If you are a pet parent, chances are you know how important it is for dogs to have something to chew on. Our furry friends love to gnaw on all types of bones, toys, and dental chews. While you may believe that the harder the bone, the better, that’s not necessarily the case. Even though canine teeth are especially strong, hard dental chews can still fracture or break them. It’s important to choose the best type of dental chew for your dog. That means choosing ones that are made of healthy ingredients, work to remove dental plaque and are not so hard that they damage your dog’s teeth.
Why Your Dog Needs Chews
Whether your dog is a new puppy or an old, faithful companion, he or she will want to chew on something. While chewing can be a sign of distress like separation anxiety or hunger, all dogs love to chew on bones as a natural part of their day. For young dogs, chewing is a way to relieve pain that might be caused by incoming teeth. For older dogs, it’s nature’s way of keeping jaws strong and teeth clean. Chewing also combats boredom and can relieve mild anxiety or frustration.
What Dog Chews Could Damage My Dog’s Teeth?
Don’t let your dog decide which type of chew is the best – he’ll go for the leftover t-bone from the steak you just ate every time! And this would NOT be the best choice for him. Instead, do some research on the different types of dog chews that are best. VetIQ has compiled a few “no-nos” when it comes to your canine’s teeth!
- Compressed Rawhide
While compressed rawhide lasts three to five times longer than regular rawhide, it’s still not the best dental chew for your pup. Compressed rawhide is made from layers of beef hide and formed under extreme pressure to create a very dense bone. Many veterinarians warn dog owners about the dangers of rawhide. While dogs love the taste, they can get in trouble when the rawhide becomes soft pulls apart and is swallowed. Dogs can choke or the pieces can get stuck in the intestines, causing serious problems. These compressed rawhide chews are also very hard and can cause tooth breakages.
- Antlers & Hooves
Antlers and hooves can provide great, long-lasting chewing for your dog. However, the super-hard surfaces can also chip your dog’s tooth, causing extreme pain.
- Cooked Bones
Many don’t realize the dangers of giving their dog that leftover steak bone. Truth is when raw, bones can be a great way to keep teeth and gums healthy. However, when bones have been cooked, their surface can be too hard for canine tooth and can splinter causing big problems inside your dog’s digestive system. Poultry and pork bones are off-limits whether cooked or raw!
- Ice Cubes
Many dogs love the refreshing chomp of an ice cube, especially in the summer. However, veterinarians warn they can make teeth brittle and more easily broken
What To Look For In The Best Dog Chew
Besides the benefits of dogs exercising their jaws on their favorite dental treat, dog chews are also beneficial in improving your dog’s oral health. Frequent brushing and vet cleanings are important and they can be complemented by healthy dog chews. When you’re looking for the best dental chew for your dog, consider the following:
- Allergenic Ingredients
Like humans, dogs can have allergies to certain ingredients such as gluten and grain. Check out the ingredient list and look for the least amount of ingredients and the least reference to chemicals and preservatives.
- Fat & Calorie Count
With high carbohydrates and sugars in many of today’s dog foods and treats, it’s important to check the label of your dog treats and make sure you’re offering your dog a healthy choice.
- Positive Dental Health
Choose a dental chew that is made to help remove plaque and tartar. Just like on your human teeth, food can combine with saliva to create bacteria which can eventually lead to gum disease and other doggie health issues. Also, look for a dental chew that can freshen your pooch’s often bad breath like vet-recommended Minties dental chews!
Avoid dental chews made of metal, hard plastic or any other hard texture. Two good tests you can use are:
- If you can’t dent it with your fingernail, it’s too hard
- If you can’t break it in two, it’s too hard
Ask For Vet-Recommended Dental Chews
Choose only vet-recommended dental chews for your dogs. Trust your local veterinarian to know the best type of dental chew for your dog’s individual needs. VetIQ carries only vet-recommended products including dental chews, heartworm protection, anti-inflammatory medication, and more. When it comes to dogs, you can trust VetIQ to offer only the highest quality products that are best for the furry members of your family.