Dog Diet for Better Oral Health
Whether we like it or not, the truth is that most of us struggle to brush our pets’ teeth daily. Sometimes it’s because of our busy schedules and lack of time, and sometimes it’s because your dog isn’t a big fan of having his teeth brushed. Keeping your dog still while tooth-brushing is a challenge, don’t you agree?
As much as I would love to tell you that you shouldn’t worry about it, I can’t. Oral health in dogs is equally essential as in humans. Dogs can have dental diseases and can suffer from tooth decay just like you. When these dental conditions are left untreated, they can get worse and cause more significant health problems.
Dog Diet for Better Oral Health
Therefore, it is essential to understand what you can do as a dog owner to make your dog’s oral health as healthy as possible. First of all, you should try to make teeth-brushing a regular part of your dog’s grooming routine. Next, you want to make sure that your dog is getting all the nutrients he needs to have healthy gums and teeth and potentially include some modifications in his nutrition. This means improving the dog diet for better oral health.
You might think: “But I’m feeding my dog high-quality kibble food that claims to have all nutrients my dog needs! Why would I change his diet then?” And you’re right, no one is asking you to eliminate your dog’s favorite kibble food, but you should know that you can do more to protect your dog’s teeth.
There is a lot of debate between vets that advocate raw food and vets that support dry kibble dog food. Some dog experts claim that kibble food is providing your dog with necessary minerals and vitamins for good oral health.
On the other hand, others believe that what’s causing dental diseases and tooth decay in dogs is dry kibble food itself. These vet experts usually recommend a raw food diet for dogs, which is also very debated in the veterinary community.
So, what should you do? Our suggestion is to make sure your dog has enough teeth-strengthening nutrients and to give your dog veggie treats that will make his teeth cleaner and healthier. Let’s list out the foods that will make your dog’s oral health much better!
Raw bones can be a great source of calcium that is a crucial mineral for teeth and bone strength. But this is not the only oral health benefit raw bones can provide for your dog.
Chewing raw bones can help clean your dog’s teeth and reduce tartar build-up on their teeth. Additionally, raw bones contain probiotic bacteria and enzymes that support a good bacterial flora in the mouth. However, you should be careful when choosing bones you feed your dog and never feed cooked bones because they can splinter and damage your dog’s intestinal tract.
Foods Rich in Antioxidants
When there are more free radicals than antioxidants in the body, the cells are more prone to free-radical damage which can lead to different diseases. Similarly, when the body lacks antioxidants, the periodontal tissues get more sensitive to the damage caused by free radicals.
Therefore, if you want to make sure your pup is getting enough antioxidants, start giving him healthy treats such as cranberries, blueberries, or cantaloupe.
Probiotics are essential for your dog’s immune system, gut health and oral health too. Teeth and mouth are where digestion starts, making them the first part of the gastrointestinal tract. So, these beneficial bacteria don’t only support a regular bowel movement, but they also work to create a healthier mouth.
Provide your dog with some regular intake of probiotics through supplements or small amounts of fermented vegetables or yogurt. If you decide to use oral supplements in liquid form, rub them on your dog’s gums. This way you will ensure the probiotics start protecting your dog’s teeth and gums first.
Another way to keep your dog’s teeth healthy is by providing him with some good, crunchy veggie treats that will mechanically clean his teeth. Choose these vegetables carefully, as dogs don’t break down food the same way we do and some veggies you love, might end up causing an upset tummy in your pup.
You can feed your mutt parsnips, bell peppers, or cilantro, and they will make your pup chew a lot and partly remove the plaque build-up. Make sure you don’t overfeed your dog with these veggies. Instead, use them as occasional treats.
VOHC Reviewed Dog Food
If your dog is prone to dental diseases such as tooth decay or inflammation of gums, then you might want to consider choosing other types of dog food. Look for dog foods reviewed by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC).
These dog foods and treats were created with the scope to reduce plaque on teeth and control tartar build-up. They should be equally well-balanced in nutrients, so your dog shouldn’t have problems with changing his diet to this one. However, do not decide this by yourself and consult your vet before changing your dog’s nutrition.
“Improving Dog Diet for Better Oral Health”
Guest Writer: Kristina Lalovic is the editor of Barking Royalty, the website where you can find plenty of useful and reliable information about canines. Kristina has always been a dog person and has had dogs since her early childhood. She is constantly researching and learning about ways to make dogs healthier and happier. Kristina and her Havanese, Paco, are inseparable pals and enjoy spending time outdoors.
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