5 Ingredients That Should Never Be In Your Pet’s Dental Products


You want what is best for your pets. You know that good dog and cat dental care and daily teeth cleaning is important. You stop at your local pet store or even your veterinarian’s office to pick up a tube of pet toothpaste and a pet toothbrush, only to later find out there are some unsavory ingredients in your pet’s toothpaste. How can this be? How can a product that is intended for good dental care contain such nasty and potentially harmful ingredients? I’m honestly not sure. I even looked at The Veterinary Oral Health Council Seal of Acceptance list, and the items listed are a far cry from healthy or natural.

So what is a savvy pet parent to do? Research. Once again, I stand on my soapbox that as pet parents we must take our pet’s health and safety seriously, and we must be the ones looking out for their best interests. This means flipping over the tube of pet toothpaste, pet dental wipes, or dental chews and reading each and every ingredient in the ingredient panel. If we do not know what an ingredient is or the possible side-effects, hit the internet and search “x side effects.” Or hop onto one of my favorite websites, The Environmental Working Group. They have a searchable database of toxic ingredients in cosmetic and personal care products.

To get you started, here are my top 5 ingredients that should never be in your pet’s dental products. Not only would I avoid these at all costs, but they are also actually commonly found in pet dental products. And this is just a short list.

  1. Wheat flour or wheat protein– Dogs and cats tend to have allergies to wheat in all its various forms. Wheat also can cause inflammation in pets.
  2. Binders such as gelatin, xanthan gum or carrageenan– These binders not only bind the product together, it also binds in your pet’s intestines, causing digestive issues and once again, inflammation.
  3. Digest, animal, meat, poultry, etc.– Um, no thank you. First, remember that any meat your pet eats should be a named meat, i.e.: beef or chicken. Animal, meat, or poultry is basically rendered waste material.
  4. Preservatives such as sodium benzoate or potassium sorbate– I seriously want to cry when I see preservatives in a pet product. I know for me, these preservatives cause severe migraines. In other words, they are playing havoc with my brain and neurological responses. I don’t even need to read the studies to prove they are harmful, my head tells me.
  5. Chlorhexidine– According to Drugs.com some of the side-effects can include blistering, burning, itching, peeling, skin rash, redness, swelling, or other signs of irritation on the skin.

For me, when I’m thinking about pet care products for my furry family members, I want to be as low-risk and natural as possible. If there are effective safer natural dental products for pets, I vote to use them over a product that contains an ingredient with possible side-effects or something my pet just doesn’t need.

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Raising Your Pets Naturally with Tonya Wilhelm
Tonya Wilhelm, a dedicated dog training and cat care specialist, author, and public speaker, has traveled the US presenting seminars promoting positive ways to prevent and manage dog and cat behavior issues with a holistic approach. Named one of the top ten dog trainers in the United States, she has helped thousands of pet parents build happy, long-lasting relationships with their dogs using only humane, kind, and positive pet training methods. She has authored a variety of books, including Proactive Puppy Care, Please Stay-Help For A Dog With Separation Anxiety, Dexter's Delights-Fun and Healthy Treats For Dogs, and What's For Dinner, Dexter?: Cooking For Your Dog Using Chinese Medicine Theory. Tonya is a frequent blogger and contributor to various magazines. Local clients can choose group dog training classes or private, one-on-one behavioral training. Globally, Tonya provides pet training and behavior services via phone and the internet, and presents workshops at pet expos. Visit Tonya at www.raisingyourpetsnaturally.com