Good oral hygiene is just as important for dogs as it is for us humans. But, getting your pet pooch to use dog toothpaste and a dog toothbrush is not always easy. As a result, your four-legged friend’s breath is often less than fresh. So, what can you do if your dog puts up a fight a teeth cleaning time or has breath that could knock you out at a distance?
One answer is to invest in a dog dental spray. But, with so many different types of sprays on the market, how do you pick one that is right for your dog and which provides the dog dental care you want? This is where our panel of pet experts and dog lovers come in. They have produced a list of the best dog dental sprays that are available to point you in the right direction.
Best Dog Dental Spray Buying Guide & FAQ
When considering dog teeth cleaning products for your furry friend, knowing the best products available is only half the answer. The other half is about knowing why these are the best and why you should be considering using such products. In this part of the guide we look at these and other frequently asked questions about dog dental care.
Things to Consider When Buying Dog Dental Spray
There are a wide range of dental sprays available for dogs and choosing between them can be difficult. One of your main considerations is of course whether your dog likes and allows you to use the spray that you choose. Much of this is down to the taste of the individual spray. However, there are some considerations that are universal, these include:
- Ease of use
Most sprays are simple to use and just require you to spray on the outside of your dog’s teeth and gums to be effective. If your dog does not like you being near their mouth, then choose a spray that is just as effective if sprayed on the muzzle and lip area and licked off by your dog. Alternatively, you can buy sprays that can be added to your dog’s water. The effect is the same, but without the mess and stress of getting your dog to open their mouth or you needing to lift their lips to administer the spray.
- Purpose of the spray
Sprays vary in their intended purpose. Some are designed to simply mask bad breath, while others are designed to deal with bacteria in the mouth, which is the root cause of most unpleasant smell emanating from your dog’s mouth. Those intended to simply mask smells have no longer term health benefits can could stop you from identifying potential issues with your dog’s periodontal health.
- Intended usage
It is important to check that any spray you are considering is intended for use with dogs. Human dental sprays can be harmful to dogs and should be avoided. If a spray states that it can be used on multiple pets, double check that it includes dogs. Never use a dog dental spray on cats unless it specifically states that it is safe to do so.
Some dental sprays for dog contain either artificial or natural alternatives to sugar to encourage your dog to lick the spray and spread it around their mouth. While aspartame and stevia are unlikely to cause any major issues in dogs, other sweeteners may do so. One such sweetener is xylitol, which causes sudden drops in blood sugar and which can cause seizures and liver failure. Products with xylitol should be avoided completely. Other sweeteners can act as laxatives and potentially cause stomach upsets in large doses, so ensure that if the spray dose contain them, it is only a small amount.
The dangers associated with dogs ingesting alcohol are well known. Concerns around alcohol and pets tend to center on them drinking alcohol that is meant for their owner rather than them. However, grain alcohol or ethyl is a common ingredient in many dental sprays for dogs. It is used as a suspending liquid and a preservative. Because it a naturally occurring alcohol its inclusion does not stop a product from being labelled as all-natural. However, in large doses it can still cause ongoing and even life limiting health problems for your dog. When choosing a spray for your pet, choose one that either does not contain any alcohol or with a very low percentage of grain alcohol. Ensure that you do not use more than the recommended dosage for your dog’s weight and be aware of the signs and symptoms of alcohol toxicity in dogs.
Benefits of Using Dog Dental Spray
The main benefit of a dog dental spray is that it helps to eliminate bad breath and the root causes of bad breath, thus improving your dog’s dental health and wellbeing. Such sprays can also help soften and remove plaque and tartar, which if allowed to build over time can cause tooth decay and lead to the need for veterinary visits and even dentistry under aesthetic. Other benefits include:
- Reduced bacteria in the mouth
- Less tooth decay
- Cleaner teeth
- Healthier gums
- Improved immunity
Q: How do they work?
A: Generally, dog dental sprays work by reacting with your dog’s saliva, creating an enzyme that prevents the growth of bacteria. It is bacteria that is the root cause of tooth decay, plaque, and tartar build-up, as well as the most common cause of bad breath.
To ensure that the spray is as effective as possible most manufacturers recommend that your dog does not eat for at least half an hour either side of using the spray. This allows time for the enzyme to get to work softening the plaque and ensures that it is not prevented from getting to the teeth and along the gumline by fresh food particles.
Dental sprays work best when they are used in conjunction with teeth cleaning using dog toothpaste and toothbrushes, and regular dental checkups with your regular veterinarian.
Q: Does the spray have alcohol content?
A: Some sprays contain a small amount of grain alcohol as a liquid suspension and preservative. Care needs to be taken with grain alcohol as it can lead to alcohol toxicity in dogs. Out top pick does not contain any alcohol and other sprays on the best dog dental spray list only contain small amounts of grain alcohol. It is important to follow manufacturers guidelines on the amount of spray to use for your dog’s weight to prevent any potential issues with the alcohol or any other ingredients.
Q: Does it cause nausea or allergies in dogs?
A: Unless your dog has an allergy or intolerance to a specific ingredient, they none of the sprays on the list should cause nausea or allergies. If you are unsure, then test a small amount with your dog first and monitor carefully of adverse reactions. Avoid any sprays that contain Xylitol as this sweetener is known to cause adverse reactions in dogs.
Q: Does it have any other ingredients that are known to cause problems in dogs?
A: None of the products on the best dog dental spray list contain ingredients known to cause problems in dogs, with the exception of grain alcohol. However, in small doses and as long as the spray is used as recommended this should cause no problems. If you are concerned or your dog has any known health conditions, particularly any that affect their liver, you should consult your veterinarian before using any of the products on the list.
Q: How much of a dog dental spray should I use?
A: Most spray amounts are determined by the weight of your dog, as is the frequency with which the spray should be used. Follow the manufacturers recommendations and never use more than is stated in the dosage guidelines.
Our Top Pick
Our top pick when it comes to the best dog dental spray is Premium Pet Dental Spray by Pets Are Kids Too. This spray is easy to use, alcohol free, and can be used directly in your dog’s mouth, added to their water bowl, or used in a combination of both. The spray contains no toxic ingredients and is free of grain alcohol and pesticides. It has a taste that your pet pooch will enjoy while it works to reduce the risk of your dog developing oral disease. The spray contains ingredients that have antiseptic properties, and which work at an enzymatic level to eliminate the root cause of problems such as bacteria growth, plaque, tartar, and bad breath. An additional benefit is that the spray is safe to use with dogs and cats.
By following the tips in our buying guide and choosing one of the dental sprays from our list you can ensure that your dog’s breath is more pleasant and reduce the risk of periodontal disease in your pet pooch. Remember that these sprays work best as part of a holistic approach to your dog’s dental hygiene and tooth cleaning routine.