Dental Plaque

I agree about the brushing - it does work when done regularly. I hear what people say about bones and oral health; if they want to give them then that’s up to them but I will not give bones (or antlers) to my dogs - I simply do not wish to take the risk. Life is too complicated as it is without adding that into the mix. My lot have sea jerky every day and they also have Nylabones available. In all the years they have used these products I have never had any problems. I do clean their teeth using Virbac but like many people, I probably need to step up the frequency sometimes. I’ve also used PetzLife Gel but that again needs to be used very regularly.

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There is certainly growing concern as regards broken teeth when using products such as Antlers. I should imagine

Dental surgery to save a tooth is an expensive procedure. Not forgetting the traveling there and back from a

specialist Dental vet.

We have used Plaque Off and DentiQ Juicy Apple Ultra Persistent Periodontal Gel for sometime on our dogs. It’s a

combination that seems to work very well indeed. Our Vet is really hot on teeth and is always pleased to see clean

teeth. DentiQ is a non toxic Gel and is effective without brushing although brushing would help even more and is

available from Amazon UK. DentiQ have a very good website and I have always found their customer service

excellent. DentiQ (Ward Biotech) are an Irish company. Plaque Off is widely available and is

well reviewed on many sites including Amazon. If a dog has a Thyroid problem then it is recommended to speak

to your vet first before using Plaque Off due to it’s iodine content.

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Yes, if animal is on thyroid hormone, check with vet if giving seaweed or other food supplements (not just those containing iodine).

Beware of some products you put into the drinking water - some contain Xylitol toxic to dogs and the research they are using to prove it is safe, in my opinion, is flawed.

The following research it seems is used by Virbac (American equivalent product called Breathalyser). The trial period was very short at only 14 days with a small sample size of 15 crossbred dogs (note no pure-breds) weighing over 15kg (note not toy or small breeds) and monitored the affects on liver and blood glucose levels but not on the gastrointestinal tract. My concern with these products, therefore, is on it’s use for small and toy breeds and some pure breeds administered over a long period of time.

I sent the research papers and other findings to our local vet when I became concerned over the eating habits of a miniature daschund belonging to a customer of mine. The only thing different with the dog was he had started taking virbac in his drinking water. The vet was concerned enough to stop supplying it to his customers.

The label on these products always state the exact ratio of liquid to drinking water, and never to go over it but, how many people bother being that accurate when it’s not obvious to them the importance of not to go over?

Re: Virbac
Are you referring to one of the products on this page? The only Virbac product that I use is the enzymatic, poultry flavour toothpaste. The dogs like the taste but I only use a small amount on the brush and sometimes just apply it very thinly straight to the teeth using my finger.

Hi Dottie,

I was referring to Virbac Vet Aquadent that is one of the products that appears on the page link you posted. I haven’t looked into the ingredients of their other products, it was just Aquadent I was investigating for a customer.


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It’s been a while since we talked about dental health so I am bringing this back up the list. I had a bit of a lapse in cleaning teeth earlier this year so although they were not too bad, there was a small amount of plaque at the gum edge and some tartar on their back teeth. I am now brushing daily and after two or three weeks it is paying dividends. Still one or two small patches of tartar at the back but that is all. Their breath is fresh. Currently I am using Beaphar toothpaste although I have just finished a tube of Arm & Hammer and that seemed to be useful. They still have PetzLife Gel rubbed around the teeth and gums every day. Am also using Plaque Off. I sent for a Lintbell’s YuCare tooth cleaner recently but have not fully assessed it.

I know that some people feel that they cannot brush their dog’s teeth because it will not let them. I can only say that this really is a training issue. There is plenty of information on the Internet about how to do this. It takes time and patience to get the dog used to having it’s mouth handled but it is worth it in the long run - luckily, my dogs have never needed a dental treatment by the vet.

Agree about the cost - sometimes I think it would cheaper to book them in at the vets for a dental treatment. I hadn’t heard of Bogadent so checked up and their website is here. Tropiclean products are here and PetzLife is here. As you say, dental care in dogs, particularly those who are on dry food has to be a regular thing - there is no quick fix AFAIK. Some people think that kibble cleans teeth but I don’t think that really is the case. Also, some say that wet food is supposed to contribute to plaque and tartar but I would have thought not because a number of the better quality ones are low in carbohydrate. I like to see nice clean teeth and fresh breath too - makes the effort worthwhile.

Some useful links here:
Your Pet’s Bad Breath is no Laughing Matter.
Dog Breath is no Laughing Matter (includes video on brushing teeth).

Nick Thompson discussing dental hygiene in relation to kibble. Jump to 27 minutes for the discussion. He dispels the myth that kibble is necessary for cleaning teeth.

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Thank you for posting Dottie and it’s a timely reminder to take the health of our dogs teeth seriously. Kibble in my opinion is no friend to a dogs teeth, certainly raw feeding goes along way in keeping a dogs teeth clean but even so I do believe you need to brush them also. I have tried many dog toothpastes over the years and have now gone back to Dorwest Herbs Roast Dinner Toothpaste (with a baby toothbrush) which I used in the eighties, this seems an improved product from those days. I’ve been very impressed. It’s basically sage oil with a gritty texture and it goes along way and at a good price against some of the other products.
I started using this again on a toy breed dog with beautiful white teeth and they have remained so, he’s on a complete raw diet, it would be good to hear from other users of their experience.

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I’m using that product at the moment and also daily Plaque Off. I don’t feed raw or give bones but their teeth are in good condition. Small dogs are particularly prone to periodontal disease so need extra care.

In the aforementioned video Nick Thompson mentions Plaque Off as being useful in the prevention of periodontal disease and also a product by Irish vet Connor Brady. I think it is probably Canident. The discussion is at the end of the video in the question and answer section.

We just use the beaphar toothpaste ( a tiny amount) with a finger brush. She isn’t very cooperative so we do as much as we can. She does have some treats that aren’t raw but I try to keep them healthy. I have noticed a little tartar now but the vet wasn’t concerned. She is 9 or possibly older now so I would expect some build up. She has a good gnaw on a nylabone at least once a day.

February is Pet Dental Health Month. This serves as a good reminder to check your dog’s teeth and gums regularly and to get them used to having their teeth brushed. Your vet might be running special clinics etc for Pet Dental Health Month so if interested, ask for advice at the surgery.

I can vouch for the effectiveness of regular brushing using a doggie toothpaste. My two have clean teeth and gums and the nine year old has never had a veterinary dental treatment in her life. They had a bit of plaque on their molars but I have nearly got that off using a dental scraper very gently.

My two haven’t had kibble for some years, don’t eat biscuits except for one at bedtime, don’t have bones, chicken pieces or dental chews so I know that their dental state is entirely down to use of the good old fashioned toothbrush and regular care. They have Plaque Off every day on their dinner, I brush using a doggie toothpaste and then apply PetzLife salmon flavour gel to soften any tartar that might be lurking. Any stubborn bits of tartar can then be gently removed with a dental scraper. Down side is that it takes commitment but is well worth the effort when you see a clean, fresh mouth.

If anyone is inspired by Pet Dental Health Month to start cleaning their dog’s teeth there is plenty of advice online. However, I am not sure that quick fix treatments such as dental diets, chews, biscuits etc are of any use. If it was as easy as that there would not be so much peridontal disease in the canine population.

If you do start to brush and your dog has tartar it might take a while to remove so don’t be disheartened if it fails to shift immediately. Be patient. The doggie toothpaste will soften it eventually and sometimes it can then be flicked off with your finger nail. If the tartar is quite heavy then it might need removal by a vet. After a dental treatment is a good time to start regular brushing as it should prevent build up.


Good advice Dottie, ,
:slight_smile: I do brush teeth when I remember but must be better organised in future.
Our Vet sells dental sticks and I looked at the ingredients and it contained sugar. a bit strange, not sure if they really work. a good money maker though.


The ingredients pedigree dentastix did concern me but they have good abrasive action…I wish I coukd find something similar texture but different ingredients

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The ingredient list of Dentastix is here. According to the literature it is ‘…the sole chew available that has been scientifically proven to combat tartar’. I can’t see a reference to the evidence for that claim but maybe it exists somewhere.

Pooch and Mutt on Dentastix - link. P&M chews.
Woof Works This company also sell chews.

I gave Dentastix to my dogs many years ago and it caused diarrhoea. I know of other people who have reported the same thing in their dog. Personally, I would rather brush teeth than give the dogs this product. It’s effective, cheap and they are not ingesting dubious ingredients.

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Lily’s Kitchen brought out their Woofbrush Dental Chews a few months ago.
I give unfilled cow hooves, always under supervision though. I would rather brush their teeth than use a processed chew/treat.

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Raw Pet Medics, tonight’s Friday night live (7pm GMT) on pet dental health.

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Quote Seaweed: I would rather brush their teeth than use a processed chew/treat.
I agree. From my experience, regular brushing with a canine specific toothpaste works very well. Some time ago I bought an Emmi-Pet ultrasonic toothbrush. It is expensive and it can only be used with their toothpaste. It is no quick fix and needs persistence. If the dog has established plaque/tartar it will require a number of treatments and patience. Some groomers are now offering this service. The other thing that I have noticed is that plaque/tartar does not accrue since my dogs went onto low carbohydrate fresh food.
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