10 Best Dental Water Additive for Dogs – 2020 Buyer’s Guide

Mike PowellEdited by: Mike Powell
Abby TexasReviewed by: Abby Texas

Last Update:

There’s nothing like being greeted by an excited dog when you get home – until they lick you in the face with a smelly tongue.

Dental disease is one of the most common problems in dogs of all ages. Not only can it make you not want to be close to your pup, but it can also cause them pain, discomfort, and cause other health issues.

While there may be times you need to get your dog examined for underlying issues, the best dental water additive for dogs is a quick, easy, and affordable way of improving your pup’s mouth health and creating harmony again!

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Ranked #1
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New Peppermint Fresh Breath Dental Water Additive for Dogs and Pets | Teeth, Breath, and Healthy Gums | Best for Tartar Cleaning, Plaque Remover & Fresh Drinking Oral Care Cleaner No Brush Required
PET King Oratene Veterinarian Drinking Water Additive, 8.0 oz.
Premium Pet Dental Water Additive for Dogs Cats & Small Animals-Dog Dental Care for Bad Pet Breath-Oral Mouth Care That Fights Tartar, Plaque and Gum Disease- [17 oz] Dog Toothpaste Deodorizer
Pro 1
Sustainable, locally sourced ingredients
Enzyme-based
All-natural, healthy ingredients
Pro 2
Won the 2020 Family Choice Award
Free from alcohol, xylitol, and chlorhexidine
Works to kill bacteria
Best Overall
Rank
Ranked #1
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New Peppermint Fresh Breath Dental Water Additive for Dogs and Pets | Teeth, Breath, and Healthy Gums | Best for Tartar Cleaning, Plaque Remover & Fresh Drinking Oral Care Cleaner No Brush Required
Pro 1
Sustainable, locally sourced ingredients
Pro 2
Won the 2020 Family Choice Award
Premium Option
Rank
Ranked #2
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PET King Oratene Veterinarian Drinking Water Additive, 8.0 oz.
Pro 1
Enzyme-based
Pro 2
Free from alcohol, xylitol, and chlorhexidine
Best Value For Money
Rank
Ranked #3
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Premium Pet Dental Water Additive for Dogs Cats & Small Animals-Dog Dental Care for Bad Pet Breath-Oral Mouth Care That Fights Tartar, Plaque and Gum Disease- [17 oz] Dog Toothpaste Deodorizer
Pro 1
All-natural, healthy ingredients
Pro 2
Works to kill bacteria
Sources researched
14
Sources researched
Customer reviews
17,650
Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
12
Hours spent testing
Products tested
10
Products tested

Best Dental Water Additive for Dogs in 2020

Bodhi Dog New Peppermint Fresh Breath Dental Water Additive for Dogs

Best overall: All-Natural and Wholesome Ingredients

Overall Score80%
Ingredient Quality90%
Antibacterial/Antifungal Agents90%
No Harmful Chemicals90%
Odorless85%
Affordability90%

PROS

  • Sustainable, locally sourced ingredients
  • Controls plaque and tartar buildup
  • 100% money-back guarantee
  • Won the 2020 Family Choice Award

CONS

  • Not suitable for puppies under 12 weeks old

Bodhi Dog is a family-owned business who understand that our pets are just as much a part of the family as our kids are! Their Peppermint Fresh additive is made of locally sourced, sustainable ingredients that are natural and wholesome.

This product is a favorite among pet parents, and the fact that Bodhi Dog offers a money-back guarantee gives an indication of their confidence in their product!

Their premium mix of ingredients is said to freshen breath, control tartar and plaque, improve gingivitis symptoms, and help prevent cavities.

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Your dog will get a mix of peppermint, aloe vera, cloves, cinnamon, and honey in every mouthful of their water. There’s nothing artificial included, as well as no alcohol, xylitol, or other potentially harmful chemicals. 

It’s important to know that in large quantities, any of these natural ingredients can be toxic to your dog. But in the quantities that are found in products such as this, they’re actually very healthy and promote a strong immune system. 

