If your dog doesn't have the best oral health, the food they eat may be playing a bigger role than you might think. Today, our Austell vets share below the best food for canine dental health to help keep your dog's teeth in tip-top shape.

Dental Food for Dogs

The right dental dog food for your canine may actually consist of multiple foods and snacks. Certain kibble brands, dental chews, and even frozen vegetables like baby carrots can help clean your dog's teeth as they eat them.

If you are looking for a particular brand of food to help with your dog's bad breath, tooth strength, and/or gum cleanliness, you can always consult your veterinarian for their thoughts and advice. They will be able to make a recommendation based on your dog's current dental care needs.

Best Dog Food for Dental Issues

There are several over-the-counter dry foods for dogs designed to remove plaque buildup from their teeth while they chew. Some wet dog foods have less fatty content which reduces the amount of small food particles that can get stuck in between your dog's teeth.

Dental treats and toys are an effective way of removing excess plaque and tartar buildup on your dog's teeth. Keep in mind, that dental chews or toys shouldn't be the only part of your dog's oral healthcare routine. Regular dental cleanings and exams by a professional in addition to at-home brushing are crucial when it comes to caring for your pup's teeth.

If you feed your dog cooked food on a regular basis, like boiled chicken (light meat, no skin) and pup-friendly vegetables, stay away from foods with high starch content. Starch has an easier time building up on a dog's teeth and can wear them down if not thoroughly cleaned. Starchy foods include chickpeas, lentils, peas, and most root vegetables.

Kibble: Good for Teeth or Not?

If you're a dog owner, you may have heard that kibble is better for your dog's teeth due to all of the chewing and crunching they do. However, in most cases, kibble is too small to do your canine any favors when it comes to their dental health. Some kibble brands have larger pieces designed to increase the amount of chewing but keep in mind that the size of your dog's teeth and mouth can change how effective this is.

Additionally, "grain-free" kibble often has higher carbohydrate and starch content than other types. So, if your pup is struggling with plaque buildup or bad breath, consider switching kibble brands to something vet-recommended.

Adding Probiotics & Prebiotics

Probiotics and prebiotics are bacteria and yeasts that are good for you and your dog (but not always in the same form!). Adding these things to your dog's diet can support their dental and gastrointestinal health. 

Soft Dog Foods for Bad Teeth

If your pup already struggles with unhealthy teeth or bad breath, you might be wondering if hard food is bad for them or causing them pain. It is always best to consult your vet first, but in general, if your dog struggles with one or multiple fractured teeth, or has constantly inflamed/red gums, they could benefit from switching to softer foods. If your dog is a picky eater, boiled chicken and vegetables are a good option. There are also some paste-like dog foods with dental probiotics added right in.

Don't Stop Brushing!

It is important to remember that dental diets for dogs cannot replace regular at-home care and professional cleanings at the vet. Your dog cannot have long-lasting, healthy teeth or gums if they don't have a regular hygiene routine to remove plaque and tartar from their teeth.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. Please make an appointment with your vet for an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition.

Is your dog due for a professional dental cleaning and exam? Contact our Austell vets to book an appointment to have your pup's teeth cared for.