Canine dental disease affects 80% of dogs over the age of three. With brushing the dog’s teeth becoming routine in many households, it is no secret dental health is an important component in a dog’s overall wellbeing. But can one diet put the toothbrush away for good?
In order to determine the perfect formulation for maintaining those canine pearly whites, we first need to understand the function of canine teeth. Essentially, teeth are a dog’s toolbox. With all the tools in this toolbox instinctively designed to capture and eat meat, rich in protein and fat – aka ‘The ‘Dental Diet’.
A common misconception is that kibble benefits dogs’ teeth, as the abrasive chewing of a hard biscuit facilitates a cleaning action, removing plaque. However, it appears the ‘kibble effect’ might be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Our research on the ancestral diet of dogs (where periodontal disease wasn’t considered a factor) suggests that heavily processed carb laden diets cause a build up of plaque and tartar, just as sugar-filled foods contribute to the deterioration of human teeth. Bearing in mind the purpose of canine teeth is to capture and eat prey, our research indicates that a meat-based diet may be more suitable in preventing dental disease. As carbohydrates facilitate the development of plaque on the teeth, meat contains natural enzymes which prevent tartar build-up, reducing the risk of dental disease and maybe even developing a resistant barrier against tooth decay.
So why mess with nature? While further research is needed in this area, our philosophy and research suggests ‘The Dental Diet’ is an instinctive one – High Meat. Low Carb. Grain Free. To put it simply, dogs need healthy teeth and gums to eat nutritious foods, and they need to eat nutritious food for healthy teeth.
Written in conjunction with our in-house Nutritionist, Mark Roberts.