Honey is a source of natural sugar, and a great way to sweeten pet products without adding artificial or unhealthy ingredients. It’s also a natural antibiotic, so it boosts the immune when taken in small quantities. If your dog is immuno-compromised, it may be best to go for something without honey, though. 

Add 2 tablespoons to a 16 oz bowl of water to start seeing (and smelling) results soon!

Pet King Brands Zymox Water Additive Oral Solution

Premium Option: Healthy, Enzyme-based Solution

Overall Score87%
Ingredient Quality90%
Antibacterial/Antifungal Agents90%
No Harmful Chemicals90%
Odorless85%
Affordability80%

PROS

  • Free from alcohol, xylitol, and chlorhexidine 
  • Enzyme-based 
  • Suitable for dogs and cats 
  • 2 pumps (½ teaspoon) per 4 cups of liquid

CONS

  • Slightly pricey

This enzyme-based pump-action solution is packed with healthy stuff that will work at the very source of bad smells in your dog’s mouth. No masking here – it’s designed to solve the problem, not hide it. 

If you want a plaque solution that’s as healthy as can be and fixes the deeper issue, this could be the one for you.

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Enzyme-Based 

Enzymes are the things that really go to work on the bacteria, fungi, and microbes that are responsible for terrible smelling mouths. 

Dextranase, glucose oxidase, lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase, lysozyme, and mutanase all serve this purpose. They’re completely natural and benefit your dog’s body, so there’s no need to worry about them being ingested. 

If you’re after a quality product that will fix the deeper smell problem, this is worth a try.

Premium Pet Dental Water Additive

Best Value For Money: Affordable All-Natural Option

Overall Score88%
Ingredient Quality85%
Antibacterial/Antifungal Agents85%
No Harmful Chemicals90%
Odorless90%
Affordability90%

PROS

  • All-natural, healthy ingredients
  • Affordable option
  • Works to kill bacteria
  • Nothing artificial in it

CONS

  • Might take some experimenting to figure out how much is right for your pet

This offering from Premium Pet is filled with healthy ingredients and contains nothing artificial. It’s one of the more affordable options, so if you’re new to breath freshener additives for dogs, it could be the best way to begin.

Dogs react differently to ingredients, so it’s advisable to start with the minimum recommended level and add more if your dog’s breath stays stubbornly smelly! 1 tablespoon per 16 oz water is a good starting point.

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High Quality Ingredient List 

The ingredients in this product are natural and healthy, and added in just the right quantities. They use important enzymes to attack bacteria, and not just mask the smell. Another nice feature of this product is that it can be used as both a water additive and a spray. If you’re unsure of how your dog may react, it’s best to use it as an additive first. 

The ingredient list is as follows: distilled water, spearmint extract, cinnamon, natural honey, cloves, aloe vera. Spearmint helps reduce foul breath, and isn’t dangerous in small quantities. Cinnamon is a great anti-inflammatory, and while large quantities of it can be toxic, the numbers in this spray are just fine. 

Honey has antimicrobial and antibiotic properties, which work directly on the problem bacteria to neutralize them. Cloves are also a common fresh breath ingredient, although some dogs may not like the taste of them. They also offer some slight pain-relief properties!

Naturel Promise Fresh Dental Water Additive

Most Versatile Dental Care Choice

Overall Score87%
Ingredient Quality90%
Antibacterial/Antifungal Agents85%
No Harmful Chemicals85%
Odorless85%
Affordability90%

PROS

  • Includes a fungicide and bactericide 
  • Various recipes with different functions 
  • Healthy ingredients 
  • Lasts up to 12 hours

CONS

  • Too much of it may cause diarrhea

Naturel’s Fresh Dental additive range stands out from others due to their variety. Choose from three different options, all with slightly different features. It’s also quite a steal, at a great price for a 3-pack of your additive of choice.

This would be a great choice for pet parents whose dogs need a little extra help in the supplement department, as well as with their mouth! Ingredients are all-natural and the freshening effects last for up to 12 hours at a time.

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Product Range 

Their main fresh breath product is the Dental water additive. It contains just 6 ingredients: purified water, glycerin, cetylpyridinium chloride, citric acid, potassium sorbate, and green tea leaf extract. 

Citric acid is a natural preservative, and green tea extract has been found to have antioxidant properties in the right doses. It also aids in removing plaque and tartar and reduces the risk of cancer

Based on this formula, they have two other products. Dogs who need a bit of extra joint support would benefit from the Hip & Joint additive, which gives a dash of glucosamine along with the fresh breath ingredients. 

Pups who suffer from skin and coat allergies could try the Skin & Coat water, which has added Omega fatty acids to promote soft, supple skin and fur. 

Just add a tablespoon of your chosen formula to your dog’s bowl each time you fill it up, and you should start noticing benefits after a short time!

Fresh Breath by TropiClean

Many Variety to Suit Different Dogs’ Needs

Overall Score87%
Ingredient Quality85%
Antibacterial/Antifungal Agents85%
No Harmful Chemicals90%
Odorless90%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Paraben-free 
  • Various formulas available 
  • Suitable for all dog breeds and cats too 
  • Tasteless and odorless

CONS

  • The various recipes may not all  work quite the same way – you may notice large improvements with one and not with another

TropiClean has created a healthy tooth cleaner and mouth freshener that should give results in as little as 14 days after starting your smelly-breathed pet on it. 

Simply add a capful of the mixture to your dog’s 16 oz bowl each time you refill it. It’s said to be odorless and tasteless, so your fluff shouldn’t even notice that there’s something extra in there. 

It’s another product that aims to work on the root of the problem and not just cover up a bad stench with some minty-freshness! If your dog has joint or coat problems, dropping some of this in his drinking bowl may be beneficial in more ways than one. 

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Different Healthy Recipes 

TropiClean offers a variety of options depending on your dog’s needs. Choose from: 

Original: Contains purified water, glycerin, citric acid, sodium benzoate, zinc gluconate, chlorophyll, cetylpyridinium chloride, and green tea extract. 

Advanced Whitening: Contains purified water, glycerin, citric acid, sodium benzoate, zinc chloride, chlorophyll, cetylpyridinium chloride, and green tea extract. 

Hip & Joint: Contains purified water, glycerin, citric acid, sodium benzoate, glucosamine, chlorophyll, cetylpyridinium chloride, and green tea extract. 

Skin & Coat: Contains purified water, glycerin, citric acid, sodium benzoate,Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, chlorophyll, cetylpyridinium chloride, and green tea extract. 

Whatever your dog may be lacking, this dental additive can help him supplement a little. It’s important to know that the various recipes may not all offer the same fresh smell – some may seem slightly less effective than others, due to the combination of ingredients. 

Chlorophyll 

One of the most useful ingredients in these tooth cleaners is chlorophyll. Yes, it’s what makes plants green! But the addition of it to a dog’s diet can drastically help halitosis. 

The reason for its great freshening properties is that it works from the inside out – it not only aids in cleaning your dog’s teeth and gums but helps prevent digestive issues that could cause a bad smell.

Pets Are Kids Too Premium Pet Dental Spray

Best Tasting and Healthy

Overall Score86%
Ingredient Quality85%
Antibacterial/Antifungal Agents85%
No Harmful Chemicals80%
Odorless85%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • No alcohol or pesticides 
  • Can be used as a spray and H2O additive 
  • Hypoallergenic and non-toxic 
  • Antiseptic properties that work at an enzymatic level

CONS

  • Can be toxic to cats so may not be suitable if you have cats and dogs

As you can tell by their name, these guys care about the wellbeing of pets. That’s why they use only natural ingredients, and they’re quite transparent about what goes into their spray and why it’s healthy. 

If you have cats and dogs, some of the ingredients could be toxic to cats. But it’s perfectly safe and tasty for your dog, and will get to work on the cause of the smell quickly.

