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  • Writer's pictureSmart Bark

Best Dog Plaque Removers

Updated: 6 days ago

We were gifted a range of dog plaque removers to test and analyse. Smart Bark is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more


Very few dogs like having their teeth brushed, and some flat-out won’t tolerate it. But teeth and gum disease are “far and away” the most common health problem for dogs.


In fact 80% of dogs develop gum problems in the first few years of their lives.


Dog with a toothbrush

Unfortunately, nothing can replace teeth brushing as the best method for taking care of your dog's teeth and keeping those gnashers pearly white.


You should be aiming to brush your dog's teeth at least once a week, but once a day is best and hat's off you if you manage that!


We know that brushing simply isn’t an option for everyone. Training your dog to tolerate getting their teeth cleaned can take a lot of time and dedication that most of us don’t have.


If this just simply isn't an option for you, then don't despair. We've taken a look at some innovative plaque removal products on the UK market designed to keep those pearly whites gleaming.

JUNE 2024 : UPDATE - After the latest round of testing we've added PetLab Co. as our Top Pick Plaque Remover to our review

Only the best made it to our list so read on for our Ultimate Guide to Dog Plaque Removers.


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Best Plaque Removers for Your Dog

2. Runner Up

3. Best Budget Pick

Our Verdict

FAQs


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BEST PLAQUE REMOVERS FOR YOUR DOG



1. Best for Most Dog Lovers

PetLabCo ProBright


Although based in the UK, PetLab Co. are considered a leading US pet supplement supplier. Founded back in 2018 they cater to dog lovers who prioritise their dog's wellbeing and are interested in science backed solutions to canine health issues.


We've tested numerous plaque-fighting solutions over the years, and one ingredient stood out: a plaque powder enriched with seaweed. This innovative formula not only helps dissolve plaque on your dog's teeth but also tackles bad breath with its additional breath-freshening ingredients.


PetLab Co. ProBright for dogs

PetLab Co's ProBright is the first seaweed based dental powder to feature in our review.


While PetLab Co's ProBright isn't a magic bullet for existing dental problems, it shines as a preventative measure. Regularly adding it to your dog's food can help maintain healthy teeth and gums in the long run. Plus, consistent dental care at home can significantly reduce the need for expensive vet bills down the line.


In powder form, simply add the recommended scoop to your dog's food on a daily basis. Super easy to add to your routine and the vast majority of dog lovers report that even fussy dogs didn't notice it had been added to their meals (our testers too).


ProBright boasts a natural list of ingredients designed to promote your dog's oral health:

  • Seaweed: This ocean gem tackles tartar buildup and supports healthy gums.

  • Probiotics: These friendly bacteria help maintain a healthy balance in your dog's mouth.

  • Rosemary:  A breath-freshening warrior, rosemary combats doggy breath naturally.

  • Green Tea: Packed with antioxidants, green tea provides additional support for your pup's dental health.


PetLab Co. ProBright dog's teeth cleaner

In testing we loved that PetLab Co's ProBright is the only powder we feature which is available in three tailored formulas so you can select the size suitable for your dog.


Each pot of ProBright contains enough supplement for a month's worth of proactive dental care for your pup. For optimal results, PetLab Co recommends using ProBright for a few months. This allows the natural ingredients to work their magic and promote lasting improvements in your dog's oral health.


The downside is the cost although significant savings can be made if you subscribe and save and Smart Bark can offer 25% off. Whichever way you look at it, it's cheaper than pricey vet treatments !


It's worth mentioning that PetLab Co. also offer a liquid cleaning solution and prebiotic dental sticks.


Specification

Size : Small 45g for dogs up to 11kg | Medium 60g for dogs 11 -34kg | Large 90g for dogs over 34kg

Ingredients : Seaweed (brown algae), green tea and rosemary leaf extract

Form : Powder 


Reasons to Buy

  🦷 Simply add to food

  🦷 Ideal if you struggle to brush teeth

  🦷 All natural ingredients

  🦷 Fresher breath


Reasons to Avoid

   - Not as good as brushing

   - Not the cheapest


Buying Options


Up to 40% OFF plus a FREE gift



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2. Runner Up

Buddy & Lola


Buddy & Lola offer high quality, natural and highly effective supplements for all of the major health-related issues dogs will face throughout their lives. Their ever-expanding product range is created with all-natural nutrients, no nasties and approved by vets


Buddy & Lola Clean canines - plaque removal powder for dogs

Clean Canines ( recently renamed Pearly Pups) is a natural blend of seaweed, parsley, turmeric, charcoal and peppermint. The active ingredients work in conjunction to remove the plaque and bad breath with continued use.


