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The best dental care products for dogs

Published by Business Insider on Sat, 09 Jan 2021


<bi-shortcode id="table-of-contents-sticky" class="mceNonEditable" data-type="h2">Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky</bi-shortcode><bi-shortcode id="summary-shortcode" data-type="summary-shortcode" class="mceNonEditable" contenteditable="false">Summary List Placement</bi-shortcode><ul class="summary-list"><li><strong>There are many dog dental care products to choose from, including dog toothpaste and toothbrushes, no-brush dental gels, water additives, and dental chews.&nbsp;</strong></li><li><strong>We tested 17 dog dental care products and selected the best ones based on the effectiveness of their ingredients, affordability, and whether they are easy to use.&nbsp;</strong></li><li><strong>This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Karie Johnson, veterinarian and co-founder of <a href="https://vipvetvisit.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">VIP Vet Visit</a>, a mobile vet service in the south suburbs of Chicago.&nbsp;<br></strong></li></ul><p>I've long understood the importance of brushing my dog's teeth. Years ago, I worked as a veterinary assistant where I saw firsthand what happens when a pet's teeth are not taken care of. Sadly, it's all too common to see teeth extracted during routine dental cleanings due to years of neglect.&nbsp;</p><p>"Proper dental care is a vital component of your pet's overall health and well-being," said veterinarian Dr. Ashlee Redmond. "Bad breath isn't just an unpleasant smellit could be a warning sign of more serious dental disease."</p><p>There are many dog toothpastes and toothbrushes to choose from as well as no-brush gels, water additives, and dental chews. Redmond pointed out that home dental care products do not replace daily brushing or professional dental cleanings, but they can be supportive of overall dental health.&nbsp;</p><p style="background: white;">Dog dental products can help prevent the formation of plaque and tartar in between cleanings. Veterinarians recommend professional dental cleanings at least once a year. These are performed just like human dental cleanings, but dogs must be anesthetized so the veterinarian can clean under the gum line where plaque and tartar hide.&nbsp;</p><p>For this guide, I tested 17 dental products with my dog, giving strong consideration to those that have received the seal of acceptance from the <a href="http://www.vohc.org/index.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Veterinary Oral Health Council</a> (VOHC). All the products we tested also got the okay from Redmond to rule out anything that could be potentially unsafe. Read more about <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/best-dog-toothpaste-dental-chews#how-we-selected-and-tested-products-7" target="_blank" rel="noopener">how we selected and tested products</a> at the end of this guide.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><h2>These are the best dog dental products you can buy</h2><ul class="summary-list"><li><strong>Best dog toothpaste: </strong><a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Fpetsmile-professional-rotisserie%2Fdp%2F229517" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored"><strong>Petsmile Professional Pet Toothpaste</strong></a></li><li><strong>Best dog toothbrush: </strong><a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PWFLXW7/ref=as_li_tl'ie=UTF8&amp;tag=biipgf_072418_best-dog-dental-care-products-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B07PWFLXW7&amp;linkId=6b6c04f668c53597dacd9119dcca6914" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored"><strong>Bodhi Dog Doggie Toothbrushes</strong></a></li><li><strong>Best dog dental gel: </strong><a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Ftropiclean-fresh-breath-clean-teeth%2Fdp%2F184892" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored nofollow sponsored"><strong>Tropiclean Brushing Gel</strong></a></li><li><strong>Best dog water additive: </strong><a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Foxyfresh-dog-cat-oral-hygiene%2Fdp%2F158457" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored"><strong>Oxyfresh Water Additive</strong></a></li><li><strong>Best dog dental chew: </strong><a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Fgreenies-fresh-regular-dental-dog%2Fdp%2F113449" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored nofollow sponsored"><strong>Greenies Fresh Regular Dental Dog Treats</strong></a></li></ul><section data-slideshow-intro-content=""><section data-slideshow-intro-content=""><p><em>Prices and links are current as of 1/08/2021. We are currently <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/best-dog-toothpaste-dental-chews#what-were-looking-forward-to-testing-8" target="_blank" rel="noopener">testing additional products</a> for an update to this guide.