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Healthy Ingredients 

Some pet parents may be concerned about the addition of Stevia as a sweetener. In fact, it’s considered safe by the ASPCA. It’s a natural product and is one of the reasons this solution is so tasty to pets! 

Aloe vera has been reported to reduce cancer risk in pets, and the scary-sounding sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate are simply natural preservatives that are 5x below the maximum recommended level for pets.

Oxyfresh Premium Pet Dental Care Solution Pet Water Additive

Pet Parents’ Choice

Overall Score85%
Ingredient Quality85%
Antibacterial/Antifungal Agents85%
No Harmful Chemicals85%
Odorless85%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Come in various sizes 
  • Suitable for all animals 
  • Non-toxic and alcohol-free 
  • No mint or tea tree to mask smells

CONS

  • Some dogs may experience diarrhea or vomiting – downing the dose can help 
  • Not safe for cats

This product is very popular, and has the distinction of being the winner of the 2019 Family Choice Award.

One of the things that may send out alarm bells for some pet parents is the addition of zinc acetate, which can be toxic if used in high quantities. In this product, the doses are quite okay for your pooch. In fact, some pups that are prone to zinc deficiencies (Huskies, Great Danes, German Shepherds, to name a few) could benefit from the added zinc.

Just be sure to keep other zinc products out of reach, and your dog should have no trouble.

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Natural Ingredients

As these guys specify that they use no green tea or minty ingredients that mask odor, their ingredient list may look different to others and make pet parents wonder if it’s safe for their dog. Some ingredients that you may be wondering about include:

Sodium hydroxide: This is used as a way to regulate acidity in your pet’s system. It’s considered safe in the right doses, as are all of these ingredients!

Sodium Benzoate: A natural preservative that is okay for pups but toxic to cats. Make sure your kitties don’t have access to your dog’s bowl if you’re using this!

Chlorophyllin-Copper Complex: An odor-reducer that’s considered safe in the right doses.

Stabilized Chlorine Dioxide (Oxygene®): This is Oxyfresh’s unique ingredient. It may sound chemical-like, but it’s considered to be an effective fungicide, bacteriacide, and antimicrobial agent and is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Arm and Hammer Advanced Care Dental Water Additive

Effective and Affordable

Overall Score86%
Ingredient Quality85%
Antibacterial/Antifungal Agents85%
No Harmful Chemicals85%
Odorless85%
Affordability90%

PROS

  • Very affordable 
  • Odorless and flavorless 
  • One capful per 8 oz liquid 
  • Natural ingredients

CONS

  • Some pet parents may not be happy with baking soda as an ingredient

Arm & Hammer pet oral hygiene products use baking soda to fight tartar and plaque. This is effective, and promotes teeth whitening too, as well as being an odor-remover. 

It also helps neutralize acidity in the stomach, so it’s not a bad dog dental ingredient at all, despite the worries of some pet parents. You’ll find perfect quantities in this product to be safe and effective for your pet.

Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Natural Tartar Remover

Targets Tartar Buildup

Overall Score85%
Ingredient Quality80%
Antibacterial/Antifungal Agents85%
No Harmful Chemicals85%
Odorless85%
Affordability90%

PROS

  • Quite affordable 
  • 1 tablespoon in 32 oz water 
  • Natural preservatives

CONS

  • May change the color of the liquid due to artificial coloring

Nylabone is a well-known name in pet circles, and their dog dental offering is worth a look. It’s created to not only reduce smell, but also target tartar buildup. 

Although their ingredient list is pretty decent, it does contain an artificial color (FD&C Blue 1), which is certified as one of the 7 acceptable colors by the FDA. This may put some pet parents off the product, though.

imrex Breathalyser Water Additive

Simply Freshens Breath

Overall Score83%
Ingredient Quality85%
Antibacterial/Antifungal Agents85%
No Harmful Chemicals75%
Odorless85%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Safe for dogs and cats 
  • Contains enzymes 
  • Available in 8oz and 16oz

CONS

  • There’s some confusion as to whether or not there’s xylitol in this product

It can be difficult to find a product that’s safe for both dogs and cats, and if you have both, it can be hard to keep cats away from the dogs’ bowl. This product claims to be safe for both, although there  is some conflicting information on it.

