The Case of the Missing Doggie Toothpaste

Plus brushing tips
By Claudia Kawczynska, September 2015, Updated June 2021

 

We’ve been hearing from a few readers about why one of the most popular dog toothpastes on the market, seems to have vanished off the shelves, they were hoping we could dig into the cause. Its popularity is such that there have even been reports about one tube of it being offered on e-Bay for $75! We did a quick search at our local stores, thinking perhaps this scarcity was limited to other parts of the country, but our sources were right, there is no C.E.T. to be found anywhere. With ingredients that include glucose oxidase, lactoperoxidase, sorbitol, dicalcium phosphate anhydrous, hydrated silica, glycerine, poultry digest, dextrose, xanthan gum, titanium dioxide, sodium benzoate, potassium thiocyanate, it would be hard to think there could be shortages in any of those substances.

We just got off the phone with a spokesperson from Virbac, the maker of this elusive C.E.T Enzymatic Dog & Cat toothpaste, and he said that this product, along with a few of their others, were undergoing a quality production upgrade, and they started to make it again back in July but it takes a long time to get back into the distribution chain, and will be back on the market within 60 days!

Hopefully for those of you who ran out of C.E.T. you will be using an alternative until that time. But here are some facts to underscore how important tooth brushing can be:

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  • Roughly 80 percent of all dogs over the age of three have some degree of dental disease.
  • Dogs’ teeth are awash in bacteria-rich plaque, which, when combined with minerals in the saliva, hardens into tartar (or calculus) that traps even more bacteria. Left unattended, your dog’s gums can become inflamed, resulting in gingivitis and ultimately, periodontal disease.
  • Oral bacteria can enter your dog’s bloodstream and cause damage to her heart, liver, kidneys and lungs.
  • Most plaque buildup occurs on the cheek side of your dog’s teeth, so when brushing, concentrate your efforts there. And you need to be quick—most dogs have limited patience with this kind of personal-hygiene exercise.
  • Contrary to what some dog food manufacturers promote, dry kibble is not better for the teeth; it does not “chip off tartar” and can actually contribute to tartar production by sticking to the teeth.
  • When used with supervision, raw bones, special chews, dental bones and toys, and other healthy products that work by scraping off plaque (but not tartar) can also help, although they shouldn’t be relied upon to do the whole job.

If you are new to brushing your dog’s teeth, keep in mind that with patience and a few positive techniques, you can help your dog be more cooperative. Or as Barbara Royal, DVM  told us “If your pet won’t tolerate a toothbrush, wrap a piece of gauze around your finger, then dip it in some flavored dog toothpaste (not human toothpaste—it can be toxic!) or a paste of baking soda and water.” Also check out The American Veterinary Medical Association has an excellent instructional video, see below.