Product Reviews: The ScanMarker and Orapup: One You’ll Want RIGHT NOW, the Other, Not So Much

by Susi on May 31, 2013

in KnobNots, Orapup, Product review, Product Reviews, Scanmarker

Post image for Product Reviews: The ScanMarker and Orapup: One You’ll Want RIGHT NOW, the Other, Not So Much

Every so often, a product comes along that works so well it makes me want to shout, “Eureka!” from the rooftops. Because I do a fair amount of information entry for my work, I feel like I’ve been waiting for something like the Scanmarker all my working life. With this handy device, I can scan printed text from a book, magazine or document into any computer application within seconds simply by scrolling over sentences the way I would mark them with a yellow highlighter.

Gentle pressure activates the scanning light, and one simply “scans” a sentence the way one would use a highlighter.

I was able to scan library book, borrowed documents, and anything else I didn’t want to mark.  Imagine being able to scan information right into your lap top from catalogs at a dog show, entering the sometimes impossible names of foreign born dogs from a pedigree, or inputing show information if you’re a club secretary….

This gives you an idea of the pen size. I have small hands but found the size easy to work with

Scanmarker software gives you the option to use the device in your right or left hand.  I have small hands, but the “pen” was easy to use

The Scanmarker comes with software and a cord which connects one end of the pen to a USB port on the computer

The Scanmarker comes with software and a cord that’s long enough to connect from one end of the pen to a USB port on the computer and still allow you to have “elbow room” as you scan

At present, the Scanmarker can only be used on a PC, but a Macintosh application is expected to be available by the end of the month. In addition to scanning text, the software also enables you to hear your computer “say” aloud the words you’re scanning, as well as translate from over 50 different languages while you scan. The pen sells for $79.95 and was delivered within a week of my ordering it. I freaking love this thing!

In contrast, while I bought the Scanmarker for myself, I was recently sent a product to test that I never knew I needed: Orapup Dog Breath Brush.

Orapup. "Beat Bad Dog Breath Without a Toothbrush"

Orapup. “Beat Bad Dog Breath Without a Toothbrush”

What Orapup wants you to believe:  Orapup’s “dog breath brush” reaches “deep into the uneven crevices of a dog’s tongue with soft, pointed bristles that were fashioned after a surgeon’s scrub brush (picture “McDreamy” scrubbing away next to Meredith in Grey’s Anatomy).  The brush’s four inline scrapers coated with chicken flavored “Lickies” collect and remove bacteria and residue generated from the brushing which help cure a dog’s bad breath. The brush is designed “with a dog’s natural licking tendencies in mind……Dogster.com.” The starter kit comes with the brush and a 2 oz. bottle of “Lickies,” an anti-plaque enzyme which, when applied to the brush, encourages the dog to lick away bad breath. When the dog is done licking, the Orapup is easily rinsed with water until it’s used again.

Thankfully, the bristles ARE soft, otherwise the brush would still be latched onto a couple of Puli faces

Thankfully, the bristles ARE soft, otherwise the brush would still be latched onto a couple of Puli faces

What I believe: A healthy dog doesn’t have bad breath. Offering a chicken-flavored anti-plaque enzyme may be a “feel good” thing to do to fight oral bacteria, but in reality, the dog probably needs its teeth brushed, if not professionally cleaned. A complete examination of the dog’s mouth is probably in order as well, and should be a routine part of dog ownership. Had I not been in the habit of rummaging around my dogs’ mouths, I would have missed a slab fracture on one of them, and a tumor under the gum line on another. There’s no substitute for brushing your dog’s teeth, or for periodic ultrasonic/subsonic scaling and polishing by a qualified veterinarian. Because most of us in the dog fancy are vigilant about our dogs’ teeth, this product probably isn’t for us – but I cringe at the thought of any dog suffering with a toothache (or worse, since dental problems can lead to cardiac issues) because of poor hygiene. Orapup may be a starting point for the average pet owner whose dog has halitosis, but in my view, the end point should be at the vet’s office.

