Each time I am looking for a new treats for my dogs, I see the “helps keep dog teeth clean” or”prevent plaque”. I am skeptical in my nature, so I decided to do some research and try to find the truth behind this declaration.
We all know how important oral hygiene is. Neglecting pet’s oral care may result in big bucks paying to the vet for cleaning and treating bad teeth. Not to mention pain, inflamed gums, infection and periodontal disease.
In order to keep teeth healthy we need to prevent the plaque buildup. Brushing is number one. I know how difficult it can be. Vets recommends doing it every day, I don’t think so, not in my house. When they bath they also get good teeth brushing. With 3 dogs it takes about half a day (including: begs, chase, carrying to the bath etc.)
Looking for additional option, we start searching for dog treats and toys with cleansing benefit.
What I learned:
1. Dry diet may decrease dental disease while wet food is sticky and leave leftovers between teeth.
2. kibbles available in different design and some include an anti-tartar chemicals
3. Rawhide has the same benefit as Kibbles, contain an anti-tartar ingredient
4. Chew treats and Rawhide will be beneficial if the dog chew on them every day, for at least 30 minutes each time. The treat will massages their gums and scrapes away tartar.
5. Dog treat are usually high in calories, so match the size to your dog size or look for low calories treats.
6. If the dog doesn’t take the time to chew, there is no benefit but the extra calories.
6. Dental dog toys – for the pooch who loves to chew. Like the dry treats, the longer he’ll chew the better. Choosing toys should fit the dog size and personality. Choose him the perfect toys that are not to big or small. That are not too taught - might break a tooth or injured him, and not too soft as there is no benefit for oral care.
My conclusion is that chew treats with chew toys may help keeping plaque and tartar buildup to some point. But only if your dog can chew for half an hour. I know my dogs can not. BUT, it does not replace the teeth brushing. All the above are true for cats too.