The Ins and Outs of Dental Diets

How is your pet’s oral health? Should you be feeding him/her dental food? What makes this food particularly different from a regular adult kibble? This blog post covers some common questions regarding dental diets.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease, also known as dental disease, is one of the most common ailments in dogs and cats. Dental disease can start out as gingivitis caused by plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth and under the gum line. It often progresses to a point where it destroys the bone and eventually causes painful tooth loss. It is estimated that over 2/3 of dogs and cats over the age of 3 years have some form of dental disease. This is preventable and treatable with appropriate dental care and monitoring.

What are the benefits of dental diets?

A great option to help prevent dental disease is dental food. Dental food is clinically proven to decrease the development of plaque, tartar, gingivitis, and halitosis (bad breath), which then reduces the risk of advanced dental disease.

Benefits of Hills t/d: It’s a complete and balanced nutritional diet that can be used as an adult maintenance diet. It has the Veterinary Oral Health Council seal of approval award for the control of plaque and tartar. The fiber matrix of the kibble resists crumbling. It has added antioxidants and an S/O index which helps to reduce the risk of urinary crystals and stones.

Benefits of Royal Canin Dental: It’s a complete and balanced nutritional diet that can be used as an adult maintenance diet. It’s not only great for your pet’s teeth, but also supports their skin, urinary health, and GI health because of the added omega 3 & 6’s, the S/O index, and the probiotics and antioxidants.

Benefits of Purina Pro Plan Dental Health: It is a complete and balanced nutrition that can be used as an adult or senior maintenance diet. It has a smaller kibble size compared to the other dental diets that is optimal for everyday feeding. It has the Veterinary Oral Health Council seal of approval award for the control of plaque. It has added antioxidants and a natural source of glucosamine.

How do dental diets work to prevent dental disease?

Dental diets have specially formulated kibbles that are usually bigger than your average size kibble. This allows deeper tooth penetration that extends contact time between the kibble and the tooth, and acts as a scrubbing action for a greater cleaning effect. This reduces the bacteria-laden plaque. For maximum results, dental diets should be fed exclusively on a daily basis.

What are the contraindications of dental diets?

Dental diets are not recommended for growing puppies, pregnant or nursing dogs, or patients with severe periodontal disease that haven’t had an appropriate assessment and therapy.

Do dental diets prevent dental disease?

While dental diets reduce your pet’s risk of developing advanced dental disease, they do not prevent it. Some pets accumulate tartar and suffer from gingivitis more than other pets. Despite the effectiveness of dental diets, it is firstly and always strongly encouraged to brush your pet’s teeth on a daily basis or, at the very least, every 3 days, with a pet safe VOHC toothpaste (e.g. Petsmile toothpaste)

What are your recommendations to help promote my pet’s oral health?

Improving your pet’s oral health will make for a happier and more comfortable companion. Are you worried that your furry friend is suffering from poor oral health? Book an appointment with us today!



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Last updated: September 3, 2021

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we have made some important updates to our operating policies.


This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!

Note: Priority will be given to urgent or sick pets, as well as time-sensitive puppy/kitten vaccinations.



If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.


We are OPEN with the following hours:

Monday : Tuesday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday : Thursday: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Friday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sunday: CLOSED

Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

- Your dedicated team at Bow River Veterinary Centre