Dental Treats for Dogs: Why Your Dog Needs Dental Treats

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Dental treats for dogs are specially designed products that help clean your dog’s teeth and gums while they chew. They can also freshen your dog’s breath and provide some nutritional benefits. Dental treats are not a substitute for regular dental checkups and professional cleanings, but they can supplement your dog’s oral care routine and make it more enjoyable for both of you.

Dental health is vital for your dog’s well-being. Poor dental hygiene can lead to oral pain, bad breath, tooth loss, and even systemic infections that can affect the heart, kidneys, and liver. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), brushing your dog’s teeth daily is the best way to prevent plaque and tartar buildup, which can cause periodontal disease. However, not all dogs are cooperative or comfortable with tooth brushing. That’s where dental treats come in handy.

Some of the benefits of dental treats for dogs are:

Reducing plaque and tartar.

Plaque and tartar are sticky substances that accumulate on the teeth and cause dental problems such as periodontal disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. Dental treats for dogs have a chewy texture and a unique shape that help scrape away plaque and tartar from the teeth and gums. Some dental treats also contain ingredients such as sodium tripolyphosphate and zinc sulphate that help prevent mineral buildup and bad breath.

Preventing periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is a common and serious condition that affects the gums and other structures that support the teeth. It can cause pain, inflammation, infection, bleeding, and tooth loss. It can also affect other organs if bacteria enter the bloodstream through diseased gums. Dental treats for dogs can help prevent periodontal disease by reducing plaque and tartar, which are the main causes of gum inflammation and infection.

Eliminating bad breath.

Bad breath is not only unpleasant but also a sign of poor oral hygiene or health. It can be caused by bacteria, food particles, or dental problems. Dental treats for dogs can help eliminate bad breath by removing the sources of odor and by containing breath fresheners such as mint or parsley.

Supporting proper gum health.

Gums are the soft tissues that surround and protect the teeth. They play an important role in keeping the teeth in place and preventing infections. Dental treats for dogs can help support proper gum health by stimulating blood flow and massaging the gums. This can help prevent gum recession, bleeding, or swelling.

Giving fussy chewers something to chew on.

Some dogs are more prone to chewing than others, either because of their breed, personality, or boredom. Chewing can be beneficial for dogs as it helps relieve stress, exercise their jaws, and clean their teeth. However, chewing on inappropriate objects such as furniture, shoes, or wires can be harmful or dangerous for dogs. Dental treats for dogs can give fussy chewers something to chew on that is safe, healthy, and satisfying.

How to Choose the Best Dental Treats for Your Dog

There are many types and brands of dental treats available on the market, but not all of them are equally effective or safe. Here are some tips to help you choose the best dental treats for your dog.

Look for the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) seal of approval.

The VOHC is an organization that evaluates and certifies dental products for dogs and cats based on rigorous standards of plaque and tartar control. Products that carry the VOHC seal have been proven to reduce plaque and tartar by at least 10% in clinical trials.

Consider your dog’s size, age, and chewing habits.

Dental treats come in different shapes, sizes, textures, and flavors to suit different preferences and needs. For example, some dental treats are more suitable for small dogs or puppies, while others are more appropriate for large dogs or seniors. Some dental treats are softer and easier to chew, while others are harder and more durable. Some dental treats have added ingredients such as enzymes, probiotics, or vitamins to enhance their benefits. You should choose a dental treat that matches your dog’s physical characteristics and chewing style.

Follow the feeding instructions and precautions.

Dental treats are meant to be given as occasional snacks, not as a main source of nutrition. You should follow the feeding guidelines on the package and adjust your dog’s regular diet accordingly to avoid overfeeding or weight gain. You should also monitor your dog while they chew the treat and provide plenty of fresh water. Some dental treats may pose a choking or obstruction risk if swallowed whole or in large pieces, so you should discard any uneaten or broken pieces.

Some Examples of Popular Dental Treats for Dogs

Here are some examples of popular dental treats for dogs that have received the VOHC seal of approval.

Greenies Regular Dog Dental Treats:

These are one of the most popular and widely available dental treats for dogs. They have a unique shape that helps clean hard-to-reach areas of the mouth and a chewy texture that reduces plaque and tartar. They also contain natural ingredients and added vitamins and minerals to support overall health. They come in different sizes and flavors to suit different dogs.

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Pedigree Dentastix:

These are another affordable and widely available option for dental treats for dogs. They have a patented X-shape that helps scrape away plaque and tartar from the teeth and gums. They also contain ingredients such as sodium tripolyphosphate and zinc sulfate that help prevent mineral buildup and bad breath. They come in different sizes and flavors to suit different dogs.

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OraVet Dental Hygiene Chews:

These are premium dental treats for dogs that have a dual-action formula. They have a chewy texture that helps remove plaque and tartar from the teeth, and they also release a special ingredient called delmopinol that forms a protective barrier against bacteria that cause bad breath. They come in different sizes to suit different dogs.

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Conclusion

Dental treats are a great way to help your dog maintain good oral hygiene and prevent dental problems. However, they are not a replacement for regular brushing, checkups, and cleanings. You should consult your veterinarian before giving your dog any dental products and follow their recommendations. By choosing the right dental treats for your dog and using them correctly, you can keep your dog’s smile healthy and happy.

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