GREYHOUND TEETH: ALTERNATIVES TO BRUSHING
OK, you’ve tried everything and your Greyhound just will not allow you to brush their teeth. Or (hate to admit it) you just don’t want to hassle with it. Here are some suggestions to help with oral hygiene that can be tried in addition to, or instead of, regular brushing.
Dental treats, unlike normal dog treats, massage the gums, get rid of plaque and tartar and facilitate fresh breath. There are tasty varieties, so choose one that your dog enjoys.
When you pick out dental treats or chews for your dog, make sure they have the Veterinary Oral Health Council’s (VOHC) Seal of Acceptance on the packaging, as this seal indicates that these products help control tartar buildup.
One example is the OraVet chewable treat that is given once daily. These chews reduce plaque and tartar buildup and create a protective barrier on the surface of a dog’s teeth that makes it harder for bacteria to stick and form tartar. The Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Dental Chewz also help significantly reduce tartar buildup and can be given occasionally as treats.
DENTAL CHEW TOYS
Quality dental chews are a smart option that helps maintain your Greyhound’s overall health and wellbeing. They are made to clean your dog’s teeth nearly as well as a toothbrush with toothpaste. As your pup chews, the motion scrapes off tartar and plaque. Same also can be filled with ingredients that help prevent the build-up of tartar and refresh your dog’s breath. The chews are designed to be delicious and healthy.
Dental chew toys have two main functions; they stimulate your dog’s body to produce extra saliva that rinses away bacteria and food debris, and chewing them helps clean the teeth by removing plaque and tartar. They minimize the damage that food debris can do to your dog’s teeth. Chews are made of durable materials and last for a long time before they need to be replaced. Some are designed to make noises and bounce about, thereby providing great mental stimulation for your dog.
Look for a textured chew that provides a thorough cleaning action which removes food debris, bacteria, and plaque. The chew should be able to withstand aggressive chewing and shouldn’t need to be replaced for a long time. The chew should either have a flavor that the dog loves or has some other feature that will make it attractive to your Greyhound, such as: it can be filled (such as the KONG dental chew), or makes an irresistible squeaky sound. Ideally, it should withstand tough playing and provide your dog with a stimulating challenge.
Some pet parents swear by bones or rawhide chews to keep their hound’s teeth sparkling. In fact, a recent study showed that rawhide chews cleaned teeth 69% better than some other dental chews. However, there is some controversy on the safety of such treats, so check with your vet, and always supervise dogs when they have a bone or rawhide.
Water additives are especially useful if your dog won’t let you clean their teeth. You simply add a VOHC-approved water additive to your dog’s drinking water to control bacteria and plaque.
There are several different water additives available for dogs, and they all work about the same. These oral solutions are tasteless. Based on the directions on the bottle, you will add a certain amount of the water additive to your dog’s water bowl daily. The solution helps freshen your dog’s breath and kills plaque-building bacteria in your dog’s mouth. One product, Fresh Dental, promises 12-hour fresh breath by giving your dog ½ cap in 8 oz. of water, twice a day.
Water additives such as Oratene Biotine drinking water additive and Nylabone advance oral care natural tartar remover state that they help control plaque and tartar by simply adding it to your dog’s daily drinking water. It doesn’t get easier than that.
Depending on your dog’s dental status your veterinarian may recommend an antibacterial canine mouthwash or some newer products to help control periodontal disease.
VetriScience Perio Support is a flavored dental powder that is easy to apply to the top of your dog’s food. It contains a probiotic that helps promote healthy bacteria in your dog’s mouth and simultaneously kills plaque-building bacteria. This powder should be applied to every meal your dog eats. It helps freshen your dog’s breath and prevents tartar and plaque from building up on your dog’s teeth.
ProDen’s PlaqueOff powder is another great choice for your dog’s dental health. Get rid of bad dog breath with plaque off powder that freshens breath and cleans your dog’s teeth. Effective tooth polisher to add to your pets daily food. Sprinkle over food once a day.
Healthy, high-quality food is a great way to maintain your greyhound’s oral health at outstanding levels. Nourishing your greyhound’s body ensures the teeth become stronger, and their overall health improves. Avoid foods that stick to your dog’s teeth. Poor quality dog food facilitates the build-up of tartar and plaque and keeps your greyhound’s immune system functioning at lower levels. Whole foods with all-natural ingredients consist of enzymes and supplements that break down debris and build up on teeth.
Choose foods that:
- Promote mechanical abrasion through shape, size, and texture. This helps scrape off tartar and plaque from teeth.
- Contain ingredients that facilitate fresh breath.
- Kibble that is coated with ingredients that inhibit tartar and plaque formation.
Provide your dog with water as it stimulates saliva production that prevents food debris from sticking between teeth and cleans off soft plaque.
Your veterinarian may recommend a food that was designed to help reduce dental plaque. For dogs that are opposed to the other options or are very prone to periodontal disease, a few dog food companies make prescription dental food that have been clinically proven to help reduce dental disease.
As your dog chews the food, the kibble cleans the surface of their teeth, and by doing so, reduces tartar buildup. The kibble also contains ingredients that help to kill bacteria that lead to plaque and tartar formation.
Purina ProPlan Veterinary Diets DH Dental Health, Hill’s Prescription Diet t/d Dental Care, and Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Dental formula have all been formulated by board-certified veterinary nutritionists and have gone through clinical trials to prove their efficacy. Since these diets require a prescription from a veterinarian, you will need to ask your vet about trying one of these formulas for your dog.
Dental and oral care is an essential part of taking care of your Greyhound. The measures you take should keep their teefs as clean as possible, and can be simple and inexpensive. Your hound’s oral hygiene directly reflects on their general health and wellness, so it’s worth being proactive.
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