It’s estimated that less than 1% of dog owners brush their dog’s teeth on a regular basis, and nearly 80% of dogs suffer from some form of periodontal disease. Your dog’s dental health is vital to their well-being.
After years of neglect, your dog’s teeth may be more than an unsightly color — they may be a breeding ground for bacteria, which can lead to serious health issues. Fortunately, periodontal disease is reversible and preventable. Besides paying your veterinarian for professional cleaning, you can consider more affordable and daily options.
If you’re new to the world of dog teeth hygiene and aren’t sure where to start, read on. We’ve ranked and reviewed the 10 best dog plaque removers and included pros and cons lists for your quick reference, as well as a thoughtful buyer’s guide to help you make an informed purchase.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites for 2020
The 10 Best Dog Plaque Removers
1. VETRISCIENCE Dental Health Powder – Best Overall
We recommend Vetriscience Laboratories dental health powder as our top pick for the best overall dog plaque remover product. You won’t have to worry about using a toothbrush, since you sprinkle the convenient powder onto your dog’s food at mealtime.
Ideal for supporting clean teeth and fresh breath between cleanings, this product claims that within 28 days, it reduces plaque by 20% and tartar by 18%. This product contains key ingredients that target your dog’s dental needs. A blend of minerals called Natural Zeolites, zinc, taurine and cranberry powder prevent plaque from forming, while probiotics maintain a healthy bacteria level in your dog’s mouth. It also incorporates vegetable fats for flavor and improved gum health.
We found that this product has a high level of success and many dogs like the taste. As with any ingested product, however, your dog may not care for the flavor, or in rare instances, your dog may experience stomach upset.
2. Arm & Hammer Dog Dental Care – Best Value
For the best dog plaque remover for the money, we suggest Arm & Hammer dog dental care. For a low price, this kit comes with everything you’ll need to properly clean your dog’s teeth. In addition to Arm & Hammer toothpaste, the dental care kit comes with a dual-end brush and finger brush to accommodate all sizes of dog.
Intended for use two or three times a week, the baking soda-based toothpaste is safe and gentle for all dogs, including puppies. If your dog will allow you to brush their teeth, this product successfully reduces tartar buildup, freshens bad breath, and whitens your dog’s teeth.
We found that this product works quickly and noticeably. However, the toothpaste may have an unpleasant odor and a large number of dogs do not care for the taste.
Easy to use and highly effective, Petlab Co. Dental Formula is our premium choice for a dog plaque remover. The expert formula reduces the buildup of plaque and tartar, prevents oral ailments by strengthening gums, whitens your dog’s teeth, and freshens their breath.
There’s no need to fight with your dog and a toothbrush with this product. It can be easily used every day by adding one teaspoon to your dog’s water bowl. Because it’s odorless, colorless, and tasteless, your dog won’t turn up their nose at it.
Ideal for daily maintenance, this plaque remover does not have added sugar, alcohol, detergents, or additives. Its active ingredients include sodium bicarbonate, potassium sorbate, and sodium benzoate. Be aware, however, that some studies have indicated that sodium benzoate may not be safe for dogs.
4. Nylabone Dog Liquid Plaque Remover
For another convenient product that you simply add to your dog’s water bowl, Nylabone Advanced Oral Care plaque remover simply requires you to add one teaspoon to 32 ounces of water a day for deep teeth cleaning.
This product works by altering the pH in your dog’s saliva to control tartar, reduce plaque, and freshen your dog’s breath. Plus, it costs significantly less than our premium choice.
We placed this product at lower ranking due to most dogs detecting it in their water and then refusing to consume it. Also, this product also contains ingredients that some researchers caution as potentially unsafe, such as sodium benzoate, sodium hexametaphosphate, and the artificial color FD&C Blue 1.
