Do Dental Chews Work?
As a pet owner, you’ve probably noticed no shortage of dental chews that claim to improve the oral health of your dog or cat. But how good are they? Can they replace brushing? And what kind should you buy anyway? Keep reading for our take on chews, so you can keep your pet’s teeth in tip-top shape!
Why Is Dental Care So Important for Pets?
Just like humans, pets require dental care. However, not nearly enough of them get it. In fact, the American Veterinary Dental Society reports that 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have signs of oral disease by the age of 3.
When pets experience oral disease, they experience many of the same symptoms people do, like bad breath, a change in chewing or eating habits, and pain. Naturally, this causes them discomfort, and in some cases, even depression.
Worse still, poor oral health has been linked to a number of serious health problems in pets, including heart disease, liver abscesses, infection, and kidney damage.
How Well Do Dental Chews Work?
While well-designed dental chews can keep plaque and tartar to a minimum, they shouldn’t be considered a substitute for regular dental appointments. Generally speaking, dogs usually require a dental cleaning every 6 months to a year, whereas cats should get a cleaning about once a year.
Which Dental Chews Do You Recommend for Dogs?
For dogs, we’re fans of Greenies Natural Dental Dog Treats and Pedigree Dentastix Dental Treats.
The Greenies treats are great, because they fight plaque and tartar buildup, while combating bad breath. They’re also low-fat, come in five different sizes, and contain vitamins.
Pedigree treats have a patented X shape to prevent plaque and tartar from building up, plus they have the added benefit of coming in different flavors, like bacon, beef, and chicken.
Which Dental Chews Do You Recommend for Cats?
For cats, we like Feline Greenies Dental Treats and Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews.
The Greenies treats have a crunchy texture and unique shape that prevents plaque build-up while freshening cats’ breath. Plus, the treats contain added vitamins and minerals for optimal dental health, and they come in a variety of flavors, including catnip, salmon, chicken, and tuna.
We also give a thumbs-up to the Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews. Give your cat just one of the fish or poultry chews a day, and its teeth and gums will improve. This chew works so well because not only does it have a textured exterior that removes plaque from teeth, but it also uses a “Dual-Enzyme System” to eliminate plaque-causing bacteria.
Plus, cats love them! While a bit pricier than other treats, these enzymatic chews may be the perfect way to keep your finicky cat’s teeth clean.
How Do I Schedule an Appointment with Beechwold Vet for Routine Dental Care?
It’s easy to set up a dental visit for your pet. Just call us or schedule an appointment online. We’re located at 4590 Indianola Avenue, and we offer weekend and evening appointments for your convenience.