There are many existing and new dog dental chews out there, with some claiming to freshen your dog's breath, remove plaque, etc. With the wide selection of dental chews, dog owners have a choice of chews of different flavours that are 100% natural or developed by vets and nutritionists.
A common question arises as to whether dog dental chews really work to help with cleaning your dog's teeth. With the popularity of dental chews, dog owners worry about which dental chews are even good for their dog and if using daily dental chews means they can stop brushing their dog's teeth.
Why are dental chews popular with dogs?
Dental chews have gained popularity amongst dogs and their owners for their dual benefit of oral health and palatability. Dog dental chews, designed to target dental issues, offer a convenient solution for maintaining your furry friend's oral hygiene. In fact, according to a 2020 study, 51.1% of dog owners considered dental chews specifically for dental health was important. Additionally, 72.4% of dog owners considered natural chewing bones, e.g. rawhide, to be important for good dental health.
These chews are a big hit with dogs due to their appealing flavours and textures, making them an enjoyable treat whilst providing dental benefits. Chewing is a form of mental stimulation for dogs that they are naturally drawn to. Dental chews satisfy this instinct whilst effectively aiding in plaque removal and combating bad breath. However, the question on every dog owner's mind is, 'Do dog dental chews really work?'.
Dog owners appreciate dental chews as they offer a fuss-free way to help with their dog's oral care routine. The convenience of simply offering a chew that promotes dental health is a significant draw, especially for pet parents who struggle with traditional brushing methods. The 2020 study also found that 43% of dog owners fed their dogs a dental chew at least once a week, and 59.6% of dog owners fed their dogs a natural chew at least once a week.
However, whilst dental chews are advantageous, they aren't a complete substitute for brushing. They serve as an excellent complement to regular dental care practices, enhancing your dog's overall oral health.
Importance of brushing your dog's teeth
Whilst dental chews offer valuable support in maintaining your dog's oral health, the significance of brushing your dog's teeth remains unparalleled. In a study published in 2019, out of the 33 dogs, 22 dogs completed the study. The data showed brushing a dog's teeth daily resulted in a 1.25 mouth median score, which was lower in comparison to dental chews and dental diet. Daily feeding of Dentastix resulted in a median score of 4.10.
Vets recommend brushing your dog's teeth twice a day, as regular brushing plays a pivotal role in ensuring comprehensive dental care for your furry companion. Unlike dental chews that aid in plaque removal through chewing action, brushing allows for a more thorough and targeted approach to eliminating plaque and preventing tartar buildup. The action of brushing and specially formulated dog toothpaste effectively removes food particles and bacteria from hard-to-reach areas, promoting healthier gums and teeth.
Brushing also allows you to inspect your dog's oral cavity, enabling early detection of potential dental issues such as periodontitis in dogs, gingivitis and more. This proactive approach helps prevent dental problems from escalating, ensuring your dog's comfort and well-being.
Incorporating brushing into your dog's routine fosters a strong bond between you and your pet whilst instilling a positive association with oral care. Whilst dental chews can be a beneficial addition, they shouldn't replace the invaluable practice of regular tooth brushing, which remains the cornerstone of a comprehensive oral hygiene regimen for your canine companion.
How do dog dental chews work?
Dog dental chews function as more than just a tasty treat; they actively contribute to your furry friend's oral health. Here's how dental chews can help:
Some dental chew companies claim to reduce up to 70% of plaque. These chews function through a combination of factors that aid in plaque removal:
Mechanical Action: Chewing on these treats creates friction against the teeth, scraping away plaque and tartar buildup.
Texture and Design: Their textured surface or unique designs reach difficult-to-access areas, effectively removing plaque.
Dental chews contribute to fresher breath in dogs as they contain ingredients to combat bad breath:
Active Ingredients: Some chews incorporate breath-freshening elements like mint or parsley, neutralising bacteria causing bad breath.
Plaque Reduction: Dental chews help diminish odour-causing bacteria by targeting plaque, resulting in improved breath.
