Here, our Toledo veterinarians discuss whether dog dental treats and chews are worth purchasing, which factors to consider, and how they can help.
Why are dog dental treats and chews popular?
We understand the importance of maintaining good oral health for our dogs, and we're always searching for convenient ways to save time. While tooth brushing is highly effective in preventing periodontal disease and reducing plaque, tartar, and gum inflammation, not all pets cooperate with this oral care routine.
That's why dog dental chews, treats, and sticks have become increasingly popular in recent times. There are numerous options available, all claiming to contribute to your dog's dental hygiene. However, let's take a closer look at these oral healthcare products to determine if they truly provide value for their cost.
Will dog dental chews work to improve my dog's oral health?
To be honest, there's no definitive answer as to whether dental chews and treats are effective. These products can contribute to maintaining your dog's dental hygiene, and the crunchiness of dry kibble can be enjoyable for your dog while providing some cleaning benefits.
However, it's important to understand that while these products may help reduce tartar and plaque buildup, they should not replace regular tooth brushing and professional dental cleanings. Dog dental chews, treats, and sticks should be viewed as supplementary tools in your pup's oral care routine.
You can use dental chews to complement your dog's overall oral health regimen, similar to how we sometimes chew sugar-free gum to freshen our breath. However, it's crucial to remember that they should not substitute regular tooth brushing and visits to the veterinarian for dental care.
We recommend that you consider these factors before buying dog dental chews to help keep your dog's teeth healthy:
- 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 on dental treats?
Give your dog about 30 minutes to enjoy their chew each day. This should help to give them the maximum benefit out of their dental chews.
A Note About Dog Breeds, Teeth and Oral Health Problems
If you have a small breed dog or a pup with a crowded jaw, it's important to pay special attention to their oral health. Plaque and tartar can easily accumulate in hard-to-reach areas, even with regular chewing.
Using a toothbrush with bristles can effectively clean beneath the gum line and remove bacteria that can lead to periodontal disease.
Keep in mind that factors such as your dog's immune system, age, history, and breed can influence their dental health. That's why it's crucial to schedule routine health checkups with a qualified veterinarian for your furry friend.
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.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.