</em></p></section></section><h3>The best toothpaste</h3><img src="https://static4.businessinsider.com/image/5f3bf10ca3eafa001de06b77-400-300/the-best-toothpaste.jpg" alt="" /><p><h3><a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Fpetsmile-professional-rotisserie%2Fdp%2F229517" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Petsmile Professional Pet Toothpaste</a> is clinically proven to remove plaque and stains, eliminate bad breath, and prevent tartar buildup, and is the only dog toothpaste that's VOHC accepted.&nbsp;</h3><p><strong>Pros:</strong> Proven in clinical trials to remove plaque and stains, eliminate bad breath, and prevent tartar buildup; human-grade ingredients; brushing not required</p><p><strong>Cons:</strong> Expensive&nbsp;</p><p>The best thing you can do at home for your dog's oral health is brushing their teeth daily with a pet-safe toothpaste (never use human toothpaste for your dog&mdash;this can make them sick).&nbsp;</p><p>"Pets that begin having their teeth brushed when they are young can learn to tolerate this activity sometimes better than older pets," Redmond said. "However, pets of all ages can learn to accept having their teeth brushed."</p><p><a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Fpetsmile-professional-rotisserie%2Fdp%2F229517" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Petsmile Professional Pet Toothpaste</a> is designed to work whether you use it with a toothbrush or just apply it to the teeth and sides of mouth with a swab or your finger, so it's kind of like a toothpaste/dental gel hybrid. However, we recommend brushing with it to get the benefits of toothbrushing.&nbsp;</p><p>Petsmile's proprietary formula called <a href="https://petsmileusa.com/pages/what-is-calprox-and-how-does-it-work-clean-pets-teeth-clinically-proven" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Calprox</a>, an encapsulated form of calcium peroxide and minerals, is&nbsp;clinically proven to&nbsp;remove plaque, stains, and bad breath, and prevent tartar buildup. Petsmile is currently the only VOHC-accepted pet toothpaste, which ultimately boosted this toothpaste to the winner's circle.&nbsp;</p><p>The toothpaste comes in two dog-centric flavors: <a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Fpetsmile-professional-natural-london%2Fdp%2F229515" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">London Broil</a> and <a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Fpetsmile-professional-rotisserie%2Fdp%2F229517" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Rotisserie Chicken</a>. I tested the London Broil flavor. Meat-flavored toothpaste is not my favorite scent in the world, but my dog loved this toothpaste, which is the most important thing.</p></p><br/><br/><h3>The best toothbrush</h3><img src="https://static4.businessinsider.com/image/5f3bf137a3eafa001de06b7b-400-300/the-best-toothbrush.jpg" alt="" /><p><h3><a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PWFLXW7/ref=as_li_tl'ie=UTF8&amp;tag=biipgf_072418_best-dog-dental-care-products-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B07PWFLXW7&amp;linkId=6b6c04f668c53597dacd9119dcca6914" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Bodhi Dog Doggie Toothbrushes</a> include six long-handled toothbrushes with dual brush heads to work for any size dog as well as six fingertip brushes, making this product a great value.</h3><p><strong>Pros: </strong>Comes with 12 toothbrushes in two styles, long handles to reach the back of the mouth, extra soft bristles, best value</p><p><strong>Cons: </strong>No grip on the plastic handle&nbsp;</p><p>When choosing a toothbrush for your dog, you have the option of two basic styles: long-handled, which has nylon bristles similar to your own toothbrush, or fingertip, which fits over your finger and has soft, plastic nubs on the end. You can also use an&nbsp; ADA compliant soft bristle flat head toothbrushes. However, fingertip toothbrush is a good option for puppies or adult dogs that are new to teeth brushing, as it can be a little less scary for the dog. I personally prefer to use a long-handled toothbrush, which allows me to reach all the teeth in the back of the mouth.</p><p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PWFLXW7/ref=as_li_tl'ie=UTF8&amp;tag=biipgf_072418_best-dog-dental-care-products-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B07PWFLXW7&amp;linkId=6b6c04f668c53597dacd9119dcca6914" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Bodhi Dog Doggie Toothbrushes</a> set offers both brush styles, and with six long-handled toothbrushes and six fingertip toothbrushes for under $10, it's a fantastic value. Having extra toothbrushes is great if you have multiple pets, and it also means you can easily replace the brush when it gets yucky. As with human toothbrushes, pet toothbrushes should be replaced every three to four months &mdash; and always rinse the brush after each use.&nbsp;</p><p>The long-handled brushes feature very soft, gentle bristles, with a larger bristle head on one side and a smaller one on the other side, so they work for dogs of all sizes (and cats, too). The fingertip brushes are soft and flexible, for gentle cleaning. I found both types of brushes gentle, effective, and easy to use.</p></p><br/><br/><h3>The best dental gel</h3><img src="https://static6.businessinsider.com/image/5f3bf735a3eafa001de06baf-400-300/the-best-dental-gel.jpg" alt="" /><p><h3>Using all natural ingredients, <a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Ftropiclean-fresh-breath-clean-teeth%2Fdp%2F184892" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Tropiclean Clean Brushing Gel</a> clings to the teeth to break down plaque and tartar and fight bad breath.</h3><p><strong>Pros: </strong>All natural ingredients like zinc chloride and green tea leaf extract, clings to teeth to break down plaque and tartar, spearmint added for fresh breath</p><p><strong>Cons: </strong>For best results, must withhold food and water for 30 minutes before and after using gel; not VOHC accepted</p><p>Dental gels are similar to pet toothpastes, but gels are designed to have prolonged contact with the teeth to deliver ingredients that help fight bacteria, plaque, and tartar. It's important to note that none of the dental gels tested for this guide are VOHC accepted. (Two dental gels are currently VOHC accepted, and we look forward to testing them in the future.)&nbsp;</p><p>"Zinc ascorbate, gluconate, oxide, and chloride are often incorporated in dental gels and water additives as antibacterial agents to help decrease plaque formation and bad breath," Redmond said. "After delivery into the oral cavity, the zinc remains in the mouth and helps with decreasing bacteria amounts."</p><p><a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Ftropiclean-fresh-breath-clean-teeth%2Fdp%2F184892" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Tropiclean Brushing Gel</a> is designed to be used with a toothbrush, so it can be used instead of toothpaste. The gel formula clings to the teeth and gums, delivering plaque and tartar fighting zinc chloride (.01g/10ml) and green tea leaf extract, and breath-freshening spearmint.&nbsp;</p><p>The gel smells very minty and my dog seemed to enjoy the flavor. The directions instruct you to withhold food and water 30 minutes before and after using it to allow for maximum effect, which requires some good planning on your part. This gel beat out the others thanks to its multiple antiplaque ingredients and the addition of spearmint, which left my dog's breath minty fresh.</p></p><br/><br/><h3>The best dental water additive</h3><img src="https://static5.businessinsider.com/image/5f3bf872a3eafa001de06bbc-400-300/the-best-dental-water-additive.jpg" alt="" /><p><h3>Using proprietary Oxygene and zinc acetate, <a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Foxyfresh-dog-cat-oral-hygiene%2Fdp%2F158457" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Oxyfresh Water Additive</a> eliminates bacteria that causes bad pet breath, removes plaque buildup, and protects gums.&nbsp;</h3><p><strong>Pros:</strong> Odorless and tasteless, dye-free, brushing not required</p><p><strong>Cons:</strong> Not VOHC accepted&nbsp;</p><p>Water additives typically contain similar ingredients as dental gels, but instead of being applied to the teeth, they are added to your dog's water. It truly doesn't get easier to care for your dog's teeth then to pour a capful of water additive into their bowl every day.</p><p>As with the dental gels, none of the water additives tested for this guide are VOHC accepted. (Only one company, HealthyMouth, makes water additives that are currently VOHC accepted, and we look forward to testing some of them in the future.)&nbsp;</p><p><a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Foxyfresh-dog-cat-oral-hygiene%2Fdp%2F158457" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Oxyfresh Water Additive</a> uses a patented blend of Oxygene and zinc acetate to eliminate bacteria that causes bad pet breath, remove plaque buildup, and protect gums. Although all the water additives tested contained forms of antibacterial zinc, Oxyfresh beat out the others because it also contains a second bacteria-eliminating ingredient, Oxygene.</p><p>Like all the water additives I tested, Oxyfresh is tasteless and odorless, so pets don't know it's even in their water bowl. In addition to giving the water additives to my dog, I also sampled them myself to confirm they were indeed tasteless.</p></p><br/><br/><h3>The best dental chew</h3><img src="https://static4.businessinsider.com/image/5f3bf8bfa3eafa001de06bbd-400-300/the-best-dental-chew.jpg" alt="" /><p><h3><a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Fgreenies-fresh-regular-dental-dog%2Fdp%2F113449" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored nofollow sponsored">Greenies Fresh Dental Dog Treats</a> clean your dog's teeth as they chew and temporarily freshen their breath, too.</h3><p><strong>Pros: </strong>VOHC accepted for plaque and tartar, contains natural spearmint to help freshen breath, nutritionally complete and balanced</p><p><strong>Cons: </strong>May cause gastrointestinal upset, not appropriate for dogs with gluten intolerance</p><p>Dental chews are designed to mechanically clean the teeth as the dog chews. "Although less effective than regular brushing at home and certainly not as thorough as a professional cleaning by a veterinarian, dental chews can help keep your dog's teeth clean &mdash; if your dog actually <em>chews</em> them," Redmond said.</p><p>Observe your dog to make sure they're slowly chewing on a dental treat rather than gulping down large chunks or even swallowing the entire chew, which could potentially cause a blockage in the gastrointestinal tract.&nbsp;</p><p>I tested three different dental chews. All were similar in that they have a firm, chewy texture and shape designed to clean teeth and gums as the dog chews, but each contained different ingredients and had a different shape. Although my dog loved all three dental chews he tried, <a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Fgreenies-fresh-regular-dental-dog%2Fdp%2F113449" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored nofollow sponsored">Greenies Fresh Dental Dog Treats</a> stood out as the best in the group.&nbsp;</p><p>Greenies are dark green chews shaped like little toothbrushes. VOHC-accepted Greenies contain spearmint to help freshen breath. I detected a distinct minty odor as my dog was chewing, this effect wasn't particularly long-lasting. Although Greenies are intended to be used just once daily as treats, they are formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for adult dog maintenance. This is rare in treats, so it gives Greenies another edge over the competition.&nbsp;</p><p>Although my dog has a strong stomach, Greenies can cause gastrointestinal upset in some pets or turn stools green. The first ingredient in Greenies is wheat flour, so it is not a good choice for dogs with gluten intolerance. For dogs that cannot eat wheat, <a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Fproden-plaqueoff-system-dog-dental%2Fdp%2F153564" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">ProDen PlaqueOff System Dental Care Bones</a>, which are VOHC accepted for plaque and tartar, are a good alternative.</p></p><br/><br/><h3>What else we considered</h3><img src="https://static2.businessinsider.com/image/5f3bfa65a3eafa001de06bd0-400-300/what-else-we-considered.jpg" alt="" /><p><h4>Toothpastes and gels</h4><ul><li><a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Fvirbac-cet-enzymatic-dog-cat-vanilla%2Fdp%2F41743" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored"><strong>Virbac CET Vanilla/Mint Toothpaste</strong></a>: This toothpaste uses enzymes to inhibit the formation of plaque. Although it comes in more traditional pet toothpaste flavors like poultry, beef, and seafood, I personally liked the mildly scented vanilla-mint flavor (my dog did too). This toothpaste was a close contender for the category winner, but is not VOHC accepted like <a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Fpetsmile-professional-natural-london%2Fdp%2F229515" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Petsmile Professional Pet Toothpaste</a>.</li><li><a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Fvetoquinol-vet-solutions-enzadent%2Fdp%2F109665" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored"><strong>Vetoquinol Care Enzadent Enzymatic Poultry-Flavored Toothpaste</strong></a>: This toothpaste uses enzymes to slow the formation of plaque. My dog enjoyed the poultry flavor. <a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Fpetsmile-professional-natural-london%2Fdp%2F229515" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Petsmile Professional Pet Toothpaste</a> got the edge due to its VOHC-accepted status, which this paste doesn't have.&nbsp;</li><li><a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Foratene-brushless-enzymatic-oral-care%2Fdp%2F106168" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored"><strong>Oratene Enzymatic Brushless Oral Care Toothpaste Gel</strong></a>: Similar to <a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Ftropiclean-fresh-breath-clean-teeth%2Fdp%2F184892" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Tropiclean Clean Teeth Brushing Gel</a>, Oratene may be used with a toothbrush or simply applied to the teeth and gums with your finger. Although its intended to be tasteless, it has a slight scent and my dog didn't seem to like it as much as the other gels he tried.&nbsp;</li><li><a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07RBC8S5Y/ref=as_li_tl'ie=UTF8&amp;tag=biipgf_072418_best-dog-dental-care-products-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B07RBC8S5Y&amp;linkId=acd6052af29809402f5c3f3eea3b35a1" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored"><strong>Bodhi Dog Pet Dental Gel</strong></a>: This gel uses a blend of peppermint, spearmint, and aloe vera to neutralize bad breath. It smells very nice, but it doesn't contain zinc like <a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Ftropiclean-fresh-breath-clean-teeth%2Fdp%2F184892" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">TropiClean Clean Teeth Brushing Gel</a>.&nbsp;&nbsp;</li><li><a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Foxyfresh-soothing-dog-cat-gel%2Fdp%2F158459" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored"><strong>Oxyfresh Dental Gel</strong></a>: This dental gel is clear and nearly odorless, which may appeal to some pets that object to strong tastes. However, it doesn't contain any zinc like <a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Ftropiclean-fresh-breath-clean-teeth%2Fdp%2F184892" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Tropiclean Clean Teeth Brushing Gel</a>.</li></ul><h4>Toothbrushes</h4><ul><li><a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Fpetsmile-professional-pet-toothbrush%2Fdp%2F229522" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored"><strong>Petsmile Professional Pet Toothbrush</strong></a>: This is a dual-ended, long-handled toothbrush with soft bristles and a nice rubber grip on the handle. Although it's a really nice toothbrush, it's hard to justify the price. If you want the Cadillac of pet toothbrushes and don't mind paying the hefty price, this could be the toothbrush for you.&nbsp;</li><li><a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Fvirbac-cet-pet-toothbrush-color%2Fdp%2F42663" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored"><strong>Virbac C.E.T. Pet Toothbrush</strong></a>: This toothbrush is soft, with two bristle heads for different size dogs and a long handle to reach the back teeth. It's affordable, but it doesn't beat the Bodhi Dog 12-pack.&nbsp;</li><li><a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Fvetoquinol-enzadent-dual-ended%2Fdp%2F109663" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored"><strong>Vetoquinol Care Enzadent Dual-Ended Toothbrush</strong></a>: This toothbrush is very similar to the <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PWFLXW7/ref=as_li_tl'ie=UTF8&amp;tag=biipgf_072418_best-dog-dental-care-products-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B07PWFLXW7&amp;linkId=7ea4945780785e0319b2ef1455bbd36a" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Bodhi Dog Doggie Toothbrushes</a> (it's even the same color), but you only get one for $4. For just $3 more, the 12-pack from Bodhi Dog is a much better value.&nbsp;</li></ul><h4>Water additives</h4><ul><li><a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Ftropiclean-fresh-breath-water%2Fdp%2F48431" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored"><strong>Tropiclean Fresh Breath Water Additive</strong></a>: This contains zinc gluconate and green tea leaf extract, among other ingredients, to defend against plaque and tartar. At about $0.50 an ounce, this water additive is a good value. Like the other additives we tested for this guide, it is not VOHC accepted.</li><li><a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Foratene-brushless-oral-care-water%2Fdp%2F110895" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored"><strong>Oratene Enzymatic Brushless Oral Care Water Additive</strong></a>: This additive uses a patented LP3 enzyme system as well as zinc chloride to support periodontal health and keep teeth and gums clean. But it's nearly triple the price of <a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Foxyfresh-dog-cat-oral-hygiene%2Fdp%2F158457" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Oxyfresh Pet Water Additive</a>, making Oxyfresh a far better value.&nbsp;</li></ul><h4>Dental chews</h4><ul><li><a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Fproden-plaqueoff-system-dog-dental%2Fdp%2F153564" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored"><strong>ProDen PlaqueOff System Dental Care Bones Vegetable Fusion Flavor</strong></a>: These chews are grain-free, soy-free, gluten-free, and vegan (the first ingredient is dried potatoes) and contain probiotics. One size accommodates either small or large dogs because the bones are designed to easily break in half. These chews were a hit with my dog and were a close contender to the <a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Fgreenies-fresh-regular-dental-dog%2Fdp%2F113449" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored nofollow sponsored">Greenies Fresh Dental Dog Treats</a>, which won out due to being VOHC accepted. (ProDen does have a VOHC-accepted dental treat &mdash; <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00SO48UQA/ref=as_li_tl'ie=UTF8&amp;tag=biipgf_072418_best-dog-dental-care-products-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B00SO48UQA&amp;linkId=3c521799458498b9017c232ec757b9b4" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored nofollow sponsored">ProDen PlaqueOff Crunchy Dental Bites</a> &mdash; which we look forward to testing these in the future.</li><li><a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Fvirbac-cet-veggiedent-fr3sh-tartar%2Fdp%2F41745" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored"><strong>Virbac C.E.T. Veggiedent Dental Chews for Dogs</strong></a>: These chews are plant-based (the first ingredient is corn starch). My dog loved these chews and they are VOHC accepted for tartar, but because the shape is somewhat flat, he chewed them much quicker than the thicker <a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Fgreenies-fresh-regular-dental-dog%2Fdp%2F113449" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored nofollow sponsored">Greenies Fresh Dental Dog Treats</a>.</li></ul></p><br/><br/><h3>How we selected and tested products</h3><p><p>For this guide to the best dog dental products, I tested 17 products with my dog five or more times during a three-month period. Products were provided as editorial review samples by their manufacturers, and each product got the okay from Redmond to rule out anything that could be potentially unsafe.&nbsp;</p><p>Strong consideration was given to products that carry the <a href="http://www.vohc.org/index.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Veterinary Oral Health Council</a> (VOHC) seal of acceptance. The VOHC is an entity of the American Veterinary Dental College.</p><p>"When choosing an at-home dental product, you should look for the VOHC seal of acceptance on the product's package or website," Redmond said. "The VOHC provides third-party assessment for dental products. A seal of acceptance means the product meets preset criteria for effectiveness in controlling plaque and tartar deposition in dogs and cats."&nbsp;</p><p>If a product is not VOHC accepted, it either means its manufacturer has not conducted clinical trials that show efficacy, or the manufacturer simply has not sought acceptance through the VOHC. In this guide, VOHC-accepted products were rated higher because the seal of acceptance demonstrates that the product's claims are backed up by science.&nbsp;</p><p>Since I am not a veterinary dentist nor a research scientist, I cannot make any claims regarding the efficacy of the products. Instead, I evaluated each product and rated them based on whether the product is accepted by the VOHC, product performance compared to manufacturer claims, the price of the product, and whether my dog seemed to enjoy the product.&nbsp;</p></p><br/><br/><h3>What we're looking forward to testing</h3><p><p>We plan to test the following products for a later update to this guide:</p><ul><li><strong><a href="https://www.healthymouth.com/dog_ESSENTIAL_Value_Jug_p/d008.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener">PetEssential HealthyMouth Pre-Dent Anti-Plaque Water Additive</a>&nbsp;</strong></li><li><strong><a href="https://www.healthymouth.com/DOG_Essential_Healthymouth_Topical_Gel_2oz_Jar_p/dg02.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener">PetEssential HealthyMouth Topical Gel</a></strong></li><li><strong><a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00SO48UQA/ref=as_li_tl'ie=UTF8&amp;tag=biipgf_072418_best-dog-dental-care-products-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B00SO48UQA&amp;linkId=3c521799458498b9017c232ec757b9b4" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored nofollow sponsored">ProDen PlaqueOff Dental Bites</a>&nbsp;</strong></li><li><strong><a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Fdentalife-advanced-clean-oral-care%2Fdp%2F175007" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Purina DentaLife Advanced Clean Treats</a>&nbsp;</strong></li><li><strong><a href="https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4Nww/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Fwhimzees-brushzees-natural-daily%2Fdp%2F127073" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Whimzees Brushzees Dental Dog Treats</a></strong></li></ul></p><br/><br/><h3>Tips for brushing your dog's teeth</h3><img src="https://static6.businessinsider.com/image/5f3bfa8aa3eafa001de06bd2-400-300/tips-for-brushing-your-dogs-teeth.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>If you're new to brushing your dog's teeth, know that it is easier than you might think! Pet-safe toothpaste comes in dog-enticing flavors like chicken, duck, and beef, so most dogs get on board with brushing pretty quickly.</p><p>"The best time to brush your pet's teeth is when you are both relaxed," Redmond said. "If your pet resists the brushing, growls, bites, scratches, or shows any other signs of aggression during toothbrushing, stop immediately and consult your veterinarian for advice."&nbsp;</p><p>Start out slow, giving your dog several days or weeks to adjust. It's okay if you only brush a few teeth at a time for the first few sessions. Focus on the outside surfaces of the teeth. Plaque and tartar generally do not accumulate much on the insides of the teeth since the dog's tongue is constantly wiping them clean. Keep brushing sessions positive with treats or tummy rubs.&nbsp;</p><h3><strong>Redmond offers these helpful tips for brushing your dog's teeth:</strong></h3><ul><li>When brushing with a toothbrush, keep the mouth closed and slip the brush in between the cheek and teeth.&nbsp;</li><li>Your pet may try to move backward when you open their mouth; be prepared.&nbsp;</li><li>Using pet toothpaste, brush on the outside of the teeth only. Do not worry about the inside of the teeth.&nbsp;</li><li>Praise your pet frequently during the brushing.&nbsp;</li><li>If your pet tolerates only brief brushing, don't be discouraged. Some brushing is better than none at all.</li></ul></p><br/><br/><h3>Who we consulted</h3><p><ul><li>Dr. Ashlee Redmond, DVM, served as medical director of <a href="https://www.banfield.com/veterinarians/wa/vancouver/van" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Banfield Pet Hospital</a>, in Vancouver, Washington, at the time of our interview in April 2020. Redmond is currently area medical director of Petco's <a href="https://www.vetcoclinics.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Vetco Total Care</a> in San Diego, California.</li><li><a href="http://www.vohc.org/all_accepted_products.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Veterinary Oral Health Council Accepted Products</a>, Veterinary Oral Health Council</li></ul></p><br/><br/>
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