The average person brushes their teeth twice a day and visits the dentist bi-annually. Now ask yourself this: are you spending the same amount of time caring for your dog’s teeth?
Creating an oral health routine is the best way to keep your pup’s teeth and gums healthy. This includes regular brushing, annual dental cleanings, and supplementing with items such as a dental water additive.
But which is the best? To help, we reviewed dozens of the highest rated dental water additives to select the 5 best options. Here’s our list:
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Our Picks for the Best Dog Dental Water Additives
1. HealthyMouth Dog Dental Water Additive
HealthyMouth is the only dog dental water additive backed by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) to reduce plaque and bacteria buildup. It’s all natural, and contains no artificial ingredients.
Ingredients: Papain, Yucca, Cinnamon, Pomegranate, Blueberry, Clove, Chlorophyll, Vitamin C, Vitamin B2, Zinc Gluconate.
- Dog dental water additive mixed into drinking water
- Only VOHC approved dog dental water additive, with results confirmed through multiple independent trials
- All natural, with no artificial or synthetic ingredients
- Sugar free, sodium free, calorie free
- Comes with a full money back guarantee
- Safe for use in households with cats
- Recommended by Board Certified Veterinary Dentists
- Only available in one large size, which is an upfront investment
2. TropiClean Fresh Breath Water Additive
If you’re looking to freshen your dog’s breath while also fighting against plaque, take a look at TropiClean Fresh Breath. The formula forms a defense against bad breath causing bacteria, with noticeable results in two weeks or less.
Ingredients: Purified Water, Citric Acid, Cetylpyridinium Chloride, Chlorophyllin, Glycerin, Potassium Sorbate, Green Tea Leaf Extract
- Dog dental water additive that’s added to your dog’s daily drinking water
- Fights against plaque and tartar buildup with regular use
- Tasteless and odorless formula
- Results seen in 14 days or less
- Suitable for both dogs and cats
- Provides up to 12 hours of fresh breath
- All natural ingredients
- Available in three sizes
- Made in the USA
- While many pet owners say this product works well, results are not yet proven through clinical trials
3. Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Water Additive
Nylabone Advanced Oral Care is the top affordable choice for a dental water additive. Its scientifically proven formula alters the pH level of a dog’s saliva to fight against plaque, tartar, and bad breath.
Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Polysorbate 80, Xanthan Gum, Methyl Salicylate, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, and Sodium Benzoate.
- Dog dental water additive
- Made with “Denta-CTM”, a blend of ingredients that’s clinically proven to reduce plaque and tartar buildup
- Mint flavored
- Freshens breath
- One of the most affordably priced options on the market
- Made in the USA
- Cannot be used around cats
- Some picky dogs may not like the mint flavor
4. Oxyfresh Pet Dental Care Solution Water Additive
The Oxyfresh Dental Water Additive is a tasteless and odorless additive that fights plaque while also freshening breath. If you have a household with multiple animals, this is the one for you. It’s safe for dogs, cats, and even birds.
Ingredients: Water, Stabilized Chlorine Dioxide (Oxygene®), Zinc Acetate, Sodium Citrate, Chlorophyllin-Copper Complex, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate
- Dog dental water additive that fights against plaque and tartar buildup
- Non toxic, odorless, and tasteless formula
- Freshens breath
- Oxyfresh is a known brand operating since 1984
- Suitable and safe for dogs, cats, and birds
- Made without dyes or alcohol
- Non-GMO ingredients
- Made in the USA
- While highly-rated, and with a good track record, Oxyfresh has not sought VOHC approval as of the time of this writing
5. Oratene Brushless Dog Oral Water Additive
The Oratene Enzymatic dental water additive uses enzymes to prevent plaque production and kill odor causing bacteria. It is completely tasteless and flavorless, and can be used daily in a dog’s water bowl.
Ingredients: Glucose Oxidase, Glycerine, Potassium Sorbate, Potassium Thiocyanate, Purified Water, Rosemary Extract, Sodium Chloride, Sorbitol, Zinc Chloride. Natural Enzymes: Dextranase, Lactoferrin, Lactoperoxidase, Lysozyme, Mutanase.
- Daily dog dental water additive
- Flavorless and tasteless formula
- Freshens breath, reduces new plaque formation, and kills odor causing bacteria
- One bottle makes up to 30 gallons of dental water
- Pump design makes for easy dosages
- Improves dental health when used in tandem with regular brushing
- Sorbitol in large amounts can have laxative properties (though is fine in small quantities). Speak with your veterinarian if this concerns you.
Water Additive for Dogs Buying Guide
Your dog’s oral hygiene shouldn’t be something that falls to the wayside. Poor dental hygiene for your dog can lead to serious consequences, the most common being periodontal disease. But the damaging effects don’t stop there. Poor oral hygiene is also linked to health problems such as heart disease and diabetes.
Reducing the buildup of bacteria in their mouth will leave you with a much happier and healthier pup. But how do you properly maintain your dog’s dental health? There are a few options on the market, including dog toothbrushes, dog dental chews, and dental water additives.
Today we’ll discuss water additives and the benefits of adding them into your daily routine.
What Are Dog Dental Water Additives?
Dental water additives are a mixture of organics, mineral salts, and antiseptics that can be added to your dog’s water bowl to help keep your dog’s teeth and gums healthy. They work similarly to the way your mouthwash promotes oral hygiene, helping to break down plaque buildup and bacteria that collect inside your dog’s mouth. Water additives come in a variety of forms, including liquid, pills, and powders, that all dissolve in drinking water.
Pros and Cons of Dog Dental Water Additives
If you’re concerned about your dog’s oral hygiene, dental water additives can be an easy and effective way to get their dental health on track. But like most things, there are pros and cons to consider before taking the plunge.
