Dental hygiene is just as important for dogs as it is for us humans. In fact, a dog’s mouth can harbor a lot of bacteria, as well as plaque and tartar. Removing all those things are the only way you can prevent mouth infections and other immune issues. One of the easiest ways to ensure your dog’s teeth are clean is to brush them. But that is sometimes more difficult than it sounds. Therefore, you may want to reach for an oral hygiene treat instead.
What You Must Know about Oral Hygiene Treats for Dogs
There are quite a few oral hygiene treats on the market for dogs. Some of those products are better than others though, so you must use caution before purchasing an item for your dog.
Specialty dental chews are usually the top option for most dog owners. These sticks are hard enough to clean your dog’s teeth, but not too hard that teeth can break off in older dogs. While these types of treats are functional, most dogs love playing with them too. Therefore, you can see a dog swiping them across the room and chasing them in between chews.
All specialty dental chews are designed to reduce the amount of tartar, plaque, and gingivitis in your dog’s mouth. Antimicrobial agents do not have any significant benefits, so do not stress if your dental chew of choice does not contain any.
We recommend choosing a specialty dental chew that includes mint, parsley, or fennel though. Those ingredients promote fresh breath, which is helpful for most dogs!
Rawhides are another oral hygiene treat for dogs, but they often get a bad rap. There are many reasons for this, but the main ones are the fact some dogs have difficulty digesting rawhides and they can cause choking hazards.
Rawhides are an excellent way to remove plaque and tartar from teeth though. Of course, rawhides are parts of animals, so this treat will provide more calories to your dog than other dental hygiene treats. You may want to keep that in mind, especially if you have an overweight dog.
If you decide to give your dog a rawhide, we recommend being with them while they are gnawing away. This will ensure you can act quickly if they have any problems with a piece getting stuck in their mouth. You can also take smaller pieces away as they break off, to prevent any problems.
Biscuits are another oral hygiene treat option. They are hard, so chewing promotes the removal of plaque and tartar. Some biscuits remove more than others, because the size and length of chewing times are a big factor.
If your dog loves carrots, you may want to consider giving them those for a treat. Since carrots are hard, your dog will need to spend time chewing them up and that promotes removal of plaque and tartar. The good news is that carrots are the healthiest of all types of oral hygiene treats.
You have many options when it comes to choosing the best oral hygiene treats for your dog. We recommend taking your dog’s likes and dislikes into account and choosing the treats you know they will love the most.