Are you wondering how your dog can avoid plaque buildup and tooth rot with the proper diet? Maybe your dog needs better quality food to improve their oral health. Our Danbury vets share the best dog food for canine dental health below.
Dental Food for Dogs
Thinking of dog food for dental health might lead you to imagine a single brand of kibble or wet food that is perfect for your dog's teeth and gums. However, the truth is that the right dental dog food for your furry friend could be a combination of different things, like kibble brands, dental chews, and even some frozen vegetables. Baby carrots, for example, can help clean your dog's teeth as they eat them.
Our veterinarians at Noah's Ark Animal Hospital share some general best practices to consider when looking for food that can benefit your dog's dental health. If you are interested in a particular brand of dog food known to help with bad breath, tooth strength, and/or gum cleanliness, you can always ask your veterinarian for a recommendation. They will be able to make a recommendation based on your dog's specific dental care needs.
Best Dog Food for Dental Issues
There are a number of good quality, dry foods for dogs designed to remove plaque buildup from their teeth while they chew. Some wet dog foods have less fatty content in them in order to reduce how many small particles of food can get in between the dog's teeth.
Dental treats and chews can also be an effective way to help clean your dog's teeth while they eat. Even if your dog doesn't eat kibble regularly, occasionally giving them a dental treat can help reduce plaque buildup. However, it's important to remember that dental chews or kibble alone won't be sufficient to maintain your dog's oral health. You must also manually brush their teeth using doggy toothpaste to remove any debris and bacteria that may accumulate. By doing so, you can significantly improve the longevity of their teeth and gums.
If you feed your dog cooked food on a regular basis, like boiled chicken (light meat, no skin) and pup-friendly vegetables, stay away from foods with high starch content. Starch has an easier time building up on dogs' teeth and, over time, can wear them down if they are not cleaned properly. Some starchy foods include chickpeas, lentils, peas, and most root vegetables.
Kibble: Good for Teeth or Not?
You've likely heard the claim that kibble is better for your dog's teeth because of all the chewing and crunching they do. However, in most cases, kibble is too small to do your dog any real good when chewing. Some kibble brands have larger pieces meant to increase the amount of chewing, but remember that the size of your dog's teeth and mouth can change how effective this is.
Additionally, grain-free with kibble often has higher carbohydrate and starch content than other types. So, if your pup struggles with plaque buildup or bad breath, consider switching kibble brands to something vet-recommended, because it can help prevent buildup and bad breath.
Adding Probiotics & Prebiotics
Probiotics and prebiotics are beneficial bacteria and yeasts that can improve your dog's oral and gastrointestinal health. Because probiotic may help balance the microbioam of the mouth. This way, it helps maintain healthy teeth and gums and potentially prevent certain oral issues.
Soft Dog Foods for Bad Teeth
If your pup already struggles with unhealthy teeth or bad breath due to age or lack of cleaning, you might wonder if hard food is bad for them or causing them pain.
While it's always advisable to seek advice from your veterinarian first, switching to softer foods can be beneficial if your dog experiences one or multiple fractured teeth or constantly inflamed or red gums. Boiled chicken and vegetables are a great option to consider, especially if your dog is a picky eater. Additionally, there are paste-like dog foods that contain dental probiotics, which can be an excellent alternative to explore.
Don't Stop Brushing!
It's crucial to keep in mind that dental diets for dogs alone cannot replace the need for regular, at-home dental care and professional cleanings at the vet. Your furry companion cannot maintain healthy teeth and gums in the long term without you brushing their teeth to remove plaque. Most dog breeds require daily brushing, but it's best to consult your veterinarian to determine how frequently you should brush your dog's teeth at home.
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 to accurately diagnose your pet's condition.