While brushing your dog’s teeth is one of the most effective things that pet owners can do to maintain their pet’s oral health at home, we know how hard it is to try to brush your dog’s teeth at all, never mind daily. With 80% of adult dogs suffering from some form of dental disease, it is important to look for alternate at-home dental care options. Dental treats and chews, if properly designed, have the potential, alongside regular dental cleanings, to keep plaque and tartar buildup to a minimum and help you and your dog stay ahead of dental disease.
What are dental chews?
A dental chew is a supplementary treat that is designed to help improve the health of your dog’s teeth, gums and overall dental hygiene. Dental chews work by mechanically scraping their teeth as they chew like the action of a toothbrush. Best of all, unlike the difficulties of brushing, chewing is something dogs love to do. It is a species-specific natural behaviour for them, it is done for fun, to alleviate boredom, and to relieve anxiety, with the added benefit of helping clean their teeth!
Do dental chews work?
Whilst the gold standard for at home care is always brushing your dog’s teeth, VOHC-accepted dental chews are scientifically proven to help reduce plaque, reduce tartar, freshen breath and help gum health.
How do you know which dental chews work best?
Walk into any pet specialty store and you will see the wide variety of dental chew products available for your dog. Many claim similar dental health benefit but the reality is that this isn’t always the case. So how can you know which ones will work best? The easiest way to shop wisely is to select a treat with the Veterinary Oral Health Council’s seal of approval for both plaque and tartar. This certification means that the chew’s effectiveness has been studied and proven to promote optimal dental benefits. To see if your product is listed, check their website: http://www.vohc.org/VOHCAcceptedProductsTable_Dogs.pdf
If you are going to add a dental chew into your dog’s hygiene routine and have found a VOHC accepted chew like WHIMZEES, make sure you find the chew that is the right size for your dog. A too-small chew could get swallowed whole, while one too big can result in extra calories, which can add up over time.