Is BARK Bright Worth It? A Look Inside Dog Dental Care & This First-Ever Dental Kit System For Dogs

Wanna know the real dirty truth? 80% of dogs over the age of three develop dental disease, which means most people do little or nothing to maintain their dogs’ oral health. Zero. Zilch. Stinky breath and brown-and-yellow teeth all around. Truths don’t get much dirtier than that.

But why, when we go above and beyond to choose exactly the right food, schedule a vet appointment at the slightest sneeze, and drag ourselves off the couch to squeeze in one last walkie, are we such slackers when it comes to our dogs’ mouths? THAT’S WHERE ALL THE KISSES COME FROM.

Once I started brushing my pup’s teeth, I realized why. Mouth vs. toothbrush is a battle already lost, and saliva fingers are a risk you must be willing to take.

There had to be a better way. We don’t quit brushing our teeth because it’s annoying, and neither should your dog. So we tossed the toothbrush and started from scratch with the Bright Dental Kit and a “brushing” routine that outperforms any toothpaste, chew, or toy alone. Seriously.

What is Bright?

Bright Dental is the first and only daily dual toothpaste and dental stick system to keep dogs' funky breath and plaque buildup under control. The best part? Your dog does all the work.

Each kit includes a month’s supply of tasty chicken dental sticks and triple-enzymatic toothpaste.

The enzymes are key—no existing dog toothpaste uses THREE enzymes to break down the problem-causing debris that causes bad breath and other dental issues. When used together with the tough yet chewy dental sticks, it keeps dirty mouths clean and helps prevent the complications that come with advanced dental disease.

What is dental disease?

Put simply, dental disease is an infection of the mouth. It begins with small, seemingly harmless things like bad breath and yellow or brownish plaque buildup on the tooth’s surface, and dogs may lose interest in eating hard kibble or chewing tough rubber or nylon toys.

They won’t tell you these activities have become uncomfortable or downright painful, so it’s your job to spot the signs early on.

Over time, these symptoms can develop into nastier things like tartar buildup below the gumline, inflamed gums, loose teeth, and eventual tooth loss. Severe forms of the condition may also lead to heart disease as bacteria in the mouth pass into the bloodstream and accumulates in dogs' arteries.

That’s no fun for dogs, and it’s definitely no friend to your wallet when a professional veterinary dental cleaning (at the very least) becomes the only option. Cost notwithstanding, we certainly aren't eager about the idea of routine or even intermittent anesthesia use.

That being said, Bright is not an alternative to a professional cleaning, but a preventative measure between cleanings—please listen to your vet’s advice and seek their opinion if you have other concerns for your dog’s oral health.

What do the enzymes do?

We teamed up with Novozymes in Denmark (a global biotech company with a lot of really smart cookies) to develop the most effective, dog-friendly enzyme formula with an oh-so irresistible chicken flavor. Real chicken, of course.

Enzymes are molecules, usually proteins, that speed up the chemical reactions in cells in lots of different areas of the body. Let us introduce you to our enzyme trio and explain how they work:

Enzyme #1: Amyloglucosidase (AMG)

AMG breaks down the starches and complex sugars in your dog’s mouth and turns it into glucose, a simple sugar.

Enzyme #2: Glucose oxidase (GOX)

GOX takes that glucose and transforms it into a safe and effective natural cleaning agent. Think of it like a team of very tiny toothbrushes scrubbing away bacteria.

Enzyme #3: Lactoperoxidase

Lactoperoxidase is the real superhero. It triggers a catalyst of reactions to boost the toothbrushes’ glucose-conversion performance, and helps other compounds already present in your dog’s saliva (like natural antibacterial agents) do their best work.

We call all of this an enzyme cascade. Each component needs to be present to have the full effect, and any one acting alone (like you’ll find in existing “enzymatic” dog toothpastes on the market) just won’t do.

The result? A healthier microbiome in the mouth that prevents the progression of plaque buildup and tooth decay, and keeps bad breath under control. Finally, you can accept your pup’s accidental up-the-nose kisses without grimacing.

How does it work?

This is the best part! There are just two daily steps, and you only need to do one yourself. GOODBYE, SALIVA FINGERS!

First, squeeze the toothpaste along the deep groove of the dental stick.

Next, let your dog do the rest! The gentle abrasion of the chewing action helps expose more plaque on the tooth’s surface to the enzymes already found in your dog’s mouth. The Bright toothpaste adds even more of those enzymes into the mix to supercharge their benefits.

Oh, and the toothpaste is water-based, so it won’t stain carpets or other fabrics.

