What To Do If Your Dog Ate Toothpaste

I can’t tell you how many times my dog has gotten into my toothpaste. 

He loves the minty taste and he always waits for me to leave my bathroom, then he goes in there and starts licking it up! 

I’m sure you don’t want to find out what happens when your dog eats toothpaste. 

This article will show you some of the things that happen when your dog eats toothpaste, and also what you should do if they eat too much.

Can Dogs Eat Toothpaste?

Yes, but only a pea-sized amount. 

Dogs can’t taste sweetness so they enjoy toothpaste. 

It’s usually just the fluoride that can be an issue for them, but I would suggest using clean water instead of toothpaste from their food bowl as a way to freshen their breath.

Why Is Toothpaste Bad For Dogs?

toothpaste poisoning in dogs

Dogs are only omnivores, not carnivores. 

They don’t have a high upper gum where toothpaste would be most effective for removing plaque and reducing bacteria levels as cats do. 

Even worse, the mouth of a dog is different from that of humans in terms of how it relates to the digestive system which means food bits end up settling on the teeth and right below it–precisely the location where toothpaste is rubbed in.

Bone fragments may also end up around your dog’s teeth more than human’s because their biting muscles are stronger and therefore break down bones more quickly into small size particles which will then go straight into their mouth before being swallowed or spat out so they have a better chance at ending up around your dog’s teeth.

How Much Toothpaste Is Toxic To Dogs?

Ever since the United States has adopted a metric system, converting measurements can be difficult- especially when some are made for humans and others for animals.

For instance, 1 teaspoon is equivalent to 500 milligrams of xylitol – enough to poison your ten-pound dog!

What Ingredients Of Toothpaste Are Bad For Dogs?

Toothpaste contains many noxious ingredients, including fluoride which is toxic in high doses.

The problem with toothpaste isn’t the wintergreen or spearmint -it’s the other ingredients like xylitol that may be dangerous for dogs.


Xylitol has been linked to low blood sugar and liver failure in dogs, according to experts at the Animal Poison Control Center (APCC). Several instances of pet death have also been reported from xylitol ingestion in recent years.

According to Pet Poison Helpline, xylitol is the number one sugar-free sweetener used in toothpaste and can be very toxic for your pooch.

One of the first symptoms you might see with a dog that’s been poisoned with xylitol is vomiting. 

Other symptoms are sudden weakness, staggering or difficulty walking, collapsing — sometimes while chewing on something — and seizures

If not treated quickly, even small amounts might lead to low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) which causes confusion as well as coordination and seizures. 

Xylitol affects blood glucose levels by interfering with the body’s natural ability to process it from food sources like sugar and carbohydrates. 

The higher levels of this type of “natural” sugar in the blood, the greater risk for hypoglycemia.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is used in toothpaste to clean teeth and keep the foam on top of the toothpaste. 

It can be lethal if ingested by your pet, but this shouldn’t be a frequent occurrence with the current regulations for toothpaste manufacturing. 

This information serves as a reminder that pets should NEVER be left unsupervised when given access to human or canine medications or products. 

Additionally, some people might want to consider alternative products such as natural options that seem safer since these compounds don’t have to comply with any industry standards (i.e., they contain ingredients like eucalyptus oil). 


Drinking fluoride is lethal in high concentrations and can result in various symptoms of acute fluoride toxicity, including gastrointestinal upset (such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea), headaches, flu-like body aches, and pains, and dizziness. 

Chronic exposure to moderate levels of fluoride can lead to deteriorating bone health (meaning any bone disease or a condition where the bones become weak) which may affect the function of cardiac tissue. 

High levels of ingestion can lead to dental fluorosis because it impacts tooth enamel formation. 

You especially need to be careful about dogs with smaller mouths who like cats have a thing for licking anything that comes across their path. 

Calcium Carbonate

Pets metabolize calcium carbonate differently than we humans do, and their stomachs can’t break the acid-resistant substance down. 

The pets then excrete excessive amounts of the mineral in their urine or stool—putting them at risk for kidney stones and other health problems.

While we wouldn’t recommend brushing your dog’s teeth-period-we would recommend limiting exposure to harmful chemicals by finding a toothpaste with fewer additives like peppermint oil instead of wintergreen or spearmint oil.

Can Eating Toothpaste Kill A Dog?

This is a hard question to answer because it’s not an issue of whether or not toothpaste can “kill” a dog in one sitting, but rather the cumulative effect it may have on them. 

Dogs often drink water from puddles, eat things they find on walks, and even are known to beg for food from strangers. 

This continual exposure can make it difficult to say what is the deadliest substance dogs will encounter and if toothpaste is included in that list or not.

One thing we do know, however, is that prolonged exposure to sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) at commonly used concentrations has been shown to produce clear observable signs of hirsutism in lab animals, which complicates the results of toxicological studies.

While the risk is low, it’s best to monitor your pet with any new toothpaste you introduce into their life and keep an eye on them for signs of poisoning from other household chemicals while they’re at it.

What Should I Do If My Dog Ate Toothpaste?

It’s not dangerous to your dog if he/she just swallowed a little.

Most dogs will not chew toothpaste so swallowing it is hardly risky for them.

If your dog has ingested a lot of toothpaste and is feeling sick, stay calm and go to the vet.

