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Orapup Dog Breath Brush — Product Review

Does Orapup really fight dog breath?

My dog Lulu and I put Orapup to the test.

At the mere sight of her toothbrush, my Lulu delivers an Oscar-worthy performance. First, she stares forlornly at the object of her loathing. Then Lulu manages a deep, mournful sigh before trudging forward to suffer a fate that’s (almost) as bad as bath time. Call me a sucker. I typically put this little whine and dance off as long as possible. Perhaps that’s why Orapup intrigued me.

Orapup Tongue Cleaner for Dogs

The paddle-shaped dog breath brush features soft, flexible bristles designed to remove bacteria that accumulates on the tongue, turning dog breath into a distant memory. Flavored gels (“Lickies”) are supposed to keep dogs enticed long enough for a thorough cleaning and enzymes keep the bad bacteria under control. My Lulu enjoys licking anything and anybody, so I decided to give Orapup a try. By the time an Orabrush rep asked me to consider a product review, I already had ordered a kit though Amazon.*

Does the Orapup really fight bad breath? Check out our Orapup product review to find out.

Orapup product review: First look

When Orapup debuted on February 25, the company already had sold more than $750,000 brushes, thanks to a quirky Youtube marketing campaign and loyal fans of the company’s original Orabrush tongue cleaner. The pet version has a longer surface area and angled handle. Made in the U.S.A., it’s available in five colors: black, blue, green, orange and pink. Our $20 starter kit included a blue Orapup brush and a 2-ounce bottle of beef- and bacon-flavored Lickies gel good for about 30 uses. Read more about the company’s amazing story on MNN.com.

As part of a promotional campaign, start kits also include two Orabrushes for humans. Additional options include a $33 kit, which contains two Orapups, two Lickies and four Orabrushes; and a $60 kit that contains an Orapup, a 2-ounce bottle of Lickies, a dog hoodie and two Orabrushes. The beef and bacon-flavored Lickies we tested contains water, brown rice syrup, beef and bacon flavor, grapefruit seed extract, grape seed extract, peptizyme and papain enzymes as well as preservatives sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate. Shipping for within the United States is free through Amazon.com.

What works

Orapup instructions indicate that a half-teaspoon of Lickies will do the trick. The Lickies smells and tastes like concentrated beef broth (the things I do for my pet family!).  It certainly was enough to pique Lulu’s interest. I squeezed Lickies onto the brush surface and let Lulu go to work. She quickly got busy licking the surface area, even after the gel was gone.

At about four inches long and 2.5 inches wide, the brush area accommodates dainty pooches as well as your power lickers. The angled handle is comfortable and easy to turn as needed. Once the gel was gone, I let Lulu have a few more licks before rinsing the Orapup. Her tongue was noticeably cleaner and Lulu’s breath had a faint aroma of beef, which I certainly prefer to dog breath. It fades quickly and what’s left is more neutral. The next day, her tongue was still clean and there was no dog breath. With regular use, about twice a week, I noticed that there really was no issue with her breath.

I also like knowing that the product was made in the United States.

So what’s the bad news?

Be careful while holding the Orapup. Lickies gel tends to drip, and it’s pretty sticky so it helps to have a wet tissue handy for cleanup. I recommend turning the brush a few times to make sure you get maximum coverage area on your dog’s tongue.

Although the 2-ounce bottle indicates that I can get 30 uses, Orapup’s website says that there are only 20 uses per bottle. Beef and bacon refills cost $7.50, the skin and coat version (cinnamon potpie) is $8.50, and the joint health refills cost $10. But that’s capitalism at its best, right?

THE VERDICT

3 out of 4 paws. While Orapup does improve a dog’s breath, Lulu and I still have our date with the toothbrush. As the company points out on its package, it is does not replace regular brushing or veterinary dental cleanings. Once plaque accumulates and turns to tartar, only a professional cleaning will work. Also, some cases of bad breath involve gum disease or tooth decay, which can lead to costly vet bills.

Consider the Orapup a preventive step that can make dental care a little more tolerable. I found that starting with the dreaded toothbrush and ending with the Orapup has made a big difference.

