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Is It Safe If Dogs Swallow Dog Toothpaste?

(GULP.) Is swallowing dog toothpaste actually safe for our pooches? And what if they eat the ENTIRE TUBE? We’ve got all the info you need ...
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What to Watch Out For ...

Dogs know a lot of tricks, from rolling over to stealing chicken off the counter. But when it comes to their dental care, one trick they can’t master? Spitting out their toothpaste.

This leads many-a-concerned dog parent to question: Is it safe if my dog swallows dog toothpaste? Read on for everything you need to know ...

Is Dog Toothpaste Safe If Swallowed?

There are a rainbow of flavors when it comes to dog toothpaste, from mint to chicken and liver (eww). While dogs generally don’t like the taste of mint, all those meaty flavors can be quite enticing to a food-motivated dog, which is like, well, every dog we’ve ever met!

Dogs aren’t meant to spit out their toothpaste, so dog toothpaste IS indeed safe to swallow.

But what happens if you slack off on the "puppy proofing" and your dog gets its paws on the WHOLE TUBE of toothpaste?

Even then, don’t panic.

Kind of like when we eat an entire family-size bag of chips by ourselves (Can’t. Resist. Cheese. Puffs.), the likely scenario is some stomach upset or diarrhea, especially if the toothpaste contains baking soda.

One exception is if you use a dog toothpaste with neem oil. Certain doggie medications for diabetes or thyroid issues can react with neem oil. Additionally, some canines naturally have a sensitivity to this ingredient, even in small amounts. So if your toothpaste has neem oil and your dog eats a bunch of it and isn’t acting quite right, play it safe and call the vet.

Is Human Toothpaste Safe for Dogs?

It’s fine to share blankets, tuna fish, and your innermost thoughts with your dog, but you gotta draw the line at sharing your toothpaste, especially if your toothpaste contains xylitol.

Xylitol, a natural sugar alcohol found in plants, is perfectly safe for humans, but for pets, it’s extremely toxic because it stimulates a potent release of insulin.

Dogs that eat more than 0.1 g. of xylitol are at risk for hypoglycemia and dogs that eat more than 0.5 g. can develop acute liver failure. And it’s not just toothpaste you have to make sure your dogs don’t get into. Many chewable vitamins, dietary supplements, OTC meds and snack foods have xylitol.

Paws Off: Foods That Contain Xylitol

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Breath mints

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Baked goods

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Sugar-free gum & candies

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Sugar-free desserts

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"Skinny" ice creams

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Certain peanut & nut butters

What Happens If a Dog Eats Toothpaste With Xylitol? What to Watch Out For.

  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Inactivity
  • Loss of Coordination
  • Collapse
  • Seizures

If your dog’s ingested xylitol, contact the vet right away for guidance. Some of the serious side effects can take 12 to 24 hours to kick in, so you’ll want their advice on how to best monitor your pooch.

Bottom line: Never brush your dog’s teeth with human toothpaste. Even if it doesn’t contain xylitol, other common ingredients like fluoride and sodium lauryl sulfate can make your dog sick.

Paws-Down, The Safest Dog Toothpaste Around

One of the big challenges for dog parents is to get their rambunctious furballs to sit still for brushing. There’s the whole "won’t-stop-chewing-the-toothbrush" conundrum and the "run-and-hide" scenario too.

That’s why Oxyfresh Pet Dental Gel Toothpaste is a game-changer. Unlike all those fake meaty flavors, this vet-recommended toothpaste gel is 100% free of flavors, scents and neem oil so your dog will actually look forward to brushing.

Plus, it’s the only dog toothpaste to contain proprietary Oxygene®, a safe, NON-TOXIC ingredient that works on contact to neutralize harmful bacteria that cause pet plaque, bad breath, and ultimately, periodontal disease. (Learn more about the science of Oxygene®.)

You can use Oxyfresh dog toothpaste with a traditional pet toothbrush, a finger brush, or apply it straight to their gums with a finger (um, preferably your own).

No matter how you use it, you’ll love the results of your dog’s clean white teeth, impeccably fresh breath, and healthy gums.

P.S. If you’ve never brushed your dog’s teeth, rule #1: go in with a plan so you can set yourself up for success. Not sure where to start? Start right here: How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth Without Losing Your Sanity.

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Meet the Author

Melissa Gulbranson is the Co-Chief Operating Officer & Chief Marketing Officer for Oxyfresh. A recipient of the Pet Age's "Women of Influence" Award, she’s passionate about educating pet parents in ways that really resonate with them. Melissa loves days on the lake and hiking with her fur kid, Parker, and husband, Doug. Parker (a total ham) can be spotted running laps through the office each morning, greeting every team member. You can find Parker near the treats, and Melissa on Linkedin.