Best foods for your dog’s teeth is your number one friend when it comes to keeping your dog healthy. You have probably heard it a million times, but it will not hurt if we repeat again – you need to keep your dog’s teeth clean. Dental disease is the most common medical problem in dogs. Moreover, your dog’s dental health actually affects his whole body.
How often you open your dog’s mouth to check for his teeth and gums? If you never did it, its OK, because the largest number of dog owners rarely does it actually.
However, it doesn’t mean that you should continue with this practice (or the lack of it) because by checking your dog’s teeth and gums you can save your dog’s life. Also, did you know that approximately 80 percent of dogs have significant oral pathology?
Inside of your dog’s mouth, just like humans actually, is perfect for living bacteria. The mouth is a moist and warm place which makes it perfect for all kinds of bacteria. Moreover, in this area, they can survive for a long time without being noticed. Therefore, teeth are a great way to check for your dog’s health state. In this case, the dog’s normal microbial flora gets out of balance.
Your dog’s tooth health is the first thing that helps your veterinarian to understand your dog’s health. So, there is always a connection between your dog’s health issues and your dog’s teeth. Furthermore, dental and oral health is vital when it comes to preventative wellness and health.
So, what you can do to make your dog’s teeth shiny and healthy for a period of time? The best thing that you can do is to base your dog’s food on proper nutrients. In addition, you should check the dog’s teeth and gums on a regular base.
Dental Health And Nutrition
Food can do wonders, both for humans and canine friends. Proper diet and nutrition can easily boost canine’s health or take it down the hill. Therefore, diet and nutrition choices are imperative when it comes to general health, including dental health.
Most pet owners believe that kibble food is great for dental health and that their dog gets the most from it. However, that’s not the case, as with kibble there is not enough chewing going on. Moreover, feeding kibble doesn’t promote cleaner teeth. After all, it’s not only about cleaning the teeth. It’s about overall health.
This myth comes from the belief that tartar is the best indicator of oral disease. But, its known that gingivitis is a more precise indicator when it comes to the level of oral infection. It’s not just about clean teeth.
Kibble is also heavily processed food using significant pressure and high heat. This process can create HCAs (Heterocyclic Amines) and AGEs (Advanced Glycation End Products), which are pro-inflammatory and even carcinogenic.
As a result, heavily processed food like dry kibble can actually fuel diseases in the body. This includes the oral tissues and the mouth. So, what food can make your dog’s teeth sparkling and healthy? We have created a list of the top five best foods for your dog’s teeth.
Top 5 Best Foods For Your Dog’s Teeth
Strong teeth reflect your dog’s immune system and a well-cultivated body. You should feed your dog a high-quality diet made entirely from natural ingredients and whole meats. In addition, your dog’s diet should have other food, like herbs and supplements. Test suggested food and track your dog’s teeth on a daily level to see how his body reacts to it.
Bones can provide necessary calcium for strong bones and teeth. Chewing raw meat and bones can do a great job when it comes to all natural-teeth-cleaning in your dog. Moreover, chewing bone can prevent tartar formation that can lead to gum inflammation.
Also, raw bones are full of enzymes and probiotics that can stop bad bacteria in a dog’s mouth. Make sure that you stay on top of the topic and inform yourself on everything when it comes to giving your dog raw meat.
If you go for this option make sure that you always choose raw bones rather than the cooked ones. The reason for this action lies in the fact that cooked bones have a tendency to create splinter. Therefore, there is a high risk of damage to the tissues in the intestinal tract. Another reason for choosing raw bones overcooked ones, is concern about dogs chewing bones is the strong risk of damaged or even broken tooth.
Overall, the bigger and stronger bone will clean off teeth just like any good toy. The best bones are large, from a cow in general, so always choose them first. On the other hand, if possible avoid smaller bones because you want to avoid breaking off pieces of the bone. Scientist are divided when it comes to this method, so the best way would be to talk with your veterinarian and see what are your best options.
Cranberries are known for holding numerous biologically active compounds, including phenolic acids and condensed tannins. The recent studies show that pure cranberry juice may be as powerful for fighting even bladder infections, and not only cavities.
Furthermore, it has been recently discovered that cranberries contain special substances that are associated with the formation of dental plaque. Even more, cranberries are able to stop bacteria sticking to surfaces thanks to its special ingredients.
In addition, cranberries and their special ingredients are connected with a unique trait in cranberry juice – a high molecular weight non-dialysable material (NDM). This material has the power to reverse and inhibit the co-aggregation of certain oral bacteria that might be responsible for dental plaque. Non-dialysable material(NDM) is also seen:
3. Wild Strawberry (Fragaria Vesca)
Dogs are known for being crazy about sweets and sweet snacks, commercial and natural one. However, if possible – always go for natural snacks. Commercial snacks (especially those for humans) come with unhealthy sugar for dogs.
Too much sugar can lead to a number of health issues while moderate natural sugar can improve certain health conditions thanks to its acids. The fruit acid cleans the teeth while the seeds act as an abrasive.
Make sure that you give your dog a small bite of strawberries and see how he reacts to it. If your dog doesn’t get any side effect, like diarrhea or skin irritation you can reward him for being a good dog on a daily basis.
