Happy National Pet Dental Health Month! Our team at East Valley Animal Hospital is here to celebrate with you and your dog. And the best way to do that is to teach you how to maintain his oral health. 

Chances are, your dog likes chew toys. Did you know the types of chew toys you give him can make or break his dental health? Veterinarians encourage toys with dentally-hygienic properties, and discourage certain destructive toys. Here is how to choose the best dental chews for your dog.

Dental Chews to Avoid

Sharp edges or splinters can do considerable damage to a dog’s gums. Because periodontal disease is so common in dogs, it’s important to keep their gums pampered. In addition, some toys are known to cause teeth fractures, which are extremely uncomfortable for dogs. Before choosing a dental chew, consider whether it is safe for your dog.

Although dogs are natural predators, it’s not necessary or even healthy to let them chew on animal parts. Rawhide, bones, and antlers are all dangerous for your dog’s teeth. They can cause tooth and gum, not to mention gastrointestinal damage. We recommend you stick to specially-manufactured dental chew toys.

What Makes a Chew Toy Orally Healthy?

Several chew toy brands manufacture toys that are built to aid your dog’s oral health. They’re designed to simultaneously keep your dog’s interest and clean his teeth. Such toys are approved by the Veterinary Oral Health council, sporting a VOH stamp-of-approval.

So, next time you want to buy your dog a toy, consider toys that are:

  • Durable. You don’t want a toy to get broken or eaten five minutes after you buy it! Choose one that can withstand lots of chewing and pulling. The more difficult it is to destroy, the longer it will keep your dog interested. 
  • Covered in soft bristles. Known as “toothbrush toys”, these are a popular brand among dogs. The bristles actually clean your dog’s mouth as he chews on the toy. They’re soft and squishy, and feel good on his gums as he yanks at them.
  • Flavored. Some dental chews are chicken or bacon-flavored. They satisfy both your dog’s instinct to chew and his taste for meat.
  • Fun and engaging. Dogs like to be challenged. You know your dog better than anyone, so choose a toy you know he’ll enjoy playing with.
  • Good quality. Certain brands of toys, such as Kong, have earned their reputations for being safe, durable, and entertaining. 

Best Dental Chews for Dogs

Toys need to be soft enough that they don’t damage your dog’s teeth, but still chewy. Some of the best dental chew toys are made of rubber. Rubber’s texture is malleable, but not overly so; your dog can chew on it for hours without destroying it. 

Rope toys are another good choice. Rope is a natural teeth cleaner for dogs, removing bacteria as they chew. Plus, dogs enjoy pulling a rope with their teeth!

Compassionate Vet in Gilbert, AZ

Our devoted vets at East Valley Animal Hospital care about your dog’s dental health. Take care when choosing dental chews for your dog, and never miss a check-up or exam. 

Image by Jasmin on Pixabay.