Just like us, our pets require regular dental care to keep their teeth in excellent health and help prevent oral disease. Daily brushing is always a great way to help prevent the build-up of plaque, but it is not always the simplest task to perform on your pet. Luckily, many other products can help with your pet’s oral health!
1) Dental Diets: These fully balanced diets often have larger kibble size that enforces your pet to chew their kibble. Such mechanical action can help create an almost “scrubbing” effect on their teeth that will help prevent the build-up of plaque and tartar. Also, special plaque and tartar reducing ingredients are added to help promote and maintain dental health. Some examples of Dental Diets: Hills T/D, Royal Canin Dental and Purina DH.
2) Dental Chews: Often coming in different shapes and textures, dental chews help prevent the build-up of plaque and tartar through mechanical action created when your pet chews on them. Ingredients to help prevent bad breath and plaque and tartar are also usually added. Helpful tip, look for dental chews that have a VOHC seal for plaque and/or tartar!
3) Water Additives: These products are something that you can add to your pet’s regular drinking water! They contain ingredients that help prevent the build-up of plaque. Example of water additive: healthymouth
4) Pet toothpaste & Oral Gels: As brushing your pet’s teeth is the most effective form of preventative dental health care these products can aid in making it a positive experience for your pet! Often coming in many different appealing flavours such as chicken, beef, salmon and vanilla/mint they are safe for your pet to swallow, and can make the tooth brushing process more enjoyable for your pet. Also, the ingredients they contain can help prevent bad breath and plaque formation.
An important thing to remember is that while all these products help maintain oral health for your pet, they do not treat any present dental disease and are not a substitute for regular professional dental care provided by your veterinarian.
Visit www.vohc.org for a list of VOHC accepted products for cats and dogs and learn about the pre-set standards pet products must go through to be recognized as being useful in the reduction of plaque and/or tartar build-up.
Written by Stephanie Withers, RVT