Frequently Asked Questions

What’s in it?

The list of ingredients can be found on each product page. 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 high-quality and considered safe for use in foods, according to Health Canada. 

Our Made in Canada products include bluestem Water Additive, Oral Spray, Toothpaste, and Powder Water Additive with ingredients 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?

While teeth brushing is the gold standard because it combines an active solution (toothpaste) with the mechanical action of brushing (toothbrush), it is not always an option for some pet owners. Because we believe that taking an active role in your pet’s oral care is vital to their overall health, we’ve developed a full lineup of products, including Toothpaste, with our coactiv+ technology. Our solution-based products, like our Water Additive and Oral Spray, can reduce tartar by up to 25% all on their own. However, this percentage can increase dramatically if you add a mechanical action like 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 – 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.

The ingredients in our products are generally considered safe, but we usually suggest waiting until between 6 – 9 months of age until pets have all their adult teeth.

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 results, we always recommend using bluestem products 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 1-2 months, depending on your pet’s size and water consumption.

Approximately 2 months if you spray twice a day.

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 them leaving bacteria without a food source to live on – rather than killing the bacteria with harsh ingredients. Since many pet foods are full of minerals, the chelating agents in bluestem products will bind to the minerals of pet food.

For pets that do not drink a lot of water, we recommend our easy-to-use bluestem Oral Spray. Just lift your pet’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 in our bluestem Water Additive comply with the List of Permitted Substances established by Health Canada. However, we have not conducted study on pregnant and lactating pets. Therefore, we do not recommend giving bluestem Water Additive to pregnant or lactating pets.

In the stability testing we have done in bluestem products, none of the ingredients 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 which should not last more than a couple of days. However, if your pet steps in the water, the bacterial load will increase significantly and we’d recommend changing the water.


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 it. At that point, you can increase 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:

  • 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. However, some pets can be more sensitive to new products than others so we can’t rule out the possibility of some kind if reaction. 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.

Yes and no. Using bluestem Water Additive in the water fountain may not have full effectiveness. It will still be effective, but it will take longer time to see the result.

As the carbon filter in the water fountain traps the minerals that our active ingredients chelate to, some of 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 fully available to fight plaque and tartar in your pet’s mouth. If you would like to use the Water Additive in the water fountain and want the effectiveness, please remove the carbon filter.


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).

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