Does Toothpaste make dogs sick? A Step-by-Step Guide

Diagnosis of Toothpaste Poisoning in Dogs

While many dogs show immediate toxicity to the xylitol, some will not show signs until the liver has been damaged extensively.

After youve scheduled an appointment and arrived at the veterinary hospital, be sure to be prepared to relay any and all suspicions in great detail to the veterinarian. Did your pet ingest baked goods, sugar free gum or toothpaste? After verifying your concerns, the veterinarian will begin with a complete blood profile. She will find absolute hypoglycemia, confirming the diagnosis of xylitol poisoning. Other test results may show hypokalemia (low potassium) due to the insulin moving the potassium into the cell, and hypophosphatemia (phosphate deficiency).

There may be hyperbilirubinemia (abnormally high bilirubin in the blood), prolonged coagulation times (as a result of low blood platelets which is called thrombocytopenia), and evidence of gastrointestinal hemorrhaging.

Why Is Human Toothpaste Bad For Dogs?

Firstly, it depends on what exactly your dog has eaten! If your dog has swallowed the plastic tube or cap, these cannot be digested and may act as irritating foreign objects in the gut. This may lead to bowel obstruction and other major consequences if not dealt with promptly. Foreign objects may cause vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and pain.

Secondly, toothpaste itself is designed to be used regularly in quite small amounts – hence the advice for people to use a pea-sized amount on the toothbrush and not to swallow much, if any, of it. Dogs are obviously smaller than people and may accidentally swallow quite a lot more than their human owners- I’ve yet to meet a dog that has been taught to ‘spit’! Modern toothpaste is really good for your teeth and highly recommended, but can be toxic in large quantities.

Does Toothpaste make dogs sick?

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.

Toothpaste for Dogs: DIY and Natural