Pet Care Tips and Articles

Dental Sprays for Pets - Do They Work?

Keeping dogs teeth clean Pet owners are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of dental health for their dogs and cats. Periodontal disease can cause our pets immense pain, as well as present serious health risks. Dental sprays for pets have emerged as a popular option for pet owners who want an affordable, easier way to help keep their pets' mouths healthier.

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How Do They Work?

Various types of sprays, gels, and drops are available to pet owners. Some are added to the pet's water bowl; others sprayed into the mouth; and the gels are usually rubbed across the pet's gums.

Removal of Plaque and Tartar With Dental Sprays

Reviews of dental sprays and gels tend to be pretty divisive, with some pet owners reporting great results and others stating that they see no difference at all. Differences in experience can be due to a lot of factors - these can include the severity of the problem, how the pet owners are administering the product, how consistently the pet owners are using it, and which product they're using. As a result it's really hard to tell how well they work unless you try it yourself.

Pet dental sprays and gels are generally meant to help prevent or delay further accumulation of tartar and plaque as well as freshen breath. They're a supportive measure, not a "cure-all". Pets who already have periodontal disease need to have it addressed by a veterinarian before embarking on a preventive and maintainance program.

When Dental Sprays Could Be An Option

Dental cleanings are expensive, and not everyone has the means to do them as regularly as they they want to or should. Some pets are also unable to be put under anethesia for various reasons. Dental sprays and gels may help in these cases, but with the caveat that you should discuss their use with your vet first, especially if your pet is elderly or has existing medical conditions.

Effective Dental Care For Your Pets

In general, the goal should be to prevent the build-up of plaque and tartar rather than have to remove it after the fact. If your pet's teeth and gums are already in a poor state it may be necessary to have a professional cleaning done first, under anesthesia, by your veterinarian. Your vet may ask to do pre-screening bloodwork first to ensure that your pet is healthy and it is safe to put him under anesthesia.

(Note: dental scaling, done without anesthetic, like the type offered in some grooming shops, merely removes visible tartar and makes the teeth look cleaner and whiter. The plaque and calculus are still there in the subgingival areas - the areas that can have a dramatic impact on health - and still present a health risk regardless of how white the pet's teeth look.)

Once your pet's teeth have been professionally cleaned, then the focus should be on maintaining that cleanliness to prevent or minimize the build-up of plaque and tartar. This can be done through regular brushing and practicing good dental health for your pets. Toothbrushes and toothpastes specifically made for pets can be purchase at retail stores or online (don't use the human versions, which are too harsh). Ideally, our pets would receive a brushing every day but many people find this difficult. Aim for at least a few times per week. Dental sprays and gels may help in between brushings. Some pet owners have reported that they get the best results by brushing right after administering the spray or gel.

Popular Brands of Dental Sprays and Gels

Here are some of the better-known brands. We offer no endorsement; these links are for informational purposes only and you should conduct your own research with the help of your vet.

Pet toothbrushes (many pets prefer the soft finger brushes) and flavored toothpaste are also available.

Reader Comments About The Use Of Dental Sprays for Pets

I use the Leba spray for my 8 year old and it does work.
- 'Vicky'

I'm not sure how old your dog is, but if he/she is still quite young you can brush the teeth. I use chicken flavoured toothpaste and a finger brush to brush Bobby's teeth. He just loves it! As a matter of fact, when I say 'brush your teeth', he runs into the bathroom. Hope this helps.
- 'Me and My Bobby McGee'

I second "Me & Bobby McGee"'s comment about brushing their teeth, if your dog will let you! We also buy the chicken-flavoured toothpaste and we have a small red rubber "finger brush". We brush our dog's teeth every night before bed. He hates it actually but he is pretty good at letting us get it done.
- 'ilovedogs'

I used to use "Leba III", however the cost was a real deterrent. I found another, called "PetzLife". It comes in both spray and gel, costs about 1/2 of what Leba III costs, and is (in my opinion) equally effective.
- 'nrbarnes65'

I have ordered PetzLife from Amazon. I have brushed my golden retriever's teeth since she was a puppy. I have tried everything from the pet store for her breath. Nothing has worked. I started using PetzLife about a week ago and her breath is so much better. Her teeth also look whiter. She likes the taste. but as it says on the bottle, it is more effective if you also use a brush. I have found the finger type toothbrush works best for me as my dog licks so much the brush does not allow me to get past her licking to clean her teeth.
- 'Anonymous'

