Do these dog treats really provide dental benefits like healthy gums and tartar removal? Is anyone reviewing them for accuracy?
The answers are “Sometimes” and “Yes.”
Certain Dog Treats and Foods Can Boost Dogs’ Oral and Dental Health
Let’s start with this statement: nothing is going to replace daily tooth brushing for dogs. But adding dental treats and crunchy food to your dog’s diet will certainly boost his oral health.
The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) accepts applications from dog treat manufacturers to review and test their products for oral health claims. Those found to reduce plaque and tartar can display the VOHC® Seal of Acceptance. You can see a list of VOHC-approved products for dogs on its website.
In addition, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also reviews specific claims for oral health benefits a dog treat manufacturer intends to market. It does not, however, make recommendations or offer a seal of approval.
Which Treats are Best for My Dog’s Dental Health?
Long-lasting dog chews offer the most benefits, because they require a lot of dental activity! So nylon and rubber chews, knucklebones, and rawhide are good choices. Be sure that whatever you offer your pet, it will take him a while to chew it down. If he’s able to down it in a few minutes, he’s not getting much of a benefit.
Keep in mind that some dogs won’t digest rawhide very well, and others just don’t like the smell or shape of nylon and rubber. So you may have to experiment to see what your dog likes to chew on (other than your shoes or books).