Things to Look for in a Dog Toy for Dental Care
Let’s cover some basic things you should look for when you’re choosing a dog toy for dental care:
Correct Size and Strength for Your Dog
It’s vital you choose a toy that is the right size for your dog. This ensures they can fit it in their mouth and chew it comfortably.
It’s also essential to choose a toy that’s the right strength. This ensures the toy is safe and can stand up to their chewing. With a dental toy, it also ensures it’s not too harsh on their delicate teeth and gums.
Good Quality Materials
Picking a toy made from high-quality materials helps to ensure your dog’s safety and means it’s likely to last longer.
When dogs are chewing away, they’re likely to make a lot of mess and even drool. While that’s all part of having a dog, choosing a toy that can be easily cleaned can be beneficial.
Teeth Cleaning Potential
Teeth cleaning toys may vary in their shape and design. Choosing a toy with ridges, raised nubs, small bumps, or a generally uneven texture, means it’s more likely to do a good job of cleaning your dog’s teeth.
Dental Toy Safety Advice
While no toy is guaranteed to be unbreakable, there are a few steps you can take to keep your dog safe while using a dental toy. Choosing the right size and strength of toy for your dog increases safety, as does quality materials.
Ideally, your dog should be supervised while they’re playing with the toy. If any parts become detached, you should stop playtime and remove the toy. This prevents choking and stops any sharp pieces hurting your dog’s mouth.
Why It’s Vital to Keep Your Dog’s Teeth Clean
Just like humans, a dog’s teeth require regular cleaning. Since they can’t do it themselves, it’s their owner’s job to keep their mouth healthy and implement a good oral hygiene routine.
Plaque can build up on your dog’s teeth just like it can on yours. If it isn’t regularly removed, this plaque can turn into tartar, which is much harder to tackle. This can lead to dental and gum disease. In fact, up to 80% of dogs experience oral diseases.
Unfortunately, these diseases are more than just smelly breath. They can lead to all sorts of complications, such as tooth loss, heart disease, kidney damage, and liver problems. This all sounds a bit worrying, but don’t panic: it’s all easily prevented.
How Dog Toys Can Be Useful for Dental Health
The right dental toy can help to clean your dog’s teeth, actively removing plaque and preventing tartar build-up. The unique shapes can clean hard to reach areas of your dog’s mouth. The dog’s chewing action does the cleaning, making it stress-free and fun for you and your pet.
This article from the Stewart Animal Clinic explains that the chewing action also helps by “stimulating their body to produce additional saliva which will rinse away food debris and bacteria.”
Dental toys can also help to stimulate and soothe the gums, keeping them in tip-top shape. Often the toys are entertaining for your dog, providing extra enrichment. Overall, the right toy can be beneficial and enjoyable for your dog.
Other Ways to Clean Your Dog’s Teeth
While dental toys are a helpful addition to your doggie’s oral health routine, they shouldn’t be the only factor. Ideally, you should be regularly brushing your dog’s teeth with a doggy toothbrush and toothpaste. However, brushing can often be stressful for both dog and owner. Thankfully, several other options are available:
- Dental wipes: You simply rub them along your dog’s teeth. You can also get finger-shaped wipes for easy application.
- Dental sprays: A range of sprays are available, which you spray onto your dog’s gums and teeth: no rinsing required!
- Water additives: You simply add a small amount to your dog’s water, and each time they drink, they’re helping to clean their own teeth.
- Dental treats: There are so many dental treats on the market that act similarly to dental toys, except they can be eaten! These are often a favourite among canine companions.
- Dental powders: By adding a small amount of dental powder to your dog’s meal, the ingredients make their way through their bloodstream and into their saliva. Over time this softens any plaque or tartar and makes it easier to remove.
Do Dog Teeth Cleaning Toys Work?
Yes, the right toy can be very useful in helping to clean your dog’s teeth.
Will Dental Toys Help You Clean Your Dog’s Teeth Without Brushing?
Dental toys should be a part of a regular teeth cleaning routine, combined with other methods.
Keeping up with your pup’s dental hygiene is a crucial part of taking care of them. Introducing a dental toy can make things more fun and enjoyable for you and your dog!
Stewart Animal Clinic, (2021), “What are the best dental toys for pets?”
Miriam W-Njoroge, (2019), “The Complete Guide to Chews for Cleaning Dogs’ Teeth”. Pet Comments.