What are the benefits of opting to use dental water additives instead of toothpaste and tooth brushing?

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Water additives are liquids that you add to a dog’s water to help prevent plaque buildup and to freshen breath. They usually have no taste or smell, so they’re easy to administer. They’re also all natural, preservative-free and contain no chlorhexidine, chlorines, xylitol or alcohol, but might contain natural ingredients like vitamin B, colorless beet juice, zinc and vegetable glycerin.

Add them to fresh water in your dog’s bowl to complement your brushing routine. Natural homemade water additives that can freshen your dog’s breath include parsley tea or mouthwash and herb teas made with fennel, ginger, peppermint and spearmint. Squeezing fresh lemon or mixing a drop of peppermint or spearmint oil into your dog’s cold fresh water will cleanse her mouth and freshen her breath.

However, if your dog has consistent bad breath, it could be a sign of dental disease, such as gingivitis, or even a stomach problem. Therefore, you must take the animal to the veterinarian for a complete check-up before administering any water additives. Sometimes you will be sent home with an oral hygiene rinse, gel, spray or water additive that does contain chlorhexidine, because if it’s found that your dog has gingivitis and periodontal disease, you’ll need something that cleanses your dog’s mouth, helps protect her teeth and gums, prevents plaque and fights bacteria.

For best results use the water additives in conjunction with your pet dental care program.

• Brush regularly. Canine toothpastes are flavored with chicken or and other flavors attractive to dogs, so your dog probably won’t complain. Rinse your dog’s mouth well after each brushing and you’ll see a big difference in a couple of days.
• Use dog formulated mouthwash. They are created to keep your dog’s gums healthy can treat one likely cause of bad breath.
• Give your dog dental chews and dental toys. Avoid giving cooked bones, as they tend to splinter, which can cause injury and choking. Many toys have built-in toothbrushes!

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