Dental chews for dogs....useful?

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texasdiver
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Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by texasdiver »

I've been buying dental chews for my lab for years, reading the labels which always say "helps clean teeth" and "reduces plaque and tartar" and thinking that I'm actually doing something beneficial for my dog.

For some reason today I read the label more closely which states: "monitor your dog closely to ensure treat is adequately chewed prior to swallowing" and I"m thinking. Seriously? My yellow lab can inhale one of those treats in about 10-15 seconds with about 2 or 3 quick chews. There is no possible way I'm possibly ever going to get him to slow down and chew the thing before swallowing.

So do these dog chews actually serve a functional dental purpose? Or am I just wasting my money on an expensive form of supplemental dog food that costs 10x the price per pound of the ordinary food he already gets? EDIT: Lately I've been buying the Kirkland Signature Dental Chews which run about $25 for about a 5 lb box compared to $28 for a 40 lb bag of Kirkland Signature dog food. So actually about 7x more expensive per pound.
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TxAg
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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by TxAg »

The dog just thinks of it as a treat. So any type of treat would likely be fine for a reward.

For actual teeth cleaning, you can buy raw bones with marrow and meat still attached. They’re around $6 for a large (maybe 6” x 4”). Do that once a month for teeth cleaning. They are generally in the frozen section of pet stores.
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TxAg
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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by TxAg »

if you know any hunters, a deer antler or deer leg works also
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unclescrooge
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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by unclescrooge »

TxAg wrote: Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:23 pm The dog just thinks of it as a treat. So any type of treat would likely be fine for a reward.

For actual teeth cleaning, you can buy raw bones with marrow and meat still attached. They’re around $6 for a large (maybe 6” x 4”). Do that once a month for teeth cleaning. They are generally in the frozen section of pet stores.
I disagree. Chewing on hard, rock-like raw bone or deer antlers cannot be good for teeth.
Dilbydog
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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by Dilbydog »

We give our Rottie a raw beef rib bone every evening. He’s three now, and his teeth are in great shape. Our smaller dogs have not been given bones, just kibble, home diet, and Greenies and they’ve all had dental work (extractions). I’m sure you know but cooked bones are troublesome, as they splinter. This was confirmed by our Vet, but please follow up with yours and do not take my recommendation as gospel. Remember, canines in the wild will gnaw and consume raw bones.
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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by tadamsmar »

The VOHC recommends brushing daily. This one brand of chews is clinically proven to be as effective as 2/7ths of the recommended optimal brushing.
When fed daily. Milk-Bone Brushing Chews are as effective as brushing a dog’s teeth twice a week based on the reduction of tartar build-up. The Veterinary Oral Health Council® recommends daily tooth brushing for optimal effectiveness.
https://www.milkbone.com/products/brush ... gQodQJwOpQ

Not sure if that makes them useful.
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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by jibantik »

TxAg wrote: Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:23 pm The dog just thinks of it as a treat. So any type of treat would likely be fine for a reward.

For actual teeth cleaning, you can buy raw bones with marrow and meat still attached. They’re around $6 for a large (maybe 6” x 4”). Do that once a month for teeth cleaning. They are generally in the frozen section of pet stores.
+1 to raw meaty bones.
quantAndHold
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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by quantAndHold »

Both the dog and the cat have had significant dental problems, so we care a lot about dental treats...

Dental chews for the cat have been super useful. Completely saved us from a lot of expensive dental work. And we can use them to entice her to come out of nearly any hidey hole she’s in.

The dog, however...we finally just gave in and started brushing her teeth. She liked them, but they were causing significant digestive problems at really inconvenient times, like when we’re camping, and a pack of coyotes is in hot pursuit of something right outside the motorhome.
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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by Slacker »

When I last looked into this with regard to actual bones I found some recommend raw bones while others state that over time a dog can start to crack their molars gnawing on raw bones (timeframe on the order of 6+ years).

We brush her teeth maybe 3x a week.