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Xylitol or No Xylitol? 

The product states that it’s free from xylitol, a harmful sweetener. But its ingredient list makes mention of it. The manufacturer has stated that it’s xylitol-free, but some customers have said it does contain it. Despite the fact that the rest of  its ingredients are decent quality, this non-transparency may be enough for some pet owners to steer clear. Up to you!


Testing Protocol & Criteria Used For Evaluation

Criteria #1: Ingredient Quality

As with any pet products, the quality of the ingredients is paramount. If you wouldn’t put it  in your own mouth, why would you feed it to your dog? 

Pets’ bodies are sensitive to what they take in. This is why we make such a big deal out of choosing the right dog food to keep your pup’s health as it should be. But it can be easy to forget to extend that to other supplements that they use on a regular basis, like treats, toothpaste, and additives such as these. 

We’ve gone for products that contain all-natural, healthy ingredients and avoid artificial stuff as much as possible.

Criteria #2: Antibacterial/Antifungal Agents

The aim of these kinds of dog dental tooth cleaners is not simply to make life more bearable for pet owners. Although first priority is often to take care of the horrendous stench that floats out of your dog’s mouth, that’s not the most important thing here. 

A quality water additive targets the root of the problem – not just the smell. Those that are created to mask the smell may serve a purpose, but in the end they’re doing nothing for your dog’s dental health. 

We’ve tried to include products that contain an antibacterial or antifungal agent. These are the components that will actively work on the odor-causing bacteria or fungus in your dog’s mouth and digestive tract. The beauty is that they neutralize bacteria in the bowl too. 

These are the gold standard for a product aimed at pups’ oral hygiene. If a product is simply a masking agent, we’ve mentioned that – and these could be good for pets who need a breath freshener because they like to chew on dodgy things in the garden. 

If your dog suffers from chronic, constant terrible breath, though, there needs to be an antibacterial or antimicrobial agent present.

Criteria #3: No Harmful Chemicals

Your dog drinks on a daily basis, multiple times a day. If they’re getting a mouthful of unhealthy chemicals every tip they lap up some liquid, it’s extremely easy for them to become sick. 

We’ve made sure none of the dog teeth cleaners here contain xylitol, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or chlorhexidine gluconate. While these products are meant to improve or even eliminate bad breath, the last thing we want is for them to fix one problem and create another. 

We’ve done our best to ensure the additives we’ve reviewed are free from harmful chemicals. Different pets react differently to products, of course – but in the interest of safety we’ve chosen products that avoid these potentially dangerous chemicals entirely.

Criteria #4: Odorless

This can be a bit of a tough one to figure out. A dog’s nose is an astounding 10 000+ times more sensitive than our basic human ones! So even if you can’t smell anything when sniffing this product, your dog may get a whiff when it’s in his bowl. 

The way to look at it is to consider the fact that if you can smell the odor of the product, then your dog definitely can – 10 000 times more strongly! 

We’ve made every effort to choose odorless additives for this list. We haven’t personally sniffed every one – but we’ve done an extensive research to find what the sniffers do have to say about it.

Criteria #5: Affordability

Here at Dog Embassy, we understand that for some of these products, you pay for its quality. We aren’t disputing that they are worth their price tag – but we also know that not all pet owners are able to spend that much on a teeth cleaner for dogs. 

Thankfully, we also know that being on a budget doesn’t mean that you can’t give your dog the best. Our Best Value for Money option is every bit as healthy as the others, just at a much more wallet-friendly price tag. 

We’re all about keeping pets happy, but a large part of that is making sure their beloved parents are happy too – and that’s why we’ve included this in our criteria.


Questions & Answers

How do dental water additives work?

A dental additive tooth cleaner for dogs contains breath-freshening and tartar-reducing ingredients. The ingredients are carefully chosen and aim to alter the pH of your dog’s breath, improving oral hygiene and preventing further tartar buildup. 

