Monday, February 10, 2014

Dry dog food ≠ Clean teeth

As a follow-up to the previous post on things that can help get your dog's teeth clean, I wanted to mention something that does not work to clean a dog's teeth....

Dry dog food does NOT keep teeth clean.  
I wanted to talk about this real quick because I've had so many people tell me that their veterinarian recommended that they give their dog a larger sized kibble as a way to help keep their dog's teeth clean.  I'm sad to say that veterinarians do not always know what they're talking about, especially when it comes to food.  (My vet once told me that Purina Pro Plan was a high quality food.  HA! but we'll talk about that another time)

Their logic: if the kibble is bigger, the dog has to chew more, and the kibble scrapes stuff off the teeth in the process.  This would be like your dentist telling you to chew on Captain Crunch to clean your teeth.  I don't know about you, but if anything, my teeth feel kind of "fuzzy" after chewing on Captain Crunch; the fuzziness, of course, is due to food particles that are now stuck to my teeth.
The large kibble idea is a scraping technique that doesn't work, but can actually makes things worse.

In reality:  the more a dog has to chew their food , the more likely that food particles are going to get lodged in and around the teeth and gums.  Have you seen dry dog food when it gets wet?  It's very soft and falls apart.  Saliva in a dog's mouth makes kibble more soft the longer it's there.  This makes it more likely to stick to their teeth.  More food bits means breeding grounds for bad bacteria.  It makes periodontal disease more likely.

If you're trying to keep your dog's teeth clean, or if you're trying to clean their already-dirty teeth, it's better to stick to the techniques I mentioned in the previous post.

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