Thanks for the heads up on the Milk Bone brand chews, might be enough of a supplement to match up with our laziness to get "good enough" it's care.
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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by livesoft »

Our dog really loves Greenies. Are they useful? I don't think they are harmful for our dog. The dog is about 12 years old and has had a couple of teeth cleanings in its life. He doesn't gulp down a chew without chewing it. I used to give him one smaller chew after the evening meal of kibble, but we got larger chews and now he gets one-fourth a large chew after the morning meal and after the evening meal. The chunkier pieces give him more action.

The dog also likes bully sticks (dried bull penis) and will chew on one for about 30 minutes to an hour. I think those are safer than bones and do more for the dog's teeth than Greenies. I have to put a vise-grip (locking pliers) on one end or the dog would swallow it when it got down to about 4 inches. I'm amazed at the things such a small dog can swallow without any problems.

No dog breath problems, too. But watch out for weight gain. We give the dog less kibble to account for the chew he is getting.

We didn't tell the vet we were giving him chews and at the last annual checkup the vet said his teeth were in great shape instead of recommending another dental cleaning.
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Katietsu
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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by Katietsu »

Depends on the dog. If the dog slowly chews on them, then they are helpful. If you have a dog that just quickly turns it into large chunks and swallows, then you are wasting your money.
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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by Meaty »

texasdiver wrote: Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:19 pm I've been buying dental chews for my lab for years, reading the labels which always say "helps clean teeth" and "reduces plaque and tartar" and thinking that I'm actually doing something beneficial for my dog.

For some reason today I read the label more closely which states: "monitor your dog closely to ensure treat is adequately chewed prior to swallowing" and I"m thinking. Seriously? My yellow lab can inhale one of those treats in about 10-15 seconds with about 2 or 3 quick chews. There is no possible way I'm possibly ever going to get him to slow down and chew the thing before swallowing.

So do these dog chews actually serve a functional dental purpose? Or am I just wasting my money on an expensive form of supplemental dog food that costs 10x the price per pound of the ordinary food he already gets? EDIT: Lately I've been buying the Kirkland Signature Dental Chews which run about $25 for about a 5 lb box compared to $28 for a 40 lb bag of Kirkland Signature dog food. So actually about 7x more expensive per pound.
Give the dog a teaspoon of coconut oil each day. Has worked wonders for my labs teeth
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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by Bengineer »

For us, yes. They mechanically scrub off the dog's teeth and massage their gums as they chew it up. Our 7 year old dog gets an appropriately sized treated rawhide chew daily. Teeth & gums in great shape They kept our last dog's teeth in good shape into his teens. I use the basic chews treated with enzymes and occasionally splurge on the ones that have added chlorhexidine. They are pretty much "crack" from the dog's point of view. Lobbying begins well before the appointed time. :happy No digestion problems with either dog over many years.

As noted, they are a choking hazard if your dog's only aim is to get it down, rather than chewing it up. We don't leave the dog alone with the chewy.
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TxAg
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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by TxAg »

unclescrooge wrote: Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:32 pm
TxAg wrote: Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:23 pm The dog just thinks of it as a treat. So any type of treat would likely be fine for a reward.

For actual teeth cleaning, you can buy raw bones with marrow and meat still attached. They’re around $6 for a large (maybe 6” x 4”). Do that once a month for teeth cleaning. They are generally in the frozen section of pet stores.
I disagree. Chewing on hard, rock-like raw bone or deer antlers cannot be good for teeth.


I don’t mean to be snarky, but is that your opinion or do you have evidence to back it up? I’ve read plenty of evidence to the contrary. Cooked bones are bad as they become brittle and will splinter. Raw bones are ok.
bklyn96
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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by bklyn96 »

We follow our vet's advice that Greenies are proven effective.

Our guy loves them and would gulp them down in an instant so I put pieces inside the hollow ends of a rubber Kong bone. It takes him about four minutes of chewing on it before he can get the pieces out.
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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by tev9876 »

I tried the ones Costco sells awhile back - Check-Ups I think - white and scored so they are easy to break in half. Both dogs liked them, but both also ended up vomiting them back up on a semi-regular basis. They did help my Aussie's breath but the digestive system could not handle them. Same happened with greenies. Vet has recommended cleaning (don't they always?) but I worry about the other risks to an elderly dog, not to mention the bill.