Wow, it looks like Leba III is popular. I just started using it on my dog. It has been about a week and a half. I don't see any noticeable difference yet.
- 'furkids'

I have been very reluctant to have my 3 year old, small dog put under anaesthetic just for teeth cleaning. I brush her teeth occasionally but she gets tartar build up very quickly. I recently found a product called Plaque Off that claims to remove plaque from teeth. It was only $20 a bottle and should last me a year. It gets sprinkled on food and has no taste. I've just started using it so I don't know how good it is yet.
- 'luvmydog'

My dog had some mild tartar on her molars, and I didn't want to put her thru anesthetic. I did with her mother, and after the procedure she developed a collapsed trachea which led to congestive heart failure. I got the Plaque-Off powder and used it on my present dog's kibble as directed daily. Within just a few weeks, her teeth looked to be plaque-free! Now I use it once or twice a week.
- 'TC'

My friend has a small dog and she has been using Leba III for over 4 months now. There has been a small difference in the amount of tartar on her dog's teeth but there is still quite a bit of tartar. On the other hand, I have been using Leba III for about 7 weeks now and there is a noticeable difference on my dog's teeth. The tartar is not completely gone but probably around 70% gone. I'm pretty happy with that.
- 'dogsjustwanttohavefun'

I've not used any of the other brands listed above. I have, however, used a product called Canine Mouth Drops. It's like a herbal mouth wash for dogs and also freshens their breath too! I love it and my dogs loves it!
- 'Libbii'

You can try PetzLife, which is half of the price of Leba Lab III. I have started using it on my dog and it has really improved her breath. I'm assuming the tartar takes time. If possible try to brush your dog's teeth. If you can't, try a wet washcloth and wrap it around your finger. It's a matter of your dog getting used to the routine, and of course lots of praise and perhaps a treat when your finished!

You should look at your dog's food as well. There is special food specifically for dental issues. Talk to your vet. Good luck!
- 'BowWow'

I tried PetzLife and was impressed with the results. It is only short term though. I give my dog, bones from the butcher (non-splintering) and they do a great job with her breath and tarter. Her teeth wear down more though.
- 'Karen'

Hi, I've been using Leba III for a few months and I do see a difference in the amount of tartar and especially the extra benefit of nicer smelling breath! There is not much info on the Internet about it but their website,, says it contains the following: Distilled water, Ethyl alcohol 25%, Lamiaceae and Rosaceae in trace elements. I spray it into the cap and use the provided eyedropper to squirt some into the dogs' mouths. My dogs are very small, but I would think the cost becomes a bit prohibitive for treating larger dogs.
- 'LP'

I have used Leba Lab III for almost 5 months now with my dog and I have to agree that it definitely does work.
- 'Terry'

I have tried Leba on my dog who has thick tartar on his molars plus on his other teeth about halfway up the tooth by the gumline. It took much longer than it says to start working. He has been on it for around 6 months and in the last month I have noticed some of the tartar has come off.
- 'Jan'

I was using PetzLife on my 2 dogs (Lacey age 2 with some tartar) (Sandy age 8 with a fair bit of tartar especially on back molars). I used it for about a year and it did seem to work on our older dog but not at all on the younger one. Lacey is not a fan of the taste and hates when i use it... Sandy lets me do anything. Anyway... it was quite expensive so I decided to try another product called Tropiclean clean teeth gel. It is fairly easy to administer even with the fussy one. I put it on before I go to bed and have seen some changes in Sandy and Lacey and its only been a few weeks!!!
- 'Anonymous'

My 12 yr. old cat had 4 more teeth pulled and a dental cleaning this week. I was using PetzLife but he acted like he hated it and it ended up the vet found he had a tooth with a completely rotten root so he probably just had tooth pain. If the teeth need pulling none of that stuff will help.
- 'Anonymous'

I lost my almost 15 yr old yorkie because of mouth/teeth issues. I felt horrible. Like humans, prevention is the best way. The earlier the better. Start brushing your pet's teeth early on. Start preventative care as early as possible. There are pet oral rinses that you can put in their water. This vet said, just that alone, would give your pet 80% chance more of never having teeth problems... God Bless all of you who love and care for your animals. I Hope this helps.
- 'Sad Yorkie/schnauzer owner'