Turmeric has a whole host of benefits for your dog including helping to maintain joint health and mobility but when it comes to oral health it's the natural abrasiveness that can really help your dog's teeth and gums.


The activated charcoal can act as a natural tooth whitening ingredient for dogs, as the activated charcoal binds and absorbs stains on your dog's teeth. It also acts as a breath freshener for dogs, which makes activated charcoal a perfect ingredient to add to your dog’s teeth cleaning regimen!


Lastly, the parsley and peppermint help to prevent bacteria building up to keep your dog's breath fresh.


The powder is easy to use, simply sprinkle on your dog's food. Our testers commented that they loved the long handled spoon, making it easy to find if left in the powder sachet.Oh! , and we thought we'd mention that Buddy & Lola now offer a supplement tin to make the powders even easier to measure out.


Buddy & Lola Supplement Tin

Based on recommended amounts, a sachet of Pearly Pups should last 30 days for a 11-25kg dog.


Pearly Pups goes beyond just seaweed. It's unique formula combines a blend of active ingredients, including offering a more comprehensive approach to dental care for your pup.


Buddy & Lola do offer a Subscribe and Save option offering a massive 30% off the single purchase price, so if you're looking to incorporate Pearly Pups into your dog's diet long term then this would make a great option.


They also have a 30 day no fuss money-back guarantee and free delivery with orders over £30.


Specification

Size : 120g 

Ingredients : seaweed, turmeric powder, parsley powder, activated charcoal, peppermint leaf powder & brewer's yeast.

Form : Powder 


Reasons to Buy

  🦷 Simply sprinkle on food

  🦷 Multiple active ingredients

  🦷 Tackles plaque and freshens breath

  🦷 Subscribe & Save option


Reasons to Avoid

   - Not as good as teeth brushing


Buying Options


For 15% OFF the entire Buddy & Lola range (first time purchases only)

enter SMARTBARK15 at checkout


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3. Best Budget Pick

Pets Purest Plaque Powder


We're big fans of Pets Purest natural supplements for dogs. They offer natural alternatives to many mass-produced pet products and they're free from any artificial chemicals, preservatives or fillers.


One of their hero products is Plaque Powder. By simply adding a powder such as Pets Purest Plaque Removal Powder to your dogs dinner each day, you can significantly reduce the build up of plaque on your dog's teeth.


Pets Purest Plaque Pro for dogs

Clearly, it won't replace brushing but it will make a great addition to their dental care routine.


So what is Plaque Removal Powder ?


Amazingly, it has a single ingredient - seaweed. Seaweed is known to keep your dog's teeth clean and can minimise bad dog breath naturally.


It's worth noting that it's also packed with fibre and is prebiotic (which helps sustain good bacteria in your pet's stomach) so is nutritious too.


Pets Purest Plaque Removal Powder contains a mini scoop and recommends sprinkling 1 - 3 scoops to your dog's food daily depending on the size of your dog.


Based on daily recommended amounts for a 10-25kg dog, the tub should last approx. 62 days. Clearly, this pot will last you and your dog a long time so it's great value.


Specification

Size : 185g 

Ingredients : Seaweed

Form : Powder 


Reasons to Buy

  🦷 Simply add to food

  🦷 One natural ingredient

  🦷 Great value

  🦷 Fresher breath


Reasons to Avoid

   - Not as good as brushing


Buying Options


Pets Purest are offering 10% OFF their entire range

 Enter discount code WELCOME10 at checkout


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4. Best Dental Spray for Dogs

Pets Purest


Another product from the Pets Purest collection of dental products is their 100% natural dental spray for cats and dogs.

Pets Purest Dental Spray for dogs

Alongside their Daily Dental Supplement Treats and their Plaque Remover (featured earlier), is their dental spray which is made right here in the UK.


Using electrolysed water, the dental spray can be used daily to help keep teeth clean, fight infections and keep your dog's breath fresh.


