Choosing a Dog Toothpaste
What exactly do we mean when we say enzymatic? Enzymes are biological molecules which help speed up the rate of chemical reactions in cells and are present in all living organisms.
In animals, they help aid things such as digestion by natural enzymes in saliva breaking down large molecules into smaller pieces so they can be more easily absorbed. There are many different types of enzymes, which all have different catalyst properties depending on what chemicals they come in contact with.
In enzymatic toothpaste for pets, brands utilise the enzyme glucose oxidase. When this enzyme comes in contact with glucose and oxygen it becomes a catalyst to create hydrogen peroxide. This is an antibacterial product and works with natural saliva to help break down plaque and tartar buildup.
Unlike human toothpaste, this, therefore, doesn’t need to be rinsed out and is safe to swallow, meaning it can clean and protect teeth for longer. It also means brushing is not essential, although it’s still recommended for best results.
Avoiding Harmful Ingredients
It’s hard to know what products are toxic or harmful for a dog, especially when the average ingredients list features so many complicated and nasty sounding chemicals. Dog owners get rightfully worried about what they buy for their pets, but there is often a lot of misinformation when it comes to avoiding ingredients. A lot of the ‘scary’ sounding ones are actually there to improve a dog’s health rather than hinder it, so there’s no need to dismiss them.
Here’s a quick guide to what good toothpaste should contain and whether you want to avoid them or not:
- Calcium Carbonate: an abrasive and whitening agent which will remove teeth stains
- Silica: an abrasive to help remove food and debris from the teeth.
- Sorbitol: a common sweetener to improve the flavour
- Xanthan gum: thickening agent to improve texture.
- Glycerin: preserves moisture to stop toothpaste drying out.
- Sodium Benzoate: stops bacteria from spoiling the paste.
Ingredients to definitely avoid!
- Fluoride: if ingested can be toxic to animals
- Xylitol: an artificial sweetener which is toxic to dogs
- Alcohol: dries dog’s teeth and gums out over time