Let’s face it, not every dog is amenable to daily tooth brushing. Some are downright combative about it, making the experience miserable for both dog owner and dog alike. For most cats, it is a foregone conclusion that tooth brushing is going to be a non-starter for your feline companion, possibly risky to one’s own personal safety.
Before I go on, if you are lucky enough to have the either a pet that is amenable to daily tooth brushing, or have the patience and/or time to get it done, daily brushing of the teeth and gums remains the single best way to prevent periodontal disease in dogs and cats. If you are like the rest of us who either have pets that will not tolerate the tooth brushing or are like my wife and I who have such busy schedules that we are lucky to get our children’s teeth brushed every day let alone our dog and three cats; this post is for you.
For many years, my hospital has gifted different varieties of dental chews with the post dentistry take home package we give away after a patient has had a dental cleaning. About 4 years ago, it was time for my Yellow Labrador Retriever, Bernie, to have the second routine dentistry of his life. Following the cleaning, the veterinary technician on his case gave me Bernie’s take home bag, which included an extra-large Greenie Bone. The next day, I fed it to him and I watched him delight in his gradual chewing down of his bone.
Since it made him so happy, I began purchasing 3 boxes of extra-large Greenies at a time to give him a nightly bone that he loved so much…and figured in the process, provide him some dental health benefit, since 2 very young children at the time had changed my priorities a bit away from constant husbandry of the dog, to seeing to the needs of much more high maintenance little humans.
I always believed in the benefit of Greenies, but what I observed with my own dog astounded me. Year after year, as I examined his oral cavity, Bernie’s periodontal disease did not relapse, and that has continued to this day! Having gone from two professional dental cleanings by the age of 6 years, to none since now at age 10, I cannot help but be 100% sold on the benefit of Greenie Bones as a highly effective dental health product for dogs.
In light of the success I had with my own dog, I also began trying the feline Greenie chew treats on my cats, which also has worked out very well. The challenge with cats, however, is the big variation in what individual felines will find appealing. Two of my three cats love the Greenie chews, while one will not even sniff at them. The dental health benefits for felines seem to be on par with what I observed in my dog with each now 6 years of age and neither has needed a dental cleaning (most cats are in need of their first dental cleaning by 3-4 years of age) , and a 66% success rate in feline willingness to eat a particular treat believe it or not, is a resounding success (of course, that is only the success rate in my home…I do not really know the national feline Greenie palatability percentage).
Because of variations in individual genetics that affect dental health, you may not necessarily see the same profound Greenie benefits I observed in my pets. However, having recommended Greenie Bones and chew treats for my patients for years following the success I had with my own pets, I can confidently state from experience that your pet will enjoy better overall dental health and less reliance on professional dental cleanings being regularly fed Greenies, than without.
Dr. Roger Welton is the President of Maybeck Animal Hospital in West Melbourne, FL, Chief Editor of the Veterinary Advice and Information Website, Web-DVM, and founder/CEO of Dr. Roger’s Holistic Veterinary Care.