Your dog's dental care is an important aspect of not just their oral health, but also their overall health and well-being. Here, our Los Angeles vets talk about how your dog's diet can help care for their dental health and what foods are best for their teeth.
Dog Dental Health
Your dog's overall health is closely connected to their oral health in a variety of ways. Unfortunately, as with people, our dogs often suffer from uncomfortable and sometimes painful oral health conditions such as periodontal disease, tooth decay and tooth loss. These common conditions can have significant and serious consequences for the long-term health and well-being of your pooch.
What Foods Are Best For Dog Dental Health?
While maintaining your dog's teeth largely entails practicing good oral hygiene and having regular professional veterinary dental cleanings, there are some foods and other things that can help remove plaque. Here are 5 ways to assist in maintaining your dog's dental health:
1) Raw Animal Bones
Raw bones are great for removing bacteria and debris around the teeth thanks to their flexibility and texture.
You should always be sure that the size of the bone is suitable for the size of your dogs and that you never offer them cooked bones as these can break and splinter causing serious harm.
2) Fruits and Vegetables
Many dogs love snacking with you on fruits and vegetables. A few favorites among dogs are carrots, apples and pumpkin which are all easy to eat and will not stick to the teeth.
Along with the teeth-cleaning benefits of fruits and vegetables, they also contain antioxidants that help manage chronic oxidative stress which are known to cause periodontitis.
As with all snacks, you should consider the size of your dogs and these treats should only account for 10% of their daily intake of foods.
3) Molded Dental Chews
These types of treats are specifically designed to clear plaque and debris off of your dog's teeth. Certain dental chews also come with the added bonus of freshening their breath!
These dental chews give your dog a tasty treat as well as a way to relieve boredom and anxiety without chewing on your favorite things. These dental chews can be used in training to demonstrate to your dog what objects are appropriate for them to chew on as opposed to your furniture or clothes.
4) Yogurt or Kefir
For the digestive and immune systems of your dog to be healthy, probiotics found in yogurt or kefir are essential. Oral administration of probiotics or dietary inclusion of yogurt are both options. By removing harmful bacteria from your dog's mouth, these probiotics can aid in reducing inflammation and the risk of periodontitis.
5) Dental Care Specific Dry Dog Food
Whatever food you choose to feed your dog, make sure the ingredients are natural and beneficial. Choose dog foods that contain real meat, fatty acids, and vitamins to promote healthy teeth.
Many dog food companies offer foods that are specific to the dental health of your dog through their nutrition content and the size and shape of the kibble itself.
How Age Affects Your Dogs Diet
As your dog gets older, their metabolism slows down. Furthermore, your dog will begin to experience the aches and pains of aging, as well as a general decrease in energy, which leads to inactive older dogs.
If your dog is eating too much then the lack of exercise combined with excess calories means that your senior dog could quickly become overweight.
Different Types of Dog Dental Diets
There are a number of different dental-specific diets on the market, but what exactly do they do?
To keep your dog healthy, dental diets should contain the same nutrients as regular food. In addition to these nutrients, the company would make certain that they also contain other nutrients important for dental health.
Many of these dental diets also come in specific shapes and textures, usually larger in size with a fibrous texture. This is meant to allow the kibble to break down and scrub away any debris and plaque on your dog's teeth. For dogs with bad teeth, soft dog good may also be available.
Speak with your Los Angeles vet if you would like to learn more about these specific diets or if you have any questions about how this type of food can help care for your dog's teeth.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.