A treat is just a treat unless, that is, it’s working to lift unhealthy plaque off the surface of the teeth. Then it’s more like medicine, although your dog doesn’t need to know that. While many dental chews are worth the money, not all dog dental treats provide the same health benefits. We’ll help you decide if dog dental treats are something to consider, or whether they’re not worth all the hype.

Pearly Whites, For Now

Most dog owners will go the extra mile to ensure that their pup has every chance at a long, healthy life. To that end, dental health is at the forefront of canine care. Since the majority of pets over age 3 have periodontal disease (in one stage or another), it’s crucial to provide, maintain, and reinforce excellent dental hygiene.

Beyond the Brush

Dog getting a dental exam

Regular tooth brushing at home is part of an important defense against periodontal disease. However, not all pets are keen on having their teeth brushed, despite your best efforts at offering a variety of delicious dog toothpaste. You can definitely help their dental health with dog dental treats, but they can’t do it all. In addition to regular exams and brushing, dog dental treats can provide supplemental dental support. 

How They Work, What They Do

High quality dog dental treats are chewy to the point of stickiness. This helps adhere to any plaque accumulated on the teeth (typically on the gum line). You should not give your dog anything that is too hard for them to chew, as it can result in tooth fracture, gum injury, and other emergencies. Antlers, bones, and hooves are not acceptable choices. 

Dog dental treats come in a variety of textures, flavors, sizes, and shapes. You can also find products that are designed for size and age. When they chew, dogs can rhythmically remove bacteria and plaque off the teeth and gum line. Studies indicate that regular use of dog dental treats can reduce plaque accumulation. 

Dog Dental Treats 

Dog dental treats can be used as a training tool. Many owners offer their dogs something chewy when they have to leave home, or between meals, in order to occupy them. That said, it might be best to only give them a treat when you are able to supervise them.

Be sure that you follow the serving suggestions on the package and dial back meal portions accordingly. While you want to promote dental care, you don’t want it to come at the price of gaining weight. 

We recommend following advice given by the Veterinary Oral Health Council. While they do not test for safety, they only promote products that are tested for effective plaque removal. 

If you have questions or concerns about dog dental treats, please reach out to us at  (705) 223-3404. Our team at Parkside Animal Hospital is always happy to help!