Pros: dogs will like the taste of the toothpaste
Cons: toothbrushes are standard
I just spent $400 at the vet getting my 16 lb, 8 year old dog's teeth cleaned. Her teeth were full of plaque, but recently, her breath started smelling really awful. I knew she needed a professional cleaning, but I had been putting it off because I was fearful of putting her under anesthesia. I tried non-anesthetic teeth cleaning, but she was uncooperative. I felt terrible that it didn't turn out to just be standard cleaning. She had to have seven teeth pulled! Had I been more diligent in maintaining her dental health on a daily basis over the course of her lifetime, she would probably still have all her teeth and could've avoided risky surgery under anesthesia at her age.
When I finally decided to get her teeth cleaned, I did a lot of research on dental care for dogs. Apparently, there are tons of ways you can maintain your dog's dental health at home. This includes brushing teeth, giving dental treats, and applying other types of treatments. Daily brushing of your dog's teeth is one of the best things you should do to keep your dog's teeth healthy. Plaque easily builds up within 24 hours. Bacteria from plaque and tartar that builds up below the gumline can enter the bloodstream and cause serious damage to a dog's internal organs. The Petrodex Dental Care Kit comes with everything you need to help prevent plaque and tarter build-up: a double-ended toothbrush, a fingerbrush, and a tube of toothpaste.
The double-ended toothbrush is useful. It has a smaller head on one end for smaller teeth/mouths and a larger head on the other end for larger teeth/mouths. I tend to use both sides, but the larger side seems more effective for even my dog's small mouth. I can brush the teeth and massage the gums at the same time. The fingerbrush is nice, but a little flimsy. It is a little big for my finger, so I can't seem to firmly brush her teeth with it.
I've tried other dog toothpastes before, but she seems to really like the Petrodex Enzymatic toothpaste in this kit. It comes in a poultry or beef flavor 2.5 oz tube. The ingredients for the chicken flavor are: Sorbitol, Purified Water, Dicalcium Phosphate, Hydrated Silica, Glycerin, Poultry Digest, Dextrose, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Benzoate, Glucose Oxidase (Aspergillus niger). She loves to try to lick it up while I'm brushing her teeth. The only problem is, once the toothpaste disappears from the brush, she tends to want to close her mouth and go back to her usual routine. The toothpaste doesn't foam or anything. It just seems to disappear, so I have to apply it on the brush several times to brush her whole mouth. The toothpaste is hydrogen-peroxide producing and does not require rinsing. Even though the toothpaste is supposed to be safe, it's probably not a good idea to use a lot. I'm hoping that I can start to use less and less as she starts to become more comfortable with the idea of me brushing her teeth.
The toothbrushes and toothpaste are also available for purchase individually, but you get a better value in the kit. The toothbrushes are awkward for my little dog's mouth, but will do the job. I will probably purchase Petrodex Finger Toothbrush Gloves, which have nubby fingertips which will make it easier for me to clean each tooth thoroughly with the most amount of comfort for her. Other dental products which the vet agreed was good for a dog's dental health include Greenies dog treats and Oravet gel, if used properly.