Chewing Rawhides vs. Brushing Your Pets Teeth
Primary care doctor, Kimberly Schultz, DVM, recommends both.
Dental disease can lead to inflammation, infection, and chronic pain in pets just as in people. Good dental hygiene is an important part of keeping dogs and cats healthy.
Daily tooth brushing is considered the gold standard in terms of prevention of plaque and gingivitis. Some pets may be resistant to brushing, so the good news is that giving an approved dental chew each day has been shown to be very helpful as well! In 2009, a study showed that a group of dogs fed a daily soft rawhide once per day a few hours after eating had a significantly lower amount of tartar, plaque and gingivitis compared to dogs that received no dental care (brushing or treats).
To ensure that you are choosing a safe and beneficial chew for your cat or dog, look for the VOHC (veterinary oral health council) seal on the package or consult the website: http://www.vohc.org/accepted_products.htm.
Dr. Schultz graduated from Cornell University in 1997 and joined Friendship in 2004. Dr. Schultz enjoys helping people and their pets in a direct way. Her professional interests include emergency medicine and general practice.
* Featured image courtesy of Affordable Pet Care.