Schertz Animal Hospital’s Blog
The Truth About Pet Dental Chews: What’s Safe and What Should Be Off-Limits?
When it comes to treating our pets, there are so many options to choose from. If it were up to them, they’d probably try one of every variety at the store. Instead, we have to make the best choices for them. But what if you could find a treat for them that also benefits their dental health?
Pet dental chews can be great additions to your pet’s oral care and treat routine, but it’s crucial to choose from the safest and healthiest products available.
A Word On Pet Dental Health
The inarguable truth is that your pet’s dental health directly impacts whole body wellness. Plaque and tartar will build up over time. Left alone, gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) leads to periodontal disease, a disease of the gums.
The Deal With Chewing
The act of chewing is a big part of a dog’s life. Puppies chew it eases the teething process. But it’s a behavior that carries through a dog’s entire life because it feels good and occupies their mind. Luckily, we can use this normal canine behavior to benefit their dental health.
To effectively protect against periodontal disease, pet dental chews and treats should be soft enough for the teeth to sink into. Chewing massages the teeth, increases blood flow to the gums, and helps remove plaque. Also, it stimulates the production of anti-microbial saliva which further reduces plaque buildup.
The Right Pet Dental Chews
Pet dental chews are not all the same. In fact, many types can cause harm. Before you buy pet dental chews check to see if it’s been evaluated and endorsed by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC). The mission of the VOHC is to determine and set standards of products advertised to reduce plaque and tartar.
Words to the Wise
Chewing palatable treats is enjoyable for most pets, but if you notice that they lose interest in chewing before swallowing, dispose of it so it doesn’t become a choking hazard. Also, please don’t leave your pet alone while they’re enjoying a chew or treat.
The following products are not recommended because they are considered unsafe or unhealthy:
- Rawhide bones can be swallowed in large chunks, placing a pet at risk for GI obstruction. Plus, they are high in fat.
- Pigs ears are also really fatty and can expose a pet to pancreatitis.
- Hard bones, antlers, hooves, hard chews, or hard plastic/nylon bones can damage and even fracture teeth.
- Cooked bones can splinter and crack. If swallowed, a pet can suffer unnecessary (and painful) injury.
Not a Replacement
While beneficial, pet dental chews are not substitutes for regular brushing and routine cleanings/exams. They can also add calories to your pet’s diet. Adjust meal portions accordingly. Lastly, only provide soft dental chews that are appropriate for your pet’s size.
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Dr. Mossburg is WONDERFUL! He is so patient! Answers all my questions. I don't feel rushed. He is just so awesome with our Sophie! — S. Cobarruvias
This is the only place I trust with my girl. They always take great care of my Yorkie. — A Byrd
We can't say enough about Schertz Animal Hospital. Dr. Rodriguez and the whole staff are wonderful and so caring. — P. Ring
This is a wonderful animal hospital. Will highly recommend them for anyone who loves and cares about their pets. — B. Lewis
Have taken our pets there for years. Dr. R. Is the best. We appreciate him and the rest of his hard working staff. — C. Yeary
These are our first pets and first ever Vet visit. We are very pleased with the attention, knowledge, and quality of care. Very pleased with our decision!. — J. Tibbetts
We love the care the staff provides, they are big enough to provide services without having to wait long for an appointment, but still make you feel like family. Love this place. — T. Ha
Took my cat in today on an emergency basis and they were so helpful and kind. They have done what they can for him. I have a dog too and this is the only place I will be taking her to. Best vet we have ever been too. — L. Hamilton
Exceptional customer service and great care of my Sammy! Dr. Rodriguez "Dr. R" is the BEST! — A. Garcia
We absolutely love Schertz Animal Hospital for our puppy! They are so caring and take good care of our Bella. — P. Willard
The entire staff is friendly to me and my Bradley. I feel that my Bradley is in good hands. — A. Cano
Love Schertz Animal Hospital. The staff are all friendly and helpful. Dr. Mossburg is thorough and caring. We have taken 3 of our rescues there. Most recently our 7 year old Rottweiler we rescued. They have always taken excellent care of them. — A. Peterson
Schertz Animal Hospital really cares about your pet. They know their stuff. They been in Schertz for many years. All the doctors really know how to relate to us as they are pet owners too. I highly recommend them for all your Veterinary needs. You won't be sorry. SAH thank you for taking such great care of my Service Dog. — K. Duchess
Schertz Animal Hospital is a group of some of the most selfless people. They have been so attentive and caring to my pups, literally dropping everything to care for their needs. I am blessed and ever so grateful to have this team a part of my little family's life. Alley and Noah looooove you all! Y'all are the bomb dot com! Keep on keepin' on ladies and gents! — A.H
Dr. Mossberg and his assistant, Terri, are outstanding! Rusty can be difficult and they are so patient and kind. My husband and I really appreciate that they go the extra mile! Thank you!!! — T. & M. Taylor
I am totally satisfied with the practices, procedures, and service currently in place and have no recommendation for improvement. — R. Schutte
The front staff are awesome and have great attitudes. Very friendly and approachable. — R. & D. Carter
This is the one place that I feel completely safe with taking my Jasmine too. All of you take good care of her. Thank you. — C. & J. Smith
I appreciate being able to walk in (I did call first) with no appt. The doctor was booked but he still took care of my pet. Kudos to Dr. Rodriguez!! — S. & C. Mag
You are doing everything super good!!! Keep it up!!!! — W. Williams
I have never had a vet office that treats its patients so well, and throughly explains all diagnosis and possible treatment. I have always bragged on this office and will continue to do so. — M. & N. Heller
Always professional, clean atmosphere. — J. Wilson
Love how Dr Rodriguez has a passion for what he does - it makes a huge difference! The staff is friendly and caring - thank you. — Anonymous
Very nice facility that is well kept up. Whenever one of my pets needs medical care,I know I can rely on Schertz Animal Hospital to provide excellent care. — D. & R. Lanier
Dr. Rodriguez and his staff are always pleasant, caring and I feel very confident in the care given to all of our pets! :) — M. & J. Hild