06/24/2010 at 06:10 PM EDT
When friends of mine meet my 10-year-old Maltese Ethel for the first time, they tend to do the nice thing and squeal about how cute she is. They pick her up, get close to her face, and hesitantly ask what she had to eat that day.
"Did she just have some fish...?"
Rank. Stank. That's my old lady's mouth for you. And despite my best efforts to work on her dental care – brushing her teeth multiple times a week, getting a different food bowl to help slow down her eating – she still manages to knock me out once in a while with her hot, smelly breath.
Suffice it to say I was pleased to try something new in Ethel's dental hygiene routine, which I got to do with TropiClean's Fresh Breath Made Easy
line of oral care products. The natural pet product company makes a fresh mint foam
, an oral care water additive
, a clean teeth gel
and dental treats
that are designed to prevent periodontal disease and to help your pet to get fresher breath – all without brushing.
The water additive's ingredients include purified water, aloe vera and chloride, and frankly smells a bit like bubble gum-flavored cough syrup. The foam, though instantly effective (Ethel's breath has never smelled so minty!), looked a little like she was a rabid dog foaming at the mouth, not to mention that the foam kept dripping down her chin.
My favorite of the three was the clean teeth gel, which you apply with a gentle squeeze of the bottle onto the teeth. It's quite simple, doesn't take a lot of time or effort, and it's a fun little thing to do at night (I know, it's probably not a good sign when I think that treating my dog's teeth is a fun evening activity). I'm probably not going to keep using the whole system, but the gel is working for me – and hopefully for Ethel, too. I guess we'll find out at her next dental exam! See more product reviews on PEOPLEPets.com:REVIEW: Thermacare Bed Can Help Teach an Old Dog to Lie DownREVIEW: A Collar That Will Never Lose Your Leash