5. Proden Plaqueoff Animal Powder
Ideal for dogs who aren’t fans of tooth brushing, Proden Plaqueoff animal powder can be added to your dog’s wet or dry food. Within two to eight weeks, most dogs will have noticeable improvements in their breath, as well as reduced plaque and tartar buildup on their teeth and gums.
This product works through saliva to clean and protect teeth. Produced to target unwanted bacterial biofilm in your dog’s mouth, Proden Plaqueoff is made with a specific strain of seaweed harvested from Scandinavia that’s known to create a protective barrier in dogs’ mouths.
Human grade and human tested, this product does not contain additives or chemicals. However, we found that some dogs experienced an upset stomach with this product. Additionally, your dog may not like the taste, and the level of effectiveness may vary. Also, the cost is moderately expensive.
6. Petrodex 484023 Enzymatic Toothpaste
If your dog tolerates toothbrushing and you’re in the market for an effective toothpaste, look into Petrodex Enzymatic toothpaste. This product is specially formulated to reduce plaque and prevent tartar formation while fighting bad breath and whitening your dog’s teeth.
The patented enzymes in this toothpaste do not create a foam, which eliminates the need for rinsing. You can use this toothpaste with your own dog toothbrush or purchase the compatible soft-bristled Petrodex dog toothbrush. When used two or three times a week, you should see positive results in a short amount of time.
This toothpaste has a poultry flavor that most dogs find agreeable but most humans find foul-smelling. While most dogs saw whiter teeth, many did not gain fresh breath. Also, this product may cause an upset stomach, and it contains the potentially harmful ingredient, sodium benzoate.
7. TropiClean Fresh Breath Gel
If you’d like to ditch the toothbrush route, you may be interested in TropiClean Fresh Breath Gel. With this product, you simply apply two drops of the gel directly into each side of your dog’s mouth.
Intended for daily use, this gel has a unique blend of natural ingredients, including green tea extract, which works to remove plaque and tartar, prevent new buildup, and provide fresh breath. You should see improvements in the health of your dog’s teeth and gums within 30 days.
We placed this product lower on the list due to varied levels of success from dog to dog. Also, some dogs developed stomach upset. This product contains alcohol, which may dry and irritate your dog’s gums after several uses.
8. Warren London Doggy Dental Spray
Applied directly to your dog’s teeth and gums or added to your dog’s water bowl, Warren London Doggy Dental Spray fights tartar, plaque, and gum disease. It also freshens your dog’s breath. This dental spray is intended to be an alternative to toothbrushing and works well to maintain your dog’s oral health between professional cleanings.
Made with six all-natural ingredients — distilled water, peppermint extract, cinnamon, honey, cloves, and aloe vera — you can feel confident that your dog won’t suffer an adverse reaction. You’ll most likely enjoy the spiced smell of this product, and we found that most dogs enjoy the flavor.
The few drawbacks of this spray include less effectiveness with whitening your dog’s teeth. Also, it likely will not remove the initial buildup of plaque and tartar in your dog’s mouth.
9. Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste
Included with the Vet’s Best Enzymatic dog toothpaste is a three-headed toothbrush that is designed to reach fully around your dog’s teeth for a more thorough cleaning. When used with the enzymatic toothpaste, your dog will have whiter teeth, with reduced tartar and plaque buildup, healthier gums, and fresher breath.
Veterinarian formulated for effectiveness and soothing qualities, this enzymatic toothpaste contains aloe, neem oil, grapefruit seed extract, baking soda, and enzymes. While studies are inconclusive, the ingredient neem oil is considered questionable for safe use. We did find a few instances of dogs reacting with stomach issues.
We placed this product as our second-to-last pick for two issues. First, we learned that a significant number of dogs did not like the taste. Second, many dog owners did not care for the toothbrush’s specially designed ability to properly clean their dog’s teeth.
10. EcoTime Dog Dental Wipes
With a swipe of EcoTime Dog Dental Wipes, you can clean your dog’s teeth of debris after mealtime. As long as your dog is agreeable to it, you can easily use this product twice a day without the mess of toothpaste.
