Wondering whether to brush or not to brush? What about dog toothpaste? What's really in the stuff and how can we avoid dirty teeth in the first place? Not to mention bad breath.
Something I find not so humorous is the ingredient in toothpaste that actually promotes tooth decay. Might be in your family toothpaste as well.
If you must know, it's a form of SUGAR.
I hope that subtitle makes you laugh. . . and it's true. As a dog health coach known for my honesty, I cannot believe all the
stuff people buy for their dogs in hopes of changing something they have
the power to change without all the stuff. Dog toothpaste is definitely one of those things. It's a matter of natural balance - not chemicals.
First of all, dogs do not spit out toothpaste. They eat it. And if they eat it, do they really need more chemicals? NO. Really, didn't you think there were chemicals in that beef or chicken flavored stuff you put on a toothbrush?
Just for fun - okay it isn't fun but you want to be aware of what some of this stuff does so I took a popular toothpaste, an oral gel and some teeth wipes. I wrote down the ingredients for you. To simplify, I've listed all the dog toothpaste ingredients in the first list and what they can do to the body in the second list.
Sorbitol, Xanthan Gum, Purified Water, Titanium Dioxide, Dicalcium Phosphate Anhydrous, Sodium Benzoate, Hydrated Silica, Potassium Thiocyanate, Glycerin, Glucose Oxidase, Poultry Digest, Lactoperoxidase, Dextrose
A laxative, a carbohydrate thickening agent , irritant and suspected carcinogen, cause constipation and upset stomach, abdominal or stomach pain or cramps, blurred vision, decreased urine, dry mouth, fatigue, flushed, dry skin, enzyme from fungus & insects with antibacterial properties, undetermined animal tissue that has not undergone decomposition (think roadkill), another antibacterial and a form of sugar
Doesn't that sound yummy?
Of course we don't have to worry about the side effects of certain ingredients since our dogs spit out the toothpaste right?
Dog Toothpaste as an Oral Gel - List of Ingredients
Purified water, natural derived alcohol, glycerin, spearmint, natural cleanser, carbomer chlorophyll, green tea leaf extract.
Sounds much better doesn't it? Beware of the ingredient natural cleanser. If they won't tell you exactly what it is you can and should assume it's bad. And the final, fearful fact? The warning under the ingredients stating "For external use only" I've never seen external teeth have you?
Just guessing here, but this looks like big red flag they're legal staff is expecting to be sued at some point.
Have you taught your dog to spit out after you brush? Perhaps it's time.
Ingredients: 0.1% Chlorhexidine Gluconate and Sodium Hexametaphosphate
Cautions on package: If irritation occurs, discontinue use and consult with your veterinarian.
Note: If you look up Chlorhexidine Gluconate on web MD, under side effects, cautions, interactions and doses it only says "Consult your pharmacist" and has never been evaluated by the FDA
Sodium Hexametaphosphate. As the name implies, it is a form of salt. No problem right? On the website befoodsmart.com I copied this:
Possible Health Effects of Sodium Hexametaphosphate:
This additive contains phosphorus which is an essential nutrient, but when consumed without the balance of other minerals, may affect kidneys, heart and bones. In animal studies, the following effects were reported: pale and swollen kidneys, increased kidney weights, bone decalcification, muscle fiber size changes, hyperplasia and severe skin irritations.
And if you laugh at the may cause part, I promise you wouldn't be laughing if it happened to your dog. In fact I'm pretty sure you wouldn't even think of teeth cleaning products when you get the lab results from your vet.
Bottom Line When it Comes to Your Dog's Health
Please consider everything you allow on both the inside and outside of your dog. Everything. Chemicals add up quicker than you can imagine. And using chemical antibacterial agents could have the opposite affect of what we want in the long run.
If you do brush your dog's teeth, keep it simple. Dampen the brush and stick in in baking soda. Brush away. A natural way to balance the bacteria in the mouth would be to make a thick paste with
The truth is dogs had relatively clean teeth for centuries without our help. What went wrong? What happened?
Dogs are carnivores. They need raw meat, bones, organs an fats. There is absolutely no need for carbohydrates in a dogs diet. Carbohydrates (think grains, taters and even fruits and veggies) are converted to SUGAR, the perfect food for the bad bacteria on your dog's teeth.
Bacteria is alive and it's smart. It wants to survive. It'll morph and it's learned to protect itself by creating and surrounding itself with an unhealthy, sticky, slime called biofilm.
Next week we'll talk about biofilm again including other places it hides in the body and how we can begin to break it down naturally to begin regaining balance in the body so it can take care of itself.
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My Own Story of Better Teeth without Dog Toothpaste
I once adopted an older dog. Trust me, his teeth were NOT pretty. Yet miraculously after several months on a raw diet his teeth improved immensely, along with his breath. When he saw a vet when he was 13 she examined his teeth, remarked at how nice they looked and asked how many times his teeth had been cleaned. The answer which left her with her mouth hanging open?
Health is far simpler than many people think.
Learn it, do it, share it.