Dental treats that carry the VOHC Seal of Acceptance can help improve your dog’s oral health while getting that tail wagging.
Most of us love to give our dogs treats, either as a reward for correct behaviour or as something extra, just because we love them. When used right and in moderation, treats can be an effective motivator during training and strengthen the bond we have to our dogs.
While most of us choose our dog’s food carefully, based on ingredients and our dog’s nutritional needs, we are not always as discerning when it comes to dog treats. It’s not unusual, however, for dog treats to contain artificial preservatives, flavours and colourants. Alarmingly, many dog treats also contain concentrated sugars in various forms. This means that slipping our dogs treats can be as detrimental as it is to let kids snack on sweets.
If your dog suffers from plaque and tartar buildup, irritated gums and bad breath – the early signs of periodontal disease – choosing the right treat for your dog is crucial.
VOHC Seal of Acceptance
Veterinarians recommend daily tooth brushing as the number one method for preventing and combating periodontal disease but for pet owners who struggle to provide this daily oral hygiene, dental treats can provide a complementary or alternative method of keeping teeth clean in a stress-free way.
Since not all dental treats are created equal, the safest option is to choose a product that carries the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) Seal of Acceptance. These treats have been clinically proven to improve oral health in dogs and cats and has no known side effects.
The VOHC is an independent organisation that was launched in 1997 with the purpose of objectively assessing the claims of dental products for dogs and cats and fairly recognising those products deemed efficacious. A company that has a product that they feel would be of benefit to dogs or cats in the control of plaque and/or tartar, may on a voluntary basis apply to the VOHC for their Seal of Acceptance.
The VOHC does not test products itself; rather, the manufacturer must perform scientific trials based on the VOHC standard protocols. The report and results are then submitted to the VOHC for the data to be reviewed. If the council is satisfied that the protocols were followed and that the results indicate a significant beneficial effect, the product is granted the Seal of Acceptance.
There are currently 2 designations available; a product may be accepted as helping to control tartar or as helping to control plaque. Products may receive a dual designation if there is credible evidence that they do both. All products that have received the VOHC seal are listed on the VOHC website, www.vohc.org
ProDen PlaqueOff® Dental Bites
Among the dental treats that carry the VOHC Seal of Acceptance for both plaque and tartar control is ProDen PlaqueOff® Dental Bites. This small treat is 100% natural and contains no added sugar, artificial preservatives or additives. It is a complementary product to ProDen PlaqueOff® Powder (which is added to food) and based on the same specific kelp from the North Atlantic Ocean.
ProDen PlaqueOff® Dental Bites has been proven to significantly reduce the formation of plaque and tartar when used on a regular basis. The product comes in different sizes for large and small dogs and is also suitable for cats.
While treating is fun for both dog and owner, it’s important to remember that treats should not make up more than 10 percent of a dog’s daily calories to ensure healthy weight maintenance. Follow the dosage instruction and consult your vet if you’re uncertain regarding your pet’s ideal weight.
Keep on top of your dog’s oral health
Sadly, it is estimated that by three years of age, most dogs and cats have some evidence of periodontal disease. To keep on top of your dog’s oral health, begin examining his mouth on a regular basis and check for signs such as inflamed and swollen gums, discoloured teeth and bad breath. If you notice any of these early signs of periodontal disease, take your pet to the vet for an oral exam. Your vet will decide whether a professional dental cleaning is necessary and can provide advice on how you can implement an effective oral hygiene routine at home.
In combination with healthy food and regular tooth brushing, VOHC accepted dental treats can significantly improve your dog’s oral health and ultimately quality of life.
Let’s get started today!