Regular at-home and professional cleanings are essential to your dog's dental health, but you may be wondering how you can avoid plaque buildup and tooth rot with the right diet. Maybe your pup with damaged teeth needs better food to improve their oral health. Our Little Rock vets share below the best food for canine dental health.
Dental Food for Dogs
When you think of dog food for dental health, you might imagine of some perfect, all-encompassing single brand of kibble or wet food that is amazing for your dog's teeth and gums in every way. In reality, the right dental dog food for your canine could be a few different things: kibble brands, dental chews, and even some frozen vegetables like baby carrots, which can help clean your dog's teeth as they eat it.
Our veterinarians at Bowman Road Animal Clinic provide valuable insights on choosing the right food for your dog's dental health.
If you are looking for a particular brand of food that is known for helping with bad breath, tooth strength, and/or gum cleanliness, you can always consult your veterinarian! They will be able to make a recommendation based on your dog's current dental care needs.
Best Dog Food for Dental Issues
Several high-quality dry dog foods are specifically formulated to help remove plaque from their teeth as they chew. Wet dog foods often contain lower levels of fat to minimize the accumulation of food particles between the dog's teeth.
Your dog can clean their teeth while they eat by using dental treats and chews, which are highly effective. Some dogs don't eat kibble regularly, so giving them an occasional dental treat can help them chew off plaque. Remember, dental chews or kibble alone won't suffice. You need to manually brush away any debris from your dog's teeth using doggy toothpaste. Their teeth and gum health will be improved, leading to increased longevity.
Avoid foods with high starch content if you regularly feed your dog cooked food, such as boiled chicken (light meat, no skin) and pup-friendly vegetables. Dog's teeth can be worn down over time if they are not cleaned properly, as starch has a tendency to build up on them. Chickpeas, lentils, peas, and root vegetables are all examples of starchy foods.
Kibble: Good for Teeth or Not?
As a dog owner, you've probably come across the assertion that kibble is more beneficial for your dog's dental health due to their active chewing and crunching. Most of the time, kibble is too small to provide any significant benefits to your dog's chewing. Certain kibble brands offer larger pieces designed to encourage more chewing. However, it's important to consider that the effectiveness of this may vary depending on the size of your dog's teeth and mouth.
In addition, kibble brands labeled as "grain-free" tend to contain higher levels of carbohydrates and starch compared to other types. If your dog is experiencing issues like plaque buildup or bad breath, it may be worth considering a switch to a vet-recommended kibble brand.
Adding Probiotics & Prebiotics
Probiotics and prebiotics have numerous benefits for both you and your dog, although they may not always come in the same form. Your dog's dental and gastrointestinal health can be supported by incorporating these items into their diet.
Soft Dog Foods for Bad Teeth
You may be concerned about whether hard food is detrimental to your pup's dental health and causing discomfort, especially if they already have existing issues with unhealthy teeth or bad breath due to age or lack of cleaning.
Consulting your vet is recommended, but generally, dogs with fractured teeth or inflamed/red gums may benefit from a switch to softer foods. If your dog is picky, consider offering boiled chicken and vegetables as a good option. Some dog foods also come with dental-probiotics added directly into the paste-like formula.
Don't Stop Brushing!
It is important to remember that dental diets for dogs cannot replace regular at-home care and professional cleanings at your vet. Your dog cannot have long-lasting, healthy teeth or gums without brushing their teeth to manually remove plaque. Most dog breeds benefit from daily brushing; consult your veterinarian to see how often you should be brushing their teeth at home!
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. Please make an appointment with your vet for an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition.