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.
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.
UPDATED: March 10, 2019
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, Chester and Gretel, as healthy as possible so they can stay active, and continue to climb mountains, for years to come.
Searching for a 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.).
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by TropiClean and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network when it was originally written. During the update, I changed all product links to affiliate links so I receive a small commission if you buy something (at no additional cost to you). However, I only share products that we have tried and everything I say is really how I feel .
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 Oral Care Products to help keep their dog’s teeth clean and breath fresh. The TropiClean name stuck in the back of my mind but I didn’t give it much thought at the time.
Eventually, I decided to look a little more into the dental products out there for dogs. The idea of a water additive was intriguing to me.
I was shocked to find that some water additives contain xylitol, which is toxic to dogs. The claim is that such small quantities aren’t harmful but I don’t believe that….especially for small dogs.
TropiClean products snapped back into the front of my mind when I learned I may get the opportunity to try them out and review them.
For the first time, I actually looked at the products they offer and the ingredients. I was shocked again, but in a good way this time.
It turns out their products contain natural, wholesome ingredients that are sourced 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 thought, “Now THESE are commercial dental products I can get behind.”
I decided to try the Tropiclean Fresh Breath water additive (some come with added beneficial ingredients so I chose the digestive support formula).
So What Did I Think?
I liked the water additive. Honestly though, I only use it now and then to supplement my normal teeth cleaning system.
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.
However, it’s an extra step to filling their water dish, and an additional cost in addition to all of the other high quality raw dog food and dog supplements I buy for them, so I don’t regularly use it. I do think it helps their breath though when we do.
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. Chester didn’t like the taste either.
However, I have heard good things about it from friends who use it on a regular basis.
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 them long to devour them, was 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.
The bottom line is that I think Tropiclean makes great products and they work.
When I do want to use a water additive to improve dental health, I always 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?