From food, toys, treats, worming and flea treatments to collars, leads, bedding, bowls, grooming and vet bills, the cost of caring for our furry friends fast adds up.
If you’re looking for ways to cut the cost of caring for your pooch, it’s reasonable to question if dog dental chews are really worth the money—but before you write them off as just another unnecessary expense, there’s good reason to continue using them…
Getting on the front foot of periodontal disease
While dogs can experience a range of dental and oral health issues, periodontal disease is by far the most common. In fact, you’ll find some degree of periodontal disease in more than two-thirds of dogs by the time they reach their third birthday!
So how does periodontal disease form?
Dogs mouths are full of bacteria which multiply to form plaque. When left on the tooth surface, plaque can thicken and calcify turning into tartar which is significantly harder to remove. Tartar also has the effect of attracting more plaque to the tooth, causing the surrounding gums to become inflamed, known as gingivitis—this is the first stage of periodontal disease.
When gingivitis is left ignored and allowed to develop into periodontal disease, it can cause infection which can reach deep into the tooth socket, eroding the bone and ultimately leading to tooth loss. Ouch!
How dog dental chews help fight periodontal disease
While there’s a range of things you can do to help keep your dog’s teeth clean, dog dental chews are an easy way to help keep plaque at bay and prevent periodontal disease. This is primarily because of the amount of chewing required.
The additional chewing is beneficial for two reasons:
it helps to scrub the teeth clean and prevent the build-up of plaque on the tooth’s surface (reducing plaque by up to 70%), and
it stimulates the production of saliva, which has valuable antibacterial properties which help to prevent plaque build-up and stave off periodontal disease.
Dental chews can also help to fight bad breath.
A few good dental chew options...
When choosing dog dental chews, look for ones that:
take a long time to chew through (the more chewing the better)
are free from artificial colours and flavours, and
are made from all-natural ingredients.
Some good examples that work effectively include:
Goats horns or antlers: Horns and antlers are long-lasting, all-natural, and include marrow which has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease as well as support kidney and digestive function.
Dog dental bars or sticks: Dental bars are super chewy, have been scientifically designed to scrub your doggo’s teeth clean, and are often packed with valuable additional vitamins and minerals. Some varieties also include natural breath-fresheners like parsley and mint.
Ideally, you want your dog to enjoy at least 30 minutes of chewing each day to keep their teeth squeaky clean. If you find you’re concerned that your dog is gaining too much weight, try alternating dental chews with a dental chew toy to avoid adding extra calories to their diet.