There aren’t too many dog owners that relish the idea of spending time brushing their pet’s teeth. Most dogs are not too fond of the idea either, so in order to compromise, many dog owners are going out to buy what are known as “doggy dental treats” from their local pet store. Just like humans, your dog can develop plaque and bacteria in his mouth that can lead to tartar within as little as 36 hours, which can lead to inflamed gums, periodontal disease and infection..
In addition to brushing your dog’s teeth and seeking dental care through our surgery, there are certain products you can buy and use at home that will promote good dental care for dogs. Here is a list of things you can start using today:
Chew Treats – There are many long-lasting chew treats that are being used to improve dental care for dogs. Rawhide, rubber or nylon chew toys are great for keeping your pet healthy. Not only do they provide an activity, but they aid in scraping food from teeth. Always supervise your dog when he plays with a chew treat to ensure he doesn’t choke. Take it away if the toy gets broken or becomes small enough to get lodged in his throat.
Dry kibble/mixer/biscuits – Dry kibble can help to keep your dog’s teeth cleaner compared to a diet of wet food. Wet food is stickier and is much more likely to get trapped between teeth. However, beyond this difference between these food types, dry kibble doesn’t do much more to clean your dog’s teeth.
Doggy Dental Treats – You have most likely seen the “green dental” treats on the market that claim to promote good dental care for dogs, as well as aiding in fresh breath. While the herbs and ingredients used in these treats can neutralize bad breath in some dogs, it isn’t proven to work for all dogs. In most cases these specialized – and often more expensive – treats are no more beneficial than other long-lasting chews.
If you choose to use doggy dental treats or chews in addition to professional dental care for your dog, look for treats that display the Veterinary Oral Health Council seal of approval. What this label means is that the product was studied and has been proven to have dental benefits to your dog. We recommend Hills TD biscuits.
Also, make sure to always check to ensure that you are buying the proper size treat for your dog to ensure that he doesn’t gulp it down without gaining any dental benefits in the process. If you aren’t sure which treats are best, make sure to ask at your next appointment. We might even have recommended products that can help get you started.
Some dogs won’t benefit as much as others from doggy dental treats. For example, smaller breeds or dogs that have a stacked or crowded bite, will have more hiding spots in their mouth for food to get stuck into that treats just can’t reach. No matter how long your dog chews on those treats, some areas just can’t be reached. Plaque development, no matter how small, can lead to all sorts of infections and problems, so it is important to brush your dog’s teeth to ensure that no area gets missed.
We are happy to discuss dental care with you so please contact the surgery if you have any questions.