Essential Dog Dental Care: Solutions, Vet Check-ups, Chews & Brushing

13 year old dog tries a dental dog care solution called woof fresh

Maintaining optimal dental health is critical to ensuring our furry companions’ overall well-being, particularly as they age. In this pursuit, the pet care industry has witnessed the emergence of various dental products, promising miracles. Woof Fresh, a dental care solution by HWL Pet Supplies, is being tested by Maisie, a rescue dog, over 120 days, and has, so far, proven to be effective in loosening plaque and providing fresh breathe.

In conjunction with Woof Fresh, we shall examine why veterinary checkups and high-quality doggy dental chews are beneficial alongside the liquid solution. We shall consider teeth cleaning with a brush and why Woof Fresh is easier in comparison to a manual method. However, with the right chews, your dog can scrub areas that brushing will not reach. Dental hygiene is an important part of your dog’s healthy lifestyle and should be taken seriously as a pet owner. We shall look at why veterinary check-ups are essential too and ways to raise funds for any treatment.

“I’d say it’s (Woof Fresh) definitely making a difference though!”

Bradley – Oscar’s owner during his quick Woof Fresh test

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What is …

Plaque – a sticky layer of bacteria which naturally forms over teeth

Tartar – if plaque is not dealt with, it will harden and become tartar. Tartar is tough to remove

Bacteria – the leading cause of dental health. Hardened tartar traps bacteria and results in bad doggy breath and sore gums

Woof Fresh: A simple solution for canine oral care

Testing Woof Fresh

“Only been using it for a week now but does seem to be working. The dog doesn’t know it’s in the water and drinking as normal which I was a bit worried about, have tried others which he’s known something was in it and wouldn’t drink. His breath isn’t as bad as it was and believe me it was bad! Hopefully this will work on his plaque, it’s not too bad but don’t want it to get any worse.”

Carol – Woof Fresh customer

Woof Fresh has captured my attention for its easy approach to canine dental health for dogs that dislike manual brushing. Developed by HWL Pet Supplies, this product aims to combat common dental issues faced by dogs, including bad breath, plaque, and tartar buildup.

The formula is chemical-free and contains four key natural plant-based ingredients which aims to:

Peppermint Extracts fight against gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease, and its anti-microbial against bacteria. Another positive effect of peppermint is its ability to ease dental pain and can contribute to fresher breath.

Cider Apple Vinegar contributes towards killing the bacteria that leads to bad teeth and gum infections, and research by HWL Pet Supplies says it has shown it can also remove stubborn tooth stains.

Grapefruit has anti-inflammatory agents. In turn, the ingredient will fight against gingivitis and any mouth inflammation.

Parsley contributes towards fresh breath, and combined with its antibacterial properties, it will help improve dental care.

Woof Fresh is simple to use. Add a teaspoon or capful to 250ml fresh water. Change the water every 24 hours and add another dose of Woof Fresh. A 500ml bottle costs £15.99 and lasts over 3 months.

Sarah, from Woofers Dog Groomers, received a bottle from me to try with Maisie, and her other four rescue dogs showed improvements too. Sarah purchased five more bottles.

Watch the Video: coming soon

Of course, the final outcome would depend on the extremity of dental decline. For example, if your canine is experiencing advanced stages of dental problems, it is time to consult a veterinarian for the best treatment. But there’s no reason why Woof Fresh, or your chosen product, cannot be resumed following a veterinary examination or treatment.

Starting a dental health care routine as a puppy or with minimal plaque is advisable. The product can be purchased from HWL Pet Supplies or at slightly less cost from Amazon.

The Oscar Experiment: a senior dog’s verdict is forthcoming

Example of plaque on dog test.Testing effectiveness of woof fresh

Oscar, a 13-year-old dog, was the original pooch to take participate in Woof Fresh test but sadly his owner forgot to keep a video diary over is a three-month trial period. However, Oscar’s owner told me that after a few days, plaque buildup was reduced, and the solution was undetected in his drinking water. This steady outcome demonstrates that Woof Fresh is a positive benefit to dental hygiene.

