Dental Care Foods for Dogs
- Rawhide is an animal skin, normally that of a cow or pig, that hasn’t been tanned. Cow skin is tanned to make leather, but rawhide is not subject to the process and remains a rugged, tough material. Rawhide makes a great chew for dogs because it doesn’t break up easily. It provides friction for the dog's teeth and gums, which not only cleans them, but also stimulates saliva production which helps to regulate oral bacteria.
- Dog owners must always be very careful when selecting a bone for their dog. Knuckle bones, available from most butchers, are a good choice as they do not have as much chance of splintering and they are a quite hard to destroy. Bones that have been boiled can splinter when chewed enthusiastically, so you should always make sure you give your dog a bone that is fresh. Always supervise your dog when she is chewing a bone. Bones are good for satisfying a dog’s urge to chew as well as for cleaning the teeth.
Dental Formula Food
- Most commercial pet food manufacturers sell special food for dental health. These formulae typically include a more textured kibble that provides a small amount of friction against the teeth, which removes plaque. Commercial dental formula dog foods may also contain extra calcium.
- Some dog owners chose to feed a natural raw diet that emulates what a dog would eat in the wild. This is a messy and less convenient approach than feeding a complete tinned food, but many people believe the general and oral health benefits are worth it. The bones, feathers and offal are great for providing much needed friction around the gums and teeth. Animal carcasses are often available from a butcher or farmer, but prior arrangement is probably necessary. Only get a carcass from a reputable source to avoid feeding your dog diseased meat.
- For a more convenient and less messy approach, commercial available formulated dental chews are a great option. Typically made out of rubber, these are long-lasting toys that can provide many hours of stimulation for mind and mouth. Rubber chew toys are inedible, but chew toys made out of cuttle bone or animal hide can be eaten.