One of my dogs was skeptical, but eventually licked the brush more out of politeness than zeal

One of my dogs was skeptical, but eventually he licked the brush (more out of politeness, I think, than actual zeal)

For anyone considering Orapup for their pet, something else of which to be mindful is the ingredients in “Lickies.” After water, the next major ingredient is brown rice syrup which is 45% maltose,  3% glucose and 52% maltotriose. It has a glycemic index higher than table sugar since it’s composed of glucose, maltose and maltotriose, and owners of diabetic dogs will want to consult their veterinarian before using Lickies on their dog. I was struck by the smell of saltiness in Lickies’ chicken flavored liquid, but sodium benzoate, a preservative,  and potassium sorbate, the potassium salt of sorbic acid, are the last two ingredients listed. I’m not a chemist, but I’d still be reluctant to offer this to a dog with kidney or heart issues.

And there you have it. A huge thumbs up to Scanmarker, but for Orapup, a wilted thumb.

 

{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Beth Adams May 31, 2013 at 12:10 pm

The look on your dog’s face says it all!

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Susi May 31, 2013 at 6:10 pm

You see a face??? WHERE???

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Debby Roberts July 30, 2013 at 6:16 am

I love the tongue brush for my dogs. However, the Lickies are horrible, and I paid for extra Lickies (a waste of money). The stuff smells worse than any dog breath ever. I brush my dogs’ teeth, but I am using another product on the tongue cleaner. And yes! Some healthy dogs have bad breath. I have standard poodles and they are known for bad breath. Long snout dogs quite often have bad breath. One of mine has the worst breath every. He had his teeth cleaned at the vet office yesterday and he is only two years old. Once his pain and swelling is gone from the dental procedure, I will continue to brush his teeth and use tooth wipes to clean his gums.

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Susi July 30, 2013 at 11:00 am

Thanks for sharing your experience, Debby – and good for you for staying on top of your dog’s tooth brushing. It’s more important than people realize – bad teeth can even lead to cardiac issue, something we’ve seen in dogs rescued from auction blocks. I’ve not heard before that long snouted dogs are prone to bad breathe and I’ll look into it since I live and learn!

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Jessie November 6, 2013 at 11:55 am

Debby,

Can you tell me what product your using on the Orapup instead of the Lickies? Does your dog still like to like the Orapup as much as with the Lickies?

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DebbyRoberts November 7, 2013 at 6:11 am

I use enzyme toothpaste from the vet on the Orapup. The dogs don’t care, they just enjoy the attention and licking anything. Yes, they still like the Orapup. They will actually lick it without anything on it!

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Susi November 7, 2013 at 11:27 am

Thanks for responding to Jessie, Debby – I love information sharing!

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Susi November 20, 2013 at 10:41 am

Good to know, Debby, thanks for passing this along. In the end, it’s about helping the dogs and if a few people have had good results with Orapup – wonderful!

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Carole August 6, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Unfortunately, some dogs do have horrid breath, regardless of daily brushing, etc. My dog is 18 years old and has dry mouth, which is common in old dogs. Dry mouth promotes bacteria, bad breath, decay. There are effective products to help keep the mouth moist but they’re not 100%. Also, at 18 years old, anesthetic required to professionally clean his teeth could have a tragic result. I brush his teeth daily, use toothpaste, rinse and oral gel specifically designed for dry mouth. He still has horrible breath but not nearly as bad as it would be if I were not using those products. His teeth haven’t been professionally cleaned in 2 1/2 years and they are still very white, clean and gums are healthy. Only the very back molars have any plaque on them. He does not have gingivitis, either. He was 15 when I rescued him and he had raging gingivitis at that time. None now. He has all his teeth except one, which had to be pulled when he was rescued. Not bad for such an old guy.

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Susi August 6, 2013 at 4:40 pm

18 years old is quite a testament to your dog AND your care of him – well done!

