Dental disease is a problem in dogs and particularly in older ones. According to Rosewood Pet Products, over 80% of dogs over the age of three have active dental disease! So like Toby here and ourselves as their parents, they need a little help on the way to look after their teeth and gums.
One easy way to do this with dogs is to give them something that will help them, even if they don’t realise. Enter dental treats that are designed for the dog to enjoy and clean their teeth and gums at the same time. Rosewood Pet Products with their Dr Dental range have the answer.
Their dental sticks are textured treats that help clean teeth, reduce tartar and reinforce gums. They also claim other benefits.
- With added Vitamin A for healthy eyes and to help to boost the immune system
- With added Vitamin D3 for strong and healthy bones
- Low fat
And looking at what they’re made of, there isn’t much that’s too unhealthy, or will hang around in their system for too long either.
Composition – Cereals, Derivatives of Vegetable Origin, Minerals, Meat and Animal Derivatives, Yeasts
Typical Analysis – Protein 6%, Fat Content 0.5%, Crude Ash 8%, Crude Fibres 1%, Moisture 14%
So with my sample survey of two Schnauzers, Toby (aged nine) and Frankie (aged six) they absolutely loved them. For me, they would be a good idea as a once a week treat that has the extra benefit of cleaning teeth and help with strengthening gums and reducing the risk of gum disease.
And they have been officially Miniature Schnauzer tested. You can buy them from Amazon UK here. And they are good value too.
There is a very similar range of products available for the US market that you can see here.
Dental Treats in the USA – Greenies Original Dental Treats
As the Rosewood Dr Dental Treats aren’t available in the US, I thought I’d go and find a US equivalent and from what I can find through research, there’s nothing better than Greenies Original Dental treats. They work in a very similar way to the Dr Dental Treats and are available in a huge number of pack sizes and product sizes to ensure you get a suitable size product for your size of dog. You can see the range here.
It is important that you select the right size of treat for your dog and greenies offer four sizes as well as lots of pack sizes.
But in order to carry out a proper test, I did some background research to see if it was all hype or actually does do some good for the dogs.
Your Miniature Schnauzer (other dogs are available) generally hangs around being happy, friendly and supportive.
But, you can leave them for as long as you like and they won’t brush their teeth.
But exactly as in their human friends, plaque and microorganisms develop in your dog’s mouth. If it isn’t brushed or scraped away, plaque may turn to tartar in 36 hours. Tartar buildup might lead to painful, inflamed gingiva, and open the door to infection and periodontal disease. Dog food and treats often boast about their beneficial dental characteristics.
Tossing your pup a dental cleaning treat is definitely easier than persuading him to allow you to brush his teeth. But with any of these treats claiming they offer dental benefits, all claims are not equal.
The very simplest dry kibble has been credited with maintaining reasonably clean teeth as the crunchiness of the kibble will keep teeth cleaner than a diet of wet food, which is stickier and more prone to get trapped in between teeth. Wet food also contributes to discolouration of teeth too and can cause the browning of the beard.
But while a daily kibble diet helps, it cannot do the whole job by itself. Long lasting chew items could offer the most powerful cleaning advantage, things such as rubber or nylon chew toys (links), or rawhide or knucklebone could all be useful for dental health. In an ideal world, your dog should spend about half an hour gnawing, everyday, for maximum tooth scraping and cleaning. This isn’t always practical and does depend on your own individual dog. Some will just keep gnawing and gnawing without stopping so you may need to remove the chew when the time is done.
But it is important to note that whatever you choose, you should shop wisely and buy from a reputable supplier. A treat with the Veterinary Oral Health Council seal of approval means it’s been studied and proved to possess some dental benefits. Other treats may disintegrate and cause risk of choking, poisoning or a seriously upset stomach – and none of us want that do we?
You should also consider the size of the treat you are buying. If your Schnauzer can chew it and swallow it up in ten seconds flat, it’s likely that it won’t have had chance to get in and do any form of widespread cleaning and conditioning work. Even though your dog (Toby in particular!) will not mind eating packet after packet of treats to keep his teeth clean, you don’t want to trade clean teeth for a fat unhappy Schnauzer. It’d be awesome if treats and chews were the final answer to canine dental care, however many dogs could probably chew and chew and still have dental issues.
I’ll tell you why next.
Chew on this.
You have stocked up on some really good quality chews and your dog is drooling, anxious to get at work.
Don’t dismiss your dental concerns just yet. Smaller dogs, or breeds with a crowded or stacked bite, are more inclined to have hidden spots in their mouth. This implies that regardless of how long or difficult the chew is for the dog to work their way through, some areas in his mouth just cannot be reached without a good old fashioned brushing, so plaque will grow and risk causing damage. So whilst chewing will assist with the surface of the teeth, it doesn’t get right under the gum line, like the bristles of the brush.
In addition, as with any health considerations, other factors play a part in your dog’s susceptibility to dental issues.
Oral conditions like periodontal disease are affected by your dog’s age, background, breeds and his immune system’s response to microorganisms. So even the most avid chewer might develop problems.
So do dental chews and treats truly work?
According to some of the experts out there, some dental treats do have teeth cleaning benefits, specially those which are VOHC accepted, but they are not a replacement for cleaning the dogs teeth with a brush or ongoing professional veterinary care.
So, my summary on how doggie dental treats fit into your dogs daily life.
Why not give your dog the treat they deserve. It will keep them happy and also help keep their teeth in better condition than they would be without these treats in their life.
Think of them as a treat, chew or supplement though, rather than a replacement for dental cleaning and ongoing care and you’ll be okay.
But if you don’t brush your dogs teeth already, you probably need to learn how to do it – Ideally whilst they’re still puppies so they get used to it from a very young age.
If you feed your Schnauzer wet food then this is even more important than a diet of kibble alone.
And one final word of advice.
It’s probably best you don’t share your own toothbrush, however much you love them.