These wipes remove both plaque and unhealthy bacteria while leaving your dog’s breath freshened. However, they’re not as astringent as a toothbrush and may not be able to remove hard tartar buildup.
While EcoTime promotes that it contains natural and safe ingredients, we found that it does contain methylparaben, sodium hexametaphosphate, and sodium benzoate, which have been found to cause adverse side effects in dogs.
After reading through our detailed reviews, along with our handy pros and cons lists, it’s understandable that you may still have questions about which dog plaque remover product is the best choice for your dog. In this quick buyer’s guide, we’ll go over which cleaning method is best, as well as which ingredients to avoid if you’re worried about adverse reactions.
What’s the most effective method of cleaning my dog’s teeth?
The answer to that question has to do with your dog’s willingness to allow you to work on their mouth. If you have an agreeable dog, then toothpaste and a toothbrush should remove most tartar buildup and the daily adhesion of plaque. However, any type of dental care is better than nothing at all.
Which ingredients should I avoid?
If possible, try to avoid the following ingredients that could potentially cause adverse reactions in your dog, from stomach issues to more severe reactions. These include alcohol, fluoride, grapefruit seed extract, methylparaben, sodium hexametaphosphate, artificial colors such as FD&C Blue 1, artificial flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives such as potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate, and antibacterial elements such as triclosan, in addition to possibly neem oil.
VETRISCIENCE Laboratories 0900988.005 Dental Health Powder earned our top pick as the best overall dog plaque remover. This convenient powder has a high level of success for reducing both plaque and tartar, as well as freshening your dog’s breath. You’ll see positive results within a month. This product contains multiple beneficial ingredients, and most dogs like the flavor.
For the best value, Arm & Hammer SF8170 Dog Dental Care comes in a kit that includes toothpaste, a dual brush, and a finger brush. The multiple brush sizes accommodate all sizes of dog. The safe, gentle, and effective toothpaste yields quick and noticeable results for reducing tartar, whitening teeth, and freshening breath.
Finally, we selected Petlab Co. Dental Formula as our premium choice for an easy-to-use product that you add directly to your dog’s water bowl for effective daily dental cleaning. This product works well to reduce plaque and tartar buildup, strengthen gums, whiten teeth, and freshen breath. Dogs will not protest to the flavor, as it’s tasteless. While this product does not contain sugar, alcohol, detergents, or additives, it does incorporate sodium benzoate, which could be harmful.
Your dog’s oral care shouldn’t have to be a worry or a hassle to accomplish. We hope that our top 10 list and buyer’s guide have given you a few options to try, as well as plenty of important information about improving the health of your dog’s teeth. With the right dental care product and routine, your dog will not only have whiter teeth and fresh breath but better overall health, which may add years to your beloved companion’s life.
Featured image credit: Rennett Stowe, Smiling Dog, Flickr
Emily started this blog out of pure passion. She LOVES her 3 dogs; Chew Barka, Cooper & Nelson, and spends countless hours every day playing with them.
When she’s not nerding out on dogs, you’ll find her on a snowboard or in the kitchen baking chocolate brownies.
She’s been featured in PetAware, Dogtime, and ModernDog.
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites for 2020
- The 10 Best Dog Plaque Removers
- 1. VETRISCIENCE Dental Health Powder – Best Overall
- 2. Arm & Hammer Dog Dental Care – Best Value
- 3. Petlab Co. Dental Formula – Premium Choice
- 4. Nylabone Dog Liquid Plaque Remover
- 5. Proden Plaqueoff Animal Powder
- 6. Petrodex 484023 Enzymatic Toothpaste
- 7. TropiClean Fresh Breath Gel
- 8. Warren London Doggy Dental Spray
- 9. Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste
- 10. EcoTime Dog Dental Wipes
- Buyer’s Guide