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Ema August 18, 2013 at 7:39 am

We use Orapup and our three dogs love it. It’s difficult for them to stand still for a tooth brushing but, in between, the Orapup is something they think of as a treat. They’ve been into the vet who has said their teeth are in excellent shape. I don’t agree with your wilted thumb on the Orapup – it’s something I can use to adjust them to teeth brushing – one is a recent rescue dog without getting bitten. : )

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Susi August 18, 2013 at 10:15 am

I welcome feedback, Ema, and appreciate the time you took to share your own experience with Orapup. Ultimately, what matters is that you’ve found something that your dogs enjoy and that’s good for their teeth. I know of people who feed raw chicken wings to their dogs (it has to be raw) and their dogs’ teeth are so brilliant white as to be almost blinding (ok, I exaggerate) – but it works for them. Orapup wasn’t a good fit for my dogs and I can only go by my own experiences, but I’ll never discount someone else’s satisfaction with a product. Thanks for writing!

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amanda September 11, 2013 at 1:11 am

Curious to know, does the dogs breath now smell like the orapup stuff or does the bad breath just dissipate? I don’t know which I’d prefer. I am also hesitant to use something so high in sodium and sugar for my dogs. One is also unable to get his teeth professionally cleaned at the vet because of issues with anesthesia. I still brush all my dogs teeth (we have 3) but our little guy just seems to have bad breath more so than the others and they all have the same diet. I wonder if you could just put doggy toothpaste on the orapup thing instead of their smelly solution…? would that work? I am hesitant to waste money on yet another gadget that is a waste of time and money.

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Susi September 11, 2013 at 10:01 am

Amanda, according to the package information, the enzyme solution kills bacteria which causes bad breath. It doesn’t address what would cause the formation of bacteria in the first place besides plaque which is why a thorough examination of the dog’s mouth and throat may be called for if the dog’s breath is truly awful. If you’re certain there isn’t a growth, any kind of abscess or tooth fracture, I don’t know why putting the doggie toothpaste on the orapup tool wouldn’t work. Something else to try is a sterile patch of gauze (like what we use to cover a wound) – or even a bit cut off a roll of gauze (sterile); the texture has friction which, if you put a dab of toothpaste) would “scrape” against the dog’s tongue much like the Orapup tool does.

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Cat September 20, 2013 at 1:17 pm

All my dogs have lived into their upper teens. I never brushed their teeth. They had regular vet checkups and care. How many animals beside us brush? Exactly. I also know someone whose dog died under anesthesia while getting his teeth cleaned.

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Susi September 20, 2013 at 3:23 pm

I suspect the different between companion dogs needing to have their teeth brushed versus other animals who don’t (need it) is diet. In the wild, dogs eat every part of their kill, including the bones which do a rather nice job of keeping teeth scaled. One need only to look at the teeth of a pet dog who gets raw chicken wings/necks as part of their diet to see that their teeth GLEAM. Most companions dogs these days get kibble, canned dog food, but rarely raw bones.

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Linda June 6, 2016 at 11:34 pm

Susi, I don’t completely agree that diet is the answer. I have two dogs who have both been on 100% raw diet their whole lives. Their food is identical except for the amount as one is small-ish (25 lbs) and the other is medium (43 lbs). Our small dog has a terrible problem with plaque and bad breath (we can smell his breath across the room when he is panting), while the other dog has beautiful, clean teeth and (while not minty fresh) she has “neutral” breath.

I don’t know what the difference is, but the smaller dog was developing a foundation for dental disease and we reluctantly had his teeth cleaned by the vet. I have started brushing both of their teeth daily and I hope that will prevent the need for future dental cleanings.

I like the concept of OraPup tongue cleaner, but am appalled that there is any sugar at all in the product. Yikes! Sugar has no business in the dental regimen of any creature! I’ll be switching to DebbyRoberts’s suggestion of enzyme toothpaste on the tongue cleaner.

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Susi June 7, 2016 at 11:31 am

An interesting comment, Linda. I have to think that the natural pH of dogs varies among them, so I imagine you “played around” with the small dog’s diet to see if a higher or lower acidity/alkaline diet made any difference? At the end of the day, what I most care about is that each dog gets what s/he needs, whether it’s at odds with my review or not, and if you wouldn’t mind, report back after having used enzyme toothpaste to see if that helped?

