Dental Health - Additives for Food & Water
with Allison Shalla of homeoPAWthic, Wellness Advocate

I am skeptical of most "fresh breath" water additives, especially those with unhealthy ingredients like sugar. The key to preventing bad breath is fixing the underlying problem - plaque, bacteria and unhealthy gums! However, there are a few food & water additives that I have used personally and have seen good results.


Water Additives

An option increasing in popularity are water additives, which help soften the tarter build up, which can then be easily scraped off when your pet is offered something to chew on. Here are a few that I have tested with my own dogs.


1) Aerobic Oxygen: Be sure if you purchase this product, you get the official Aerobic Oxygen which has been through extensive clinical trials. Other products have come onto the market claiming to be Stabilized Oxygen such as Hydrogen Peroxide or other Chlorine Dioxide combinations. These are toxic products and can have severe side effects. Aerobic Oxygen is a cleanser, and destroys bacteria. This can be used by adding the drops to water daily or also mixed with distilled water in a spritzer bottle and sprayed onto teeth and gums.


2) Healthy Mouth: cleans teeth and gums, reducing plaque, oral bacteria that causes inflammation leading to dental disease and inhibiting the bacteria and germs that are the source of bad breath. It contains all natural ingredients like chlorophyll. It has also been found to soften plaque, making the use of tooth brushing even more effective.


3) Bluestem: is another water additive with one advantage to the others I've mentioned...It comes in different flavours. I personally have had a challenge getting my crew to drink their water with the other products added. This one is a hit. Bluestem uses food-grade ingredients to break down plaque and tartar and is available in 4 flavours.


Food Additives

There are several options for powders that you can add to your pet’s food. These additives contain ingredients that are mildly abrasive or that are designed to break down plaque and help fight the unwanted bacteria which can cause infection. The abrasion helps to polish the teeth and remove tarter, where bacteria can reside and build up. Here are some powders that I have reviewed:


1) ProDen PlaqueOff®Powder: this is a granulated powder, rich in natural iodine and contains important vitamins and minerals. It is made of just 1 ingredient - dried seaweed meal!


2) VetriScience Perio Support: this is another powder that is sprinkled over food that contains a more comprehensive ingredient list including "Natural Zeolites", probiotics, cranberry powder, Yucca schidigera (a common ingredient in commercial dog food), taurine & zinc. It claims to freshen breath and remove tartar. Over 550 users on Amazon have given it a 4.5 star review.


3) The Missing Link Kelp & Probiotic Formula: The Missing Link are a company I really like and I recommend their products often for various health benefits. This formula USDA Certified Organic, and is designed with organic kelp, flaxseed, dried pumpkin and probiotics. This powder combines granular ingredients to help "brush" the teeth while eating as well as ingredients like kelp that are known to break down plaque.


I'd love to hear from you if you have tried any of these products or similar ones and what your results have been.


THE FINAL WORD: If you choose to use any food or water additive, make sure it is free of

xylitol, artificial colours, preservatives, and sugar. High quality water additives with proven results can be a good ADDITION to your pets oral care routine. But the single most effective mode of cleaning teeth is the mechanical action of brushing, whether it be with a toothbrush or a finger brush. Make brushing part of your daily routine - over 80% of pets have poor dental health and a healthy mouth is crucial to long term health!