Interpretive Summary: Effects of novel dental chews on oral health outcomes and halitosis in adult dogs.
By: Dr. Emily Taylor
Over 75% of adult dogs are affected by periodontal disease. This disease is thought to be one of the most undertreated health conditions, and is characterized as both gingivitis and periodontitis. If allowed to progress, periodontal disease may result in tooth loss, bone loss, halitosis, and chronic pain. Researchers are actively looking for ways to reduce the severity of periodontal disease in adult dogs. Therefore, the objective of this study, published in the Journal of Animal Science, was to evaluate the benefits of daily dental chews on oral health outcomes in adult dogs.
Twelve adult female beagles were used with their teeth being cleaned prior to the initiation of the trial. Teeth were scored for plaque, calculus, and gingivitis over a 28 day period, and breath samples were measured for malodor. Control dogs were offered a diet only (CT), while treatment groups received the diet plus one of three dental chews each day (Two novel chews (Bones & Chews Dental Treats [BC]; Chewy, Inc., Dania Beach, FL and Dr. Lyon’s Grain-Free Dental Treats [DL]; Dr. Lyon’s, LLC, Dania Beach, FL) and a leading brand chew (Greenies Dental Treats [GR]; Mars Petcare US, Franklin, TN).
Both DL and GR resulted in lower plaque coverage and thickness scores, calculus coverage scores, and volatile sulfur concentrations when compared with CT. Additionally, DL reduced volatile sulfur compounds on day 14, and BC reduced calculus coverage and day 27 volatile sulfur concentrations when compared with CT.
In conclusion, dental treats evaluated in the current study exhibited the ability to reduce several oral outcomes measured. While daily administration of these dental treats may be helpful to prevent or slow the progression of periodontal disease in dogs, authors suggest longer treatment periods would likely allow more insight into the long-term differences in calculus thickness and gingivitis development.