Our Lebanon veterinarians explain how to find out if a dog dental chew is worth purchasing, which factors to consider, and the safety tips every dog owner should remember.
Why are dog dental chews popular?
As pet owners, we understand the importance of maintaining our dogs' oral health for their well-being. We're constantly seeking ways to make this process more efficient. While brushing their teeth is a proven way to prevent issues like periodontal disease, the reality is that our dogs don't always cooperate with this practice.
This is where dog dental chews, treats, and sticks come into play. These options have gained popularity lately as alternatives. The market offers numerous products claiming to support your dog's dental hygiene. To help you navigate through the choices, let's examine these oral care items and determine if they're truly worth investing in.
Will dog dental chews work for my pet?
Deciding if dental chews actually work isn't straightforward. They might help maintain your dog's teeth cleanliness, and the crunchy dry kibble can be enjoyable for your dog. Well-designed chews could potentially lessen tartar and plaque, but they're not a substitute for regular brushing and professional dental cleaning—just an extra tool.
You can use dental chews to complement your dog's oral care routine, similar to how we chew sugar-free gum for fresh breath. However, don't replace regular teeth brushing or vet visits.
Before purchasing dental chews claiming to support dental health, consider these factors:
- Seek out long-lasting chew products such as nylon, rawhide, knucklebone, or rubber chew toys (watch these closely and toss them if your dog gnaws it down so much that it becomes a choking hazard).
- Make sure any treats or chews you provide are not too hard, as they can damage your dog’s teeth. Hooves, antlers, and bones are likely to cause problems.
- Find out how many calories are in your pup’s dental chews - you don’t want to deal with a weight problem while trying to reduce dental issues.
- Be skeptical of any claims that some products support dental health. Check the Veterinary Oral Health Council’s list of product recommendations for buys that are worth your money.
- Remember to book your pet’s routine oral exam and dental cleanings at your vet’s office.
How long should my dog spend chewing?
Make sure to let your dog enjoy their dental chew for around 30 minutes each day. This will help them get the most out of it and reap its full benefits.
A Note About Dog Breeds, Teeth, and Oral Health Problems
If you have a small dog or one with crowded teeth, be mindful of plaque and tartar buildup. Even if your furry friend chews a lot, these issues can still occur.
Regular toothbrushing can help clean beneath the gum line, removing harmful bacteria that might lead to gum problems.
Keep in mind that your dog's overall health, age, history, and breed impact dental health. Regular vet checkups are crucial to prevent dental problems.
The Bottom Line
While some dental chews are effective for dogs, these aren’t a replacement for regular toothbrushing or professional dental care routines. These elements of a great oral health care routine should stay on your dog’s calendar, and their teeth will remain in good condition.