dog eats something, they can be kind of anxious, which makes math is hard to do. So, here is what you need to know:


Too much fluoride will give your dog digestive issues. Our water in the Valley is fluoridated. Many dog food brands also contain fluoride. So, using fluoride toothpaste (even if it doesn’t contain xylitol) is not healthy for your dog. Also, some people’s dogs have a propensity for chewing things up. If their adventures take them to the countertop where the tube of fluoride toothpaste was left, they can chew up the tube, and that will poison them. 


50 milligrams per pound of the dog’s body weight is enough to cause hypoglycemia and liver failure in a dog. But, since we’re Americans, it’s tough to do a quick conversion, so maybe it will help to know there are 500 milligrams in one teaspoon. So, if you have a ten-pound dog, one teaspoon of xylitol is enough to poison him. Since each toothpaste is different, it’s hard to know how much xylitol is in it. 

But wait--When fluoride is safe for dogs?

Just like their child counterparts, young puppies can benefit from a topical fluoride application provided by a veterinary in a controlled environment. Here is more information about that.

As with many things, when a professional veterinarian applies fluoride at the right time of a dog's life, it’s a good thing. When it’s ingested because the dog grabbed it off the bathroom counter, it means your family vet is going to get a call. The most important thing a family can do concerning fluoride and dogs

  • Never use human toothpaste on your dog. There are special dog toothbrushes and dog toothpaste. You can buy them here.
  • Do not let your dog grab your toothpaste, mouthwash, or gum containing fluoride or xylitol. 
  • If your dog gets into the family toothpaste, grab the box with the ingredients on it and call your family vet.
What about the cat? I can open my mouth real big, see?

What about the cat? I can open my mouth real big, see?

We love our pets, and we love taking care of them. If you take care of your dog’s teeth, you may be surprised to know that it can keep him from getting the same kinds of ailments humans can get from dental problems: decay, halitosis, infections and heart ailments. Remember that next time you use dog toothpaste to brush those 42 teeth in the mouth of your favorite pal.

If you need a gentle, caring dental team, please call our office at (623) 362-2550. We’ll give you the very best dental care we can!