Pet Dental Health

Myths and Truths

Myth #1: Dry food helps to keep pets’ teeth clean.

  • As popular as this myth may be, it is not actually true. If dry food contributed to dental health, then there would be far less dental disease among dogs and cats on dry food diets.
  • Dogs and cats have teeth that are designed to rip and tear fresh meat and bones. Carbohydrate based matter, such as kibble, requires animals to adopt an unnatural chewing style which can often lead to particles becoming lodged in between the teeth. The carbohydrates then break down into sugars which can contribute to further tooth decay. The overall effect is like trying to brush your own teeth with granola.
  • Cats especially have a difficult time chewing dry food, and often just swallow it whole. When they do bite into a kibble, it shatters on impact, and the only part of the tooth that comes into contact with it is the tip.

Myth #2: Wet/canned food causes dental issues.

  • While canned food does not have abrasive properties, the high moisture content helps keep teeth flushed free of food particles. The low carbohydrate content of high-quality canned foods also means a lowered amount of simple sugars introduced to the body.
  • The top choice for dental health, for both dogs and cats, is a diet based on raw meat and bones. Raw ground bone is a gentle dental abrasive, acting like fine sandpaper when chewed, which helps remove debris stuck on teeth. The meat contains natural enzymes, and in addition, raw food doesn’t stick to teeth, unlike starchy kibble. We offer a variety of raw food diets from Stella & Chewy’s, Primal, and Steve’s Real Food.

Myth #3: You should never feed your pets bones.

  • Actually, raw bones are safe and healthy for our pets. Unlike cooked bones which can splinter, raw bones are pliable. As our pets bite into them, raw bones polish the enamel of their teeth and scrape off tartar and plaque. The naturally occurring enzymes in raw bones also help to eliminate food buildup, and create an acidic environment that is naturally repellent to gingival bacteria.
  • Offering your pet a raw bone to chew on once or twice a week is a great way to maintain dental health. Dogs do great with marrow bones like Tucker’s Raw Beef Bones, and even our feline friends can have a raw bone – chicken necks and wings are perfect for cats!
  • Bully sticks, beef cheeks, cow hooves, antlers, and buffalo horns are some other great chews that we offer at All is Well. All of these contribute to dental health because, as your dog chews on them, the hard surfaces scrape against the surface of the teeth, cleaning away tartar and plaque. From the Field’s Silver Vine Sticks are another great option made specifically for cats.

More Dental Solutions for Your Pet

  • Supplements and brushing are great additions to keeping our pets’ teeth clean. There are natural toothpastes made specifically for dogs and cats, such as Vet’s Best Dental Gel Toothpaste, as well as toothbrushes designed just for them, such as PetzLife Finger Brushes and 3-in-1 brushes. (Please avoid human toothpaste, and any with xylitol as an ingredient, as these are not safe for your pet.)
  • Try ProDen PlaqueOff, an algae powder sprinkled on food that prevents plaque from accumulating on the teeth and softens existing deposits.
  • Natural dental chews are another great way to get the benefits of the scraping power of a hard chew with some extra breath freshening aspects. Ark Naturals Breathless Brushless Toothpaste is a dental chew with clinically proven, all-natural ingredients. It includes an enzymatic toothpaste within the chew which helps to clean the teeth and inhibit the growth of bacteria. Bone-A-Mints dental chews freshen breath with the power of five different natural ingredients: peppermint, parsley, fennel, dill, and alfalfa.

https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2014/01/01/pet-oral-health.aspx

https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/05/09/bone-supplements-for-pets.aspx

*This page is for basic technical information only.  We encourage you to continue your own research on these subjects.

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