Your dog's dental care is an important aspect of not just their oral health, but also their overall health and well-being. Here, our Grass Valley vets talk about how your dog's diet can help care for their dental health and what foods are best for their teeth.
Dog Dental Health
Your dog's overall health is closely connected to their oral health in a variety of ways. Unfortunately, as with people, our dogs often suffer from uncomfortable and sometimes painful oral health conditions such as periodontal disease, tooth decay and tooth loss. These common conditions can have significant and serious consequences for the long-term health and well-being of your pooch.
What Foods Are Best For Dog Dental Health?
While regular oral hygiene and routine professional veterinary dental cleanings are a large part of caring for your dog's teeth, there are also certain foods and related items that can help scrub away plaque. Here are 5 options for helping to keep your dog's teeth clean:
1) Raw Animal Bones
Raw bones are great for removing bacteria and debris around the teeth thanks to their flexibility and texture.
You should always be sure that the size of the bone is suitable for the size of your dogs and that you never offer them cooked bones as these can break and splinter causing serious harm.
2) Fruits and Vegetables
Many dogs love snacking with you on fruits and vegetables. A few favorites among dogs are carrots, apples and pumpkin which are all easy to eat and will not stick to the teeth.
Along with the teeth-cleaning benefits of fruits and vegetables, they also contain antioxidants that help manage chronic oxidative stress which are known to cause periodontitis.
As with all snacks, you should consider the size of your dogs and these treats should only account for 10% of their daily intake of foods.
3) Molded Dental Chews
These types of treats are specifically designed to clear plaque and debris off of your dog's teeth. Certain dental chews also come with the added bonus of freshening their breath!
These dental chews are not only tasty for your pup but also offer an outlet for your dog to relieve boredom and anxiety without chewing on your favorite things. These dental chews can be used during training to show your dog what they are allowed to chew on versus your furniture or clothing.
4) Yogurt or Kefir
The probiotics that are present in yogurt or kefir are crucial for the health of your dog’s gut and immune system. You can choose to give the probiotics orally or by adding yogurt to their diet. These probiotics will rid your dog's mouth of harmful bacteria which can help prevent inflammation and periodontitis from developing.
5) Dental Care Specific Dry Dog Food
Whatever food you choose to feed your dog, you should always check that the ingredients are natural and beneficial. Opt for dog foods that contain real meat, fatty acids, and vitamins which can help ensure healthy teeth.
Many dog food companies offer foods that are specific to the dental health of your dog through their nutrition content and the size and shape of the kibble itself.
How Age Affects Your Dogs Diet
As your dog ages, their metabolism will begin to slow down. On top of this, your dog will begin to feel the aches of aging and just generally decrease in energy which leads to inactive older dogs.
If your dog is eating too much then the lack of exercise combined with excess calories means that your senior dog could quickly become overweight.
Different Types of Dog Dental Diets
There are a number of different dental-specific diets on the market, but what exactly do they do?
These dental diets need to contain the same types of nutrients as the regular food your dog would eat to help ensure that your pup stays healthy. In addition to these nutrients, the company would ensure that they also contain other nutrients that are vital to dental health.
Many of these dental diets also come in specific shapes and textures, usually larger in size with a fibrous texture. This is meant to allow the kibble to break down and scrub away any debris and plaque on your dog's teeth.
Speak with your Grass Valley vet if you would like to learn more about these specific diets or if you have any questions about how this type of food can help care for your dog's teeth.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.