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Can Dogs Use Human Toothpaste?

September 22, 2022 | 3 min read

Updated September 25, 2023

By Sarah Milton


Summary: If you’re wondering “can you brush a dog’s teeth with human toothpaste?”, you’re in the right place. In this blog, we’ll learn why you might need to rethink how it comes to caring for your canine’s dental health…


In 2018, UK food brand Lily’s Kitchen surveyed 2000 pet parents asking them whether they’d ever used a human toothpaste while brushing their dog’s teeth? The answer was alarming… 8% had! But, why is this so bad? Can you not brush a dog’s teeth with human toothpaste…?

Can I Use Human Toothpaste On My Dog?

It is not advisable to use human toothpaste on a dog. Unfortunately, human toothpaste contains ingredients that can be incredibly toxic to our pups.

Toothpaste has a very high fluoride content. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that strengthens enamel (the protective layer on the teeth) and prevents cavities. However, it’s deemed safe to use in human beings but not in our four-legged friends. 

In doggos, fluoride can cause gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea and vomiting. It can also cause potassium levels in their blood to rise and calcium levels to drop resulting in imbalances.

A close-up shot of a white Labrador’s mouth, with only the bottom row of teeth, showing.

Many commercial toothpastes designed for human use also contain xylitol; a sweetener that is incredibly toxic to dogs and can prove fatal. Many dogs will instinctively swallow toothpaste too, which means the risk can’t be mitigated either. 

If your dog is struggling with bad breath, giving a dog breath mints will also not help and only risk their health further. Those too typically contain the dangerous sweetener xylitol… 

There are many doggy-safe toothpastes on the market available from most reputable pet brands and pet stores. You can also ask your veterinarian for recommendations.

Dogs should have their teeth brushed regularly as poor oral health can affect their wellbeing, overall health and life-quality

Learn how to brush your dog’s teeth below with our handy PetLab Co. How-To Guide:

a red, white and blue infographic detailing how to brush a dog's teeth


Author Gladwell, Hattie “Why You Shouldn’t Brush Your Dog’s Teeth With Human Toothpaste” Metro, Nov 13. 2018

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Sarah Milton

Authored By

Sarah Milton

Comes from a family of animal lovers and got to grow up with a menagerie of pets! I believe owning a pet is a privilege and I love researching and creating informative, fun content for fellow pet owners to help their furry friends have the happiest and healthiest lives. When I’m not writing blogs, you can find me sharing a walk with my pet dachshund or at a yoga class!


Health & Wellness


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The information contained within this site is not intended as a substitute for professional medical or veterinary advice. PetLab Co. is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If your pet has, or you suspect your pet has any medical condition, you are urged to consult your veterinarian. Medical conditions can only be diagnosed by a licensed veterinarian. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Results May Vary. Not intended for human consumption. Please consult your veterinarian regarding any change in treatment or supplementation.
*In Amazon Pet Health Category in 2022