Do Dog Chew Toys Help Their Oral Health?
As a trained volunteer dog trainer, I get a lot of questions from doggie parents on every aspect of doggie and family life. The most-asked questions are in regards to the oral health of the dogs I work with. If you are trying to decide whether doggie chew toys are a good idea to keep your dog’s mouth clean and healthy, read on.
Chew toys are beneficial to a dog’s oral health, because they stimulate the gums and keep blood circulating. This keeps the tissue soft, clean and healthy. Some dog chew toys are made with nubs on them that act as a toothbrush would, and stimulate the gums. The gums are the hardest part to reach when you brush your dog’s teeth, especially if Fido doesn’t enjoy brushing time and squirms or fights to get away.
Some chew toys are made specifically with plaque removal in mind. However, any chew toy can be good at removing plaque. As your dog chews, the toy will scrape up and down his teeth and help break up plaque and tartar. This is not a substitute for regular brushing with a doggie toothbrush and toothpaste made specifically for dogs, but it can help make your job as a pet parent easier when it comes time to brush Spot’s teeth.
Dogs are carnivores, and our dogs’ ancestors didn’t have humans to brush their teeth. They hunted their own food, and chewed bones for nourishment. This helped to keep their teeth sharp and polished and ready for the next meal. Today’s dogs are no different – they need sharp, healthy teeth for eating and chewing, and chew toys help achieve this goal.
Healthy bones involve more than just your pup’s teeth. The jaws are also a part of good oral health. Chew toys will keep Rover’s jaws strong and healthy.
Dog chew toys are a great idea, as long as they are not over-used, and are always used in the presence of a responsible human. In addition, chew toys should never be a substitute for regular oral check-ups by a good veterinarian, and twice-weekly brushing. Remember to always use a toothbrush and toothpaste made specifically for dogs, as human oral care products can harm Fifi or make her very sick.