Diet and Pet Dental Health

Bowl of Dog FoodMany pet owners are interested in learning about different ways to keep their pet’s teeth clean and healthy. With most animals having some form of dental disease before the age of 3, this is a very important goal. In response to this need, there are a plethora of products on the market that claim to improve pet dental health. Some of these really do help, and others not so much. Sort through the fact and fiction before purchasing dental products for your pets.

The Dry Food vs. Wet Food Debate

There is a much perpetuated idea out there that feeding your pet hard kibble helps to prevent and decrease dental disease. While chewing on a crunchy food might help to remove plaque on the crown of the tooth, it does nothing about the plaque and tartar that build up near the gum line, which is the critical area for dental disease development.

The idea is a little absurd when you think about it really. Would you expect to never have to brush your teeth or go to the dentist if you ate a hard cracker a few times a day?

Many pets, cats especially, do better on a wet food diet. Please ask us if you have questions about what food we recommend for your pet.

Prescription Dental Pet Diets

There are diets that have been developed in order to promote dental health. These are prescription diets that are not available at the pet food store, although there are some over-the-counter diets that may be beneficial. They have been scientifically researched and shown to improve dental health in pets. These include:

  • Purina Veterinary Diets DH (Dental Health) for cats and dogs
  • Royal Canin Veterinary Dental Care Diet for cats and dogs
  • Hill’s Prescription Diet t/d for cats and dogs
  • Dental Treats for Pets

    Many treats have been marketed to help prevent dental disease in pets. Some of these do have an impact, while others are ineffective. The Veterinary Oral Health Council has come up with a list of pet dental products that have earned their seal of approval for promoting pet dental health. No treat or product is going to be totally effective. Humans brush their teeth several times a day and visit the dentist often and still develop dental problems. Feeding your pet a treat once a day is no substitute for proper dental care.

    While food and treats can be a great adjunct to your pet’s dental care, the best thing you can do at home is to brush your pet’s teeth. In addition to home care, it is important that we perform an annual oral examination on your pet. We may recommend an anesthetic procedure in order to thoroughly examine your pet’s mouth, clean his or her teeth, and treat any problems. Dental care is an important part of pet ownership, and for the rest of the month of July we are offering 20% off of dental anesthesia, teeth cleaning, and polishing. Please give us a call so that we can evaluate your pet and schedule a dental procedure if appropriate.