7 Foods for Your Dog's Dental Wellness

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Dog owner's often overlook the dental health of their pets. While exercise and an overall healthy diet are important, choosing foods that benefit your pooch in the area of dental health is also extremely important. The following 7 foods will ensure that your fur baby's pearly whites stay just that!

1. Cranberries:
Most people know that cranberries are great for fighting a bladder infection, but did you know cranberries also work to prevent cavities, plaque, and tarter buildup in both dogs and humans? The secret lies in a compound contained in cranberries called non-dialysable material (NDM). Non-dialysable material has been found to not only prevent the buildup of oral bacteria, it also reverses the effects that these bacteria have on Fido's teeth. Cranberries can be frozen and given to your pet as a fun way to beat the heat. Diluting your dog's drinking water with pure cranberry juice is another way to ensure your dog receives the health benefits of cranberries.

2. Grain-Free foods:
Many veterinarians have argued that grain free foods help to reduce the amount of tarter buildup in pets. Our pups' ancestors were strictly meat eaters, and some veterinarians would argue that a meatcentric, grain-free diet is the best way to boost the immune system and fight the oral bacteria associated with poor oral health. Many dog food brands use grains as a filler, and it should never be the first ingredient on your dog's food label. 

3. Oatmeal:
While oats are considered a grain, they aren't the same thing as the wheat/grain filler that is an ingredient in most dog foods. Oatmeal contains high levels of vitamins E, G, B, potassium, and calcium. This calcium rich food will serve to strengthen your dogs teeth, and it will also make his coat shiny and soft! There are many recipes out there for dog treats that contain oatmeal. Try this one from Two Little Cavaliers!

4. Flaxseed Oil:
Does your dog suffer from gum disease? Flaxseed oil has been used for years as a way to reverse the effects of gum disease in humans. Many natural dog food brands have begun adding flaxseed to their list of ingredients. The price of these dog foods can be somewhat unreasonable for the average dog owner; however, you can simply add a bit of flaxseed oil to your pooch's current food. Consult with your veterinarian for the correct dosage! 

5. Carrots:
Many people think that dry dog food is the best way to clean the plaque buildup on their dog's teeth. While this is somewhat true, your dog needs further chewing to scrub those pearly whites! Many dogs love carrots, and they are a great alternative to bones or dental sticks.

6. Yogurt:
You've probably never fed your dog yogurt, but it is one of the best things for your dog! It is important to note that you should choose a yogurt that contains a probiotic. The bacteria in the yogurt helps fight gingivitis, and it also helps your dog's digestive system. The Bark has a great recipe for frozen yogurt dog treats!

7. Fish Oil:
Fish oil is high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for oral health! Fish oil has multiple health benefits for your dog. The Omega-3's in the oil help boost your dogs immune system, which allows them to fight dental bacteria. It also reduces inflammation, and keeps your pup's coat sleek! 

While you can buy dog foods that promote oral health in your dog, you can achieve this at a fraction of the cost through natural means!

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