The benefits of dog dental treats

Every dog loves treats. Whether it’s a tasty chew bone or a delicious duck bite, our four legged friends are spoilt for choice when it comes to snacks and chews. While it’s great to give our pets an occasional treat, they usually are just that – a treat. So it’s great when we can give our dog’s something that is not only yummy but helps keep their teeth and mouths clean too, promoting that all important oral hygiene. 

Why might my dog need dental treats?

Dental sticks are an easy way to promote healthy teeth and gums for your dog. It’s a good idea to brush your dog’s teeth regularly, but this might be a bit challenging. So dental treats are a simple method of helping to keep your dog’s mouth fresh and clean.

Many dental chews can be given to your pooch daily too, just like brushing – only tastier! So if you’re looking for a quick way to keep your dog’s teeth free from plaque, tartar and other nasty things that can be found lurking in their teeth, a dental chew might be the answer. 

Happy dog showing teeth

What is plaque?

Plaque is a film made of bacteria that builds up on teeth. The bacteria grows if it isn’t cleaned away and contributes towards a range of dental problems. A high build up of plaque will eventually become tartar – hardened plaque – and can cause conditions such as:

  • Gingivitis – Bad breath is often an indicator of the beginning of gingivitis, as well as a build up of yellow tartar. If gingivitis is left untreated, a dog’s gums will swell and ultimately, they may lose teeth.
  • Periodontal disease – If gingivitis isn’t treated, it can lead to periodontal disease. A dog’s gum will recede, leaving space between the tooth and gum which can become infected.
  • Abscesses – An abscess is a pus build up on one or more teeth that will cause swollen and reddened gums. This can be extremely painful, so it’s important to check your pet’s mouth regularly and look for signs of plaque and tartar build up.

What are dental treats?

Dental treats are uniquely shaped chews for dogs that contain active ingredients to target plaque and tartar, helping to keep your pet’s mouth and teeth as clean as possible. They’re a useful way to prevent potential dental issues such as tartar build up, bad breath and broken teeth.

What are the benefits of dental treats?

Dental treats are a great addition to your pet’s favourite chews that help you manage your pet’s oral hygiene while giving them a tasty treat. 

You might notice the unique shape of dental chews, as well as their unusual texture. Pedigree Dentastix, Greenies Original Dog Dental Treats and Veggiedent Chews for Dogs each have a distinctive shape that are designed to keep teeth clean and rub away at plaque. These treats will be able to get to the areas in your dog’s mouth that you might not otherwise reach.

So, what do dental treats do for your dog? Regular teeth cleaning should be on your pet’s agenda to keep on top of plaque build up, and dental chews can be given daily to freshen up your pet’s breath and promote the breakdown plaque and tartar. These are just some of the signs of a build up of plaque, which if left, can go on to cause additional, more serious issues:

  • Inflamed gums
  • Tooth loss
  • Bad breath
  • Discoloured teeth

Check your dog’s teeth and mouth regularly to look out for these signs and make an appointment with your vet if you notice that your dog is missing teeth or has particularly bad breath. This can be a sign of an underlying condition, such as gingivitis, that will need more attention. Your vet can also advise the best steps forward to address your pet’s oral hygiene issues, such as professional cleaning and products that you can incorporate into your four legged friend’s routine, including brushing and dental treats. 

What else do I need to know about dental treats?

It’s important to check the ingredients of a dental treat, particularly if you’ll be giving your dog a chew every day. It’s worth buying higher quality chews to ensure your pet isn’t getting too much sugar from their daily treat. Many chews also contain cereals, so if your pet has an intolerance you will need to consider cereal and grain free treats. 

Be cautious if your dog is a fast chewer, as eating a dental chew too quickly or swallowing pieces of it whole can cause choking or blockages. So give your dog bits of a chew in easy to manage chunks throughout the day if you’re concerned about their eating methods!

Keeping well stocked on your pet’s favourite dental treats, as well as regular teeth check ups and brushing will ensure that your pet has fresh breath and health teeth and gums for their whole life.

Phil’s top tips:

  • Chewing is an important part of what makes a dental treat work so well. If you have a medium or large dog and they can quickly and easily eat their chew, you might want to try out larger, more challenging chews. This is because your dog won’t benefit from a thorough clean if they can eat it quickly!
  • It’s important to buy the chew size that’s right for your pet. A small dog needs a small chew (although it might look a bit large, this is normal) as eating a big chew tailored for a medium or large dog will mean they’re getting far too many calories from the treat. 
  • Small dogs are more prone to dental issues because of their smaller mouths, so be extra vigilant if you have a small breed of dog!