I recently got a German Shepherd puppy and ordered puppy Nylabones to manage teething. The Aussie has decided he likes them so steals them. There have been Nylabones laying around forever that he always ignored but they were the aggressive chew strength for the GSD. The package warns about giving them to adult dogs but it does not seem any different than the dental chews in terms of how they get reduced to tiny bits and he has not had any digestive issues with them and the breath has improved again. I'm hoping he moves up to the Gummabone mid-range chew since they are larger and should last longer. He has also taken to the puppy Kongs (especially if loaded with peanut butter). Of course the puppy will chew on anything that fits in her mouth...
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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by livesoft »

bklyn96 wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:52 am We follow our vet's advice that Greenies are proven effective.

Our guy loves them and would gulp them down in an instant so I put pieces inside the hollow ends of a rubber Kong bone. It takes him about four minutes of chewing on it before he can get the pieces out.
I'll have to try that. Do you freeze the Greenie in the Kong hollow with food paste or just let it rattle in there? Or is it like this carrot in a bone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnzjIvv7ErY
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unclescrooge
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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by unclescrooge »

TxAg wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:25 am
unclescrooge wrote: Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:32 pm
TxAg wrote: Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:23 pm The dog just thinks of it as a treat. So any type of treat would likely be fine for a reward.

For actual teeth cleaning, you can buy raw bones with marrow and meat still attached. They’re around $6 for a large (maybe 6” x 4”). Do that once a month for teeth cleaning. They are generally in the frozen section of pet stores.
I disagree. Chewing on hard, rock-like raw bone or deer antlers cannot be good for teeth.


I don’t mean to be snarky, but is that your opinion or do you have evidence to back it up? I’ve read plenty of evidence to the contrary. Cooked bones are bad as they become brittle and will splinter. Raw bones are ok.
Common sense. Is chewing on rocks good for your teeth?

Also, my vet discourages anything that can't be scratched with your nail. This includes yak milk.

She recommends greenies, and physically brushing the teeth.
jehovasfitness
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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by jehovasfitness »

TxAg wrote: Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:23 pm if you know any hunters, a deer antler or deer leg works also
I would advise against antlers. There's been numerous cases of broken teeth.

Raw bones would be a better option but require an experienced owner.

https://bulletproofpetproducts.com/ makes some great hard yet forgiving chew toys that can provide some cleaning action. I have a Cane Corso and Presa Canario, both pitbull type dogs, and these toys last at least 6-9 months where most toys are destroyed in hours.

Best option is to feed grain-free kibble as well as brush their teeth.
Last edited by jehovasfitness on Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by jehovasfitness »

TxAg wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:25 am
unclescrooge wrote: Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:32 pm
TxAg wrote: Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:23 pm The dog just thinks of it as a treat. So any type of treat would likely be fine for a reward.

For actual teeth cleaning, you can buy raw bones with marrow and meat still attached. They’re around $6 for a large (maybe 6” x 4”). Do that once a month for teeth cleaning. They are generally in the frozen section of pet stores.
I disagree. Chewing on hard, rock-like raw bone or deer antlers cannot be good for teeth.



I don’t mean to be snarky, but is that your opinion or do you have evidence to back it up? I’ve read plenty of evidence to the contrary. Cooked bones are bad as they become brittle and will splinter. Raw bones are ok.

https://www.drmartybecker.com/petconnec ... dogs-chew/

http://www.akc.org/content/dog-care/art ... safe-dogs/
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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by Lafder »

All of my dogs chew and eat the dog teeth/dental chew bones as fast as if they are dog biscuits. So I doubt there is any teeth cleaning benefit for my dogs and the ingredients are not something they need to be ingesting.

My dogs gnaw on the large rawhide rolls for hour and their teeth are noticeably cleaner afterwards. So I buy them. I had one batch that splintered instead of got slowly chewed away. But that has been once out of many purchases.

I usually buy the kind costco has, but they are sometimes not in stock so I have started ordering online.

I know some folks have had problems with rawhide. My dogs have never had a problem passing whatever they eat of it. And they do on occassion swallow big pieces.

