Dental Treats for Pets: How Do I Choose?

February 27, 2018

From the desk of Dr. Lisette Wigton, DVM and Veterinary Assistant Department Head:

Have you ever walked through the aisles of pet stores marveling at the variety of choices in food, parasite protection, toys and any myriad of other pet supplies available for our companions? How do we choose the right products for our pets with these limitless possibilities? Dental treats, rinses, chews and water additives fill shelves but how can we know that any of these products will actually help our pet’s teeth and oral health? Last week’s blog gave an overview of periodontal disease and its effect on our pet’s health. This week we will learn what we can do to keep the mouths of our companions in tip-top shape both at home and with regular visits to the veterinarian.

Offering dental treats, chews, water additives, and brushing while all beneficial for our pet’s teeth are no substitute for professional veterinary evaluation, professional cleaning and dental x-rays under anesthesia. Home care can help our pet’s mouths stay healthy between professional cleanings which are done by veterinarians. Professional cleanings also offer the benefit of complete oral evaluations which can catch tumors and other abnormalities of the oral cavity. Full mouth dental x-rays can catch tooth issues early before they cause pain or disease in your pets. Be wary of anesthesia-free dental cleanings. An informative article about this issue can be found at the American Veterinary Dental College webpage.

The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC), which is a part of the Veterinary Dental College, is a seal of acceptance on oral products which meet criteria that help reduce plaque and calculus formation on a dog’s or cat’s teeth.  Looking specifically for this seal will help you choose a product that is effective at reducing plaque formation and reducing the risk for periodontal disease. A list of products recommended for dogs and cats can be found here.

Regular veterinary dental cleanings and the use of VOHC approved products between those cleanings are two ways to offer your pet the very best for their teeth and overall wellness.

For more information about our Veterinary Assistant Program visit our webpage or give us a call at 918.610.0027.