Frequently Asked Questions

What’s in it?

bluestem oral care products contain 100% food-grade ingredients that are approved by Health Canada’s VHP program, as well as follow AAFCO guidelines. Furthermore, we have conducted a third-party safety study to ensure that our products are suitable for daily use.

Food-grade simply means that the ingredients are of a quality that is considered safe for use in foods, according to Health Canada.

Our products that are made in Canada include bluestem Water Additive, Oral Spray, Toothpaste, and Powder Water Additive. All of the ingredients for these products are sourced from North American suppliers. Our Dental Wipes and Dental Chews are manufactured in the USA, with ingredients sourced from North American suppliers. Our Rawhide Dental Chews are manufactured in Mexico with our coactiv+ ingredients supplied from Canada.

How does it work?

Teeth brushing is the gold standard because it combines using an active solution (toothpaste) with the mechanical action of brushing (toothbrush). While this is the gold standard, it is not always an option for some pet owners. That is why we have developed a full lineup of products, besides our Toothpaste that include our coactiv+ technology because using something is better than nothing. Our solution-based products, such as our Water Additive and Oral Spray, can help reduce tartar by up to 25% all on their own, without a mechanical action. However, this percentage can increase dramatically if you add on a mechanical action of some kind, such as our Dental Chews, Dental Wipes, and Rawhide Dental Chews. Any of these can be used in combination for an effective daily oral care routine.

The most commonly known biofilm is dental plaque. Plaque and tartar form in your pet’s mouth because of bacteria. Certain bacteria can produce biofilm – a glue-like substance that functions as a protective dome, under which bacteria can rapidly multiply. When plaque biofilm is not removed from the teeth every 12-36 hours it will begin to bind with minerals in the saliva and calcify into tartar.

As per Health Canada’s VHP guidelines, peppermint essential oil is not for use in cats.

As for puppies and kittens, the ingredients of our products are generally considered as safe, but we usually suggest waiting until between 6 – 9 months of age, until all their adult teeth are in.

No, it should not affect your pet’s water consumption rate.

When used as directed, you should notice an improvement in your pet’s breath within a week. You will notice plaque and tartar reduction after using the product daily for 60-80 days. For better result, we always recommend using bluestem product in combination, such as bluestem Water Additive and bluestem Dental Chews.

Yes, for increased efficacy, you can use both products together. However, it would be more effective if you combined one of those products with a mechanical product, such as Dental Wipes, Dental Chews, or Rawhide Dental Chews.

When used daily, a bottle of bluestem water additive will last approximately 1 month in general, depending on your pet’s size and water consumption.

When used daily, a bottle of bluestem oral spray will last approximately 2 months in general if you spray twice a daily.

For the best results, add bluestem Water Additive to your pet’s drinking water every time you refill the bowl.

No, it is not necessary to refrigerate the ready-to-drink solution.

No. When a bluestem product enters a dog’s mouth, the chelating agents in the product immediately bind with the minerals (food source of bacteria) and remove the minerals, leaving bacteria without a food source to live on. By removing the minerals, bluestem products make the environment that bacteria cannot stay, rather than killing the bacteria with harsh ingredients. Since the dog foods are contained with full of minerals, the chelating agents in bluestem products will bind to the minerals of pet food.

We would like to recommend our bluestem Oral Spray for the pets who do not drink a lot of water. Oral Spray is very easy to use. Just lift your dog’s upper lip to expose teeth and gums, and spray twice on each side of the mouth.

The ingredients of our products are generally considered safe, and all ingredients of our bluestem Water Additive comply with the List of Permitted Substances established by Health Canada. However, even though the ingredients are not limited to pregnant or lactating pets, according to Health Canada, we have not conducted study on pregnant and lactating pets. Therefore, we do not recommend using bluestem Water Additive to pregnant or lactating pets.

In the stability testing we have done in bluestem products, and none of the ingredients of bluestem water additive are degradable, which means that the effectiveness of the product will remain the same without replacement.

For example, a cat is supposed to drink at least 60 mL/Kg body weight daily to prevent dehydration unless they eat wet food all day. We recommend using 2 capfuls of our water additive with 600 mL water, and this 600 mL water should not last more than a couple of days. The water should be good until then, assuming the cat does not step in it which may increase bacterial load significantly.


Some pets are more sensitive to changes in their water or food. We recommend you start with half a capful to allow your pet to get used to the change. As your pet gets used to it, you can increase it by half a capful every week until you reach the recommended dosage, such as the following:

  • 1st week: 0.5 capful to 600 ml of water
  • 2nd week: 1 capful to 600 ml of water
  • 3rd week: 1.5 capfuls to 600 ml of water
  • 4th week: 2 capfuls to 600 ml of water (recommended dose)

If this method does not work for your pet, please try a different flavour.

Whenever trying to introduce a new routine, it is always good to take slow steps to make them feel more comfortable. Behavior modification techniques can be used to make it a more pleasant experience with your pet.

Step 1: Allow the dog to sniff the bottle and see that it is safe.
Step 2: Remove the cap and spray some bluestem onto your hand. Let your dog sniff and lick it. Repeat these steps for 1 week.
Step 3: After the first week, spray a single squirt into your dog’s mouth. Repeat this for a week.
Step 4: Expose your dog’s teeth and spray a squirt on each side of your dog’s mouth.

We have never had a reported case of illness to date, but some pets can be more sensitive to new products than others, and we can never totally rule out any possibility of a reaction of some kind. To mitigate this, we suggest introducing bluestem products to your pet gradually and over time. On the off chance your pet does have a reaction or becomes ill, stop using immediately and contact your veterinarian.

If your pet has an existing condition, we recommend consulting your Veterinarian before using bluestem products to your pets.

No, however, you can use our Water Additive with your water fountains if you remove the carbon filter. As the carbon filter traps the minerals that our active ingredients chelate to, our ingredients tend to get trapped in the filter along with them. This may cause the carbon filter clogging. This also means that the active ingredients are not available to fight plaque and tartar in your pet’s mouth.


While our efficacy study followed VOHC protocols and achieved all requirements, a second study is required to receive a seal. We are actively working on getting VOHC approval.

VHP stands for Veterinary Health Products, a Notification Program established by Health Canada which outlines the requirements for the safety and effectiveness of products sold in Canada that maintain or promote the health and welfare of animals. All ingredients of said products must comply with the List of Permitted Substances established by Health Canada. In order for VHPs to be legally sold in Canada, they must have either a Notification Number through this program, or a Notice of Compliance (NOC) and a Drug Identification Number (DIN).

Can’t find the answer you’re looking for?

Please contact us. We are here to help! / / 1-855-410-7240