How to Clean Your Senior Dog's Teeth Without Anaesthesia
Most senior dogs have some sort of dental disease, however there are challenges to dental cleanings. Often vets or owners are not comfortable with the risk of anesthesia, or are worried removing an infected tooth will release more bacteria into the bloodstream.
There are a few alternative options to improve your pet's oral health.
PlaqueOff powder contains kelp (Ascophyllum nodosum) which is absorbed by the body and is clinically proven to reduce tartar and improve oral health. It also includes sulphur which prevents bacteria from sticking to teeth, and zinc which helps to prevent tartar build-up.
This product has undergone additional testing to become VOHC approved (Veterinary Oral Health Council).
Both of these supplements loosen tartar and can help prevent it - but it also relies on chewing or brushing to actually remove the plaque.
Leba III uses herbal ingredients to alter the chemistry of your dog’s mouth, stimulating enzymes which soften tartar thereby allowing chewing or soft scraping to remove tartar. Spraying twice daily is often required at the beginning,
Because of the way Leba III works, they do not recommend pairing it with other dental products which may have an antibiotic effect.
The Bluestem Oral Spray contains the same ingredients as their water additive, and has scents to help freshen breath. Note that the vanilla mint flavour is not safe for cats.
Anesthesia-free cleanings offer a less thorough cleaning than vets, but may be a good option for seniors. Although they can’t get under the gum line, they still remove a large amount of tartar. Ask your vet if this alternative is right for your senior and look into K9 Gentle Dental!
Wilder Harrier's sweet potato chews contain the same brown algae as PlaqueOff, as well as zeolites (a natural antibacterial used in human dental care), and probiotics. The hard chews also provide some mechanical action to remove plaque.
Shameless Pets Tooth-berry dental sticks are ridged and slightly chewy so your senior can brush in more nooks and crannies. As they are easier to chew, this might be a better option for older dogs who can't chew bully sticks or raw bones. This chew relies on mechanical removal only, and should be combined with a supplement or spray for best results.