Dental treats for dogs have become very popular. The reason? Concerned puppy parents want to keep their dog’s teeth clean and healthy. Dogs love it! Dental chews claim to supplement dog dental care by cleaning teeth, freshening breath and helping to reduce plaque and tartar buildup. And you pay for that promise: Some dental treats cost more than $2 each. If you feed your dog once a day, that’s $730 a year in just chews.
But do these dental treats really do what they claim or are they just an expensive treat?
When asked if dental treatments are worth investing in, Dr. Riback: “I think these products are ‘worth it’, but not as the only way to keep teeth clean. I think they are a good complementary therapy to daily brushing and annual dental cleaning.”
“Brushing your dog’s teeth every day is the best way to achieve good dental health – along with an annual professional cleaning under anesthesia with X-rays,” he adds.
Let’s talk about really quick brushing…
Your pup may absolutely hate his toothbrush (like most dogs), but he’s certainly not immune to the dangers of plaque and tartar. Like Dr. Riback points out (and you’ve probably heard the same from your vet), brushing your dog’s teeth daily is the gold standard when it comes to canine health care.
Still, dental care is a major concern for pet parents, even the responsible parents who brush their dog’s teeth daily. Did you know that 4 out of 5 dogs over the age of 3 suffer from dental disease in dogs? The American Veterinary Dental Association reports “more than 80 percent of dogs develop periodontal disease by the age of three.” It starts with a yellow-brown film on your dog’s teeth and eventually leads to sensitive gums, loss of appetite and broken teeth. Extreme tartar buildup can even cause other health problems when bacteria from the mouth enter the bloodstream.
Just like with humans, the only real way to get that nasty stuff off your dog’s teeth is to scrape it away. Your dentist does this every time you come in for a cleaning by scaling your teeth. Vets also do this during your puppy’s recommended annual dental cleaning.
In between dental visits, many of us brush, floss, and chew gum. Chewing gum gently scrubs the teeth of plaque and food debris, preventing tartar build-up.
However, chewing gum is not safe for dogs, but the same chewing action can be achieved by chewing on the teeth. The mechanical motion involved in chewing dental treats effectively reduces plaque by scraping gunk and bacteria from the teeth. According to Web MD PetsRegularly chewing dental treats can reduce plaque by 70%.
So how do you choose the right dental treatment?
It’s only natural that pet owners need more help keeping their pup’s teeth clean. Unsurprisingly, the advent of dental treats has been wholeheartedly embraced by adoring dog owners. Dental treats for dogs are the easiest way to brighten your pup’s smile. It seems like the obvious way to help your dog’s teeth. Dogs love it too.
The trick, however, is to choose a product that actually works. Not all dental treatments are the same! Ideally, you want your puppy to chew the treat for as long as possible. If the treat is too small or falls apart too easily, they will not benefit from the abrasive cleaning. Although a treat may look too big for your dog, the seemingly oversized size is actually a plus.
While the chewing motion is the most important part of this equation, what your dog chews on is also important. Treats made with the enzymes lysozyme, lactoferrin and lactoperoxidase are especially good for your dog’s teeth. These enzymes work together to reduce plaque that will eventually harden into tartar.
Avoid dental treats with unnecessary ingredients such as dyes and artificial flavors. You also don’t want to sacrifice a slim waist for healthy teeth. Dental chews should be low in calories and low in fat.
What we recommend…
We tried many dental chews with our own pups and came to the realization that, as picky dogs, we needed to make our own! That’s why we teamed up with veterinarians to craft Project Paws® Grain Free Triple Enzyme Dental Sticks.
They check all the boxes when it comes to choosing a dental treat that is both healthy and effective. The vet-formulated recipe promotes dental health on three levels: fighting plaque, controlling tartar and freshening your dog’s breath. The sticks are low in calories and you can treat your puppy every day without having to worry about overfeeding.
They contain the three crucial enzymes, lysozyme, lactoferrin and lactoperoxidase, and also contain curcumin, a flavonoid found to help support periodontal health.
They are also the only dental treat on the market that supports the health of shelter dogs waiting to be adopted. Each bag contains 7 healthy meals for shelter dogs! Who knew so much good could come from one dental treat?
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare provider.