Simply spray a small amount into each side of your dogs mouth - it really is that easy. Crucially it's hypoallergenic and fragrance free.


The truth is that Pets Purest Dental Spray could be a great addition to your dogs oral care, easy to administer and great value.


Lots of reviews from happy customers reporting that it's successfully tackled their dogs bad breath.


Specification

Size : 250ml

Ingredients : Electrolysed water, salt, F.A.C - Active Ingredient Hypochlorous Acid (a weak acid produced by pets immune system to fight infection )

Form : Spray


Reasons to Buy

🦷 Simply spray in your dogs mouth

🦷 Ideal if you struggle to brush teeth

🦷 All natural ingredients

🦷 Fresher breath


Reasons to Avoid

- Not as good as teeth brushing


Buying Options

Pets Purest are offering 10% off their entire range

Enter discount code WELCOME10 at checkout



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5. Best Dog Dental Sticks Overall

Whimzees


Whilst dog's love antlers and bones, in some cases they can cause more harm than good. Basically, anything that you can't break with your own hands can chip or even break your dog's teeth.


Dental sticks or chews are much softer so are a great addition to your dogs diet. They're a quick and easy method of reducing tartar as they exercise your dog's chewing muscles and provide a mild cleaning effect on the teeth.


There's lots of dental sticks on the market, but we have two firm favourites depending on the size of both your dog and your pockets.


Whilst they may not be the cheapest option, we've found that Whimzees are the best dental sticks at removing plaque.


whimzees dental chews for dogs

Experts suggest that for a dental stick to be effective, it should take your dog over 5 minutes to eat it.


We also love Whimzees because they are natural, contain no artificial ingredients, flavours or additives.


As well as being super cute, the shapes have a purpose and are uniquely designed to ensure proper blood flow through your dog's gums helping to prevent bad breath and tartar build up.

The complete range of Whimzees offers a choice of single shape or variety packs in various pack sizes. Whimzees recommend giving your dog one stick a day for an effective cleaning routine.

Yes, they're pricey, but Whimzees chews can last up to 3 times longer than the leading competitor so are definitely worth a look.

Specification

Size : 6 sizes including 2 aimed at puppies

Ingredients : Potato Starch, Glycerin, Powdered Cellulose, Lecithin, Yeast, Malt Extract, Lupine, Annatto Extract Colour, Alfalfa Extract

Form : Chew


Reasons to Buy

🦷 All natural ingredients

🦷 If you struggle to brush your dog's teeth

🦷 Firm texture promoting longer chewing

🦷 Range of sizes and shapes


Reasons to Avoid

- Pricier than other dental sticks


Buying Options



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6. Best Value Dog Dental Sticks

Forthglade


If you're looking for something a bit cheaper, then take a look at Forthglade's plant based dental sticks. Their dental sticks been developed by vets and can not only help to remove tartar and plaque but also help to freshen nasty dog breath.


Forthglade dental sticks and ingredients

Smart Bark are obviously not the only ones to recommend them, as they won the Your Dog magazine 2023 product award for the Best Health Product.


We love that they're completely plant based and grain-free so are ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs.


Another major selling point, is that they sell one size which you simply break up depending on the size of your dog.


They're available in resealable packs of 5. The small pack size option offers a great opportunity to try the dental sticks before you commit to buying a lot.


Close up of the Forthglade dental sticks for dogs

When you love them, and we're sure you will, you can then take advantage of the big savings offered by the larger packs.


We found that although they had a fairly rigid, slightly spongy texture, they were easy to break by hand before offering.


Smell wise, they were a welcome change to the more meaty smelling dental sticks on the market which can quite frankly pong a bit !

In testing, the Forthglade dental stick lasted an amazing 10 minutes with a 12kg Cockapoo but only 2 minutes with a much larger Labrador.


So compared to the much harder Whimzees, they were demolished fairly quickly by the Labrador, we would suggest that they are more suitable for smaller to medium breeds.


Specification

Size : 1 size stick - L 14cm x H 3cm x D 2.5 cm

Ingredients : potato flour, potato starch, natural vegetable glycerin, dried liquorice root, dried algae, fennel, parsley, peppermint and eucalyptus oil

Form : Chew


Reasons to Buy

🦷 Easy - it's a dog chew!

