Should You Give Your Dog Dental Chews?

dog dental chews

We are constantly reminded, whether it is at the dentist, in magazines, online or on the television about the importance of having healthy teeth and gums. If you have ever seen adverts for doggy dental chews and wondered if it is important to look after your dog's teeth, or if the adverts are lying to sell products, the answer is yes. Yes, you need to take care of your dog's teeth because they can also suffer from periodontal disease (otherwise known as gum disease).

Obviously, the best way to take care of your dog's dental health is by regularly having their teeth and gums professionally brushed and cleaned. Doggy dental chews and other treats should only be considered as extras.

Benefits Of Dog Chews

As a precursor to gum disease, it is also possible for your dog to suffer from a wide range of symptoms including:
  • Irritated, swollen or bleeding gums
  • A build-up of food, bacteria and saliva on their teeth, also known as plaque
  • A brown or yellowy colored reside on their teeth, also known as tartar
  • Bad breath

There some major benefits to giving your dog dental chews, we've highlighted some below.

Improving The Health Of Teeth And Gums

It has been proven that dogs who actively chew have less of a problem with plaque. In fact, there are some dog chew treats and diets that can reduce the amount of plaque present by around 70%. This is possible primarily because of the actual action of chewing.

Reducing Bad Breath

Dogs generally have breath that smells particularly bad. This is usually caused by the build-up of bacteria in their mouth and could be a warning sign that you need to take better care of your dog's teeth and gums. You should also consider having their teeth checked by your vet to rule out or confirm if there is an underlying problem causing the bad breath.

Along with the obvious brushing and cleaning teeth, some dog chews consist of a recipe that has been designed for improving your dog's breath in mind. It is wise to see which brands and products your vet may recommend.

A Little About Different Types Of Dental Treats

There are various types of dental diets and treats that are said to help improve your dog's breath or reduce the amount of plaque and tartar in their mouths. The main dog treats include:

Rawhide Chews

Rawhide chews are made from the hides of either horses or cows and can help reduce the amount of tartar and plaque. They are available in a variety of different shapes and sizes, and the best one for your dog will depend on your dog's breed and size.
Dental Biscuits, Bones And Chews

Dental chews are similar but come in a variety of different types and are designed with your dog's oral health in mind.

Be Careful With Doggy Dental Treats

It is worth highlighting the fact that although they may help, not all dental chews and treats for your dog are equal. Some of much safer and more effective than others. Keep in mind the following when choosing and giving dog chews to your furry friend.

Choose The Right Product

Always choose the dog chews that are most appropriate for your dog in term's of the breed, age, personality, preferences, and size. If your dog aggressively chews often, they might need a firmer treat. Whereas if they are gentler and not known to chew particularly aggressively, a softer chew would be more than adequate.

Limit Their Treats

Follow the rule of thumb - the smaller a dog is, the fewer treats they should get. Also, depending on the type you are giving, it could go down way too fast to benefit their teeth at all. Try to avoid giving them too many, as your dog will put on weight very quickly snacking on treats.

Avoid Giving Them Pig's Ears and Hard Bones

Hard chews such as cow hooves, sterilized beef bones, and hard plastic bones among others are probably going to break your dog's teeth if he or she already suffers from diseased teeth and gums. It may be easier for them to chew on something like fresh bones with cartilage and meat. However, you should be cautious because of the risk of your dog ingesting fragments of sharp bone or bacterial contamination.

Although many dogs love pigs' ears, there have been many studies that prove there are no actual dental benefits for your dog if they chew these. There is also a chance that they could have bacterial contamination.

Be Wary Of Compressed Chews

Rawhide chews are helpful for keeping your dog's teeth and gums healthy. However, if your dog is an aggressive chewer, rawhide chews may not be the best choice as they could eat them too quickly or swallow pieces without breaking them down. This type of chew may also cause blockages or your dog to choke. There is also a chance that these kinds of products have bacterial contamination or could irritate their stomach.

Always keep an eye on your dog when he is eating rawhide chews, and if you see your dog swallowing a chunk that is too big you need to give your vet a call as soon as possible. Also, be on the lookout for signs of an upset tummy. Make sure you limit how much you give your dog, particularly if he or she is a smaller breed.

While there are differing opinions about whether dental chews are actually any good or not, if you want to make use of them and think your dog will benefit from them – it is best to talk to your vet about it first. As with anything with your pet, don't just buy something because it works for your friend's or relatives' pets; instead, figure out what is best for your own four-legged friend. No-one knows your dog better than you so you will know the type of treats and dental chews and snacks that are most suitable.

This post was written and submitted by Pooching Around


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