From bones to dental diets, what makes the biggest difference for your dog’s teeth, gums and breath? Should you even be concerned about your dog’s oral health? Today we’re going to outline the benefits of dental bones for dogs.
Dogs can suffer from gum disease just like people, and it’s not something to ignore. Dental problems in dogs can lead to loss of appetite and broken or lost teeth, and it may even damage other organs if bacteria enter the bloodstream through diseased gums.
The Benefits of Dental Bones for Dogs
Improving teeth and gum health. Dogs that chew actively have less plaque build-up and some types of dental bones for dogs and diets can reduce plaque by nearly 70%. The mechanical action of chewing can make a difference.
The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) is an organization that evaluates pet products to see if they meet standards for reducing plaque or tartar. Approved foods, treats, and chews must reduce plaque or tartar by at least 10% to achieve their seal of approval.
Reducing bad breath in dogs. It is not uncommon for a dog’s breath to be unpleasant as a result of bacteria build-up in the mouth, but it can be a sign that your dog needs better dental or gum care. However, it’s not a bad idea to check with your vet to make sure bad breath is not a sign of an underlying medical problem.
In addition to professional cleaning and regular tooth brushing, certain dental bones for dogs are formulated to help improve breath. Hard chew toys may also help. See what your vet recommends.
Types of Dog Dental Treats and Diets
A wide variety of dental bones for dogs and diets make claims of reducing plaque and tartar or improving breath. Some have voluntarily been tested and received the VOHC seal of approval. Most are available in stores, but some you can only purchase through veterinarians.
Here are the main types:
•Rawhide chews: Made from the hides of cows or horses, they can reduce plaque and tartar. They come in different sizes and shapes.
•Dental bones for dogs, and biscuits. Greenies®, Del Monte Tartar Check® Dog Biscuits, Bright Bites, OraVet® Dental Hygiene Chews, and Vetradent Dog Chews are examples of edible products approved by the VOHC.
•Dog dental diets. Some dog food formulations help reduce plaque and tartar in a variety of ways. Ask your vet for a suggestion.
•Dog chew toys. Although not edible, chew toys such as Kong® toys, Plaque Attackers®, or Gumabones® may be a good choice, especially for dogs that chew through edible treats too quickly.
Taking Precautions with Dental Bones for Dogs
Not all dental dog treats are created equal. Some are more effective or safe than others. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you’re choosing a dental treat for your dog:
Make the right match. Match the treat or toy to your dog’s size, preferences, or personality.
Limit edible treats. Depending on the type of edible treat, it may go down too fast to be of much benefit to your dog’s teeth. The general rule is the smaller the dog, the fewer the treats.
Avoid hard bones and pigs’ ears. If your dog has diseased teeth, he or she is likely to break them on hard chews, hard plastic bones, sterilized beef bones, or cow hooves. Although pigs’ ears are often a favorite of dogs, studies have not shown them to offer any dental benefits. They are also sometimes contaminated with bacteria.
Be careful with compressed chews. Edible treats such as rawhide chews can help with dental health, but some dogs, especially aggressive chewers, consume them too quickly or may swallow pieces whole.
If you have questions regarding dental bones for dogs – or your dog’s dental health – contact our office today to schedule an appointment and we’ll get you on the right path.