🦷 All plant based ingredients

🦷 Gentle on sensitive tummies

🦷 Multiple pack sizes

🦷 Good value


Reasons to Avoid

- Didn't last as long as Whimzees


Buying Options

First time customers use discount code

 SMARTBARK40 for a massive 40% OFF

OR

Existing customers use discount code SMARTBARK15

for 15% OFF




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7. Best Dog Toy for Teeth

Rucacio Cactus Chew Toy


If you have a dog that simply loves to chew, then a dog chew toy from Rucacio might be a great answer to improving dental hygiene.

A cactus dog chew toy for dental health

Their super tough and very popular range of chew toys are made from the industrial-strength rubber and help with your dogs intense urge to gnaw.


The durable and aligned bristles inside the brush head help clean plaque from those hard to reach areas.


If you want to extend the chew time, we suggest simply squeezing dog toothpaste or dog friendly peanut butter into the grooves.


If you have a power chewer, definitely look at the large size blue chew toy.These have been developed with power chewers and dogs up to 40kg in mind.


Available in a choice of three sizes to suit all sizes and breeds of dog.

We recommend using the dog chew toy once a day (under supervision) to help keep on top of plaque and tartar build up. The chew toy can be cleaned with water and detergent after each use.

Specification

Size : 3 sizes including 1 aimed at aggressive chewers

Form : Chew Toy


Reasons to Buy

🦷 Amazingly tough

🦷 Can add toothpaste

🦷 Range of sizes

🦷 Great for aggressive chewers


Reasons to Avoid

- If your dog doesn't chew


Buying Options



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8. Best Dog Ball for Teeth

Eco-Pets


If you're dog loves chasing balls then the rubber dental ball from Eco-Pets would make a great option,


dog with rubber dental ball from Eco-Pet

This blue spiky ball is 7.5cm in diameter, making it ideal for medium sized dogs. The spikes on the surface gently massage your dog's teeth and gums helping to remove plaque whilst they play and grip the ball.


Made from thermoplastic rubber (TPR), which is very hardwearing so perfect for dog's that love to chew, yet it's very flexible so gentle on teeth.


In testing, Freddie loved playing Fetch with the dental ball and we loved that it is like combining fun and dental care in one!


However like all dog toys, it's not indestructible so please supervise your dog whilst playing.


Specification

Size : 7.5cm diameter ball in pack of 3

Form : Chew Toy


Reasons to Buy

   🦷 Durable

   🦷 Great for games of fetch

   🦷 Blue (dog's see blue best)

   🦷 Gentle & hardwearing

   🦷 Good value

  

Reasons to Avoid

   - If your dog doesn't like balls!


Buying Options


Looking for another fun way to fight plaque?  The K9 Connectable range of puzzle toys offers a playful approach to dental care. We recently tested and reviewed this amazing range, so be sure to check it out!


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9. Best Finger Toothbrush

Beaphar


Finger brushes with a soft head are excellent for smaller dogs and puppies and they make a great starting point for teeth cleaning before you venture onto a full-sized toothbrush.

Beaphar finger toothbrush for dogs

Beaphar are renowned for their dog wellbeing range particularly their extensive dental care collection.


They offer this pack of 2 reusable finger toothbrushes. Crafted with silicone micro-fibre bristles, they are ideal for safe and comfortable teeth cleaning.


The extra-soft bristles won't startle your dog or cause any unnecessary discomfort. We found that the silicone is fairly soft so comfortable on your finger and fits even the largest hands.


Simply slip one of the brushes on your finger and gently move the bristles back and forth over your dog's teeth. You can consider adding Beaphars dog toothpaste once your dog is accustomed to the finger brush.


Specification

Size : 1 size

Form : Finger toothbrush


Reasons to Buy

🦷 Gentle

🦷 Ideal starting point for teeth cleaning

🦷 Great for puppies and small dogs


Reasons to Avoid

- If you struggle with brushing


Buying Options


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10. Best Dental Kit

Beaphar Toothbrush & Toothpaste


Obviously, the gold standard for keeping your dog's teeth clean will always be brushing your dog's teeth with a toothbrush and toothpaste.

