Home dental care for your pet’s teeth and gums is vital to the health of your pet to remove the plaque and tarter that accumulates each day. Daily tooth brushing is by far the single most effective means of removing plaque from the visible surface of the tooth.
While there is nothing better than brushing your pet’s teeth there are many dental products available that will improve your pet’s dental health care. The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) is an organization, similar to the human American Dental Association that independently certifies the claim that the company makes as an effective means for removing plaque and calculus.
After brushing, the next most beneficial means of reducing plaque is going to be the type of food that you feed. Very good dental foods are Hills Prescription Diet® t/d® Canine Dental Health food and Hills Prescription Diet® t/d® Feline Dental Health food. There are several other complete food diets recommended by the VOHC that are identified as being effective dental products too.
There are dental treats that will make a difference, although significantly less than brushing and food, in the amount of plaque and tartar accumulation in your pet’s mouth. You can see accepted treats on VOHC.org.
Concerning toys, there is a fine line between being too easy to chew up and swallow, and being too hard and thus possibly damaging the teeth. Many commercial chew toys are far too hard and can easily break the chewing teeth. Recommendations:
If you can bend it or make an indentation in the chew toy with your fingernail, the toy is generally safe for your dog (for example, Kong toys or large rope toys).
Hard toys and objects, (for example, steak or marrow bones or ice cubes) can actually break teeth and should be avoided.
You can give your pet almost any toy if your pet does not aggressively destroy his or her toys or have the need to be constantly chewing. If you have an aggressive chewer, it is risky to give your dog hard objects or toys. Pets who are prone to quickly swallowing large pieces of chew toys should be monitored during their use to avoid an obstruction.
Even with good home dental care, all pets will benefit from an annual dental examination and preventative cleaning. Please call us today to make a dental appointment for your pet!