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Discussion Starter #1
This question gets asked every so often, but I wanted to put it out there again in case there were any new products on the market or newer members who've used different products than the usual recommendations. I'm about to run out of Petrodex toothpaste and Petzlife oral gel. Both have worked decently well for me, but if there's something more effective or equally effective and cheaper, I'd like to hear about it. :)

So, what do you use to help keep your dog's teeth clean and healthy? Toothpastes, sprays, powders, water additives?

Note: I know raw bones are great for dog's teeth and I do feed them occasionally, but right now I'm not looking for chews, but instead dental care products to be used in addition to bones/chews.
 

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When you find something that REALLY works let me know...:)

Seriously, I think all the stuff you have mentioned is about as good as it may get. I have tried the Petzlife gel and for the life of me it really didn't do much. I think having something for the dog to chew on a regular basis is probably as good as anything. I have been buying Bully Sticks for my dog which are 100% digestible and last more than 5 minutes for aggressive chewers. What I also do is use a chlorohexidine rinse after the dog has eaten to help prevent plaque from forming. Just spray it along the gum line and that's it. That and scale the dogs teeth yourself as I have had to do on occasion.

P.S. Some claim that when they went to a raw diet that the teeth cleaned up on their own, but I'm not going to venture down that road.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Sorry I didn't respond right away. I typed out a nice long response and then somehow lost it and was too frustrated to try again at the time. ;p

Anyway, I think I'm going to get more Petrodex toothpaste, and some ofthis rinse to replace the Petzlife. The active ingredient is chlorohexidine, whereas it was grapefruit seed oil and alcohol in Petzlife. It's cheaper so I thought it couldn't hurt to try something new. I have confidence in the effectiveness of Petzlife, but she really hates the taste of it.

As for chewing, she gets a nylabone type product, antlers (she's not crazy about them) and some very thin unbleached rawhides. I'd like to go raw aside from recreational bones, but it's not in the cards right now, and most likely will not be within the lifetime of my current dog.
 

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Biotene has a product line now for dogs. DO NOT buy the human kind, it contains xylitol. Xylitol is very dangerous for dogs to ingest. The feedbacks so far is good on this product. Drinking water additive and a daily paste to rub along the gumline. I will be starting my trail on these products shortly.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Biotene has a product line now for dogs. DO NOT buy the human kind, it contains xylitol. Xylitol is very dangerous for dogs to ingest. The feedbacks so far is good on this product. Drinking water additive and a daily paste to rub along the gumline. I will be starting my trail on these products shortly.
Thanks, I'll check it out. :)

I used to give rawhide, but IMO there are much healthier choices, bully sticks being one of them. Have a look at this site for 100% digestible healthy dog chews and treats. These Tripe spirals may be on my next order. http://www.bestbullysticks.com/home/bbs/page_14718_154/best_bully_sticks_tripe_spirals_5_6_inches.html
I'm well aware of the alternatives but I'm not going to pay double or quadruple the price for a dog that doesn't swallow large pieces anyway. And I don't buy it that rawhide isn't digestible. I mean, they would eat the skin of animals in the wild, right? Obviously a huge chunk is going to be likely to cause problems, but what I'm feeding is the thickness of a pencil and she only tears off small bites at a time. There are no knots or huge pieces to bite off, so I works for my situation.
 

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I dont brush teeth, or do anything other than feed raw knucklebones once a week. I order them in bulk from A Place For Paws in Ohio and freeze them. I give them frozen and they thaw as they chew on them. My dogs have never needed a dental from the vet and their teeth are pearly white.

As a side not on the rawhide discussion...yes, they would eat skin in the wild. However, it would not be processed skin and would be nothing like the rawhide that is out there. I have seen WAY to many horrible things happen to clients dogs because of rawhide. And they do nothing for the teeth because they are soft when chewed. I know millions of dogs eat it regularly, but its not worth the risk to me, Bully sticks are a much better option.
 

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Graco - do the knucklebones help with the upper back teeth - the power ones that do much of the work? Poca's teeth look good all around except for that one upper tooth on each side. We use the chlorohexidine spray with a microfiber cloth and give her bullies a couple of times a week. But it doesn't seem to make a dent in that one upper tooth. The vet says her teeth look good and that she doesn't need a cleaning until her spring appt next year, but I would like to see if I can find something that will help until then. Thx.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Graco - do the knucklebones help with the upper back teeth - the power ones that do much of the work? Poca's teeth look good all around except for that one upper tooth on each side. We use the chlorohexidine spray with a microfiber cloth and give her bullies a couple of times a week. But it doesn't seem to make a dent in that one upper tooth. The vet says her teeth look good and that she doesn't need a cleaning until her spring appt next year, but I would like to see if I can find something that will help until then. Thx.
I'm curious about this too. I have the exact same problem, haha. Everything looks good but those back teeth. Brushing only seems to help keep the tartar from reaching the gumline, but it still remains on the rest of the tooth.

And Graco, I recognize that rawhide in general comes with risks, but as I said before, I think the manner in which I use it makes the risks for my particular dog very minimal. And I was mostly objecting to the suggestion of bully sticks as an alternative. If I could afford them of course I would be using them instead, but I simply can't. I'm interested in the bulk knucklebone business you're bringing up though. ;p Looking into it now.
 

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How about Spot's Chew? It seems like a quality product (based on the ingredients and price) and it's very digestible. But I'm not sure if their claim of cleaning teeth is really true. Do you guys have any idea?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
How about Spot's Chew? It seems like a quality product (based on the ingredients and price) and it's very digestible. But I'm not sure if their claim of cleaning teeth is really true. Do you guys have any idea?
I can't imagine how it would help, honestly. Reminds me of Dentastix, lol.
 

