When we talk about dental health one of the most common questions that pet owners ask is, "What products should I use to help with my pets' dental health?" As a veterinary profession we want to make sure we are giving recommendations on products that have been proven effective. With that being said, we feel confident in recommending any product that has the VOHC seal on it.
VOHC stands for Veterinary Oral Health Council. The Veterinary Oral Health Council was made to review the data from trials conducted on products according to VOHC protocols, and those products are then awarded the VOHC Seal of Acceptance. Any product that has the VOHC seal has met the Veterinary Oral Health Council's standards for effectiveness in controlling plaque and/or tartar when used as directed.
*Plaque is the soft, bacteria-rich layer that rapidly forms on the surface of the teeth as a result of poor dental hygiene. The bacteria in mature plaque are the cause of gingival inflammation that starts the periodontal disease process.
*Tartar is the calcium salts secreted in saliva that are deposited on the surface of the teeth as a hard substance (calculus or tartar) that is resistant to removal by chewing or brushing. Tartar provides a rough surface that enhances development of plaque, and is an exacerbating factor in development of periodontal disease.
Below is a list of products that have met the VOHC standards for effectiveness.
Accepted Products for Dogs:
Accepted Products for Cats:
I brush and floss twice a day, but what about my dog’s and cat’s teeth?
There are many ways that you can help care for your pets’ dental needs at home.
The first and most effective option is brushing your pets’ teeth. This is much easier than it sounds! To start, you will need a pet friendly toothpaste; enzymatic toothpaste is the best product to brush pets’ teeth with. It differs from human toothpaste because the enzymes break the tartar down for you, rather than contact time required when humans brush their teeth. Get your pet used to the toothpaste by first giving a small portion as a treat, then work on applying it to the outer surfaces of the teeth. You can use your finger to get the toothpaste on their teeth, or there are other options such as a tooth brush, an exfoliating glove, or a finger toothbrush. Your veterinarian may guide you on where to focus your efforts, depending on your pets’ unique mouth.
Different foods can be helpful in cleaning your pets’ teeth. One of the highest quality foods for dental care is Hill’s T/D. Quality dental diets have differently formulated kibble that helps clean below the gumline and minimize plaque and tartar. This can work nicely with treats that are formulated to care for teeth. Dental treats such as Greenies, VeggieDent, HealthyMouth Treats, and DentaLife treats are all great options. These are usually given daily to help prevent tartar buildup.
Another convenient option is a cleansing wash that you can put into the water that acts like a mouthwash. Water additives can be one of the easiest things to do for your pet’s mouth, and can help improve breath.
Maintaining your pets’ teeth at home can help prevent more tartar building on their teeth. You can use as many of these options as you’d like to provide excellent oral health for your pet. The best thing to do is have your pet’s teeth cleaned 1-2 times per year, and then maintain them with any of the above methods: brushing, OraVet, food, treats, or rinses. See our post next week about how to select effective products for your pet’s mouth!
1. Your dog or cat is keeping secrets! Dogs and cats often do not show outward signs of pain or illness. With a physical exam we can detect underlying problems and also verify that systems are healthy!
2. Your veterinarian will learn what is normal for each individual pet, which helps us to recognize subtle changes and address them early.
3. New studies come out all of the time about pet health and your veterinarian is the best source for accurate information. Ever wonder about grain-free diets? How about the best time to spay or neuter your pet? We have the latest information to help you decide!
4. Preventing a problem is WAY easier and less costly than fixing one. We can help make sure your pet is protected against vaccine preventable disease and parasites. We can also help you choose the best food and create a healthy weight plan for your pet to help prevent problems such as diabetes and osteoarthritis.
5. We care about your pet! We want them to live a long, healthy and happy life just as much as you do. We take every effort to thoroughly collect information, review your pet's history for patterns and communicate any information you need to make the best decisions for your furry loved-one!
Click here to make an appointment for your dog or cats physical today!
9022 Mason Drive
Newaygo, MI 49337
8:00am-1:00pm (accepting phone calls until 12:30pm)