What’s in it?

You’re our kind of dog people. You deserve to know what's in the things you give your dog, and understand exactly what they do.

Bright toothpaste ingredients:

Water: You know the stuff. It forms the basis of the toothpaste.

Lactose-free skim milk powder: Rich in protein, this powder is gluten-and starch-free, with natural immune boosters that help the enzymes work even better.

Glycerol: Found in every living cell, it’s a natural substance that keeps the ingredients stable.

Sorbitol: A sugar alcohol that occurs naturally in some fruits, it’s used as a sweetener with fewer calories per gram than sugar.

Chicken powder: Made from real chicken.

Microcrystalline cellulose: Used as a thickening agent, this makes sure the toothpaste “sticks” to your dog’s teeth long enough to work its magic.

Alginate: A thickening agent extracted from seaweed.

Citric acid: Regulates pH and ensures that our enzymes are alive and kicking when they reach your pup’s mouth.

Enzymes: Three, to be exact. We add even more of the ones already in your dog’s saliva so they can work triple-duty.

Potassium sorbate: A must-have stabilizer that keeps the toothpaste fresh for longer.

Carboxymethyl cellulose: A helpful stabilizer that’s also found in yogurt. We use the minimum amount.

Wait, I thought sorbitol was bad for dogs?

We LOVE that you love your dogs enough to be careful with every ingredient; we are too. Sorbitol is a naturally-formed sugar alcohol that is non-toxic to dogs, and it’s used in many other dog and human toothpastes. Consumed in large amounts, just like with any sugar, it may cause an upset tummy. That’s why Bright uses the minimum amount.

Don’t confuse sorbitol with xylitol, another commonly-used sugar substitute in many human products (chewing gum, toothpastes, and even some peanut butters). Unlike sorbitol, xylitol is highly toxic to dogs even in small amounts.

Bright dental stick ingredients:

Each dental stick contains 14, 41, and 63 kcal per stick for small, medium, and large sizes, respectively. (fewer than Weight Management Greenies at 88 kcal/treat, or the Original formula at 90 kcal/treat for the regular size chew).

Potato Starch: A thickener that also adds moisture.

Gelatin: Used as a thickener.

Pea Protein: A high-quality protein derived from peas, and a great source of iron.

Chicken: 100% real, no nonsense.

Vegetable Glycerin: A simple compound used to to sweeten things up.

Lecithin: A fatty substance that occurs naturally in plant and animal tissues. It's used here as a stabilizer.

Natural Smoke Flavor: This is exactly what it sounds like! Who doesn't love that fresh-from-the-barbecue taste?

Citric Acid: Found in citrus fruits, it's used as a natural preservative.

Mixed Tocopherols: A source of Vitamin E, and a preservative to keep your chews fresh all month long.

How do I sign up?

Get a Bright Dental Kit shipped right to your dog door with your BarkBox or Super Chewer box each month by adding it via your account! Kits are also available on, Amazon, at, and in select Target and CVS stores.

How much does it cost?

You'll find the lowest cost per dental kit when you choose Bright as an add-on to your BarkBox or Super Chewer subscription at $25/month.

  • $30/month
  • Amazon: $35/kit
  • Target: $6.99 for a 14-pack of chews, $24.99 for a 1-month supply of toothpaste; $39 total for one month’s worth of each (Note: Our dental chews in Target have a different look, but all the same benefits!)
Find these "toothbrush" chews at, and select Target and CVS stores.

I've just been using dental chews, is that okay?

It's just okay. Using dental chews alone is akin to brushing your teeth with a dry toothbrush and calling it a day. It may scrub off some debris, but it will leave behind new debris from the chew itself.

With Bright, the dental stick acts as that dry toothbrush to do some initial cleaning, but it's also a means to disperse the enzymatic toothpaste throughout your dog's mouth. The toothpaste does the real work breaking down soft plaque, and continues to do so long after your dog has finished chewing. (Your green toothbrush chew won't do that.)

It's the dental stick and toothpaste together that make this system truly effective, not one or the other. (And if your dog licks the toothpaste off before he chews, that's completely fine.)

Only 2% of dog parents currently care for their pup's teeth at home, and our dogs deserve better. Here's to making "brushing" a fun and enjoyable experience that actually works.

Oh hey, just so you know: You should always see your vet if you have questions or concerns about your dogs’ health—they know their stuff! Please do not use BARK Bright as an alternative to professional veterinary care if your pups’ doc says it’s necessary.

Samantha Erb

2 years ago

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