What dog food is best for healthy teeth?

Healthy teeth are more than just a shiny, white canine grin.  Healthy teeth are important to your dog’s overall health and ability to eat.  What dog food is best for healthy teeth? Read on to find more about how to keep your dog’s teeth healthy and bright.

Kibble for Teeth Cleaning?

For years, dog owners have been told that they must feed dry kibble in order to maintain their dog’s teeth.  This is a bit like your dentist telling you that you must eat crunchy crackers for your teeth to stay healthy.  It just doesn’t work that way.  There have been some foods developed that claim to reduce tartar and plaque buildup, but feeding these foods alone isn’t enough to keep your dog’s teeth in top shape.

It does help to feed your dog a highly digestible, quality diet as this affects your dog’s overall health.  Look for dog foods that use real ingredients and are free from by-products, chemical preservatives and artificial flavors and colors.

It’s Not Just The Teeth

There’s a big word for a common problem in dogs, periodontal disease.  Periodontal disease is caused by excess tartar, which turns into plaque.  Plaque is a hard crust that builds up and can cause gingivitis.  Left untreated it can turn into an internal bacterial infection which can cause all kinds of internal problems with your dog’s heart, liver or kidneys.

Keeping Your Dog’s Smile Healthy

Brush Your Dog’s Teeth – Did you know you can brush your dog’s teeth?  There are lots of specially made toothbrushes and toothpastes made for keeping your dog’s pearly whites in perfect condition.  Tooth brushing does require some basic training and conditioning and must be done at least once a day.  Tartar buildup starts as soon as your dog eats something, so brushing after meals is going to be the best way to do this.  Never use human toothpaste as it contains chemicals that are toxic to dogs.

Feed Raw Bones – If you’re not up for the challenge of daily teeth brushing, a great way to keep your dog’s teeth white and healthy is to feed raw bones.  Gnawing on raw bones helps gently remove tartar buildup that causes plaque. Never feed your pet cooked bones and use precautions whenever handling raw meat.  If your dog has a medical condition, it’s always a good idea to consult your vet before making any dietary changes.

Taking care of your dog’s teeth is important for overall health and longevity.  Doing one or both of these things can greatly increase your dog’s dental health, leading to happier dogs and happier humans.

Here’s a great article with more information on feeding raw bones and here’s an article about why feeding dry kibble isn’t enough to keep tartar away.