While brushing your dog’s teeth is an important measure for promoting dental health, many pets aren’t fond of the practice. It’s helpful to incorporate multiple strategies for keeping your dog’s teeth healthy, especially if your attempts at brushing your dog’s teeth leave something to be desired.
You can start by simply swapping out your dog’s bone for dental chews, which have unique properties that promote dental health and combat bad breath in dogs. More specifically, they usually contain ingredients like parsley or mint to naturally freshen dogs’ breath. They typically have abrasive, ridged surfaces that can stimulate a dog’s gums and dislodge food that may otherwise contribute to plaque, which can lead to tooth decay. The chews have flavors and textures that make chewing an enjoyable experience, so they’re often more appealing to dogs compared to other dental health measures.
Research suggests that adding dental chews to your dog’s routine can be a useful preventive measure. Studies suggest that they’re effective at reducing plaque and bad breath1, and promoting a healthy balance of bacteria in dogs’ oral microbiomes2. Maintaining your dog’s dental health can have a ripple effect that goes beyond the appearance of your pet’s teeth and the smell of its breath. Poor dental health can result not only in tooth and gum issues, but heart, liver, or kidney issues if harmful bacteria from your dog’s mouth enters its bloodstream.