Spring is finally here and I'm getting excited for some lighter seasonal foods. This is…
I’m placing the disclaimer first so you (hopefully) understand what I’m talking about. I had to edit this post for compliance so I apologize for being vague:
*The FDA doesn’t allow me to say the names of diseases or certain symptoms of said disease, so I have to use vague terminology like unwanted bacteria or pathogens, environmental threats, runny nose, etc. Hopefully you can figure it out. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.
Dog dental health has been an annoying struggle.
One of our dogs, Coalson has the absolute nastiest mouth. It smells like a dead animal is in there. We got him back in 2007. The rescue said he was about four. All this time we’ve had him I have never been able to get rid of the funk in his mouth. Coalson has hyperplasia. His gums are bigger than they should be. They’ve always been this way. He also drools excessively. The vet said this can be attributed to genetics. Some dogs just have a nasty mouth. I think I may have finally figured it out, though.
I’ve tried a bunch of different dog toothpastes. I’ve tried giving them hard marrow bones to chew on. I’ve tried all sorts of shit. Even getting his teeth professionally cleaned only lasts for 2-4 weeks and the funk is back. This inevitably leads to getting teeth pulled and racking up a nauseating tab at the vet.
I decided to approach it from a different perspective. I took a look at the resources I go to when I’m trying to protect myself against environmental threats.* I researched the ingredients I was considering to ensure they were safe for dogs. I spoke to my vet to make 100% sure. With the all clear, I whipped up a batch and started monitoring Coalson’s mouth.
Within a week or so his gums were no longer red with infection. His mouth just smelled bad instead of intolerable. After about a month now his mouth is nearly normal. His breathe isn’t minty fresh and I can’t get his teeth sparkling white, but what a frickin’ improvement! His gums will always be enlarged, but the infection is no longer present. I will always have to maintain his teeth; this isn’t something that cured his issue. My only alternative is to keep him on antibiotics. F that.
I’m going to cover this one first since it’s controversial. Melaleuca is toxic to cats and dogs, more so with cats. Cats tend to have a lot more trouble with essential oils than dogs. The oils should never be administered undiluted. Never apply them neat. Never let your pet ingest them. The tiny bit I have in the toothpaste is fine, but pets don’t know not to ingest so the pure oil and the toothpaste should be kept out of their reach. Always remember less is more with essential oils, especially with pets that are usually much smaller than us.
Melaleuca can cause pneumonia from inhalation, seizures, vomiting, depression, weakness, lack of coordination, muscle tremors, and drooling.
However, its ability to fight environmental threats* is insane and it helps build up the immune system.*
I spoke to my vet about this. I explained that I had a 4oz salve jar that I filled with about 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil (filling the jar about 5/8 full), 2 drops of Melaleuca, about 10-15 drops of On Guard, 4-5 drops of Frankincense, and a big spoonful of honey. She said this small amount of Melaleuca in that size mixture should be fine (they recommend a ratio of 0.1-1.0 percent strength). It still makes me nervous, and while I haven’t seen any type of adverse reaction in either dog I plan to replace this oil with Melissa in my next batch.
Melissa is a wonderful replacement for Melaleuca and it’s safe for dogs. It is very powerful at protecting against environmental threats*. This is doTERRA’s most expensive oil because it is very difficult to produce. If you have the means I suggest migrating to this one instead of Melaleuca.
Frankincense supports healthy cellular function and its astringent qualities are great for strengthening gums and overall oral health. It is a great oil to use on dogs. It is a gentle oil that usually doesn’t need diluted on humans. I always recommend diluting for pets, but you shouldn’t need to dilute much with frankincense.
On Guard is doTERRA’s protective blend consisting of orange, clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary. It is extremely powerful at defending against environmental threats*. Because this product consists of five different oils, I looked into each oil to verify it is safe for dogs.
There is a kind of gray area around clove. I can’t seem to find anything that absolutely says no and why. Most of the information I found concurred that a small amount for dogs is ok, but not for cats. Eucalyptus was the same, but I did find that it can make dogs sick if too much is given. It is low on the ingredient list and therefore isn’t the bulk of the blend. This is ok to use as well. Rosemary is ok, but if your dog has epilepsy do not give it to them. It can onset seizures in all animals, including us. If your pooch can’t have rosemary or another oil in the On Guard you can buy the oils separately and omit the offending oil.
Pure manuka honey is produced in New Zealand. Some will also claim Australia, but for real manuka honey you want it to be made in New Zealand. You want to try to get a high K-Factor. This is the percentage of manuka pollen grains within the honey.
This is my favorite vegetable oil to use for diluting essential oils. Plus, it is super good for dogs as well as humans. For this toothpaste I use regular unrefined organic coconut oil vs. fractionated. That way it can go to a solid state. Fractionated coconut oil has been heat treated and stays liquid. It just depends what you want here. If you prefer it to be solid you can keep it in the fridge (it turns to liquid at 76˚F).
Get a 4oz salve jar and fill with about 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil (filling the jar about 5/8 full), 2 drops of Melaleuca -OR- 3-4 drops of Melissa, about 15-20 drops of On Guard, 4-5 drops of Frankincense, and a big spoonful of honey. Mix ingredients with a spoon and taste to see if it needs more honey to sweeten.
I noticed when the coconut oil turns to liquid the honey kind of separates from the rest of the mixture and sinks to the bottom. Give it a good stir before you brush their teeth when it’s in a liquid state so they get some of it.
Essential oils are prone to evaporation so keep the jar sealed when not in use and keep out of direct sunlight. A cool dark place is preferable.