I’ve said it before and I will say it again – I don’t brush my dog’s teeth.
I know that brushing is the “gold standard” recommended by veterinarians to help avoid costly dental cleanings but I am also realistic.
I know that brushing their teeth just isn’t going to happen at my house
However, just because I don’t brush their teeth doesn’t mean I don’t care about their dental health.
It’s just that I know that brushing your dog’s teeth is not the only way to help keep your dog’s teeth clean and breath smelling fresh.
I keep my Dog’s teeth clean using this routine instead. But I also look for ways to supplement those efforts.
UPDATED: June 10, 2022
The Problem with Dirty Dog Teeth
Plaque and tartar on your dogs teeth, left unchecked, can cause and overgrowth of bacteria that can seep into the blood stream and pose serious health problems.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, by the time your pet is 3 years old, he or she will very likely have some early evidence of periodontal disease, which will worsen as your pet grows older if effective preventive measures aren’t taken.
Dogs can have many of the same dental complications that people can develop if their teeth are not properly cared for like:
- Periodontal disease
- Abscesses or infected teeth
- Cysts or tumors in the mouth
My goal is to keep my dogs, Summit and Gretel, as healthy as possible so they can stay active, and continue to climb mountains, for years to come.
Searching for an Oral Health Solution
For me, I need a way to help their teeth stay clean that is convenient and doesn’t involve wrestling with them to get a toothbrush in their mouth.
You ever try to pry open a Dachshund’s jaw? It’s like trying to open a steel trap I tell ya. Kidding. Almost.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links (Amazon Associate or other programs we participate in). As an affiliate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
I devised a natural system that allows my dogs to “brush their own teeth”, that includes giving them bully sticks to chew on, but I wanted to do more.
A few of my readers mentioned that they use TropiClean Fresh Breath Oral Care Products to help keep their dog’s teeth clean and breath fresh.
The TropiClean name stuck in the back of my mind and eventually I decided to give them a try.
Is TropiClean Safe?
TropiClean is a brand that makes several different dog grooming products but in this article I am specifically talking about whether Tropiclean Fresh Breath is safe.
I decided to look into the TropiClean Fresh Breath Water Additive first.
I was shocked to find out that some water additives contain xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.
The claim by pet products made with xylitol is that they contain such small quantities aren’t harmful but I don’t believe that….especially for small dogs.
I was relieved to discover that none of the TropiClean oral heath products contained xylitol so they are safe in that regard.
TropiClean products contain natural, wholesome ingredientsand is made in the United States.
TropiClean avoids using common pet allergens and toxins so they tend to be safe to use for many sensitive pets.
I researched the safety of TropiClean oral health products and found that they are considered safe by the AKC and veterinarians if used as directed.
As the National Canine Research Association of America says,
“As with any products… there can be some unwanted side effects when they are used incorrectly.
For example, adding more than the recommended amount of TropiClean Fresh Breath Drops to your dog’s water can potentially cause stomach upset and even vomiting.“
I looked through a lot of Amazon reviews for the TropiClean water additive and, although rare, there were a few that said their dog threw up, stopped eating, or had diarrhea after using the product.
Most of the reviewers said they couldn’t directly attribute what happened to the product.
Also, we don’t know:
- If any of the dogs had underlying health conditions
- If the owners used the product correctly
- If the product they recieved was directly from TropiClean and, if not, if the product was authentic and not expired
Still, reviews indicate there may be some correlation between the product and the dogs symptoms though.
The most common negative “side effect” of the TropiClean water additive was a dog not drinking as much water as usual or not at all (like I experienced), which can lead to dehydration.
For the TropiClean clean teeth gel, a small portion of users also reported that it made their dog sick or have diarrhea.
I did not see the same potential negative side effects mentioned with the TropiClean dental sticks.
In summary, it’s possible your individual dog could have a bad reaction to the TropiClean Fresh Breath produccts but they’re generally considered safe when used as directed.
Our Experience with TropiClean Fresh Breath Products
After my research into TropiClean fresh breath products, I thought, “Now THESE are commercial dental products I can get behind.”
I purchased the TropiClean Fresh Breath water additive (some come with added beneficial ingredients so I chose the digestive support formula)., TropiClean Clean Teeth Gel, and TropiClean Dental Sticks.
TropiClean Water Additive
I liked the water additive product itself.
I like that it’s a natural product, it claims to keep your dog’s breath fresh for 12 hours (but since they drink it all day, it should keep their breath fresh all the time), and I love that it claims to help keep your dog’s teeth clean without brushing.
Also, I felt like my dogs didn’t drink as much water as they did when the water didn’t have the additive in it (even though it’s supposed to be odorless and tasteless) and I worry about them staying hydrated enough.
I do think it helped their breath but because of the additional cost, and my dogs potentially not liking it, I don’t use it regularly.
TropiClean Teeth Cleaning Gel
As for the teeth cleaning gel, I ran into a similar issue as with brushing.
My dogs don’t want anything stuck in their mouth that they don’t want there so it was hard for me to apply it well enough, and often enough, to be effective.
Neither of my dogs seemed to like the taste either because they would smack their lips and shake their head after I applied it.
I chose not to use the oral gel for any significant time so I can’t say how effective it is.
However, I have heard good things about it from friends who use it on a regular basis so I kept the bottle and still think about trying again to use it.
TropiClean Dental Chews
The dental chews were a hit. Well, everything edible is a hit in my dog’s eyes. Ha, ha.
My worry with the dental sticks, since it didn’t take my dogs long to devour them, were the calories.
I find that bully sticks take my dogs longer to chew and can therefore “simulate brushing with each bite” like the Tropiclean dental sticks but with fewer calories.
Final Thoughts on TropiClean Fresh Breath Products
The bottom line is that I think TropiClean makes great products and they work.
Based on my research and the ingredients, TropiClean is safe for dogs.
However, as I said, that doesn’t rule out an individual dog having a bad reaction or not liking the product.
When I do want to use a water additive to improve dental health, I use the one from TropiClean.
As for the dental chews and oral gel, I would definitely recommend them to others but they just didn’t work for us in our situation because of our preferences and lifestyle (it was no fault of the product).
Do you tried any products like these to help keep your dog’s teeth clean? Did anything in particular work well or was there any you definitely didn’t like?
About the Author
Hi, I’m Jessica. I’ve been studying the Dachshund breed since 2007, owned 3 of my own, and shared in the lives of thousands of others through their owner’s stories. When I’m not sharing what I know on this blog, you can find me hiking, camping, and traveling with my adventurous wiener dogs.