I have never brushed my dogs' teeth.

The dogs seem to like bully sticks when I bought them, before I knew what they were. I thought maybe it was achilles tendon by the look of it. But they can have a weird smell and wet chewed on bull dick is just not what I want on my couch :) No luck keeping my dogs off the couches.......

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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by bklyn96 »

livesoft wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:22 am
bklyn96 wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:52 am We follow our vet's advice that Greenies are proven effective.

Our guy loves them and would gulp them down in an instant so I put pieces inside the hollow ends of a rubber Kong bone. It takes him about four minutes of chewing on it before he can get the pieces out.
I'll have to try that. Do you freeze the Greenie in the Kong hollow with food paste or just let it rattle in there? Or is it like this carrot in a bone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnzjIvv7ErY
Yes, I do it like the carrot in a bone video. However, I cut the Greenie so it's a very tight fit entirely inside the openings at both ends of the bone. That way he can't grab the end of the Greenie piece and pull it out quickly.
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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by slayed »

Dilbydog wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:19 am Remember, canines in the wild will gnaw and consume raw bones.
They also have very short lifespans in the wild. They usually die long before tooth decay would be an issue.
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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by Swansea »

If you brush your dog's teeth, use a toothpaste specifically for dogs....
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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by mortfree »

I buy dentastik for my great dane.

Instead of giving it directly to him, I hold it in my hand and let him chew on it.

Otherwise he would treat it like a hockey puck and bat it around and run through the house with it. After he's done playing (and destroying the house), he would then devour it with no real chance for the teeth cleaning benefit.
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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by stats99 »

Have been giving my mini schnauzer Dentastix, 1 a day for last 8 years. Never brushed teeth. Vet notes he has best teeth she has seen. So who knows?
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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by neilpilot »

Our 13 yo shih tzu/maltese mix has been getting raw carrots as a treat almost daily for a dozen years. Per his vet, he has great teeth without any brushing or vet cleaning.
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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by barnaclebob »

unclescrooge wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:54 am
TxAg wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:25 am
unclescrooge wrote: Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:32 pm
TxAg wrote: Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:23 pm The dog just thinks of it as a treat. So any type of treat would likely be fine for a reward.

For actual teeth cleaning, you can buy raw bones with marrow and meat still attached. They’re around $6 for a large (maybe 6” x 4”). Do that once a month for teeth cleaning. They are generally in the frozen section of pet stores.
I disagree. Chewing on hard, rock-like raw bone or deer antlers cannot be good for teeth.


I don’t mean to be snarky, but is that your opinion or do you have evidence to back it up? I’ve read plenty of evidence to the contrary. Cooked bones are bad as they become brittle and will splinter. Raw bones are ok.
Common sense. Is chewing on rocks good for your teeth?

Also, my vet discourages anything that can't be scratched with your nail. This includes yak milk.

She recommends greenies, and physically brushing the teeth.
What an absurd comparison. Rocks and bones have nowhere near the same mechanical properties.
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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by Sylliec »

neilpilot wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:59 pm Our 13 yo shih tzu/maltese mix has been getting raw carrots as a treat almost daily for a dozen years. Per his vet, he has great teeth without any brushing or vet cleaning.
I wish I had started my Cocoa on carrots. What a great idea. Instead I used “crack-sticks” which is the term me and my friends use to refer to rawhide sticks. I would give one a day and Cocoa acted like she was a crack-addict getting her crack-stick. I hope nobody is offended by my jocular tone as crack addiction is a serious condition. Anyways Cocoa is 13 yrs. old and vets always compliment her teeth.
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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by jehovasfitness »

barnaclebob wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:17 pm
unclescrooge wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:54 am
TxAg wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:25 am
unclescrooge wrote: Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:32 pm
TxAg wrote: Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:23 pm The dog just thinks of it as a treat. So any type of treat would likely be fine for a reward.

For actual teeth cleaning, you can buy raw bones with marrow and meat still attached. They’re around $6 for a large (maybe 6” x 4”). Do that once a month for teeth cleaning. They are generally in the frozen section of pet stores.
I disagree. Chewing on hard, rock-like raw bone or deer antlers cannot be good for teeth.


