Very few dogs enjoy having their teeth brushed, but that doesn’t mean that dental care is any less important. So, what do you do if your dog runs for the hills every time you pull out the toothbrush? If brushing isn’t an option, or if you’re looking to improve your dog’s dental care routine, you may want to experiment with the use of water additives for dogs.
Studies have found that as much as 80% of dogs will experience some degree of periodontal disease by the young age of 2. Not only is this uncomfortable for our dogs, but it can also lead to more serious health complications.
If this is your first time hearing about dog water additives, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’re going to discuss what water additives are, how they can benefit your dog’s dental health, which products we recommend, and how to incorporate these products into your dog’s overall dental care routine.
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How Do Water Additives for Dogs Work?
Dog water additives are liquids that are added to your dog’s water bowl daily. Like a human mouthwash product, they are formulated to clean your dog’s teeth and freshen their breath. Each product features enzymatic ingredients or antimicrobial agents that work to kill the bacteria in the mouth that cause bad breath, tartar buildup, and plaque formation.
The best part about using these products is how easy they are for you, the pet parent. All you have to do is remember to add it to your dog’s water every day. Each time that they drink from their dish, they will be cleaning their teeth.
This shouldn’t be seen as an alternative to brushing or professional dental cleanings. While this product does a good job, there is no comparison. Water additives for dogs are only part of a bigger dental health plan for your pup. However, for dogs that are completely opposed to having their teeth brushed, it is a great option to care for your dog’s teeth between professional cleanings.
7 Top Water Additives for Dogs
Both odorless and tasteless, your dog will have no reason to suspect that there has been anything added to their water. This makes it a good choice for even the pickiest pups. Carefully tested and held to the highest standards, this product carries the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) Seal of Acceptance for its ability to control plaque. It has also earned the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) Quality Seal.
This product has been formulated with both dogs and cats in mind making it a great choice for multi-pet households. The company makes the claim that it is 100% non-toxic, odorless, and tasteless, and my pets seem to agree (even our picky diva cat)! Made in the United States and free from animal testing, it’s not only a product that works, but also one that you can feel confident using.
Another odorless option that has earned the VOHC Seal of Acceptance and NASC Quality Seal, this water additive promises to keep your dog’s breath fresh for up to 12 hours at a time. This is another product that has been made in the USA with high-quality, all-natural ingredients. They take it a step further for those interested in minimizing their eco-footprint by guaranteeing the use of only plant-based ingredients and eco-friendly packaging.
Marketed as a “premium product”, this additive for dog water is carefully tested in FDA-registered facilities in the USA to ensure that everything is safe for your dog. This product is 100% free from any sugars, alcohol, or detergents, including only pet-safe ingredients to improve your dog’s overall health. But it may not be a feasible option for those on a budget as it is the highest price point of any of the products on our list.
This product takes a slightly different approach than the other water additives for dogs on our list. In addition to cleaning your dog’s teeth and helping to prevent future plaque build-up, it also includes a natural prebiotic called inulin. Inulin is absorbed in the stomach to encourage the growth of helpful bacteria, boosting your dog’s digestive system, which helps to address often overlooked internal causes of bad breath.
Using the company’s patented LP3 and MD2 Enzyme Systems, this product is effective both in reducing odor-causing bacteria and preventing plaque from being able to bind to the surface of the teeth moving forward. The gentle formula is also designed to support pets with inflamed gums, food aversions, or dry mouth. The convenient pump bottle packaging makes it easy to measure out the correct dose. While the product is flavorless, some pet owners report that their pets can smell that the product is in their water, turning them away.
Unlike the other options on this list, this Ark Naturals product is portioned out in little packages. If you’re someone who travels regularly or has a hard time with measuring out water additives for dogs and cats, this makes the process that much easier. The product only needs to be added to your dog’s water three times per week instead of daily but be warned – this also makes it possible for your dog to overdose. Monitor your dog’s water intake levels to make sure they aren’t drinking excessively.
More Ways to Support Your Dog’s Dental Health
When considering your dog’s dental health journey, there are more factors to consider than selecting your favorite water additives for dogs. These products are only one piece of a larger puzzle.
The first step that you can take as a loving dog parent is to take the time to regularly inspect your dog’s teeth and gums as recommended in the Pet Health 5 monthly exam. You want to check for any areas of concern that may require medical attention including loose or missing teeth, bleeding gums, or signs of infection. Ideally, we would like to prevent any dental problems from occurring, but if our dogs do experience a problem, catching it early can prevent a lot of pain and discomfort.
Make brushing your dog’s teeth part of your regular routine. This should be done with dog-friendly toothpaste as human toothpaste often contains ingredients that are toxic to your pup.
If your dog is uncomfortable with the toothbrush, it’s never too late to introduce this tool. Begin by placing the toothbrush on the floor and allowing your dog to check it out. When they are comfortable with it, add some tasty dog toothpaste that they can lick off the brush allowing you to bring it closer to their mouth. Over time, you’ll be able to place the toothbrush in your dog’s mouth and then you can introduce the brushing movement.
Other dog-approved products that you can use to boost your dog’s dental health include dental toys, dental treats, and dental chews.
Keeping your dog’s teeth clean doesn’t have to be difficult. By using dental care alternatives like water additives for dogs in combination with regular brushing and professional cleanings, you can improve your dog’s dental health and freshen their breath. Not only will it improve your dog’s quality of life, but it will also make those puppy kisses far more enjoyable for everyone involved!
Have you ever tried using water additives for dogs? If so, what products did you try?
Your dog’s dental care is an important part of their overall health and well-being. Are you interested in learning more about how to make your dog’s health a priority?
Sign-up for the Pet Health 5 and we will send you a reminder each month on the 5th to check five important health-related stats on your dog, including an exam of their teeth and gums. All you need to do is take the time to follow our simple checklist and log your dog’s health stats.
Your pet’s health is an important aspect of helping them to live long and happy lives. You can start today by checking your dog’s teeth, mouth, and gums and by signing up for Pet Health 5.
About the Author: Britt Kascjak is a proud pet mom, sharing her heart (and her home) with her “pack” which includes her husband John, their 3 dogs – Daviana, Indiana, and Lucifer – and their 2 cats – Pippen and Jinx. She has been active in the animal rescue community for over 15 years, volunteering, fostering and advocating for organizations across Canada and the US. In her free time, she enjoys traveling around the country camping, hiking, and canoeing with her pets.