Longevity and chew time
The duration of chewing impacts the effectiveness of dental chews:
Enhanced Cleaning: Longer chewing stimulates more salivaproduction and extends the mechanical cleaning action, promoting better plaque removal.
Effective Cleaning: Extended chew time ensures the chewing action thoroughly cleans teeth and gums.
Stimulates saliva production
Dental chews encourage saliva production, aiding in oral health:
Protective Action: Saliva contains enzymes that can break down food particles and inhibit bacterial growth, fostering a healthier oral environment.
Will dental chews work for my dog?
Dental chews offer a promising solution for maintaining your dog's oral health, but their effectiveness hinges on several crucial factors. Understanding these elements can help determine whether dental chews will benefit your furry companion.
Understanding the effectiveness of long-lasting dental chews
The effectiveness of dental chews often lies in their durability. Long-lasting dog chews ensure extended chewing time, allowing for greater plaque removal and promoting healthier gums. Choosing chews designed for durability provides consistent dental care benefits for your dog over extended periods.
Ensuring the right texture
Texture plays a pivotal role in the effectiveness of dental chews. There are dental chews that are soft, leathery and rough. Choosing the best texture for your dog should be based on their age, size and eating habits. For example, a chihuahua's best dental chew option may be small and soft. On the other hand, that type of chew would not be suitable for a larger dog like a German Shepherd. Finding the right texture ensures that the chew can effectively clean without causing any discomfort or damage to your dog.
Managing caloric intake
Balancing the benefits of dental chews with your dog's caloric needs is crucial. Being mindful of the calories in these treats helps maintain a healthy weight for your pet. Consider low-calorie options such as dog dental chews made from fish or adjust meal portions to accommodate the additional calories from dental chews.
Considering your dog's age and size
Age and size are influential factors in determining the suitability of dental chews. Tailoring the chew to suit your dog's specific stage of life and size ensures maximum effectiveness. Larger breeds may require sturdier chews, whilst senior dogs might benefit from softer textures.
Plant-based options for sensitivities
For dogs with sensitivities to animal-based proteins, certain dental chews offer a plant-based alternative. These options cater to specific dietary needs, ensuring that all dogs can benefit from dental chews without compromising nutrition or taste.
Fish-based options for sensitivities
Fish is an excellent source of protein that is hypoallergenic, meaning it's perfect for dogs with sensitivities. Fish-based dental chews offer a source of essential nutrients whilst addressing dietary sensitivities related to other proteins. These options expand the range of choices for dogs with unique dietary requirements.
Fish-based dental chews
At Skipper's, we have a wide range of dental chews made from 100% fish. The natural dental chews are dried at low temperatures, making them hard and chewy. The rough texture created by the fish scales rubs against your dog's teeth as they chew, which in turn helps clean and remove plaque from your dog's teeth.
In addition to that, these fish chews benefit not only your dog's oral hygiene but also your dog's overall health. They're low in fat and packed full of beneficial Omega oils. Including fish through treats or food is the perfect addition to your dog's diet.
Fish Skin Flatties
Wolf Fish Twists
Fish Skin Twists
Wolf Fish Throw Sticks
Fish Finger Skins
Frequently Asked Questions
Do dental chews clean a dog's mouth?
Dental chews play a significant role in cleaning a dog's mouth. Through the motion of chewing, these treats effectively remove plaque and tartar buildup from the teeth. The textured surface of dental chews aids in scrubbing away debris, promoting fresher breath and better oral hygiene. Regular use complements brushing, contributing to a cleaner mouth for your furry friend.
Are dental chews better than brushing?
Whilst dental chews offer oral benefits, they're not a complete substitute for brushing. Both play distinct roles in maintaining oral health. Dental chews aid in plaque removal and freshening breath, but brushing is essential for thorough cleaning. A combined approach, using both, ensures comprehensive oral care for your dog.
What measures the effectiveness of dental treats for dogs?
Various factors assess the effectiveness of dental treats. Consider plaque reduction percentages, chew longevity, texture suitable for your dog's needs, and breath freshness. Additionally, consult your vet and observe how well the treat complements your dog's overall oral health routine.