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  • Writer's pictureNichole Petrie

February is Pet Dental Health Awareness Month

Updated: Jan 29

Bad doggy breath.......... Isn't it a KILLER?!?!?!

Sometimes its so bad you have to resist those cute kisses they love to give so much.

Then add to that, tartar build up and there can be a serious problem. Just like us, dogs can suffer from bad breath, and are prone to plaque and bacteria buildup in their mouths. Our furry family members deserve the best dental care we can give them for a healthy and happy life.

How to deal with the dental issues that cause bad breath, tartar and to fight off bacterial infection.

There are a lot of options out there to help with these problems from Chews to water additions to just a plain toothbrush and tooth paste. Over the the past 10 years I have tried pretty much almost everything on the market. Researching and talking to many Vet's. Here are some popular products on the market now. Some of them are great and some not so much.

Pedigree Denta-Stix They are X shaped semi hard sticks that help freshen breath and clean teeth. They work pretty well and the price ain't to shabby. Feed 1 a day and after about 1 week of usage you will definitely start to see and smell a difference.

Here are the Ingredients: Rice Flour, Wheat Starch, Glycerin, Gelatin, Gum Arabic, Calcium Carbonate, Natural Poultry Flavor, Cellulose Powder, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Salt (Iodized), Potassium Chloride, Vitamins (Choline Chloride, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate [source of Vitamin C], Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, D-calcium Pantothenate, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin [Vitamin B2], Pyridoxine Hydrochloride [Vitamin B6], Dl-alpha Tocopherol Acetate [source of Vitamin E], Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1]), Potassium Sorbate (a Preservative), Smoke Flavor, Zinc Sulphate, Green Tea Extract, Turmeric, Iron Oxide, Copper Sulfate.

Greenies by Nutro

These are a green dyed, tooth brush shaped, semi hard chew sticks. I find that not only did they work for the breath but they also made my dogs very sick. Breath was great, Tartar build up still there and they got sick. 1 out of 3 was my call to no longer give them to my babies. I rather deal with smelly breath and have to manual brush their teeth than to have an overly sick dog every week. However Vets tend to recommend these to all their patients even though they cause many other health problems. Just take a look at their ingredients.

Here are the ingredients: Gelatin, wheat protein isolate, glycerin, pea protein, water, potato protein, sodium caseinate, natural poultry flavor, lecithin, minerals (dicalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, magnesium amino acid chelate, calcium carbonate, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, potassium iodide), vitamins (dl-alpha tocopherol acetate [source of vitamin E], L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate [source of vitamin C], vitamin B12 supplement, d-calcium pantothenate [vitamin B5], niacin supplement, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, pyridoxine hydrochloride [vitamin B6], thiamine mononitrate [vitamin B1], folic acid), dried tomato, apple pomace, vegetable oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), ground flaxseed, dried sweet potato, cranberry fiber, dried cultured skim milk, choline chloride, taurine, decaffeinated green tea extract, carotene, chlorophyll (sodium copper chlorophyllin)

Blue Bones/Dental Bones by Blue Buffalo Dark color, semi hard chews with a bone like shape. Although these have a bad smell, to my ultimate surprise just TWO days after giving them each 1 bone a day, there has been a drastic improvement on their breath. I can take kisses now and get the lovely dovey face to face interaction I LOVE having with my babies. I will check their tartar at the end of this week.

UPDATE: I checked their teeth and the tartar is gone! OMG what a difference. I'm extremely satisfied!

Here are the ingredients:

Whole Ground Potato, Whole Ground Brown Rice, Water, Vegetable Glycerine, Blueberries, Peas, Carrots (source of Vitamin A), Vegetable Juice, Sunflower Oil (source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids), Oat Bran, Flaxseed (source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids), Natural Chicken Flavor, Dried Parsley, Alfalfa Meal (a source of Chlorophyll), Calcium Carbonate, Citric Acid, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (a source of Vitamin C), Zinc Propionate, Vitamin E Supplement, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Taurine


I discovered these after using Blue Bones for a year. At that time they were new on the market at PetsMart and after reading the ingredients I had to try them. No bad smell, my dogs took to them quickly and just like Blue Bones, great smelling breath and great tartar control. Bigger pro was the cost. Less expensive than Blue Bones and did the job just as well.

Here are the ingredients:

Potato Starch, Glycerin, Powdered Cellulose, Lecithin, Yeast, Malt Extract, Lupine, Annatto Extract Color, Alfalfa Extract.

Zukes Z-Bones

Z-Bones have recently become our packs favorite dental care treat. They come in three different flavors Apple Crisp, Berry Crisp and Carrot Crisp. Z-Bones offer the same if not better dental care results and are cost effective.

Here are the ingredients:

Potato Flour, Vegetable Glycerine, Peas, Tapioca, Pea Protein, Apples, Spinach, Lecithin, Natural Flavor, Parsley, Rosemary, Citric Acid, Zinc Propionate, Turmeric, Alfalfa, Fennel.

Merrick's Fresh Kisses

Merrick Fresh Kisses are all-natural dental treats that deliver two big benefits at once: clean teeth and truly fresh breath. What’s the secret? The innovative double-brush design and all-natural ingredients. As dogs chew, Fresh Kisses work to remove plaque and freshen breath at the same time. I LOVE these dental treats the MOST! Not only are the ingredients some of the best on the market, but They have been the ones that work the best for my pack.

Here are the ingredients:

Peppermint flakes, real pumpkin, coconut oil and a combination of botanical oils (mint, lemongrass and rosemary oils).

Last but not least......

Gel, water additives and sprays

Clean Teeth Gel by Tropiclean (Just for teeth cleaning)

NO Brushing Necessary! Works fast and naturally to help reduce plaque and tartar on dogs and cats -- no toothbrush required. A proprietary blend of natural, holistic ingredients produce a healthy oral environment. Kills the germs that cause bad breath, plaque and gingivitis. Soothes minor gum irritations.

Here are the Ingredients:

Purified water, natural derived alcohol, natural mint, glycerin, natural cleanser, carbopol, chlorophyllin, green tea extract. Water Additive by Tropiclean Clean teeth, Fresh Breath, No brushing Here are the Ingredients: Purified water, Citric Acid, Cetylpyridnium chloride, chlorophyllin, glycerin, potassium sorbate, green tea leaf extract Fresh Breath Foam by Tropiclean Regular use of Fresh Mint Foam helps keep teeth clean. Its gentle formula helps freshen breath. Here are the Ingredients: Purified water, glycerin, natural mint, baking soda, polysorbate 20, corn alcohol, aloe vera juice, chlorophyllin, green tea extract

The above products give great alternatives if its hard to manually brush their teeth or for a cost effective way to keep their dental hygiene on par.

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