Have you tried the Orapup? Share your experience in the comments section. Also, follow Morieka on Twitter @SoulPup.

* Whenever possible, I purchase items tested on this site. Products given to SoulPup.com for review are donated to charity. The unused Orapup will be donated to a fundraiser for Lifeline Animal Project in Georgia.

 

 

 

This article was written by: Morieka

Morieka Johnson spent seven years as a journalist with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where she edited stories ranging from fashion to pets. But life got really interesting when she met her dog Lulu. Finding the best tools to raise a high-energy pitbull led Morieka to write weekly advice columns for Mother Nature Network. You also can find her stories on CNN.com. Join the conversation and learn more about her exploits with Lulu on Twitter @SoulPup, follow us on Facebook or check out our fun Soulpup boards on Pinterest.

  1. 8 Comments

    • Dr Bob says:

      Thank you for testing OraPup. Your comment about Lickies dripping tells me that you put too much Lickies on the Orapup brush. Also, we offer Orapup as a product that cleans the tomgue and aids oral health.
      Again, thank you.
      Dr Bob
      Invented, Orabrush and Orapup

    • Morieka says:

      Thanks so much, Dr. Bob. I definitely will use less.

      It’s an honor to have you visit SoulPup.com!

    • Debby Roberts says:

      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

      • Dr. Bob Wagstaff says:

        Debby:
        Thank you so much for sending us your comments about Orapup and Lickies. I invented Orapup and Lickies so I am very familiar with their benefits and short comings. Dog bad breath comes from anaerobic bacteria that live on the top of the tongue and produce sulfur containing chemicals that stink. These bacteria can be harmful to oral health as well as produce bad breath. After over one year of research we chose the current Lickies products because almost all dogs will lick the Orapup brush when they are used. If your dog’s breath is a strong Lickies smell, you are using way too much Lickies on the Orapup brush. Dogs will lick Orapup if only a few drops of Lickies are placed on the brush. Their purpose is to help clean the tongue as well as provide other products for oral health. I am sorry to report that dogs will not lick the Orapup brush if human type breath chemicals are used, such as mint, peppermint, lemon, etc. Dogs will lick flavors that are based on foods. We felt it better for a dog to have a food breath with a clean tongue than sulfur based bad breath and a dirty tongue. If you want your dog’s breath to smell like mint, then you must fight your dog and add mint to their mouth. I hope that you will reconsider and offer your dog the Orapup brush with just a few drops of Lickies, then smell the breath.
        Thank you again for sending us your comments.
        Sincerely,
        Dr. Bob Wagstaff
        Founder, Chairman of the Board, Orabrush Inc.

    • kristi says:

      I just ordered 3 for our 3 dogs. Of course I know they should not replace brushing which aids gum health, etc. I hope this will be a happy reward after brushing. If my dogs don’t care for the Lickies (which is doubtful) I will try a dog toothpaste. Also, I use a dental pick carefully to scrap off tartar build up occasionally. Orapup sounds like a very good product, I look forward to trying to.

    • Betty Newberry says:

      My dog Mookie has horrible dog breath. He is however, very fond of his stomach. If it smells/taste good he’s all for it. Gonna have to give this a try.

    • Kristin Wagner says:

      Help- my two Maltese will not go near the Orapup- I had such high hopes for this product but they want nothing to do with it- any suggestions??

      • Morieka says:

        Here are a few things to consider:
        1. Start by allowing the dogs to sniff the brush as well as the Lickies solution (perhaps on your finger). Place both items on the floor.
        2. Pet and reward them for approaching on their own.
        3. Sit on the floor and hold the Orapup. Again, allow the dogs to approach on their own. Pet them for approaching.
        3. Once your dogs are used to the new items, add a little of the solution to your Orapup and allow both dogs to approach. Let them do
        the work by licking the brush.
        4. Be sure to offer plenty of praise.

        Let us know how it works! Grooming can be stressful for some dogs. Do your best to make it a fun and drama-free experience.

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