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Trisha December 10, 2013 at 3:11 am

Im 48 and have had very happy and healthy dogs since I was 4 yrs old. Tooth brushes for dogs? Its just another “guilt” charge. Everyone is an abusive, neglectful jerk if they dont brush a dogs teeth and spend all kinds of money for many, many other un-needed services for their pets. Its a real shame how veterinary services turned into just another business over the years and its all done one guilt trip after another. Shameful.

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Susi December 10, 2013 at 9:46 am

I have to agree that these days, we’re guilted into buying our dogs items which make US feel better, but do very little for the dog. That said, I don’t think toothbrushes are one of them. Veterinary medicine has come a long way since we were kids, and learning that bad oral health can account for heart problems via bacteria was a big step in the right direction. I think too, Trisha, that our dogs ate differently when we were kids which also accounts for tartar build up. I do hear what you’re saying, however, and agree in large part. We over-vaccinate our dogs, put them on heart worm medication “just to be safe” even when we don’t live in a place at risk for heart worm….

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Kathy Pierce May 2, 2016 at 9:05 am

I try to brush our eight dogs teeth on a regular basis (all are spayed/neutered and live inside). Many are rescues with medical issues. One older Maltese rescued from a disgusting breeder years ago had solid green teeth…not one speck of white. When the vet touched them four fell out and more had to be pulled. Her lower jaw had partially rotted because her mouth was so full of infection. She also had a heart condition most likely because of her teeth. She lived 3 1/2 more quality years because of the care of two of my very good friends. We just had three of our dogs’ teeth cleaned by our vet. No matter what anyone says, dental care is just as important for your pet as it is for you. Also, we give Heartgard Plus EVERY month, warm or cold. It just takes one warm day for an infected mosquito to find your dog. Here in Illinois I can’t tell you how many sweet dogs we have rescued with heart worms. I’m not thrilled about giving Heartgard Plus or Nexgard to my dogs, but the alternative seems much worse. We had a friend whose dog died from a tick bite. It’s our responsibility to take care of our pets.

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Susi May 2, 2016 at 10:05 am

No argument from me, Kathy, regular dental care is hugely important. Bacteria from poorly maintained teeth can make its way to the heart, and I know that some dogs of my breed that were acquired from a hideous auction came with terrible teeth and heart issues.

cindy October 21, 2013 at 9:31 am

I wish I had read your review before using Orapup. It actually made my dog’s breath worse. Total waste of money.

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Susi October 21, 2013 at 9:36 am

Good to know, Cindy, thanks for sharing the information which is helpful to all of us!

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Phyllis July 8, 2014 at 3:13 am

Cindy I just read on Orapup site that you only use 2-3 drops on the brush so your dog breath doesn’t smell worst. I hope this helps.

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Tim November 8, 2013 at 2:15 am

I must say that in normal situations the editor may be right, must be nice to stand on a pillar and feel you know everything… but we have a dog with breath that is sooo bad, like something died “death breath” is what we call it. She has been to vet many times to find out why (plus normal visits over 9 years) and to no avail they have no explanation. if this works.. trust me since she is a dog that loves to be in your face for love.. well worth it period !!!

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Laurie November 20, 2013 at 8:38 am

We rescued a Yorkie 3 years ago, and though we take her to the vet and she has her teeth cleaned regularly, her breath is enough to “curl your nose hairs” as my husband would say. Seriously, “diaper breath” doesn’t begin to describe it. And we too have been very concerned about health issues (because surely this can’t be normal), but our vet has assured us on multiple occasions that she is very healthy and that Yorkies are just known for horrendously bad breath. But it hasn’t stopped us from trying numerous products in an effort to find something that worked…including dental chews prescribed by the vet. And nothing has ever worked (though we still give her the dental chews nightly because they have helped tremendously with keeping the plaque buildup down). But after some more recent research, we found Orapup and decided to give it a try. She would not lick it at first…..looked almost afraid of it actually. Then my husband suggested putting a dot of the beef/bacon flavoring on my finger and putting it in her mouth so she would know what it tasted like….and that was the ticket. She even followed me to the kitchen when I took it away, and we noticed an improvement in her breath the first night. Maybe it doesn’t work for every dog….I don’t think there’s one more finicky than ours….but it certainly works for her. And we are grateful to have something that will help her breath smell as “healthy” as she actually is.

