Did you know that February is Dog Dental Health Month?
Dental health is an extremely important, but often overlooked, component of proper pet care. Periodontal disease is a growing risk to our pets and an estimated 80% of dogs show signs of it by the age of 3! This disease can also lead to higher risks of heart, lung and kidney disease!
What Can You Do to take Care of Your Dog’s Dental Health?
- Routine examinations at your local vet – You want to make sure that your vet is taking a look at your dog’s mouth and teeth at each visit to stay ahead of any developing issues. Veterinarians also offer thorough teeth cleanings but require that the animal be put under anesthesia beforehand. As you can imagine this is expensive, and always comes with a bit of a risk, so many dog parents choose to avoid whenever possible.
- Dog Safe Chew Toys – Both nylon bones and rubbery style toys can work to clean teeth and gums as your dog gently mouths the surface. Make sure to do some research on safety however, and only allow supervised chewing!
- Dog Dental Bones – If your dog is not a big chewer, these hard, pressed dog treats are another great option. As they break apart the dense pieces can work to remove built on plaque and tartar.
- Regular Brushing! – The ideal solution – the only problem…it is often easier said than done!
We have two issues when it comes to dental health in our home.
First off, water intake. Charlie does not like to drink a lot of water – and you may be surprised at how much water dogs need! This puts him at a greater risk for tooth decay and leaves his breath with that “dehydrated” smell. Otherwise known as halitosis!
Second, resistance to brushing. Charlie is easy going about getting his teeth brushed. We got him as a 6 month old puppy and started early. Harley, on the other hand has never enjoyed getting his teeth brushed. While chewing bones can go a long way to keeping his teeth free of tartar, as he gets older, teeth care has become more of a problem. We want to keep his teeth healthy, while avoiding more invasive strategies like professional cleaning which requires that he be put under.
What Else is Out There? TruDog’s Dental Health Solutions!
We were very excited to recently learn of TruDog and their unique line of dental care products for dogs. These items include several solutions for those “tough to brush” pups! TruDog was kind enough to send us a sampling of their products to test out and share with our readers!
TruDog is a family owned pet company started just a few years ago. Inspired by the health struggles of their late Great Dane Truman, they dove into research on pet health and nutrition. After learning more about dogs ancestral diets, they began preparing raw meals for their dogs and saw immediate health benefits. Shortly thereafter they decided that they needed to find a way to make this type of nutrition accessible to more pet parents. TruDog was born as a pet food company and has since expanded into other areas of animal care like grooming, accessories and even apparel! All of their products are 100% made in America!
OraPup Tongue Brushing System
Does your dog have bad breath? The culprit is likely bacteria residing on your dog’s tongue. OraPup is a unique tongue brush for dogs that, along with the tasty Lickies solutions, acts more like a treat than a grooming tool!
How Does it Work?
One side of the Orapup brush is covered with hundreds of small silicone “fingers” protruding from the surface. Simply squeeze a bit of Lickies enzyme solution onto the brush and allow your dog to lick the surface for roughly one minute. The “brushing” action of the small finger’s works to remove the bad breath causing bacteria on the surface of your dog’s tongue.
Using the Orapup Tongue Brush
We found that the Orapup system was very easy to use. Charlie was immediately attracted to the taste and smell of the Lickies and got right down to business licking the brush. The beef scent was enticing to him but still left his mouth smelling clean and refreshed (not meaty smelling). We moved/rotated the stick around any time that he started trying to bite it and steal it for chewing, and he quickly got the idea.
When the time was up, we washed/rinsed the brush under warm water to remove any bacteria. Then we stored it in our dish rack to dry between uses. TruDog recommends replacing your brush every 90 days or so, similar to how you would treat a toothbrush.
The “fingers” on the Orapup are stiff enough to remove plaque and bacteria but still flexible and gentle on your dog’s tongue.
We liked using it with Charlie because as mentioned before, we don’t think that he drinks enough water. While we do many things to help encourage him (adding water to his homemade diet, adding chicken stock to water) we notice that he sometimes has that dehydrated smell on his tongue. Not only did Orapup “get him lickin” to freshen his breath, but he then went and drank water afterward!
TruDog “Gel Me” Doggy Dental Gel
We spoke a bit before about the dangers of poor dog dental health and other issues that often arise. Gel Me is TruDog’s innovative solution for optimum health of the teeth, mouth and gums. This all-natural gel helps to freshen breath as well as control plaque, tartar and bacteria.
How Does it Work?
Gel Me is an all-natural, holistic formulation with ingredients like:
- Grape Seed Extract
- Grapefruit Seed Extract
- Peppermint Oil
- Rosemary Oil
- Neem Oil
- Thyme Oil
These ingredients have natural antiseptic, antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Using your finger or a gauze pad, rub the gel along your dog’s gum line once or twice daily. The gel will mix with your dog’s saliva and fully coat the mouth giving them a unique layer of protection.
Using “Gel Me”
While the gel is supposed to used with gauze. We wanted Harley to get used to the idea of us touching his teeth without any weird textures. We took small incremental steps toward using the gauze pads, getting him comfortable with our fingers to begin.
He was surprisingly relaxed with the whole ordeal and got used to the situation right away. The gel has a pleasant smell and the taste did not bother him in any way. TruDog says that an improvement in health can be seen in 3-8 weeks of daily use. We have only been using it for about a week now but can definitely vouch for an improvement in breath!
TruDog “Spray Me” Dental Spray
Similarly to “Gel Me,” this product is also designed for complete mouth health. The ingredients are the same, but instead of a gel form, it is a liquid. To use, simply spray into your dog’s mouth once or twice daily. The solution will naturally work into your dog’s saliva and coat the mouth to help with plaque, tartar and bad breath issues!
Using “Spray Me” Dental Spray
We first sprayed it (not on him) so that Harley was familiar with the sound of the bottle and misting action. Spray Me has a fresh scent reminiscent of Listerine – but not so harsh to cause stinging. Harley’s gums were even a little roughed up from chewing a bone too aggressively and he did not seem to mind. As with the Gel, we have been using it for about a week and can see a definite improvement in breath. We are excited for our next vet visit after more time has passed to see if there are any other signs of improvement!
Why MyDogLikes TruDog’s Dental Health Products
Each and every one of our dog’s is unique in their personality and tolerance to different situations. Whether or not you have difficulty brushing your dog’s teeth, TruDog has come up with some really innovative solutions to make dog dental care easier. With only a few minutes a day, you can drastically improve the dental health of your dog!