With February being National Pet Dental Month, we’d like to take a moment and review why we think daily chewing is one of the best activities you can provide for your canine companions.
Why does clean teeth lead to a healthier dog? By keeping teeth clean, you can literally extend the lifespan of your pet. The driving concept behind this is that dental hygiene will improve quality of life and extend their lifespan because you are preventing future diseases that typically start with dental issues.
Why Dental Disease (Periodontal Disease) is so destructive? As plaque turns into tartar, gingivitis or inflammation of the gums become a factor. This leads to an increase in oral bacteria, which can eventually enter the bloodstream stressing the immune system's response and putting certain organs into a more risky environment. There are three organs that are more susceptible to the spread of oral bacteria: the heart, the liver, and the kidneys.
Where does dental disease start from? The most common culprit is kibble! Processed dog foods are not hard enough to clean teeth and ultimately just leave behind plaque due to commercials foods containing high levels of carbohydrates. A dog’s saliva does not contain the needed enzyme (amylase) to break down carbohydrate sugars, so without daily cleaning, these sugars lead to plaque, which turns into tartar in the span of a few days.
What is the best way to maintain dental hygiene? Daily chewing that last around 10 minutes is the best way to know you are cleaning teeth! As your dog chews, they scrape and grind their teeth and this motion is exactly what you need to clean teeth and strengthening gums. What chews you select will all depend on the breed, age, and size of your pup, but the most important goal is to reach 10 minutes of chewing.