Maisie was the next dog to take part in the Woof Fresh test.

Woof Fresh vs. traditional dental care methods

A comparative analysis against traditional dental care methods is essential to ascertain Woof Fresh’s uniqueness. Brushing, dental chews, and water solutions are common options but depend on your dog’s acceptance of any product.

The Royal Veterinary College reports that 87% of dogs and 70% of cats have experienced dental issues by age three. Therefore, beginning dental hygiene from puppyhood (or kittenhood) is necessary. If dental care has not been implemented from a pup (or kitten), consider starting a routine for older pets.

Following Tabitha and Joey’s deep clean, I maintained dental care to avoid future bills and any suffering from tooth pain.

Related health-related articles:

Safest and most effective dental care

While Woof Fresh demonstrates its expertise as a product, combining it with the following offers your dog an all-around dental care.

1 – Regular vet check-ups – regardless of solutions, dog chews or brushing, annual dental hygiene check-ups with a vet is essential. A qualified vet can detect any dental problems before they become severe and costly.

Because dental issues can begin in dogs and cats at a young age, early detection of dental issues is crucial, especially for seniors. It can help avoid expensive dental extractions. However, the expense cannot be avoided if your dog or cat is genetically susceptible to tooth problems. Joey, had a deep clean under anaesthetic, and continuing with Plaque-Off, his teeth were healthy apart from a small area of plaque – the vet scraped off the offending substance.

2 – Professional dental cleaning – depending on your dog’s specific needs, periodic professional dental cleaning may be recommended by your veterinarian. This will avoid future potential suffering from dental pain and expenditure. If your pet has reached adulthood or seniorhood, it may be necessary to undergo a deep clean comprising of an examination, removing plaque and tartar, and finishing with a polish.

Be aware that extractions may be applicable without good hygiene or genetic issues, increasing the cost immensely. Until under anaesthetic, the amount of teeth that need to be removed won’t be evident.

Unfortunately, teeth aren’t covered by insurance in the UK, but if you are a member of Pet Health Care or a similar plan by a private practice, 10% discount may be deducted. This is another reason why dental hygiene is vital from an early age. However, dental problems incurred from an accident are covered by Fluffy Pet Insurance up to £750.

Regardless, in March 2024, there are many posts relating to the high cost of cleaning and extractions with a vet.

3 – Genetic dental issues – despite maintaining dental hygiene and cleanliness with Plaque-off and regular check-ups, Tabitha suffered from dental problems and twice, had significant extractions. Some pets cannot avoid genetic dental problems so speak to your vet about the best practice for hygiene.

4 – Balanced diet – nutrition plays a pivotal role in dental health so avoiding sweet and high-processed food is paramount. Opt for high-quality senior dog (or cat) food supporting oral health.

Teddy was fed Aldi’s canned food and his teeth succumbed to plaque and tartar over several months. Aldi’s cheap brand of dry biscuits was included in his diet – the biscuits did not ‘scrub’ clean his teeth but the reason may be because of being low quality and / or of the biscuits, or low-quality cheap wet food. Before this diet, Teddy lived on the streets with a diet of hunted food, including bones. When he arrived at the rescue, his teeth were white. This demonstrates that cheap foods can contribute to dental decline.

If unsure of the best diet, consult your vet and research online pet supplies stores. If you have a health plan, you can get discounts on food at your veterinary practice. Online, Calibra offers an oral and hypoallergenic dry biscuit for a fraction of the price of other brands. A dog groomer friend successfully feeds her dogs on raw food from Durham Animal Feeds.

5 – Woof Fresh solution – this solution is an easy method because of the simplicity the solution offers when administering. Opt for a high-quality chew alongside the solution to reach back teeth.

6 – Gentle brushing – brushing can be effective if starting from puppyhood, but may challenging with adult and senior dogs depending on its personality, and if unhealthy, sore mouths are causing painful sensitivities.