I have used both Leba III and the PetzLife gel and still struggle to clear my dog's teeth of tartar. I think it depends on your dog's mouth chemistry. I have seen an improvement using both (not at the same time) but it took 6+ months, not 30 days. Still, it is a good choice rather than put my very old dog under for teeth cleaning.
- 'Anonymous'

I use Pet Life Oral Care Spray and the vets say my pommawawa has the best gums and teeth for his age, 13. And... he is still in need of a professional dental cleaning.
- 'Anonymous'

I tried Leba III for over a year on my dog and PetzLife gel for over 8 months. He didn't mind Leba III's taste but hated PetzLife. I would say there was only a small difference and neither of them helped that much.
- 'Anonymous'

I've not used any of the other brands listed above. I have, however, used a product called Canine Mouth Drops. It's like a herbal mouth wash for dogs and also freshens their breath too! I love it and my dogs loves it!
- 'daviesdiaz'

First, the active ingredient in these products is alcohol, which can be dangerous to some pets, especially with liver and kidney disease. I wouldn't want alcohol sprayed on my gums if they were inflamed. Second, if these products really worked, why wouldn't the companies go after the big bucks and sell them for humans? Hmmmm....

Also, the dental disease that affects other parts of the body and causes tooth is below the gum line, so all of those "cleanings" are missing the most important area of disease.
- 'pet concerner'

My vet prescribed Leba III for our 10 yo Greyhound who had kidney disease plus dental disease. The dog could not undergo anesthesia. Then I started using it on my other 3 dogs. It really works well. No teeth cleaning at all in over a year. It is expensive but gets much cheaper if you buy more at one time plus it has a 10 year shelf life. It has 25% ordinary alcohol (like vodka) but after the first month or so, you only use one small spray per day.
- 'Anonymous'

I used Leba III on my dog who has very bad teeth and it worked great. I know it is expensive but if it saves you from getting their teeth cleaned and putting them out once a year it is worth it. I brush my dog's teeth everyday when not using it but the brushing doesn't do as good a job it seems.
- 'Dana'

There are double blind studies that have been done and quite a bit of research on this if you look. I have been using Leba III on all of my dogs (3) since May of last year. One of them is quite elderly and have HUGE success. The tarter is GONE from their teeth. They kind of resist the spray, but it comes with an applicator if you want to do it that way, but I find the spraying isn't so bad. Keep in mind to not let your dog eat or drink half an hour before or after applying. This product is worth the cost, my vet is VERY impressed!! No more dentals for just cleaning!!
- 'goldengirl4ever'

First, dental disease is caused by PLAQUE, not tartar. Plaque, then tartar, below the gumline is the real culprit and can only be dealt with by hand scaling or ultrasonic scaling. We humans tolerate the procedure, pets do not, therefore anesthetic is required to do an adequate job. Those who claim anesthetic free cleaning are being charged a tremendous fee for something that has virtually no value other than appearance. Let's use common sense here, if people that brush several times per day, floss, still require dental prohphlaxis every 6 months, how could you believe a water spray with some herbs/alcohol would solve virtually the same problem in a pet?
- 'Anonymous'

As with most issues, getting to the root of a cause is, at times, challenging. Dental issues will not resolve themselves, and if you have waited until the dog's breath is overwhelming, then you have waited too long to address the problem. At this point, you need to have the professional dental cleaning.
- 'animal_voice'

I have been using Denta Sure for two weeks on my toy poodle. His teeth was getting pretty bad also his breath. Did not want to have to put him under also costly. I have used it for two weeks now and his teeth look really good. What a change in a short time. Also breath is just fine. He does not seem to mind the taste at all. I do it twice a day for a month and then just once a day to keep teeth white. Hope this helps.
- 'Elizabeth'

My 8+ year old mixed breed dog is quite healthy, but has plaque build-up on her back teeth. Last year, my vet recommended beef chews for plaque removal - however this dog is not a chewer - upon receiving a rawhide chew, she promptly buried it in the yard. (God love her!)

Last week, I saw Plaque Blast in a discount store, and decided to give it a try. It's quite easy to use, and in just one week I am noticing results. In fact, it's working so fast that I plan to cut back to once a day, and then perhaps just periodically. I do worry about the alcohol and/or other chemicals.
- 'Keep Peace'

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