Daily brushing with a pet approved toothpaste and brush is the gold standard in animal dental care. However, not all pets will sit still for this type of activity and trying to force it on them can damage the bond you have with your pet. Dental diets exist to help with dental hygiene and make the experience easy for the owner and pleasurable for the pet!
When your animal chews his/her food, the abrasive texture of the kibble cleans each tooth, gently working away from the plaque. These diets are designed to be fed every day and often reduce plaque and tartar formation by more than 60% compared with regular diets. The key difference in dental diets vs regular diets that the kibble is larger, allowing your animal to really sink its teeth into it, causing a scrubbing action to occur.
Dental treats are also available. Stay away from compressed rawhide or other very hard chew treats or toys such as antlers. Good dental treats are chewable, not hard, and may contain enzymes that will help break down plaque, so it doesn’t turn into tartar.
When looking for dental pet food or treat, check the labelling for the VOHC seal. VOHC stands for the Veterinary Oral Health Council. Foods with the VOHC seal means they’ve been endorsed by the VOHC as good for your dog’s dental health.
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Written by: 4Paws Veterinary Hospital