I attempted cleaning Teddy’s teeth with a finger brush and flavoured paste from Viovet. Still, it became evident that he required a professional deep clean so we could start from the beginning with home cleaning, and maintaining overall dental hygiene.

In the initial stages of using a brushing method, I applied a small dollop of paste to his mouth using my finger so Teddy could test the taste. I then applied the paste to a finger brush and brushed a couple of teeth, avoiding the gums. From my experience, using the paste and finger brush to remove hardened plaque and tartar didn’t work. However, using this method from a young age or on teeth with little plaque and tartar may help. Finger brushes can be bought from some veterinary practices or online.

Brushing three times weekly is recommended followed by a high-quality dental chew.

“My dog Sam breath and teeth are so much better since I have started to use the product.”

Jean – YuMove Dental Care Stick review

7 – High-quality dental chews – when choosing a high-quality chew, paying more for a known brand containing the correct properties to support teeth cleaning is necessary. Wasting money on dental chews (or treats) without the correct texture or shape does not benefit teeth.

The aim of a dental chew is a scrubbing action against teeth as your dog chews it. The product must be in the correct shape to encourage the dog to chew using its back teeth – this area is difficult to reach with a brush.

The texture is vital as a proactive method for maintaining teeth cleanliness. The texture must be firm which leads to your dog using back teeth but too soft, little time is given for effective scrubbing.

These chews can engage your dog while assisting in plaque removal, combined with brushing, or using the Woof Fresh solution.

Signs of advanced dental problems

Being observant of your dog’s health is essential, particularly any deterioration. How would you spot the signs of advanced dental problems? The following is a list of health and behaviour issues identified as advanced dental issues and a consultation with a vet is a must.

  • Bad bacteria can result in bad breath
  • Head shaking and scratching ears
  • Pawing at its mouth
  • Licking its lips
  • Avoiding head touch
  • Crying when yawning
  • Sleeping more
  • Drooling more than usual
  • Blood blended with any saliva
  • Bleeding from its mouth – the cause can be the gums bleeding
  • Red gums or inflamed can be identified as poor dental health
  • Swallowing food whole instead of chewing
  • Dropping food when eating
  • Chewing food at one side of the mouth only
  • Hungry but won’t eat or loss of appetite

If you suspect the above, book an appointment with your vet. An independent veterinary practice will be lower in price than a group practice.

Key Takeaways:

  • We’ve learnt that dogs require more than one method for maintaining dental hygiene, combined with annual veterinary checkups to eliminate any progressive problems, or new dental issues.
  • Annual professional deep cleans, or periodic, are may be necessary but are costly
  • High-quality chews that are the correct shape and texture work effectively as a scrub, reaching back teeth
  • Dedication to your dog’s dental healthcare is vital. Woof Fresh is an easy-to-use solution and can be used in combination with high-quality chews
  • Some dogs will not like finger or tooth brushing, whilst others will not mind
  • Human toothpaste is toxic for dogs because it contains Xylitol
  • High-quality dry oral dog biscuits can help reduce tartar buildup because the solid food gives a scrubbing action against teeth
  • Poor quality, cheap foods can affect teeth and dental hygiene (Teddy’s teeth suffered from Aldi’s own brand)
  • Make a veterinary appointment immediately if your dog demonstrates advanced signs of dental problems

Related questions:

I cannot afford a deep clean or extractions – what can I do?

Speak to your vet about your concerns. They may be able to offer a payment plan.

I have raised funds towards veterinary care by using the following:

1: Quidco – I’ve earned over £300 (to September 2023)

2: Grass Roots Mystery Shopping offers around £10 per assignment

Watch the Video: coming soon

3: Amazon Shopper Panel app – I’ve earned £91 (to September 2023)

4: Shoppix app – I’ve earned £40 (to September 2023)


I am not a veterinary dental technician and recommend you consult your vet regarding any questions about your dog’s dental care.

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