Dog owners know that keeping your pup’s teeth clean is important for their health and happiness. As plaque and tartar build up, it can lead to inflamed gums, bad breath, and tooth decay. An easy way to help combat this is by giving your dog dental chews. These tasty treats serve a dual purpose – they help scrape away plaque and tartar while also giving your dog something fun to nibble on.
What exactly are dog dental chews? As the name suggests, they are chew treats made specifically for cleaning your dog’s teeth. Most contain delmopinol, an anti-plaque agent that helps prevent tartar buildup. The texture of the treats also works to mechanically scrape away plaque and debris as your dog chews. There are even some with added breath fresheners to combat stinky dog breath.
When should you start giving your dog dental chews? The earlier the better! Puppies start growing their adult teeth around 3-4 months old, so introducing dental chews around this time will help set up good dental hygiene habits. For adult dogs, dental chews can be given daily or a few times a week.
What to look for when choosing dog dental chews:
- Size appropriate for your dog – chews should be large enough not to present a choking risk but small enough for your dog to fully chew and crunchy texture to clean teeth
- Veterinarian approved seal of acceptance
- Made of digestible ingredients like rice, vegetable glycerin, gelatin. Avoid excess fillers.
- Attractively flavored for interest (chicken, peanut butter etc)
- Free of artificial colors and preservatives
Types of dog dental chews:
- Edible Dental Sticks – These look similar to a white rawhide stick but are typically made of vegetable glycerin and wheat protein. As your dog chews, the stick helps scrape away buildup on teeth.
- Dental Bones – Shaped like a bone but made with nylon or a rigid wheat protein, these have grooves and ridges to provide a scrubbing texture.
- Compressed Rawhide – Made from rawhide curled into a stick shape, these clean by being extra tough to chew. Look for high quality rawhide free of preservatives and chemicals.
Whatever dental chew you choose, observe your dog while they enjoy their treat. Make sure they don’t break off large chunks that could lead to choking. It’s also helpful to brush your dog’s teeth weekly even when using dental chews to make sure to fully combat tartar buildup.
Benefits of dog dental chews:
Now that we know what dental chews are all about, what are the benefits? Here are some perks to adding these functional treats to your pup’s routine:
- Remove plaque and tartar buildup
- Freshen dog breath
- Stimulate saliva production
- Massage gums
- Slow progression of periodontal disease
- Fun, yummy treats dogs love
The mechanical chewing action paired with anti-plaque ingredients help keep your dog’s mouth healthy and teeth sparkling clean. Be sure to always supervise your dog while they enjoy any kind of chew treat.
Choosing the right dental chews:
With so many dog dental chew options on the market, how do you decide what’s best? Here are some tips:
- Talk to your veterinarian
- Pick appropriate size and shape
- Make sure main ingredient is digestible
- Ensure treats are vet dentist approved
- Select enticing flavors
- Always supervise your dog while chewing
Your vet can advise if dental chews alone are enough based on your dog’s unique oral health or if additional brushing or professional cleaning is needed. Providing good home dental care with chews, brushing, and checkups will help your furry friend smile happily with healthy teeth and gums for years to come.
- Dental chews help clean dogs’ teeth by scraping away plaque and tartar as they chew.
- Introducing dental chews early when puppy teeth come in establishes good dental habits.
- Look for vet-approved chews made of digestible, natural ingredients.
- Different types are available like edible sticks, nylon bones and compressed rawhide.
- Benefits include fresher breath, healthier gums and cleaner teeth.
- Always supervise your dog while they chew to prevent choking.
- Talk to your vet to determine if additional oral care is needed along with dental chews.
Dog dental chews are a fantastic addition to your pet care routine. They offer numerous benefits, including improved oral health, fresh breath, and a stress-free solution for both you and your furry friend. Remember to choose chews with natural ingredients, use them as directed, and supervise your dog during chew time.
Incorporating dental chews into your dog’s daily life can lead to a happier, healthier pet. So, go ahead, spoil your four-legged companion with the gift of dental chews, and watch them flash a dazzling smile that reflects their vibrant health.
Why are dental chews important for my dog?
Dental chews are important for removing built-up plaque and tartar on your dog’s teeth. Without proper dental care, this buildup can harden leading to inflamed gums, tooth decay and even tooth loss. The chewing action helps clean teeth while ingredients like delmopinol actively fight plaque. This keeps teeth and gums healthy. Dental chews also freshen dog breath! Starting dental chews early when permanent teeth erupt establishes lifelong habits.
Should I give my dog other chews if using dental chews?
You can give other types of safe, digestible chews alongside dental chews to keep your dog entertained and mentally stimulated. Avoid chews like rawhide that could pose digestive issues or present choking hazards. Stick to digestible chews without preservatives or chemicals. Rotate different chews to keep it exciting but dental chews should make up the bulk for oral health. Monitor your dog with all chews and remove pieces they bite off to prevent choking.
What if my dog doesn’t like the taste?
If your dog doesn’t seem interested in their dental chews, try a different flavor or texture. Most brands offer assorted flavors like chicken and peanut butter. You can also try soaking the chews in low-sodium broth before giving them. The key is finding chews your dog gets excited for and looks forward to chewing. This ensures they will fully chew them for maximum dental benefits.
How often should I give my dog dental chews?
For most dogs, giving dental chews 2-3 times per week is sufficient when paired with weekly brushing. Puppies can use chews more frequently during teething discomfort. Senior dogs prone to periodontal disease may also benefit from daily dental chews. Observe tartar buildup and inflamed gums and adjust frequency as needed. Always supervise chewing and provide chews suitable for your dog’s size.
Do I still need to brush if giving dental chews?
Yes, dental chews alone are usually not enough. The mechanical chewing only cleans 60% of tooth surfaces. To fully clean rear molars and fight bacteria, weekly brushing is still essential unless advised otherwise by your vet. The combination provides the best defense against plaque buildup for healthy gums and teeth. Annual cleanings check for any underlying oral issues, keeping your dog smiling bright!