Choosing a Good Toothpaste and Oral Rinse for Your Dog an Cat
Brushing your dog’s and cat’s teeth on a daily basis, or at least several times a week; and or use of an oral rinse on your dog’s or cat’s mouth is a task that you hope will help to maintain your companion animals good health…but what if the product you are using contains ingredients that are toxic and carcinogenic? Do you know how to identify bad ingredients? This article will help you make informed decisions dental hygiene products.
Never Use Oral Health Products Intended for Human Use
Never use toothpaste or liquid oral care products intended for use by humans to clean your dog’s teeth/mouth as products intended for human use typically contain substances that are toxic for dogs. Only use commercially produced oral care products that are specifically made for dogs. But please don’t fall for the attractive packages and eye-catching words ‘natural’, ‘safe’, etc…
Don’t Trust the Advertising / Label
You may already be brushing your dog’s teeth or providing him/her with dental chews or liquid oral care as an insurance against periodontal disease…but did you know that many of these products that are sold in pet stores and/or on-line are full of ingredients that are not good for your dog?
Sure these products may help remove plaque and tartar but if the preventative you are using is full of additives and toxins – you are inadvertently creating another health hazard. The drastic increase in cancer found in dogs is a direct result of all of the carcinogenic additives and toxins in a dog’s daily environment and food.
Just because a product is labelled and advertised as ‘safe’ or ‘all natural’ does not mean that it is. Currently, the legislation (particularly in North America) defining ‘natural’ as pertains to ingredients (used in human and animal food, health care and cleaning products) is not designed to protect the consumer – the definition of ‘natural’ is very loosely defined in favour of the manufacturing industry.
So, before you decide to purchase a product do a little research – read the ingredients, make sure the product is truly safe. Below is a list of ingredients you DO NOT want in your dog’s dental treatment products…
What to Avoid in Commercially Made Dental Care Products for Dogs
Artificial Colouring Agents and Artificial Flavouring
i.e. FD&C Blue No. 1 or Blue 1. Artificial colouring agents are suspected carcinogens and may be contaminated with heavy metals that are toxic to the brain and cause numerous health issues such as bladder cancer, brain tumors and the inability to concentrate. Artificial colouring agents and additives such as glycerol monostearate, phosphoric acid and propylene glycol (this is used in antifreeze – antifreeze kills dogs!).
BHA, BHT, EQ (ethoxyquin), Propyl Gallate
Used as a preservative, suspected endocrine disruptor, suspected carcinogen. Instead look for products that contain ‘natural preservatives’ and antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and mixed tocopherols.
Corn, Gluten, Soy, Corn
Used as a filler. These are known allergens, almost all corn and soy in North America are grown from Genetically Modified (GM) seeds. The long-term affects of eating GM products is not known;
DEA Related Ingredients – also MEA and TEA
These are used to make products such as soap and toothpaste foam, these ingredients are suspected carcinogens;
Fluoride is considered a toxin and too much can cause skeletal fluorosis resulting in joint pain, limited range of movement, brittle bones and a high rate of fracture
An animal by-product derived from rendering miscellaneous animal parts such as bone, cartilage, ligaments, skin, etc. – may be full of toxins;
Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate (HSH)
Artificial sweetener, sugar alcohol that is not good for dogs, toxin;
Parabens are used as a preservative. Parabens are a suspected endocrine disruptor, interfere with hormone production and are suspected carcinogens;
Saturated or Trans Fat
These fats are sourced from rancid fats and oil by products that are not sold for human consumption. May be from 4-D animals. Unhealthy at best, toxic and suspected carcinogen at worst.
Sodium Laureth Sulphate and other ingredients with the letters ‘eth’
Used to make products foam, suspected carcinogen;
Sorbitol is used as a preservative and is a sugar alcohol sweetener used in toothpaste. Although it does not cause tooth decay it is a laxative and can have many other negative side affects. Sugar alcohols are seriously bad for dogs and can cause mild to severe health problems and death.
Soy Protein Isolate
Allergen, suspected carcinogen and derivate of GM product;
Sugar causes tooth decay, suppresses the immune system – making it easier for diseases to attack your dog’s body. Sweeteners also cause of allergies, arthritis, cataracts, hypoglycaemia, heart ailments, nervous energy, obesity, etc.
Preservative, suspected carcinogen;
Tin (II) Fluoride also known as Stanous Flouride
Used to make tooth enamel more resistant to damaging bacteria. Tin can cause anemia, skin and eye irritation, kidney and liver problems, stomach aches, and death.
Suspected endocrine disruptor and may contribute to antibiotic resistance;
An artificial sweetener that can cause liver damage and death.