I don’t mean to be snarky, but is that your opinion or do you have evidence to back it up? I’ve read plenty of evidence to the contrary. Cooked bones are bad as they become brittle and will splinter. Raw bones are ok.
Common sense. Is chewing on rocks good for your teeth?

Also, my vet discourages anything that can't be scratched with your nail. This includes yak milk.

She recommends greenies, and physically brushing the teeth.
What an absurd comparison. Rocks and bones have nowhere near the same mechanical properties.
In fairness, antlers are harder than bones.

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/ob ... -at-stake/

"But its toughness was what surprised them. By applying pressure to the middle of the antler, the researchers found that the deer antler was 2.4 times tougher than the wet bone. And when testing blunt impact, the antler could withstand six-times the force that broke the femur bone."
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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by MightyHorus »

texasdiver wrote: Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:19 pm So do these dog chews actually serve a functional dental purpose?
Yes, they do. Good information on dental hygiene and effective products. http://www.vohc.org/index.html

I've used carrots and Virbac's dental chews for years with good results. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GB ... 7747HFE2IW

Gave up on brushing (most effective) a few years ago since it's too hard to wrestle with my dogs. I'd avoid antler or raw bone to minimize the chance of fracture teeth/jaws or GI obstruction.
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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by Elsebet »

We give our dogs the Kirkland Signature Dental Chews every other day. We also feed dry kibble and supplement with raw veggies (carrot, cucumber, cabbage). So far so good.
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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by hale2 »

We've been giving our dogs dental chews for years. I don't know if they have helped. For us it has seemed more breed specific. Our German Shepherds have never had dental problems, but the Greyhounds always have, despite the dental chews.
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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by azanon »

While I'll admit I do buy these sometimes for my dog, if i was concerned about it, I'd probably ask my vet.
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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by LadyGeek »

Let's extend the courtesy to our pets.

This thread has run its course and is locked (medical advice). Veterinary advice has the same issues as human medical advice - it is not possible to evaluate the applicability of any advice to the OP's situation. As a reminder:

Medical Issues

Questions on medical issues are beyond the scope of the forum. If you are looking for medical information online, I suggest you start with the Medical Library Association's User's Guide to Finding and Evaluating Health Information on the Web which, in addition to providing guidance on evaluating health information, includes a list of their top recommended sites.
For pets, start with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine's Free Animal Health Resources Web Sites.

Also recommended: VeterinaryPartner.com, a client education site of the Veterinary Information Network, Inc. - for veterinarians, by veterinarians.

I'm open to other recommended websites (unbiased and authoritative).
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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by LadyGeek »

Via PM, bklyn96 has provided an expert reference on animal care and health:

- Animal Medical Center, New York City, NY. Dedicated to providing compassionate and collaborative care to animals and to leading the advancement of veterinary medicine.

On the topic of dentistry: Dentistry, Animal Medical Center - New York City.

On the topic of chews for pets: Smile! It’s National Pet Dental Health Month, Animal Medical Center - New York City.

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Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Post by LadyGeek »

Via PM, MightyHorus has provided additional expert references. Here's the consolidated list:

Start with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine's Free Animal Health Resources Web Sites.

Also recommended:
  • VeterinaryPartner.com, a client education site of the Veterinary Information Network, Inc. - for veterinarians, by veterinarians.
  • Animal Medical Center, New York City, NY. Dedicated to providing compassionate and collaborative care to animals and to leading the advancement of veterinary medicine.
  • Animal Food Recalls and Alerts, from the American Veterinary Medical Foundation
  • The Association of American Feed Control Officials, Regardless of brands, owners are recommended to feed diets that meet AAFCO (independent agency) standard, which sets the minimal requirement for nutrients (ex. carbohydrate, fat, protein..etc)
  • Veterinary Oral Health Council, Dental related issues. Is independent and publishes results from all pet food companies. Includes good client education material, as well. This site is used and recommended by UC Davis School of Vet Med.
  • Indoor Pet Initiative, The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Recommended especially for cats (includes a Spanish language section).
I think I have enough references for now.

(Thread remains locked.)
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