A dog is man’s best friend, is it not? Your dog is loyal and always happy to see you return home, with tail wagging and eyes smiling. To show your pet that you love them equally as much, take care of their teeth and mouth and keep them eating well into late adulthood. Your dog’s diet does, in fact, have an influence on their oral health.
Just as humans need to floss and brush their teeth regularly in order to maintain healthy teeth, gums, and tongue, canines need to take care of their mouths too. Luckily there are some easy things we can do to help make sure that happens for our furry friends.
First of all, you should brush your dog’s teeth regularly to reduce levels of plaque and tartar. Wiping gums clean periodically with a damp cloth can also be beneficial, but cannot replace a good brushing.
A dog’s diet also plays an important role in the oral health of your pet. The difference between canned or dry food, they type of treats you provide for your pet, and even and toys can have an effect on the health of your pet’s mouth.
If your canine’s diet is nutritionally well rounded and contains essential vitamins, enzymes, and nutrients, you can expect optimal oral health for your pet. For most breeds, dry dog food is better for oral hygiene rather than a wet canned food. The hard surface of tiny dry kibbles rubs against the dog’s teeth to remove plaque and germs. Although owners may see wet food as a treat, wet food or moistened dry dog food does not have this same cleaning effect of dry food.
The treats you feed your pet are another important aspect of your dog’s diet, as are snacks – just like with people! As humans can sometimes overlook our own snacking habits, it can be tempting to overlook the nutritional content of the treats we give our dogs. However, it is important to keep an eye on how many and what kind of treats are given to our beloved pets.
If you treat your dog with bones, jerky treats, rawhides, or doggy biscuits, you may be feeding them a heap of unnecessary calories. Even those lovely greenies or corn starch chews can be like a candy bar for your dog. These treats are often fillers and contain extra calories when provided between meals.
Other treats, however, when chosen wisely, can provide an excellent opportunity for improved oral health. Greenies, bones, rawhides and hard dog biscuits may help to keep tartar levels low, but they should be given sparingly. Softer snacks like jerky treats, do not provide much plaque reduction. Still, the healthy treat, on occasion, may also prevent that bad breath we all wish we could get rid of in our pups.
To ensure excellent oral health, opt for a healthy doggy diet. Whenever possible, stick to dry dog food. Be sure to select treats that will enhance, not needlessly fill up, your dog’s diet. With a little monitoring, you can feel good about your dog’s diet and oral health – and your best friend will thank you for it!