You might brush your teeth morning and night, floss and rinse with mouthwash, but are you remembering your canine companion's dental health? Dog dental supplements play a part in reducing plaque and tartar that can lead to gum disease and can help keep your pup's mouth healthy.
The question is, which dog dental supplement is up to the task? VetriScience Laboratories Perio Support Dental Health Powder is an excellent choice for most dogs, as it's palatable and easy to mix with food.
The majority of dog dental supplements come in powder form. These can be mixed in with food so they're easy to administer to your dog. Supplements in tablet form can be just as effective but may be harder to get your dog to consume. You can also find liquid additives that are either mixed with food or added to water.
Those added to water are generally tasteless or flavored to make them palatable, but they often aren't as effective as other types of supplements and may simply serve to cover bad breath rather than resolving dental issues. Although they aren’t really supplements, there are also dog dental chews and other dental treats that you can buy.
The active ingredients in dog dental supplements are what make them work. These ingredients vary depending on the supplement you choose, and some are more effective than others. Kelp is a common ingredient as it contains a beneficial bacteria, Bacillus licheniformis, that breaks down the bacterial biofilm on teeth that turns into plaque.
Other active ingredients include various enzymes that support dental health, fragaria from strawberries that softens existing plaque and prevents new buildup and minerals called zeolites that aid in stopping new plaque deposits from sticking to the teeth.
The Veterinary Oral Health Council puts its seal of approval on products that prevent plaque and tartar buildup on dogs. To be awarded VOHC approval, products must meet a set of predetermined standards, so its seal of approval is a good sign that the product does what it says it does.
If you're concerned about artificial additives and controversial chemicals in dog dental supplements, you'll be pleased to know that you can find some all-natural formulas.
Avoid any dog dental supplements labeled as homeopathic. Herbal remedies contain measurable quantities of herbs that may have therapeutic effects, while the ingredients in homeopathic remedies may be so highly diluted in water that they're no longer detectable.
Most dog dental supplements cost $10-$40, depending on factors such as the supplement type and package size.
A. Dog dental supplements are just one weapon in the war against tooth and gum problems in dogs. Although these supplements can reduce plaque and improve dental health, they aren't a substitute for brushing. If you can brush your dog's teeth, you should do so in addition to using supplements. If your dog simply won't let you brush their teeth, you can use dental chews and similar, plus supplements, but this isn't as effective as brushing.
A. No, once a dog's teeth start to decay, there's no way to reverse it and the dog in question will likely eventually need to have the offending teeth removed. Luckily, tooth decay isn't all that common in dogs due to the shape of their teeth and their largely sugar-free diet. The majority of dental issues in dogs are caused by gum disease. If you don't care for your dog's teeth, plaque and tartar build up on the teeth, getting under the gumline and causing inflamed gums. Eventually, these gum issues can lead to dental abscesses and tooth loss, which is painful and unpleasant for dogs and can contribute to further health issues.
VetriScience Laboratories Perio Support Dental Health Powder
What you need to know: This palatable powder dental supplement is great for dogs who are picky eaters.
What you’ll love: Contains probiotics to disrupt bad bacteria in the mouth and zeolites to help prevent plaque from sticking to the teeth. Made in the USA.
What you should consider: Some users find it doesn't improve their dogs' bad breath.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Animal Essentials SeaDent for Dogs
What you need to know: An affordable kelp-based dental supplement that breaks down biofilm that leads to plaque.
What you’ll love: Fights both plaque and bacteria for better dental health. Works under the gumline. Contains naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals.
What you should consider: Contains added enzymes and preservatives that shouldn't be necessary in kelp supplements.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Chewy
What you need to know: A supplement made from 100% kelp that's great for dog owners who want to stick to natural products.
What you’ll love: Disrupts biofilm to help keep new plaque from forming as well as softening existing tartar. Easy to mix with food.
What you should consider: Some dogs don't like the taste.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Chewy
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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.