Do Dental Chews Really Work for Dogs?

Most dog owners have heard of or seen dental chews for pups but aren't sure if they actually work. In this post, our Ruckersville vets discuss dental chews for dogs and how effective they are in protecting your pup's oral health.

Why Dog Dental Chews & Treats Are Popular

All dog owners should know that their pup's oral and gum health affects their overall health in the long term. While regular tooth brushing is most effective in keeping your dog safe from periodontal disease, some dogs will give you a really hard time with this process or jerk away before you can get all the plaque buildup off. 

This is why dog dental chews are becoming so popular as more owners are aware of how important their dog's dental health is. But before buying a bag and calling it a day, you might wonder, "Do dental treats work for dogs? How do dog dental chews even work?"

Our experts at Ruckersville Animal Hospital are here to share these answers. But in short: yes, many kinds of dental chews could work for your dog! Keep in mind that their effectiveness depends on your dog's size, their existing oral health, and the type of dental chew you buy.

Either way, dental chews aren't necessarily a replacement for brushing teeth. Below, we go over how dog dental chews work, how long they work for, and how often you can use them.

Do Dog Dental Chews Work? Are They Good for Dogs?

There are products that may help keep your dog's teeth clean, but while these products may help to reduce tartar and plaque buildup, they’re not a substitute for regular tooth brushing and professional dental cleanings. Pet dental chews and treats should be considered an additional tool when it comes to caring for your pet's oral health. They don't work for long-term dental health if you're only giving your dog chews and not also brushing their teeth!

Here are some factors to consider when considering buying dental chews for your dog:

  • Seek out long-lasting chew products such as nylon, rawhide, knucklebone or rubber chew toys (watch these closely and toss them if your dog gnaws them down so much that it becomes a choking hazard).
  • Make sure any treats or chews you provide are not too hard, as they can damage your dog’s teeth. Hooves, antlers, and bones are likely to cause problems.
  • Find out how many calories are in your pet’s dental chews as you don’t want to deal with a weight problem while trying to reduce dental issues.
  • Be skeptical of any claims that some products support dental health. For recommendations on dental chews, contact your vet.
  • Remember to book your pet’s routine oral exam and dental cleanings at your vet’s office.

You may also wonder if puppies can have dog dental chews. They're a great way to keep your puppy's teeth clean! They are safe for puppies to chew and also good options when it comes to teething.

How Long Should Pets Use Dental Chews

Give your dog about 30 minutes with their dental chew each day. This should help to give them the maximum benefit out of their dental chews without damaging their gums or fatiguing their jaw.

Dog Breeds, Teeth, and Oral Health Problems

If you have a small breed dog, or a dog with crowded teeth, watch out - plaque and tartar are more likely to grow in hiding spots, no matter how much effort is put in to chewing!

Be sure to brush daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush to get under the gum line and brush or scrape away bacteria that may cause periodontal disease.

Remember that your dog’s immune system, age, history, and breed can affect his health and contribute to whether he develops dental issues. This is why a qualified vet needs to see your pooch for routine health checkups.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. Please make an appointment with your vet for an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition.

Is your pet due for a dental cleaning and examination? Contact our Ruckersville vets to book an appointment!