Toothpaste for your Furbaby

Office Gren 2

We do our best to brush Gren’s teeth almost every day.  Granted, it’s a two-person operation: one person has to put the dog in a headlock and the other risks getting covered in paste and dog saliva on “scrubby duty,” but we do it because we love our little fiend.

I finally came to the end of the supply of dog toothpaste (vanilla flavoured, if you must know) that came with the latest doggy toothbrush (which I have since abandoned for a soft people toothbrush).  As I was about to go out and get some more, I chanced to look at the “all-natural” ingredients list.   Sorbitol?  I don’t even know what that is, but it’s the second ingredient.  And why does it need to be sweetened with stevia?  Since when do dogs need sugar?

Dog Toothpaste 1
I’ve since learned that tea tree oil should not be ingested. And after several reminders from you dear readers I edited the post, so although you see it in this picture I no longer use it in my recipe.

So I’m going to make my own.  And there’s a ton of recipes on the internet.  Many of them require you to use glycerin, which I guess is the sticky-togethery ingredient that actually makes the paste into a pasty substance.  But that sounds like a pain in the ass, so I’m going to go with a version that uses coconut oil instead (used in small quantities coconut oil is beneficial to your pet’s health), and modify it a wee bit.

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Start with a bouillon cube, and dissolve that in 1 tablespoon water.  Or, in my case, use this gel-like one instead.  This is mostly for flavour, so use something your dog will like.  Gren has issues with chicken and beef so I would use pork or vegetable.

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Add in 2 tablespoons baking soda (a deodorizing abrasive), and 1 teaspoon cinnamon (a fragrant abrasive).

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I also ground up about 1 teaspoon dried parsley (for fresh breath) and added a pinch of ground cloves (an anti-parasitic).

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Looks tasty!  Actually it didn’t smell as awful as I thought it might: just like vegetable soup with too much cinnamon added.  Not bad in the end.

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Then you need to work in about 1/2 cup coconut oil.  If you have trouble mixing everything up you can soften the oil or melt it, but you want it to be solid in the end.

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You can store this mixture at room temperature in a sealed container for several weeks.  Brush often!

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Many sites actually recommend using your finger and a clean washcloth instead of a toothbrush for maximum efficacy, so we might try that at some point.  Fortunately, Gren seems to like the taste of this stuff better than what we were using before, so he struggles a lot less.

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Immediately after we brush his teeth Grenadier goes and gets his Tricky Treat Ball, which we fill with the other half of his dinner.  Trundling around with the ball, he will snarf up the kibble that falls out of the hole, and in gulping it down he will produce more saliva to further aid in cleaning his teeth.  When he’s done he usually drinks a whole whack of water too, to wash everything down. And then he goes to sleep.



Blinging Back the Bring – I mean, Cleaning Rings

As a newlywed, I am still enchanted with the two white gold rings on my left hand.  As the clumsy, messy, and generally absent-minded person that I am, those two rings get scummy and filthy pretty quickly.

While a professional jeweler can clean your rings the best, there is a quick and easy way to do a pretty good job at home, without using any harsh chemicals, solvents, or otherwise expensive products.  This method is mild enough to work on plated items such as my engagement ring, which has a rhodium coating.

Plop a tablespoon or two of baking soda in a bowl or a jar.

Plop in your rings or other jewelry that needs cleaning.

Carefully pour in about 1/4 cup of white vinegar (I use white vinegar to clean pretty much everything, so I have an 8L jug of it under my sink).

Watch the foam!  It’s like a science experiment from elementary school.

Stir the foamy mixture around a bit to make sure all the baking soda has its day in the sun and leave the stuff to sit for a few minutes.  Add more vinegar if you’re feeling science-y.

With a soft toothbrush or even a pipe cleaner, give your ring a little scrub, making sure to get into all the little nooks and crannies that hold the grossest of crud, which in my case is the big empty space right under the diamond.

Rinse ’em off and blamo kablam you’ve got your shiny back. (I don’t have a picture for you because it hasn’t been sunny enough here to truly blind you with my diamond shine.  Oh Newfoundland.)

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