Many dog tooth cleaners contain antibacterial or antifungal ingredients, to help reduce bacteria in addition to cleaning the plaque off your dog’s teeth. 

Some are purely for  breath freshening purposes, and simply mask the bad breath smell. Ideally, though, you want to choose one that has some plaque and tartar removal or reduction properties. 

Dental water that helps fight bacteria, prevent tartar buildup, treat gingivitis, and improve bad breath are the ones you should be looking at. We want to improve the problem at the root, not just cover it up! 

Another great thing about the best dental water additives for dogs is that by placing the solution into their water bowl, the bacteria in the bowl gets dealt with before your dog even takes a sip.

Are dental water additives safe for dogs?

Generally, these products are safe for pets. Most contain natural ingredients that assist with dog dental hygiene. But how do you know when a particular dog tooth cleaner additive isn’t safe? There are a few warning signs. 

The best dental water additive for dogs should never contain: 

  • Xylitol 
  • Chlorhexidine Gluconate 
  • Alcohol 
  • Hydrogen peroxide 

Xylitol is highly poisonous to animals, and some dental bad breath additives use it as a sweetening agent. This is the biggest red flag of an unsafe product for pets! 

Chlorhexidine gluconate can be a tricky one. It’s an effective antiseptic, which may lead to some people believing that it’s helpful in a dog teeth cleaner. The reality is, though, it’s often used to treat skin problems. Used in this way, it’s perfectly healthy. But when ingested, it can be unhealthy and lead to further problems. 

Alcohol is never a good idea in a pet supplement. It’s toxic to pups and can lead to some side effects that aren’t worth the fresh breath! 

Hydrogen peroxide is a good teeth cleaner for pets but it’s also commonly used to induce vomiting if a dog needs to empty its stomach. 

If there is an ingredient on the list that you aren’t sure about, there’s nothing to be lost from a quick Google search!

How can I get plaque off my dog’s teeth naturally?

With up to 85% of dogs having some form of dental health problem by the time they’re 3 years old, it’s pretty much impossible to avoid plaque entirely. 

To ensure your dog has as little buildup as possible, you can feed them a high-quality kibble, give them healthy dental chews, encourage them to play with chew toys, and feed them raw bones to help scrape the plaque off their teeth. 

It’s also worth knowing that while kibble, liquid additives, and chews can help remove plaque and prevent tartar buildup, none of them should take the place of brushing your dog’s teeth. 

Brushing can reach plaque and tartar in places chewing can’t. Choose a high-quality, all-natural toothpaste, though! If your dog doesn’t enjoy you cleaning his teeth, you may have to take him to the vet for regular plaque checkups and cleaning.

What should I look for in the best dental water additive for dogs?

The best dental water additive for dogs should be free from harmful chemicals and contain only natural, healthy ingredients aimed at improving oral health. 

You’ll want to make certain that they avoid the ingredients we’ve already mentioned above: xylitol, chlorhexidine gluconate, alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide. 

In addition to natural nice-smelling stuff, the presence of antimicrobial or antifungal agents is always a good thing. This suggests that the dental water additive doesn’t simply mask the smell, but actively works to remove the source of the bad breath and fight plaque. 

It’s also a good idea to choose something that’s odorless. Some fluffs will be put off drinking if they sense that something is in the liquid, which would defeat the point!

Does a dental water additive really work?

If used correctly, yes! The key is to make sure you’re utilizing the dental additive in the right way. If you’re simply splashing some into your dog’s bowl and expecting the bad breath to go away, you’re doing it wrong! 

These products are intended to be a supplemental breath freshener. It’s meant to be used in conjunction with regular brushing and chewing that will help keep plaque and tartar to a minimum. The water additive is simply a way to reinforce the reduction of buildup while you’re not actively brushing your dog’s teeth. 

It also helps to target the root problem of bad breath, by destroying bacteria and neutralizing odors. This won’t happen with dental care chews or kibble!