Dog Dental Health
Like many of you have probably experienced, my dogs don’t love having their teeth brushed. It’s enough of a routine that they tolerate it, but not for long. So I thought adding in a dog toothbrush toy to their dental hygiene habits might be more enjoyable for them (and also for me!).
Since more than 80% of dogs over the age of three have dental disease it’s something dog parents should be concerned about.
Dental disease, also known as Periodontal disease, can negatively affect a dog’s entire body. Your dog’s heart, liver, kidneys, pancreas and other internal organs can be damaged.
And of course no one wants their dog to be in pain, have bad breath, and need to undergo surgery for extractions.
Veterinarians recommend brushing your dog’s teeth every day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and dog toothpaste. Owners need to use toothpaste formulated especially for pets and not human toothpaste. Many toothpaste brands made for people contain Xylitol and artificial sweetener that’s toxic to dogs.
Since not many owners actually manage to brush their dog’s teeth every day, supplementing with chews or toys can be a good way to help clean your dog’s teeth between brushings.
Choosing a Dog Toothbrush Toy
Just so you know my review is unbiased, I purchased this toothbrush toy and toothpaste myself. This is not a sponsored post.
I looked through a lot of dog dental toothbrush toys on Amazon. My first choice would have been to get a dog toothbrush made in the USA because I would trust the materials more.
There was only one toothbrush chew toy made in the USA. It didn’t have many reviews and there were some not so great reviews.
So I finally settled on the Pamlulu Dog Chew Toothbrush.
I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
I chose the Pamlulu dog chew toothbrush for several reasons.
First, it got very high reviews on Amazon. I know those reviews can’t always be trusted, but many were well written explanations instead of the generic “great product!”.
Second, it was advertised as natural rubber. So even though it’s made in China, and I rarely buy anything for the dogs from China, I thought natural rubber should be hopefully okay. Also rubber is usually pretty tough for chewing, which is supposed to be the purpose of the toy.
The company advertised “2020 new upgraded natural and durable materials”. I guess we’ll see.
The other thing I liked about it was that there was a squeaker on the bottom. Our 2 year old Shepherd mix Finn loves squeakers, so I though it might make the toy more interesting to him.
Lastly, from the pictures it looked like it would be big enough for large dogs. Our three dogs all weigh in the 70-80 pound range so having a dog toothbrush toy that was large enough to stand up to their chewing was important.
I also chose a tube of CET enzymatic toothpaste in beef flavor. We usually use the CET vanilla mint for regular toothbrushing. But I thought since this was a toy and I wanted it to seem more fun for them I’d try the beef flavor.
The CET toothpaste is one our veterinarian recommends. It’s made in the USA, and contains special enzymes to reduce plaque. It comes in several flavors such as beef, vanilla mint, seafood, and poultry. If you have cats at home it can also be used for them (good luck, I’ve tried it 🙂 )
I looked into several types of homemade toothpaste and most of them are baking soda based. According to several veterinary sources, baking soda has a high alkaline content. When the dog swallows it they can get an upset stomach and digestive issues from the acid imbalance it causes.
If you’ve ever eaten a clump of baking soda accidentally in baked goods you also know it doesn’t taste great, so this could lead your dog to dislike brushing even more. So using a flavored enzymatic toothpaste seems to be the way to go, at least for us.
Testing Out The Dog Toothbrush Toy
So we waited a couple of days and the Amazon package arrived. This is what the products looked like in their packages. The dog toothbrush toy seemed heavy and decent size, probably about the size of an adult hand.
It comes with a small brush that’s good for cleaning in the little arms on the “cactus”.
The packaging the toy comes in states there’s a 100% money back guarantee.
Slightly concerning is a business card that comes with it asking for reviews on Amazon in return for $5 back from the company.
Okay, let’s get to the good stuff. I tried the dog toothbrush toy with all three of my dogs in three ways: toy alone, toy with beef toothpaste, and toy with peanut butter.
The description for the toothbrush toy said it had “faint milk scent and sweet smell” that dogs would like. The toy did smell slightly sweet to me.
Dog Toothbrush Toy Results
|Dog Toothbrush Toy Only||Toy With Toothpaste||Toy With Peanut Butter|
|Casey||Zero interest.||Licked the toothpaste off the main part of the toy.||Very excited. Licked all the peanut butter off the main part of the toy and chewed at the small arms on the cactus to get at the peanut butter “stuck” in there.|
|Riley||No interest. Less than zero.||Little interest in the toothpaste. Took a couple of licks.||Licked all the peanut butter off he could get at. Didn’t chew at all.|
|Finn||Took the toy right away. Very intrigued by the squeaker. Chewed on the bottom of the toy to make it squeak.||Licked all the toothpaste off.||Licked off peanut butter and chewed on the toy for a couple of minutes. Tried to pull off the little knobby fingers unsuccessfully with his front teeth. Continued to chew on the squeaker area as well.|
Recommendations For The Dog Toothbrush Toy
So the results were mixed. Finn, our youngest dog and most avid chewer, enjoyed the toy the most. A lot of that had to do with the squeaker making it more exciting. He did chew on the toy part briefly with peanut butter on it, but not so much with the toothpaste.
Casey and Riley didn’t have much interest in chewing at all, although Casey did chew briefly mainly out of frustration at having PB stuck in the arms of the cactus.
- The toy was well-made with heavy rubber
- The small brush to clean difficult to reach places was appreciated
- The squeaker was a big hit with our youngest dog
- After two out of three dogs chewed on it, there was hardly a bite mark on it
- It seems like it would be very sturdy for dogs to chew on for a few minutes at a time under supervision
- The dogs had very little interest in it without something spread on it
- Finn who chewed it the most liked chewing the bottom squeaker section which doesn’t have any little cleaning bristles
- Even with smelly toothpaste and peanut butter spread on it the dogs didn’t chew for long
This would work best for you if your dog:
- Likes chewing on rubber toys like Kong toys
- Is very interested in squeakers
- Can’t stand having anything left in a Kong. You can put the toothpaste or PB in the “arms” of the cactus and it’s very difficult to get out. That’s the part that drove Casey crazy and made her actually chew on the toy.
- Really loves the taste of their dog toothpaste
I’ll be keeping the dog toothbrush toy in our toy lineup with the knowledge that Finn will probably be the only one to play with it. And mainly for the squeaker. Sigh.
If you decide to try the toy with your pup or pups, remember it’s recommended for use for 3-5 minutes at a time under supervision.
And you’ll still need to brush your dog’s teeth, so don’t throw their real toothbrush out yet!
Have you tried any alternative dental toys or products? We’d love to know what you liked (or didn’t like!) about them. Please let us know!
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