Fun fact: Native Americans used mashed wild strawberries to create a tooth paste in order to remove tartar and clean the teeth.
This is definitely something that can be easily found in every home. After all, no kitchen is really a kitchen without parsley. But did you know that if your dog snatches a piece of parsley from a counter no harm will happen to him? Parsley is known for being one of the world’s most concentrated food sources. Thanks to its antimicrobial properties it’s extremely popular as a breath freshener in the human world.
You can use it as a nice addition to your dog’s diet. You can slice fresh parsley and mix it up with dog’s food on a daily level. Also, you can make it and serve it to your dog as a cold tea. An amazing fact about parsley is that it won’t lose any of its beneficial sides when its dried, fresh or serve as a cold tea. Moreover, in a regular diet, parsley can be easily and quickly absorbed.
This close relative to parsley comes with a set of beneficial dental properties. Fennel is extremely rich in vitamin C, has anti-inflammatory effects, and overall helps the dog to freshen up his breath. Moreover, it can help a dog fight gingivitis, as well as protect the liver.
This vegetable is rich in flavonoids like rutin, quercetin and kaempferol glycosides. You can serve fennel even to your puppy, especially if he is bothered with gas. Next to vitamin C, fennel contains a significant amount of iron, calcium, and potassium.
Bear in mind that just the use of this fruit and vegetable won’t make wonders overnight. You have to serve it to your dog every day and to implement a steady routine that will be supported with good dental hygiene practice.
Create A 5-Step Easy Routine
Now that you know what additional food you can include in your dog’s diet you should make concrete steps on how you gonna do it. The first step is to have a daily practice that is seen in at least one fruit or vegetable addition that’s good for your dog’s teeth.
For the beginning, you can start by serving your dog this food once a week until you organize your time and schedule to be able to feed him with this additional food every day. Bear in mind that sometimes not even the best practice can help, and some small dental issues might be seen. However, don’t give up. It doesn’t mean that you should stop with your good practice. Moreover, it just means that you need to work harder when it comes to saving your dog’s teeth and health.
Easy Five Steps To Check Your Dog’s Teeth
Help your dog’s dental health with these simple and effective 5 steps:
- The Breath Test – once a day sniff your dog’s breath. Yes, dog’s breath is not particularly fresh, but if his breath is offensive, and followed by a loss of appetite, the chances are that your dog is suffering from something. Make sure that you check with your veterinarian.
- Check The Gums – gently lift your dogs upper lip up and check the color of the gums. Healthy gums are pink, and never red of white. If you notice those colors, visit the vet’s office. Also, you can do this check-up once a week.
- Have Regular Vet Check-Ups – this is basic, but its the way to check regularly your dogs overall health. Also, you can usually get instant advice or help if needed.
- Improve Diet – add one of the previous mentioned fruit/vegetable. Slice it up and mix it with regular food.
- Dog’s Tooth-Brushing Kit – create a proper tooth-brushing kit that you can use accordingly. You can check at the local pet store or buy in a local market soft toothbrush, soft gaze, and toothpaste specially created for canines. If you prefer home specialties, you can use baking soda and water. NEVER use human toothpaste. You can check with your vet for special mouthwash’s.
One of the best ways to deal with any teeth issues is to stop them before they occur. Easier said than done, but the truth is that for proper prevention you just need a plan and willingness to stick to that plan. After all, your canine’s health comes first and you probably knew that before you got him. However, having a reminder or two from time to time can’t harm.
The first and most crucial step in preventing teeth issues is to provide your dog with a well-balanced, and meat-based dog food. When possible encourage your dog to chew and leave him with treats that ask to be chewed. Your dog needs to exercise his teeth. Also, you can leave him nylon chew toys or hard rubber.
Those toys can only help you with saving your dog’s teeth and gums. In addition, adding fruit like cranberries as a treat, or mixing his food with parsley can spice up his daily menu and improve his health overall. Brushing your dog’s teeth can’t do any harm, as long as it’s done properly and with the appropriate dog-brushing kit.
One of the easiest ways to help your canine with teeth, issues is to spend 3 seconds every day by simply raising up his upper lip and looking for tartar. If you notice even the slightest sign of tartar you should improve the diet, try to brush and wait to see if it will disappear in the following couple of days. But if it doesn’t disappear and your dog’s breath becomes offensive, contact your veterinarian.
The Bottom Line
Having good oral hygiene in canine’s world is mandatory. In nature, dogs solve it by eating adequate grass and an appropriate amount of fruit and vegetable. However, up in the wilderness, they can eat something that they shouldn’t be eating at all. Because, after all – they are dogs, keen on trying everything.
Luckily, your dog has you to serve him what he needs to eat and what’s good for him. In addition, you can take better care if canine’s teeth than he could ever. Taking daily care about your canine’s teeth is imperative or it should be. The good side is that you can protect canine’s teeth by simply using the right food.
Add a little bit of parsley to regular food, and cranberries as a treat and you will have your dog smiling and having shiny teeth for more than expected. Of course, choosing the high quality dog food is always a good idea, and you’re welcome to read our dog food comparisons.