Is TropiClean Fresh Breath a Safe Solution Your Dog’s Teeth and Breath?

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.

What I don't want his teeth to look like again
What I don’t want his teeth to look like again

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 Collage
TropiClean Logo

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.

However, it’s an extra step to filling my dog’s water dish, and an additional cost above the high quality raw dog food and dog supplements I buy for them.

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’m a Dachshund sitter, President of the largest social Dachshund club in Washington State, a dog trainer in training, and I’ve been a Dachshund owner for 20 years. I have over 150,000 hours of experience with the breed. When I’m not working, you can find me hiking, camping, and traveling with my adventurous wiener dogs.


  1. Interesting. I’m not a dog tooth brusher either. So now that my dogs are nearly 13 years old, we’re looking at nearly 300 dollars to sedate and clean (combined, both dogs). I just don’t have that at the moment. Long story. But I’ll have to look into that for all three once this is done. Or before. Thank you!

    1. Yes….kind of. We haven’t started using the products yet so there is no “after” to make a “before” 🙂

  2. i have three doxies of my own aged
    14, 3, and 1. For doggy breath, I give them each a little blob of coconut oil every morning (I use it for body lotion also ;). It really REALLY takes care of the breath and keeps their coats fabulously soft….. I try to go all natural for my crew as much as possible…..

    1. I use coconut oil on their food (so it gets into their mouth) but I find they have a lot of plaque and that doesn’t help it at our house. I plan to keep using it but I like that TropiClean is designed specifically for teeth cleaning and is also all natural (although not “straight from the plant” like coconut oil).

  3. Thanks for the post! The food I give Gretchen leaves a lot of plaque on her teeth and I need something to help with it. I give her Greenies but they don’t seem to be doing the trick. I’ll be waiting to see how TropiClean works!

  4. I never thought about brushing my dogs’ teeth until I got Pierson. He is a notorious poop eater and there is something about the shape of his mouth or something else that makes him get tartar build up very easily. Maya, at age 7, has great teeth. I’ve never had to brush hers. But I have to brush Pierson’s daily. And I use Tropiclean. It is so easy to use and Pierson actually likes the taste.

    I wasn’t aware that other products used xylitol. Interestingly, people say similar things about the flouride in our toothpaste and in our water system. It is toxic, but because it is in such small quantities supposedly that makes it safe… supposedly.

  5. I’m excited to hear how these products work out! We do brush, but not enough. Leeloo hates it so incredibly much, and even though she’s a little chihuahua, it is impossible to really pry her jaw open and hold her still enough to get everywhere! I cannot even imagine how people with big dogs could possibly do this. She had a dental at the vet last year. We want to do that as little as possible because it is terrifying having such a small dog under anesthesia (the smaller the animal, the more difficult to get the dose exactly right). We’ve tried so many chews and things. Currently we have antlers, and even though she does like chewing them a lot, she still has a lot of build-up and stinky, stinky breath. Hope TropiClean works! I would love to try it!

  6. I have been wracked with guilt for not brushing my dogs teeth, despite my best intentions. I am happy to hear I’m not the only one who has not incorporated the brushing habit! I look forward to benefiting from your test case.

    1. I caught a lot of flack for admitting it at first.I know from years of experience with the dog groups that I organize that I am not the only one that doesn’t brush my dog’s teeth though. So much of what you hear is just brush, brush, brush but that doesn’t help the people just aren’t going to. I want to give those people (me) some alternative options that are better than doing nothing.

  7. Thank you thank you for saying you don’t brush the dogs teeth. Even though my baby is 10 YO and has had about 8 teeth removed, I still fight with him to brush his teeth. The best I do is periodically I put some paste on my finger and rub it over his teeth. And of course my vet makes me somewhat guilty for not cleaning his teeth.
    I love my little doxie and hate to see him toothless. I’ve been using Nylabone advance oral care water additive with not much result. Dentistix, milkbones, dry kibble, nylabones, and elk antlers. He doesn’t really like to chew anything for very long. Thanks for letting me vent!

  8. You know, I was going to say the exact same thing as you! That I can hardly remember to brush my own teeth, much less my dog’s lol…

  9. I have been giving my 4small dogs a product called Plaque Off it is all natural seaweed . Sprinkled on their dinner each day it softens the plaque and then prevents it sticking to their teeth. I find it works really well. It is available on Amazon.

    1. I’ve used Plaque Off for months and saw very minimal if any difference in Chester and Gretel’s teeth. It’s still something I might incorporate into a routine (because it did work a little) but it’s not a solution on it’s own for us.

        1. Maybe that would help with Chester and Gretel. I heard that kelp (which is what Plaque-off is) has a lot of iron and that it was not good to give your dogs too much iron. I never researched that though.

  10. Hi!! I just bought this product and would like to know if it worked for you or not. I have read amazing reviews but also some crappy ones. Please let us know how you liked this product.

    1. Hi. We tried this out a long time ago. I stopped using the gel pretty quick because it was too hard to get on my dog’s gums. The chews were good for helping scrape the plaque off their teeth when used regularly. I didn’t use the water additive enough to see a big difference but I know several other pet owners who have used it and had good results. Hope it works for your pup!

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