Beaphar Toothbrush & Toothpaste Set

A great place to start is the Beaphar Toothbrush and Toothpaste. The kit includes a double-headed toothbrush and a tube of their vet strength toothpaste.


The uniquely designed toothbrush works to reach around and between your dog's teeth making your job quicker and easier.


It has two brush head sizes, each with varying length bristles to help you to reach all your dog's teeth.


The toothpaste is liver flavoured so should appeal to most dogs (if not their humans) ! Vet strength, it uses advanced enzymes to fight plaque, bacteria and tartar build-up. It's worth noting that it doesn't need rinsing and is also safe to ingest.


Ultimately, the toothbrush and toothpaste work together to not only keep your dog's teeth and gums clean but also freshen your dog's breath.

We recommend Beaphar's dental products because they are affordable and reliable health grooming products from a company with pet care heritage.

Their range also includes a tooth gel that doesn't require brushing and a puppy dental kit.


Specification

Ingredients - fluoride-free, liver flavoured

Size : 1 Size - double-ended

Form : Toothbrush & Toothpaste


Reasons to Buy

🦷 Gentle

🦷 Liver flavoured

🦷 Double ended toothbrush


Reasons to Avoid

- If you struggle with brushing


Buying Options


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OUR VERDICT


PetLab Co. ProBright earned our top pick as the best overall dog plaque remover (when a toothbrush isn't an option). It ticks all the boxes for an all natural, highly effective solution to your dog's oral issues which is incredibly easy to incorporate into your daily routine.


Depending on your budget, we also recommend Whimzees or Forthglade New Plant Based Dental Sticks. They're an easy way to improve your dog's dental hygiene. Yes, we know there are lots of dental sticks on the market, but both of these dental sticks are 100% natural.


All Beaphar's extensive range of dental products for dogs are worth considering, but we'd suggest starting with the finger toothbrushes to get your dog comfortable with you touching their mouth and teeth and then slowly moving onto the full toothbrush and toothpaste.



We hope that we've offered you a range of different options to improve your dog's dental hygiene.



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FAQs


Can I use a Home Descaler on my dog's teeth ?

Once the plaque build-up has progressed and it won't brush off, the only way to remove it is with a metal scaler. If you have a very relaxed dog and you feel confident, you might be tempted to buy a Canilab Descaler or similar.


However, according to your vet, it's not just the descaling that's important, it's the polishing too, which removed the tiny grooves in the enamel of your dog's teeth often made during descaling. It’s all about buffing off those micro-grooves and restoring the smooth, plaque-repelling surface to the tooth.


If these grooves are left they actually encourage plaque build up - so you could be making the problem worse in the long term !


Can I use human toothpaste ?

Definitely not. Human tooth care products usually contain fluoride which is toxic to dogs and can result in serious health problems. In addition, toothpaste contains a foaming agent, which if swallowed will irritate your dog’s stomach.


Can dog food clean my dog's teeth ?

The idea that dry biscuits or kibble helps clean your dog's teeth has been generally disproven. In fact, current thinking is that fresh food is now seen as better for your dog's dental hygiene. Let's face it most dogs tend to inhale their food anyway, rather than spending time chewing it.



Are bones good for teeth cleaning ?

Raw bones are an excellent and natural way to clean your dog's teeth. Simply the action of chewing meat from a bone helps to remove tartar and plaque. So there is some sense in the saying - 'Give a dog a bone'.


Beware though, bones do come with some very important safety warnings -

🦴 Only offer raw bones as cooked bones can splinter and cause choking.

🦴 Only use for 15 minutes twice a week

🦴 Discard the bone if it's too small

🦴 Don't leave your dog unsupervised

Jack Russell with a toothbrush

What's the best method for cleaning my dog's teeth ?

That really depends on your dog's willingness to let you brush their pearly whites. The gold standard has to be a toothbrush and toothpaste.


If you're thinking of trying a toothbrush and toothpaste for the first time can we suggest introducing the toothpaste on your finger.


This way your dog can get familiar with the taste of the toothpaste and become comfortable with you touching their teeth and gums. Once this is a pleasant experience, then you can introduce the toothbrush.


If that's not possible and your attempts leave your dog distressed then any of the dental care options featured here is a lot better than nothing at all.



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Thanks for stopping by and reading our article on the Best Dog Plaque Removers.


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