Brushing dogs teeth can be a real pain. Your Morkie hates it. You hate it. It’s a hassle. That’s why I was really excited when I saw the results of this new product. It doesn’t replace everything you need to do for your dog’s dental health, but wow! It goes a long way.

This little pup nabbed her father’s dentures while he was sleeping and this is the result. Read more in People Magazine

Brushing your Morkie’s teeth is about more than that bright smile.

Clean teeth are an important part of his overall health – more than you might imagine.

Keeping ahead of plaque and tartar by brushing dog’s teeth

Your #1 goal is to keep the clear film called plaque from building up on your dog’s teeth and turning into hard, yellow tartar. You can’t get tartar off with a toothbrush. Now your Morkie needs to have dental cleaning at the Veterinarians. That means he has to be put under anesthetic, with all its associated risks, AND it’s a lot of money.

I tried this water additive, called "TropiClean Fresh Breath" and was blown away by the results

What is it?

Other versions 

You might see a different bottle, and TropiClean is also available in a gel that you wipe on your dog’s teeth, and in different-looking bottles.

How does it work?

TropiClean is an additive you put in your Morkie’s water every day.

It fights the build-up of tartar, and eventual plaque, keeping your dog’s teeth cleaner. (And his breath fresh, yaay!) It works by counteracting bacteria and any fungii.

TropiClean ingredients are:

Purified Water, Glycerin, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Cetylpyridinium Chloride, Chlorophyll, Zinc Gluconate, Green Tea Leaf Extract*

It seems to work — AND, it has worked to dissolve existing plaque on our big dog’s teeth.

Glycerin is considered a safe, but nutritionally empty ingredient. It is used to bind ingredients and as a sweetener.

Potassium Sorbate is considered safe for both dogs and cats in limited amounts. It is commonly used in semi-moist foods to preserve it. In an ideal world we wouldn’t need preservatives, but of all of them, this is among the safest. (Unsafe preservatives in dog food include ethoxyquin and BHT)

Citric Acid – not to be fondued with Vitamin C which is ascorbic acid. Large amounts can irritate a dog’s digestive tract.

Cetylpyridinium Chloride is used to kill bacteria and fungus in animals and people. Large amounts can cause diarrhea in some dogs.

Chlorophyll is a green pigment found in nearly all plants and algae. It helps to cleanse cells, fight infection, heal wounds and detoxify. (And it’s why many dogs who don’t feel well will instinctively eat grass.)

Zinc Gluconate is highly absorbable and easily used by your dog’s body. It’s an important mineral for overall health, in small, safe amounts. Zinc deficiency can actually be fatal – not that these liquid additives can address shortfalls like that.

Green tea. A small amount will not hurt your dog at all. In large amounts, it can be too stimulating. Holistic Vets strongly recommend it for dogs, horses and even aquarium fish!

Leaf extract is a supplement extracted from the leaves of trees, as you’d expect. It’s a natural antibiotic and antioxidant. Again, holistic Vets are very high on this supplement, especially the olive leaf powder version.

What  about other products?

A note from Deb

deb and tink on webcam

I happened to have this product at home and tried it; when it worked and I decided to share the news, I researched a number of similar products online.

There are similar water additives out there, but I found TropiClean to be the most straightforward, had the best reviews, and was priced well. ( Your Vet can probably offer you something that looks more ‘scientific’ or medical but ca-ching!)

One thing I did read, was that for some dogs, these water additives just didn’t work. But if you think it’s worth a try and better than the toothbrushing struggle, then go for it.

Bunny’s Tale

Another dog joined our household last summer: a Golden Retriever breeding bitch who wasn’t producing.

She came with a stupid name that we changed to Bunny because she is sooo sweet, despite a less-than-ideal upbringing in a professional kennel/breeder’s facility. For example, she had never encountered stairs, or living room furniture or potato chips.  Anyway… her teeth were super-disgusting.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a before picture of them, but they looked exactly like the one at top right. Ugh. We plan to have her teeth properly cleaned and scaled by the Vet but in the meantime, I tried TropiClean on her.  AMAZING results as  you can see in Bunny’s picture, bottom right.

This is exactly how poor Bunny's teeth looked before.

This is exactly how poor Bunny’s teeth looked before.

After about two weeks, Bunny's teeth are far from perfect, but they are a LOT better and her breath is good.

After about two weeks, Bunny’s teeth are far from perfect, but they are a LOT better and her breath is good.

Where can you get TropiClean Fresh Breath?

Try your local pet store, or get it at or from other sites including and

Is your dog’s dental work covered by insurance?

Some pet insurance programs include dental care as part of wellness coverage. These policies may help cover regular cleaning, accidental damage, or both. Look at plans that include routine care and wellness procedures as well as major health events.

Read more about how this works, here on 


How many teeth do dogs have anyway?

Lots more than us! Adult dogs have 42 permanent teeth (we have 32, not counting any wisdom teeth). Puppies have 28 baby teeth which they’ll lose starting around 12 weeks.

Your dog’s overall diet is key to his good health, including dental health. But myths like “kibble helps clean your dog’s teeth” are just that – myths. If hard crunch food cleaned teeth, wouldn’t we eat a lot more potato chips?

Can I use my own toothpaste on my dog?

NO! Our toothpaste is very bad for dogs. Most toothpaste contains FLUORIDE which is poisonous to dogs.

You can buy special dog-formulated toothpaste, or simply use baking soda. Or, find some Make-It-Yourself recipes for dog toothpaste here at

Can dogs regrow their teeth?

No they can’t. Only sharks can regrow teeth. That’s why we have to take good care of our teeth, and our dog’s. Sharks, nah.

What’s that HUGE tooth in the middle of my dog’s jaw?

This is the largest tooth in your dog’s mouth and it’s called the carnassial. It has three long roots that extend right up into your dog’s sinuses. If an abscess forms, it can look like a serious eye infection.


Can I use Listerine for my dog’s bad breath?

NOOOO! Most mouthwashes for us contain a great deal of alcohol, among other poisonous ingredients. and dogs will definitely swallow mouthwash, unlike most of us :)

TOMORROW: Dog bad breath