Giving your dog a daily dental chew is one of the most effective ways of keeping their teeth clean, maintaining fresh breath and keeping their overall dental health in check. Dental chews work both mechanically and chemically to break down plaque and tartar build-up on your dog’s teeth, keeping them clean and healthy. If plaque is left on the surface of a dog’s teeth for more than 24 hours, it can harden and become tartar – this is where daily dental chews are important in helping to minimise the buildup of both factors.
Some dental chews are more effective than others at removing plaque and tartar buildup. But how do you choose the right dental chew when there are so many to choose from? Follow these next few tips to help you find the right chew for your dog and get them on track to a better dental health regime.
Read the ingredients
Reading the ingredients list of a dental chew can tell you a lot about what you’re feeding your pet – the quality of the product, palatability of the product, digestibility of the product and, of course, the nutritional composition of the product. When you’re reading the ingredients list, make sure you look out for any nasties like GMOs, or non-essential ingredients like grains and high-fat content.
Knowing exactly what the ingredients are will help you understand the product a lot better too, especially if the ingredients are all-natural and instantly recognisable. For example, when reading the back of a bag of Whimzees dental chews, we instantly recognise ingredients like potatoes, glycerin, malt, alfalfa, paprika etc. Keep in mind that when you’re reading the ingredients, they are listed in order of most to least abundant.
Avoid ingredients that are broadly categorised such as “meat meals”, “cereals”, “flavours”, “preservatives”, etc. They don’t specify what those ingredients are and are therefore inferior ingredients. Ingredients that are specifically and individually listed are a better source for your dog’s dental treats.
Choosing the right size
Make sure your dog is getting the appropriate size of chew so that they are consuming the intended number of calories for their size and aren’t over-indulging every day. The correct size will also ensure that the dental chew is the right fit for your dog’s mouth, meaning they won’t choke on a dental chew that is too small, it won’t get lodged in their mouth or they won’t swallow a piece that is too big and cause stomach upsets. This will also ensure that they are chewing on the right size of dental treat for the appropriate length of time for the chew to be successful at breaking down any buildup of plaque and tartar.
Where is the dental treat made?
Finding where your choice of dental treats are made is simple as it’s always listed on the packet. Knowing where they are made gives you insight into the quality and safety of your dog’s dental treat. If your dental treats are made in the US or Europe, they will be of high quality as their manufacturing standards are quite high, and they tend to follow stricter guidelines. If your dental treats are made in China, for example, they are less likely to be of high quality as the manufacturing standards are lower and are more likely to produce a lower quality dental treat.
Sensitive tummies can have dental treats too!
Many dogs suffer from sensitivities to certain foods – some of these foods are used as key ingredients in dental treats too and unfortunately, as good as they may be, some sensitive dogs can’t have dental treats with those ingredients. For sensitive dogs like this, there are dental treats available that are easy to digest as they are free from these potential allergen ingredients such as cereals, wheat, poultry, beef, dairy and soy. WHIMZEES dental chews are grain-free, vegetarian dogs chew that are a great solution for food-sensitive dogs to easily digest and maintain a daily dental health care regime!
Each dental treat varies in the way they work and how effective they are at removing plaque and tartar buildup from dogs’ teeth. Some dental chews are scientifically proven to promote dental health and are easily distinguishable from those that aren’t, this is easily distinguishable by having a seal of acceptance from the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC). The VOHC ensures that products with their seal are up to their high, scientific standards for proving the active reduction of plaque and tartar buildup. Whimzees dental chews have undergone substantial scientific studies and have been accepted for both VOHC Plaque and VOHC Tartar reductions, making them reliable, scientifically proven dental chews for dogs.
Daily dental care regime
For the dental chew to produce results and actually be effective at breaking down plaque and tartar buildup, your dog should be given a dental treat once daily. As previously mentioned, plaque can build up in as little as 24 hours so it is imperative that it is kept at bay by getting into a solid dental care regime and feeding your dog dental treats daily. Many dental treats offer a bulk option where you can buy chews by the bag, this is a good way to stay on top of your dog’s daily dental care schedule and ensure they are getting consistent dental care.