Can Dogs Eat Toothpaste?

It is rare that dogs will ever pass up the opportunity for a tasty treat but can dogs eat toothpaste? Even though it is unexpected and humans are aware of the fact that toothpastes are not meant to be indigested but when it comes to dogs, the situation is slightly different. Toothpastes nowadays are designed to taste pleasant and sweet. That said, the dogs assume it is going to be something delicious at the same time.

However, toothpaste that contains xylitol can be toxic to dogs. Several studies have concluded that xylitol along with other ingredients such as fluoride can be harmful if consumed in excess. At the same time, it is important to look after the dog’s dental hygiene as well.

So, let’s take a closer look and see why toothpaste is something your dog should be avoiding to prevent toothpaste poisoning and other serious concerns.

Why is human toothpaste bad for dogs?

Human toothpaste is bad for dogs due to the ingredients and plastic objects that might result in irritation or blockages when indigested. While some dogs might experience diarrhea, pain, or loss of appetite, others may require surgery if the situation is worse.

Furthermore, toothpastes are designed to be used in small amounts on a regular basis. This is why, doctors suggested using only a pea-size amount two or three times a day, without swallowing it. Although accidentally swallowing some won’t do any harm to humans but you cannot be sure when it comes to dogs.

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Since dogs are quite smaller and have no idea what toothpaste actually is, they will swallow it as they like. Therefore, the amount could be significant. On top of that, dogs are not able to or do not know how to spit. So, one has to be very careful while looking after their dog’s dental health.

What should I do if my dog has eaten toothpaste?

Perhaps the best thing to do if your dog has eaten toothpaste is to watch out for any symptoms. If you observe that your dog has consumed plastic objects, then you will need to contact the veterinarian. At the same time, if the symptoms last more than a day, you will need to offer medication.

In some cases, the dog maybe induced to vomit as well to clear the obstruction or flush the digestive system. If the situation demands taking your dog to the vet, you should bring along some evidence that will help the vet determine the amount consumed along with the items indigested.

The ingredients mentioned on the packaging will help the doctor prescribe medicines accordingly. And to prevent such situations from taking place in the future, make sure that you store such things away from the reach of dogs as they are sneaky animals.

What exactly is dangerous for dogs in human toothpaste?

Most dog owners believe that toothpastes for both dogs and humans are the same, which is not true. Remember, dog teeth are designed for a completely different reason when compared to humans. Therefore, the protection and purpose vary. One of the major reasons that human toothpaste is bad for dogs as it contains sweeteners to make the paste pleasant for us.

Manufacturers mostly used xylitol to give the paste a sweet taste. If swallowed, it could lead to stomach pain and even worse problems. Xylitol when consumed by a dog tricks its body into thinking that it has consumed a lot of sugar. In response, the body increases the production of insulin that regulates blood sugar. However, too much insulin in the body can drop the blood sugar level. Therefore, your dog will experience symptoms like vomiting, dizziness, etc.

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Furthermore, toothpastes also contain fluoride, which is usually added to drinking water for humans and is considered safe, only if consumed in small regular quantities. But when it comes to dogs, fluoride can be toxic around 5mg per kilogram of body weight in dogs. However, experts suggest that anything over 1mg per kilogram may produce symptoms.

Fluoride poisoning can usually lead to severe poisoning, vomiting, diarrhea, etc. If left ignored, vital organs like the kidneys, liver, and guts can suffer from extreme damage.

How to treat dogs that have eaten toothpaste?

If your dog has indigested toothpaste tube or toothpaste cab within the last 4 hours, the veterinarian will recommend an injection to induce vomiting to flush the digestive system. Do not induce vomiting by yourself as it is a risky procedure. But if more than 4 hours have passed, the vet might suggest allowing the items to pass through but that depends on the size of your dog as well as the item indigested.

Moreover, if your dog displays symptoms that are gastrointestinal related, the doctor might do an X-ray or ultrasound to get a detailed look at the problem. If nothing else solves the problem, the only way left is to perform a surgery.

In the case of your dog overdosing on xylitol or fluoride, you will need to watch out for symptoms as xylitol is quickly absorbed in the body. Therefore, the vet will not induce vomiting as there is simply no use. Make sure that your dog is hydrated and is offered intravenous fluids to maintain a healthy blood sugar level.

It also might be that your dog needs to be hospitalized for 24-72 hours until xylitol is entirely flushed out of the body. Then again, chances are that your dog will fully recover only if medication attention is offered at the right time.

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FAQs related to dogs and toothpaste!

How much toothpaste can hurt a dog?

Experts suggest that a dose of around 5mg per kilogram bodyweight in dogs can be toxic. However, in some breeds, the symptoms may show up over 1mg as well. Therefore, if the symptoms show up right away, consult your vet.

What toothpaste can dogs use?

There are several toothpastes out there that are designed specifically to treat canine teeth. These toothpastes do not contain ingredients that might raise health concerns or trigger allergies. That said, always go through the ingredient list before making your final decision.

How do I make dog toothpaste?

You can make dog toothpaste at home using natural ingredients like parsley, mint, cloves, olive oil, etc. Make sure not to use any items that might be toxic to your dog. If your dog has an underlying medical condition, consult your vet and choose healthier alternatives.


So, toothpaste itself along with the caps and tubes can be dangerous if indigested by dogs. Even though you should clean your dog’s teeth using toothpaste but it is not meant to be taken inside. Therefore, if your dog devoured some toothpaste while you were away, you should immediately contact the vet. And always opt for dog-specific toothpaste instead of human ones as there is a huge difference between the two.

Photo of author

Immad Amir

Immad has a black Labrador who is his first child. With no prior experience of how to take care of his pooch, Immad started researching about what dogs love to eat. This blog is a journal of all the research Immad has done regarding a pet's diet.
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