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Dental Home Care YVC Enzymatic Chews CET Veggie Dental Chews CET Chews for Cats Clenz-a-dent Sticks Greenies
There are many options for at-home dental care for pets. No single option works best for all pets, so please let us help you customize what you do for your pets.
(Tartar is as hard as cement and attaches to teeth so firmly that no amount of brushing will remove it; if you lift your pet’s lips and see tartar, then your pet needs our professional cleaning before any dental home care will work.)
Here is our review of the basic methods and some of our favorite products:
Brushing Brushing is the best at-home way to control plaque and tartar build-up on your pet’s teeth. In order for it to be effective: your technique must be good, you should use a toothbrush and paste made especially for pets, and it must be done daily.
YVC favorite brushing products:
CET Toothpaste - different flavors
Chewing: Treats and Toys Chewing is probably the best alternative to brushing. For a treat or toy to be effective your pet must spend a minimum of two to three minutes a day chewing on it. Items that are consumed faster than this will not help. Processed rawhide is great, and there are now multiple plant-based alternatives as well. Pig’s ears, cow’s hooves, and similar things are often contaminated with salmonella or other pathogens. Bones are too hard (dogs can break their teeth on them) and the chips that come off of them can cause severe stomach and intestinal problems.
YVC favorite chew toys and treats:
Chewing: Dental Diets There are more than a few pet foods sold as dental care diets. The only ones that we are aware of that actually work to control plaque and tartar accumulation are the Hill’s products, Science Diet Healthy Advantage and Prescription Diet T/D. In order to be effective a dental diet cannot simply be crunchy. When a pet bites down on ordinary dry food the kibble shatters, the same way a piece of hard candy would shatter if we bit down on it. When a pet bites down on Healthy Advantage or T/D the kibble remains intact until they have bitten almost all the way through it, so it scrubs the teeth and the gumline. Obviously a pet must chew the food for it to work; dogs and cats that simply pick up and swallow their food will get no benefit from a dental diet.
YVC favorite dental diets:
Prescription Diet T/D
Science Diet Healthy Advantage
Oral Rinses Oral rinses added to the pet’s drinking water daily are the most practical option for dental home care, since they do not require the level of commitment that brushing does, and since they do not rely on chewing. Some of the current generation of rinses work well for plaque control by decreasing oral bacteria, providing antioxidants, and supporting healthy gums. They also have the beneficial side effect of improving breath odor.
YVC favorite oral rinses:
Oxyfresh Oral Hygiene
A variety of other potentially helpful products are available, including prescription medications, powders that can be added to the food, and long-acting dental gels and waxes.
YVC Enzymatic Chews
CET Veggie Dental Chews
CET Chews for Cats
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