There is a variety of dental chews for dogs available. They offer several benefits to dogs and are a good investment for any dog owner. Here's a quick look at the reasons to provide your dog with some sort of dental chew and the types available.
Benefits of Chew Products
Chewing is not just a way to break down food for dogs. They like chewing as an activity. It stimulates them physically and mentally, preventing boredom and even some destructive behavior stemming from restlessness.
The mechanical action of chewing also enhances a dog's oral health. It removes food particles and plaque from the teeth and gum line. This eliminates buildup that contributes to bad breath and that gradually forms plaque and tartar. Plaque and tartar, in turn, can eventually cause irreversible periodontal disease. Chew products with a textured surface are most effective in this respect.
Most canine chew products are palatable and carefully formulated not to stain teeth. Many massage the gums in way that is enjoyable for dogs. Some go a step further in treating bad breath by including a freshening ingredient or minty scent for freshness. In addition, flavored edible chews can serve as a treat for positive reinforcement.
Types of Dental Chews
Edible dental chews are consumed by your dog after prolonged chewing. There are numerous products available of varying efficacy, flavors, and styles. They double as treats, but make sure to choose products that last long enough to benefit dental health. Choose products that are nutritious, such as Z-Bones or Greenies Chews (available for dogs and cats). Remember, these add calories to your pet's diet and should therefore be given in moderation.
"Dogs like chewing as an activity, and the mechanical action also enhances a dog's oral health."
Rawhide chews are made from cow or horse hide. They also vary widely in size, shape, and flavor. Dogs consume the hide, but shouldn't be allowed to eat too much at one time. Swallowing pieces of significant size can cause choking and intestinal obstruction; big dogs and aggressive chewers are most susceptible. Canine chew toys are also available, and these are a useful (and cost-effective) choice for dogs that consume edible chew products too quickly.
Choosing a Chew Product for Your Dog
Individual factors determine which chew products are best for your pet. Large dogs and aggressive chewers often get the most benefit from chew toys simply because edible products don't last long enough for them. Edible chew products may still be useful; find products that live up to their long-lasting promise. Chew products of any type should be appropriately sized for your dog. Most clearly indicate a target size range on their packaging.
Your dog will likely demonstrate a preference for certain types, styles, and flavors of chew products. Your dog's opinion is, of course, an important consideration. If your dog is overweight or less active than she should be, limit edible chew products that deliver unnecessary calories. Instead, opt for low-calorie, nutritionally dense dental chews.
The above is provided for information purposes only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any condition.
This information does not cover all possible variables, conditions, reactions, or risks relating to any topic, medication, or product and should not
be considered complete. Certain products or medications may have risks and you should always consult your local veterinarian concerning the treatment of
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