If the dog’s eaten a lot of toothpaste, it can get air into their stomach or ileum (part of the small intestine) and form an obstruction (blockage), which is very uncomfortable for them and potentially life-threatening if not treated quickly. 

The key treatment is a procedure called gastrotomy where a tiny incision is made in the stomach near where food enters from the esophagus (the gullet). 

Gently pushing on it will allow any air bubbles to escape – this eliminates the cause of blockages. 

After that, they’ll usually be fine as long as you monitor what they’re eating for a couple of days if needed.

What Is Toothpaste Poisoning In Dogs?

dog sick due to toothpaste poisoning

Toothpaste poisoning in dogs is when your dog unintentionally eats toothpaste. 

If the dog has eaten a fairly large amount of toothpaste, it will likely vomit and get medical treatment.

The key ingredients that are dangerous for pets to ingest are detergents which can cause irritation in an animal’s gastrointestinal tract and fluoride which is poisonous when ingested by your pet. 

Many people don’t realize that you shouldn’t share your toothbrush with your pet because it could spread bacteria and disease from one mouth to another even if there’s no evidence of oral injury on either side. 

When it comes to keeping our pets healthy we need to help them keep their teeth clean but also create good habits.

What Are The Symptoms Of Toothpaste Poisoning In Dogs?

Symptoms vary based on the type of toothpaste (gel, paste, or powder). Here are some potential symptoms:

* Vomiting

* Excessive drooling

* Difficulty breathing

* Seizures

* Lethargy 

Typically, if your dog consumes either a gel or paste style toothpaste it will have a more concentrated level of fluoride and you should call your vet to be safe. 

Dogs that eat children’s toothpaste typically don’t experience any adverse effects as long as they haven’t eaten enough.

Symptoms typically occur within 30 minutes of ingestion and may perspire for 3-24 hours after toothpaste is ingested. 

Contact your veterinarian if any symptoms persist after several hours or you notice unusual symptoms not listed here. 

Treatment often includes inducing vomiting as well as giving activated charcoal medication and/or intravenous fluids to dilute stomach acids or other substances that a dog might have swallowed along with the toothpaste paste. 

Particularly toxic cases are rare but involve constipation, narrow esophagus to prevent stomach acids from being properly absorbed (which can lead to ulcers), seizures, pulmonary phenomena such as lung edema (fluid in the lungs), and death.

How Do Vets Diagnose Toothpaste Poisoning In Dogs?

The way a veterinarian will diagnose toothpaste poisoning in dogs is through a process called differential diagnosis. 

Differential diagnosis means they take into consideration all of the likely causes for symptoms and then eliminate each one until the correct diagnosis can be made.

Treatment Of Toothpaste Poisoning In Dogs

The first line of treatment for toothpaste poisoning in dogs is to induce vomiting, which can often successfully treat the condition. 

For a small amount of toothpaste ingested, it is generally recommended that you use 3% hydrogen peroxide at a dosage of 10 ml for every kilogram (2.2 pounds) the animal weighs if they have not been sick before and within four hours after consuming the product. 

You should call your veterinarian for more serious cases or animals who are not responding to vomiting alone.

Most veterinarians will recommend immediate veterinary attention if an animal has consumed large quantities of toothpaste, or swallowed some toothpaste mixed with other household cleaners (acids). 

In these instances, prompt action may be required to deactivate the corrosive agents.

What You Can Do To Prevent Toothpaste Poisoning In Dogs

1. Keep your toothbrushes out of reach from pets.

2. Make sure to buy products that are pet-friendly and don’t contain any harmful ingredients (such as fluoride).

3. Clean up any messes or spills quickly before they have a chance to dry.

4. Cut off the toothpaste nozzle to prevent your pet from getting a hold of it again.

Can Vet Clean Dog’s Teeth Without Anesthesia?

This might work for dogs with shorter teeth, but many dog owners are surprised to learn how tricky it is to clean a dog’s teeth without hurting them and how easy it is for the vet to accidentally push the tooth out while cleaning.

Vets typically tend to never try this on pets that have any kind of discomfort and just give the pet a deep injection of anesthesia during dental cleaning. 

It’s not worth trying when there are so many other risks involved. 

Avoiding anesthesia carries risks in itself as well as those involved with brushing too tightly and causing negative consequences such as loosened or pulled out teeth, gum damage, broken fillings or crowns, salivary duct injury, loosening of prosthetic devices like dentures which could lead to infection and bone loss, or perforation of the eye socket.

How Can I Clean My Dog’s Teeth Naturally?

Use a toothbrush, a gentle, non-abrasive toothpaste containing the ions needed to make teeth somewhat electrically conductive.

Chewing on bones will slowly work to keep on the surface of the dogs’ teeth clean. 

You can also give your dog dry food, and this will help in removing plaque and hair from their teeth surfaces.

You could also brush its mouth with an enzymatic cleaner like Dyloxid Plus or Oral Health Probiotic Kit designed with Dental Care chicken-flavored enzymes that break down tartar.

Your vet may recommend dental chews that are specially designed for dogs or brushing the teeth with a doggie toothbrush.

You can also get your dog to chew on things like rawhides that will help remove plaque off of their teeth and keep them healthy.


Thank you for reading this post, and I hope it answered your question of what to do if a dog eats toothpaste. 

If not, please let us know in the comments section below!

We love hearing from our readers and seeing how we can help you with all of your pet-related needs.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment