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 rushing out to buy what are known as “doggy dental treats” from their local pet supply 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.
It’s not just about cavities and a nice smile – although taking care of those are a nice side-effect – it’s about keeping your pet healthy. This article will talk about the types of products that are most beneficial in dental care for dogs, as well as an overview of some who fall short of their own claims. While it might be easier to toss your pet some doggy dental treats, you can probably already guess that more work will be required.
Products That Keep Your Pet Healthy
In addition to brushing your dog’s teeth and seeking dental care through your local animal hospital in Dartmouth, 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 – Believe it or not, this is one of the main areas in the wet vs. dry debate. 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” 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.
What to Look for in Doggy Dental Treats
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.
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 your veterinarian at Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth at your next check-up appointment. Your vet might even have recommended products in stock that can help get you started.
Important Things to Know About Dental Care for Dogs
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.
Other factors to be considered in the debate between brushing and other types of dental care for dogs are your pet’s age, breed, immune system, background and level of activity. Some breeds are more susceptible to gum disease and dental decay than others, so it is important to know your pet and what to expect.
Keeping your pet healthy requires a lot of research, knowledge and effort on your part. Your veterinarian can help get you started if you aren’t sure where to begin. Make an appointment with Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth to find out more about dental care for dogs and all the things you can do to keep your pet healthy year round.