The Well Dog Place

Dr. Ken Tudor Holistic Veterinarian

Dogs teeth. Dog dental treats, like dental chews may cause more harm than good.

Dog Nutrition 07 | Why Dental Treats Can Make Your Dog Fat

Most dog owners know that dental health is important for their dogs. It only makes sense that dental treats that encourage chewing can help, and to some extent, they do help prevent dental tartar. But they are also loaded with calories, lots of calories. Dental treats are a large factor contributing to the rising numbers of overweight or obese dogs. So how many calories do dental treats have?

 How Many Calories Do Dog Dental Treats Have? 

There is a very popular dog treat available for dogs 50 pounds and over. It has 1060 calories for each treat! The total daily calorie need for a 50lb dog is 1000 calories. This treat has over 100% of the dog’s daily calorie needs. Added to the normal regular diet, a 50lb dog getting one dental treat per day is eating twice the calories it needs daily. And how many owners give their dogs more than 1 treat per day? No wonder 60% of pets are overweight or morbidly obese. 

And it is not just this one treat. Other dental treats can contain anywhere from 15-70% of a dog’s daily caloric needs. If dog owners reduced the amount of dog food to make room for these extra calories, dogs become malnourished. Dog dental treats contain minuscule amounts of the protein, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals dogs need every day. Dog food does contain the proper amounts of all nutrients but only if fed the recommended amount daily. Cut back on the food and you cut back on the nutrients, a recipe for malnutrition. 

But Do Dog Dental Treats Work? 

To some degree, dog dental treats help prevent tarter, especially for teeth near the front of the mouth. No dental treat can prevent tarter on the back teeth because the shape of the dog’s jaw and lips won’t allow a cleaning action to occur. This is also true of dogs that chew bones for dental health. The back teeth just can’t be reached chewing on a bone or treat. Back teeth can only be cleaned by the owners using a toothbrush or washcloth. 

So here’s what we know about dental treats: 

  1. The risk of obesity or malnutrition is very high
  2. They offer only a limited amount of dental health
  3. Owners still have to brush their dog’s teeth 

Do dog dental treats seem like a good idea to you? Promote your dog’s health. Feed “no calorie” vegetable treats and brush their teeth at least 2-3 times per week. They stay in shape and have better dental health.

Also, consider homemade dog food. Dogs fed homemade diets tend to have less dental tartar and gum disease.

Ken Tudor DVM
Dr. Ken Tudor, Holistic Veterinarian

Dr. Ken Tudor is a recognized expert and leader in the field of pet nutrition and fitness. He has developed a pet weight management program and served on the American Animal Hospital Association task force to develop their Weight Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats. He is also a frequent guest on the Pet World Insider radio show and a popular guest on the televised Pet Ex Talks-Pet Experts Empowering Pet Parents show.

Dog Nutrition 07 | Why Dental Treats Can Make Your Dog Fat

Dog Nutrition

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