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I'm curious about this too. I have the exact same problem, haha. Everything looks good but those back teeth. Brushing only seems to help keep the tartar from reaching the gumline, but it still remains on the rest of the tooth.

And Graco, I recognize that rawhide in general comes with risks, but as I said before, I think the manner in which I use it makes the risks for my particular dog very minimal. And I was mostly objecting to the suggestion of bully sticks as an alternative. If I could afford them of course I would be using them instead, but I simply can't. I'm interested in the bulk knucklebone business you're bringing up though. ;p Looking into it now.
I'm curious how much rawhides cost as I don't feed them. We buy bullysticks in bulk online and they are relatively inexpensive to most chews you can buy in a petstore.
 

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I'm curious how much rawhides cost as I don't feed them. We buy bullysticks in bulk online and they are relatively inexpensive to most chews you can buy in a petstore.
Rawhide is pretty cheap, as it useless in rendering except for dogs. Lol Regardless of how its "fed" it is largely undigestible, and of no nutrition at all, and does nothing for the teeth because it gets soft when chewed. Rubber bones and even bullies do little to nothing for teeth. It has to be something hard that STAYS hard while chewed to be effective on scraping plaque and tarter from the teeth. The raw bones are far and away the best, but I hate marrow bones because they just lick the marrow out and then get the runs from it. Knucklebones and neck bones are awesome for those back teeth. Both have odd shapes and force the dog to literally scrape their teeth against the crevices and unevenness of the bones. My airedale and standard poodle will naw on them for hours and hours, and most of the time eventually eat them entirely. The place I mentioned has them in different sizes but I,always get the biggest, because that makes them fit their teeth around the bones and actually gnaw. If it fits IN their mouth its too small. Google A Place for Paws and fimd their website. Prices are listed. If you have a butcher around that can get them for you thats great too, just make sure they dont cut them up too much. I just feed the bullies because they are safe and keep them busy for a bit, but they get soft too, so do nothing for plaque and tarter. My poodle will be 6 next week, never needed a dental. Pearly whites, and poodles have terrible teeth. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Lol Regardless of how its "fed" it is largely undigestible, and of no nutrition at all, and does nothing for the teeth because it gets soft when chewed. Rubber bones and even bullies do little to nothing for teeth. It has to be something hard that STAYS hard while chewed to be effective on scraping plaque and tarter from the teeth.
Lol, that's why I brush her teeth. And it's not like I'm giving them to her as a meal. It's something fun for her to do.
 

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Gally gets the best teeth cleaning from his antler I think. They are a little expensive but he's had the same one for a year now and it is probably no less that half the size it started at.

As for bullysticks, bought in bulk online they can be as cheap as 0.99 cents each for 6 inch sticks or 1.50 for 12 inch sticks. Buying them in stores is ridiculously expensive here, I've seen them for as much as 2-3$ per inch!
 

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While full out raw may be daunting for some... There's no reason why you can't supplement with a nice bone-in meat such as Chicken necks/backs or turkey necks. That will work the back teeth and the sides.

Before raw I used dental tools on my dogs teeth to pick off tartar. They didn't mind (some dogs probably would though) and I knew what I was doing.

Petzlife didn't work for us. My dogs hated the taste and I didn't feel comfortable putting that stuff in their mouths every day...
 

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Brushing the teeth daily is the absolute best for dental care. It's not even as much the toothpaste as it is the brushing action. This is most effective and is what I recommend as a member of the veterinary team.

Tartar Shield dental tabs (water additive) and chews. Greenie dental chews. Medical Medi-chews. ESSENTIAL healthymouth gel or water additive. These have recieved the veterinary oral health council approval and seem to be most effective to control plaque, tartar or both. http://www.vohc.org/accepted_products.htm

There are dental diets out there by companies like Hills, Medi-cal or Purina Veterinary Diets. I'm not sure how members here feel about prescription diets but I will mention it.

I would not feed rawhides. They are not easily digestable and I don't see what good they would do for the teeth as they will soften. If you are looking for a long lasting chew, I would feed a bully stick which is more easily digestable.
 

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Are elk antlers as good as raw bone for cleaning teeth? Are antlers better than bully sticks? They don't smell or make a mess and last forever, but do they clean teeth?
 

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Are elk antlers as good as raw bone for cleaning teeth? Are antlers better than bully sticks? They don't smell or make a mess and last forever, but do they clean teeth?
I'm not sure about raw bones, but antlers are definitely better than bully sticks. I imagine it depends on what your dog does, but my dog chomps a bully stick to bits in minutes, whereas she gnaws and scrapes at an antler for a much longer period of time.

Ultimately though I think brushing is the way to go (raw bones aside). Biscuit's got clean teeth, but brushing helps more than her beloved antler does.

Also, to those who don't see a reason why not to feed raw bones from time to time...even aside from cost and logistics, many people just don't want raw meat all over the house and all over our dogs! Sure I could feed in a crate, but I don't want to clean the crate either. I'm not trying to start a fight -- this is just a choice people make.
 

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<<<<<<<<<Also, to those who don't see a reason why not to feed raw bones from time to time...even aside from cost and logistics, many people just don't want raw meat all over the house and all over our dogs! Sure I could feed in a crate, but I don't want to clean the crate either. I'm not trying to start a fight -- this is just a choice people make.<<<<<<

Marrow bones do make a mess, but neck bones and knuckle bones are very clean, there is little on them, and I feed them frozen so by the time they are thawed, anything messy is gone. I feed them most of the time outside in the yard if its nice out too. :) Just ideas for those worried about a mess.
 
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