Advantages of Water Additives
Dental water additives offer a host of benefits for both you and your dog, including:
Fresh breath: Tired of your dog having bad breath? Water additives work similarly to mouthwash and help remove bad breath causing bacteria.
Improved health: By removing bacteria and plaque from your dog’s mouth, you’re helping reduce risks associated with periodontal disease.
Fewer vet visits: A lot of health problems start in the mouth. Promoting good oral hygiene can lead to fewer unexpected vet visits (saving you money in the long run!).
Stain removal: Have you noticed your dog’s teeth starting to show signs of brown stains, especially up around their gum line? When used regularly, dog dental water additives have been shown to reduce the look of stains and promote a whiter, healthier smile.
Easy to use: Brushing your dog’s teeth can be difficult at times. Most dogs don’t like the feel or think the toothbrush is a toy for them to chew on! While regular brushing is still important, dental water additives are a great practice to use between each session.
Disadvantages of Water Additives
While dog dental water additives have many benefits, they aren’t always the right solution for every dog. Here are some things to consider:
Brushing still required: If you’re looking for a total replacement for brushing your dog’s teeth, dental water additives aren’t the solution. While they help promote good oral health, you’ll still need to brush your dog’s teeth regularly.
Certain ingredients: Not all dental water additives are made equal; it’s important to read the ingredients list to choose the right one. Some additives may cause your dog to have an upset stomach. See more about this in our guide below.
Noticeable: If you have a picky dog, dental water additives might not be the right choice. If your dog doesn’t like the taste or smell of the additives, they may opt to avoid drinking their water.
Effectiveness: While many dental water additives have been found to reduce plaque, results can vary.
Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) Seal
When evaluating dental products for your dog, it’s important to first look at options with the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) seal of approval. The VOHC is like the ADA for dog and cat dental products, and independently tests each product for effectiveness. If you see the VOHC seal, it means the product has been proven to reduce plaque, tartar buildup, or both.
Only one brand of dental water additive has been approved by the VOHC, HealthyMouth, however the others on our list can be just as effective. In most cases, if a product isn’t VOHC approved it means the company hasn’t yet performed clinical trials or sought out the VOHC seal.
Ingredients Found in Water Additives for Dogs
If you’re considering purchasing dog dental water additives to improve your pup’s oral hygiene, it’s important to read the ingredients list. Here are some to look for and other to avoid completely:
Chlorophyllin: Derived from grass, this green pigment is sometimes added to dental water additives. If you see this on the ingredients list, there’s no need to fret — chlorophyllin is an effective way for pet owners to freshen their dog’s breath.
Potassium Sorbate: The ingredients on the list can seem scary with their long names, but there’s no reason to be scared of potassium sorbate. This antibacterial agent won’t cause any harm to your pooch.
Glycerin: Used as a sweetener, glycerin doesn’t have any nutritional benefit but won’t cause any health issues for your dog.
Ingredients to Avoid
Chlorhexidine: Although rarely found within dog dental water additives anymore, it’s important you keep an eye out for chlorhexidine. This ingredient is a disinfectant that is used to fight bacteria and viruses but can be damaging to the ears, mouth, and eyes, which is why you want to avoid buying a product with this ingredient.
Xylitol: To make the product taste “better,” some companies add in xylitol which is a sweetener. If you see this on the ingredients list, avoid the product. Xylitol can cause your dog stomach distress — and it can be fatal.
Note: none of the recommendations on our list contain these ingredients.
How to Use Dog Dental Water Additives
Keeping your dog’s teeth in good condition doesn’t have to be difficult — and that’s where dog dental water additives can play a big part in maintaining your pooch’s oral hygiene.
If you’re considering using water additives, bring it up on your next vet visit to make sure your veterinarian is on board with you adding this supplement into their diet. Doing so will ensure that the additives don’t interfere with any preexisting condition or medication they are taking.
The directions to use your dental water additives will depend on the specific brand and type of additive you choose. However, whether you choose a liquid, powder, or pill, they are all used in a relatively similar manner. Read the instructions to determine the proper dosage and mix the additives with your dog’s drinking water when feeding your dog in the morning and evening.
Once your dog has finished drinking their water, you should thoroughly clean their drinking bowl to remove any residue from the dental water additives.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Dog Dental Water Additives Safe?
Yes, most dog dental water additives are completely safe for your dog. You must watch out for the specific ingredients we noted above such as chlorhexidine and xylitol. However, the majority of dental water additives on the market use non-toxic ingredients.
Do Dog Dental Water Additives Work?
Yes — when used in conjunction with other proper oral care. It’s important to remember that dog dental water additives aren’t a replacement for brushing your dog’s teeth or annual tooth cleanings. They should be used to supplement the primary measures you’re taking to promote healthy teeth and gums.
What Else Can I Do to Keep My Dog’s Teeth Healthy?
Dental water additives aren’t the only way to promote good oral hygiene for your dog. Here are some other healthy practices to adopt:
- Brush your dog’s teeth daily with a dog-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste
- Give your dog dental pet chews or dental bones
- Start a “dental diet” of kibble meant to reduce tartar (talk to your vet before doing this!)
- Wipe your dog’s teeth with dental wipes to reduce plaque buildup
- Schedule annual professional teeth cleanings with your veterinarian
This video provides a useful checklist of ways to keep your dog’s teeth healthy.
VOHC Methodology: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3058665/
List of VOHC approved dental products: http://www.vohc.org/VOHCAcceptedProductsTable_Dogs.pdf
Disclaimer: The recommendations provided in this guide should be used for informational purposes only. Before changing your dog’s oral health routine, speak with your veterinarian.
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