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Susi November 20, 2013 at 10:18 am

Thanks for writing, Laurie – it’s helpful to get a myriad of opinions about products I review here, especially if it’s something that worked for one dog, but not mine. In the end, what’s important is that you found something that works for your dog.

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Lenore February 6, 2016 at 2:02 pm

Hi Laurie,
Thanks so much for your Orapup bad breath product review. I am def ordering it because of your review. I would also like to know what brand/kind of dog chews your vet recommended for keeping the plaque down/off of your little Yorkie. I have a Silky Terrier that has the same problem with both her breath and teeth. Thanks so much!

Lenore

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Susi November 20, 2013 at 10:40 am

I’m sorry you see me that way, Tim. Like you and everyone else, I have an opinion, only I write about it. I’m delighted you found something that might work for your dog because in the end, that’s what counts. My dogs didn’t love it, perhaps yours will. Climbing back up on my pillar now.

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robinjk December 7, 2013 at 6:59 pm

Our dogs (14 yo and 2 yo) love the Orapup product. In fact they try to run off with the plastic brush and use it as a chew toy. Jury’s still out for us on whether it really improves breath in the long term, but short term it seems to provide some improvement. Our 2yo has had bad breath since we adopted her at 10 months. She has sparkling teeth and a clean bill of health from the vet, so I’m in agreement w others on here that some dogs just have funky breath (maybe a change of food would help). Susi, just some feedback – your “review” on this product was really more of an opinion piece, which is fine, but call it like it is.

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Susi December 7, 2013 at 7:12 pm

I’m delighted you found the product works for you, Robin, and I’m glad you shared your experience here. The more input we have, the better informed readers will be, and that’s a good thing! I’m puzzled, however, that my review of any product would be construed as anything BUT my opinion. What else could it be? Every piece I write is based on my own views, whether the subject is on the animal rights movement, the value of centipedes or a product review. Every product review – regardless of who writes it – IS that person’s opinion.

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Karen Smith February 8, 2014 at 7:49 pm

Well stated, Susi:)

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Susi February 8, 2014 at 7:55 pm

Thanks, Karen!

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Al April 1, 2014 at 9:00 am

I understand what Robinjk was saying about your review. Rather than talking about your experiences/results using Orapup (which would be a review) you gave your opinion about the ingredients etc. After reading your statements I wasn’t even clear whether you had tried it.

Whether you gave a review or an opinion I value what you had to say. Thank you for pointing out the downside to some of the ingredients – I wouldn’t have thought about it (I’m a first time dog owner). I appreciate what experienced owners have to pass on to us newbies.

My dog does have a breath problem even though the vet says his teeth are in excellent condition and that I am keeping them very clean. I have changed his diet and that hasn’t worked either. I may still try this – he doesn’t have any underlying health issues and the brush alone would help to clean his tongue. I’ll let you know if I do and what the results were.

I enjoy reading your site.

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Susi April 1, 2014 at 10:02 am

Thanks, Al. Constructive criticism (emphasis on the constructive) is helpful and I’ll bear yours in mind for future reviews. I did actually offer the Orapup to my dogs, and if the “review” was short on details, it’s because my dogs didn’t like the product enough to give me results. I didn’t force the issue because if the ingredients make me leery, the whole product is diminished in my eyes. I think the brush alone with your own natural ingredients would be the next thing I’d try. Your situation is puzzling. Persistent bad breath, as you know, usually indicates that something is going on: Unusually sweet or fruity breath can indicate diabetes, breath that smells like urine can be a sign of kidney disease while an especially foul odor can signal liver problem. I imagine your vet has run blood work, that you’ve run your finger all along your dog’s gums and roof to eliminate that area, and that you’re positive the dog isn’t eating his or her droppings. They say chewing on bones stimulates saliva production which helps to clean out the mouth – I suppose that’s worth a try. I hesitate mentioning this because it sounds counter-intuitive, but dogs who are given raw (it has to be raw) chicken wing or neck bones have the pearliest white teeth I’ve ever seen, and their breath smells normal. We’ve learned this from people who feed a raw diet – perhaps that’s one more thing you could investigate?

