Our Benicia veterinarians explain how to tell if a dog's dental chew is worth buying, which factors we should consider, and the safety tips every dog owner should remember.
Do dental chews work for dogs?
We dog owners understand the importance of keeping your pup's teeth healthy. , but let's be honest, nursing their teeth can be a challenge. That's why we have options like dental chews, sticks, and treats. Before you dive into the choices, let's see if they're worth it for your furry friend's orlan health.
Will dog dental chews work for your pet?
The question of whether dental chews work is a thorny one. The satisfying crunch of dry kibble can taste yummy to your dog and may help keep teeth clean. While properly designed chews do have the potential to reduce plaque and tartar buildup, they're not a stand-in for routine dental cleanings.
Think of them more as a supplement to your dog's regular oral care routine - kind of like we sometimes chew sugar-free gum to keep our breath fresh, but we wouldn't expect that to replace regularly brushing our teeth or visiting the dentist.
There are a few things to consider before buying dog dental chews that claim to support dental health:
- Be skeptical of claims that certain products are supportive of dental health.
- Ensure any chews or treats you give your dog are not too hard, as they can fracture teeth. Antlers, bones, and hooves are likely culprits.
- Don't forget to schedule your pet's routine oral exam and dental cleanings with your vet.
- Look for long-lasting chew products such as knucklebone, rawhide, nylon, or rubber chew toys (keep a watchful eye on these and toss it if your dog gnaws it down enough for them to become a choking hazard).
How long should dogs spend chewing?
Make sure to give your dog around 30 minutes of chew time every day to make the most of their dental chews.
About Dog Breeds, Teeth, and Oral Health Issues
Is your dog's mouth crowded with teeth, or is he a small breed? If so, plaque and tartar can easily build up in the hidden area, no matter how much your dog chews. You'll need good old toothbrush bristles to get under his gum line and scrape or brush away the bacteria that can cause periodontal disease.
Keep in mind that your dog's immune system, breed, age, and history can influence his health and factor into whether he develops dental problems. That's why routine health checkups with a qualified vet are so important.
The Bottom Line
While some doggy dental chews are effective, these aren't an effective substitute for toothbrushing or professional pet dental care routines for your pup. Keep the other elements of an excellent oral health care routine on your pup's calendar, and their teeth will stay in good condition.