After your pet’s last wellness visit, where you discussed her dental health and learned she needed extra help at home to prevent periodontal problems, you had the best intentions. When you lined up your children for their twice-daily toothbrushing routine, you planned on adding your cat to the mix. But, she had other plans. No matter how much you tried, your cat would not accept a gentle toothbrushing, despite the tuna-flavored toothpaste, and lashed out with those plaque-covered teeth and sharp claws. Defeated by your daily struggle, you looked for other options to ensure her healthy teeth. 

Fortunately for our less-than-cooperative patients, we have a wide variety of dental-care products that battle plaque and tartar, while keeping your fingers intact. We recommend one particular product—a prescription dental diet—due to its ease of use and palatability. Dental diets provide many benefits, and you will wonder why you didn’t switch sooner.

How do dental diets help my pet’s oral health?

Many pet owners believe that any dry food will help maintain their pet’s oral health, but this is a common misconception. While most hard, crunchy foods will scrape off some accumulated tartar near the tops of the teeth, the benefit is so minimal that it’s almost negligible. 

Prescription dental diets are formulated differently than standard kibble. For example, larger kibble is designed to increase chewing time, and is available as a special diet for cats, and small or large dogs, to ensure they chew their food thoroughly. The kibble in dental diets also has a unique, less brittle texture, which allows greater tooth penetration before breaking. The kibble also offers a greater cleaning effect that reaches closer to the gumline than standard foods, because the teeth remain embedded longer in the kibble pieces. 

What dental diets are recommended for my pet’s oral health?

While a variety of diets claim to promote dental health, we recommend a prescription dental diet for maximum benefit. Dental-diet options include:

  • Hill’s t/d
  • Purina DH 
  • Royal Canin Dental 

These three diets come in formulations for cats, and small and large dogs, so one will fit your pet’s particular needs. 

Is a dental diet right for my pet?

Although all pets can benefit from a dental diet, some medical conditions may preclude a dental formula as your pet’s main diet. If she suffers from a health issue, such as diabetes, kidney failure, liver disease, or another chronic condition, a prescription diet that is geared toward managing that disease would be a better choice. 

While dental diets are an excellent choice for healthy adult pets, they are not formulated for growing kittens or puppies. If you’d like to start your pet on a prescription dental diet, talk to us before switching her food to ensure she receives the proper nutrition.

How should I use a dental diet for my pet?

For healthy adult pets, we highly recommend a prescription dental diet used daily. We also recommend feeding your pet only a dental diet and treats approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council, for maximum benefit. If your pet is still growing, or has a medical condition that would benefit from a different prescription diet, you can still feed her a dental diet, portioning out the large kibbles as treats instead of the main meal.

Where can I purchase a dental diet for my pet?

  • Animal Dental Clinic — We carry Hill’s prescription dental diets designed to combat plaque and tartar. 
  • Hill’s to Home Hill’s also offers free shipping, with the food arriving in two to three business days, 10% off your first autoship order, and 5% off future autoship orders. 
  • Loving Family Animal Hospital — At Loving Family Animal Hospital, located in Aurora, you can also purchase Royal Canin and Purina prescription dental diets.

Are you interested in learning which dental diet is best for your pet’s oral health? Call us to discuss our dental-diet recommendations, and to set up free home delivery.