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Reid December 12, 2013 at 8:41 pm

I have read all the above comments and have greatly benefited by the rationale submitted. Thank You, to each of you. Orapup brush seems like a great tool (but, is unduly overpriced, it seems to me) My wife suggested that we might go to a medical supply retail place, and check the cost comparison of buying one of them; using doggie enzyme toothpaste [or whatever else we can come up with….mint, chlorophyl, baking soda, honey, or whatever], and that remedy shouldn’t compromise the health of the dog too much [it seems to me]. What d’ya think? In other words,…the brush seems like a good idea. The end result should be to sweeten the doggie’s breath a little. Cleaning the teeth, of course, is a concern! Our little MaltiPoo really works at gnawing on hard rawhide bones [little ones..her size..of course]. Chewy toys might facilitate that cleaning job too. Thanks, everyone.

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Susi December 18, 2013 at 10:08 pm

Thanks for writing, Reid, I think you’ve probably found a reasonable solution (though you might want to skip the honey – I seem to recall that dogs don’t break it down like people do). Let me know how things work out?

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patsy beeler July 26, 2014 at 3:02 pm

my dog tried the orapup/he licked some of the rubber tips off/now i am concerned about the rubber tips in his stomach/i have a maltipoo dog/will not use again/too dangeroues.

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Susi July 26, 2014 at 6:32 pm

Good to know, Patsy, thanks for passing this along.

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Bailey October 6, 2014 at 3:35 am

Hi! I found my way to this page from a YouTube ad & Internet search, and wanted to mention that my mommy brushes our teeth almost every day. I’m a 4-year-old Belgian Shepherd mix, and my furry sister is an almost 16-year-old American Eskimo mix. My sister and I have had non-anesthetic tooth cleanings before (me once; sister twice), and because my mommy keeps up with brushing, our teeth are still in great shape! And because there’s no anesthesia, there are no worries! We also don’t have bad breath.

After reading all of the reviews on this product, we probably won’t be getting it. Besides… My mommy says I lick way too much already! Teehee!

Woofs & hugs,

~Bailey (Yep, I’m a girl!)

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Elaine November 2, 2014 at 9:55 am

I appreciate all the reviews, but leaves me up in the air on what to try first in down sizing my japanese chins bad breath. They hate anything done with there mouth, to the point of not opening there mouth to brush. Clamps so tight, and not much space for anything. what would you recommend?? don’t like the concept of having the vets laser cleaning them. I’m at my wits end. orapup, leary about.

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Susi November 2, 2014 at 10:18 am

Elaine, what you encounter in the mouth department is what I deal with in trimming dog nails. I feel your pain. As far as I know, bad breath is caused by disease or bacteria (or in rarer cases, the strange but natural PH of the dog). I always suggest trying the simplest thing first, so consider putting apple cider vinegar in your Chin’s water. It’s an old fashioned remedy that is meant to restore proper PH in your dog. Read more here: http://www.holisticandorganixpetshoppe.com/apple-cider-vinegar-for-dogs.html. I have another idea that you will think is nuts, and I urge you to run it past your veterinarian first (it’s called covering my own posterior). I’m assuming your Chin is healthy, so you might try giving him (her?) raw chicken necks and wings. The raw feeding proponents discovered that their dogs’ teeth became whiter and cleaner after eating a raw diet. The dogs loved it, the owners loved it – and your dog will probably happily open his mouth. This part is important: Never give the dog cooked chicken. Cooking makes the bones in the chicken brittle and sharp and could injure your dog’s throat and mouth. As long as the chicken wings and neck are raw, the bones will be “bendy.” I would never leave the dog alone while chomping on the wings or necks, either – just to be safe. Let me know how it goes?

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