Which Dental Chews Are Right For Your Dog? by Dr. Danielle Bernal
Wellness Natural Pet Food Veterinarian, Dr. Danielle Bernal
Dog dental chews are a great way of helping keep your dog’s teeth clean. With so many products available the following are 6 quick points to consider when next in the dog treat aisle choosing a chew for your dog. Following these will ensure that you choose a chew that is not only tasty and safe but one that is also the most effective at removing plaque and tartar whilst keeping their breath fresh:
- Look at the ingredients: You want to ensure that an edible dental chew contains high-quality natural ingredients to promote the health and wellbeing for your dog as well as keep their teeth clean. The back of a pack will often highlight if a brand contains non-GMO ingredients as well as show in descending order the ingredients that are included in that chew from the most abundant to the smallest inclusions. Always look for ingredients you can recognise such as potatoes or chicken and avoid those that are on the ambiguous side such as ‘meat meal’ or generic ‘cereals.’ These open ingredient descriptors, don’t give you visibility as to the source of that ingredient and more often than not can be inferior quality.
- Where is it made? Knowing the country of manufacture gives you assurances as to the level of quality and safety involved in making a chew that your dog will eat. In both European and North American manufacturing sites, a company must meet very strict industry standards that ensures only the highest quality chews are available to your pet. In other markets such as China, these industry controls may be missing and create a chew with lower quality standards.
- Have Sensitivities? Avoid common allergens: Some dogs can suffer with sensitivities to certain foods or they may occasionally get tummy upsets after eating certain products. For these dogs it is helpful to choose a product with limited ingredients (LID) or put another way, a short ingredient list. In these cases less truly is more to minimse the number of ingredients that the dog is exposed to and more often than not, these LID chews will also avoid the most common ingredients that are known to cause an upset such as beef, dairy, chicken wheat and soy. A grain free, vegetarian, dental chew is often a great solution for food sensitive dogs.
- Scientifically proven: Every chew works a little different to another so one of the best ways to select a chew that is proven to promote dental health is to choose one that has the Veterinary Oral Heath Council (VOHC) Seal of Acceptance. The VOHC ensures products that make the list have met their high scientific standards for proving reduction of plaque and tartar. You can check their website XXXX for all accepted products
- Right size chew: When selecting a chew perfect for your dog always pick the right size versus feeding a chew that is for larger or smaller dogs. This will ensure the chew not only is the right amount of calories to remain a healthy treat but it will also help match the chew exactly to their mouth size for optimal dental cleaning as well as minimize the chance of them swallowing a large piece that could cause an upset.
- Daily use is key to success: Plaque can accumulate in as little as 24 hours so just like us, it is important to support your dog’s teeth with a dental chew every day to keep their teeth healthy. A chew that tastes great and comes in a larger value bag is a great way of ensuring your dog looks forward to his daily dental chew as well as be the most economical solution.