Decoding The Ingredients In Dog Oral Health Supplements

Apr 28, 2024

Decoding the ingredients in premium dog oral health supplements can be tricky, but it’s an important step in making sure your dog is getting the best when it comes to canine dental hygiene. Oral health in dogs is not just about a clean set of teeth or fresh breath; it is intricately linked to their overall health and well-being. With so many different oral health products for dogs on the market, it’s important to know about the ingredients, and how they affect your best friend.

Traditional Ingredients for Oral Health In Dogs

Traditional ingredients have stood the test of time, providing a mechanical cleaning action and hosting natural antibacterial properties that are fundamental in fighting plaque and tartar build-up. The familiar texture and scraping ability of rawhide and the benefits of traditional ingredients like coconut oil and neem for their antibacterial properties are quite popular. But what do they do for your dog’s oral health?

Mechanical Action Ingredients:

Rawhide is an incredibly popular and longstanding chew for dogs. It acts as a natural toothbrush for many dogs, reducing plaque and tartar through mechanical abrasion. That said, rawhide also has some issues with safety and suitability as they are dependent on a dog’s size, age, and chewing habits. Rawhides may pose choking and/or blockage issues.

An alternative to rawhides are rice fibers. They also help clean your dog’s teeth through a mechanical action, and offer a bit more with regard to your dog’s gut as well. Rice fiber has a slightly abrasive texture that helps reduce plaque and tartar buildup, but the dietary fibers in rice fiber can help digestive health for your dog as well. This can indirectly affect their oral health by reducing the prevalence of pathogenic bacteria in the gut that could make their breath smell or lead to infection in their mouth.

Traditional Natural Antibacterials

Coconut oil is known for its natural antibacterial properties, which can help reduce plaque buildup and freshen breath.

Neem is an ingredient found in different dental products for dogs, and it’s used for its antifungal and antiviral properties that can help a dog’s oral health.

When it comes to research on traditional dog oral health supplements, studies tend to show the efficacy of rawhide is simply due to significant reductions in calculus, plaque, and gingivitis in dogs. Some rawhides have been infused with chlorhexidine, which is antibacterial, and some research shows those may reduce plaque and gingivitis in dogs. Dog parents need to weigh those benefits, though, with risks often associated with rawhide, and look at additional ingredients that have better digestibility.

The Connection Between Gut Health And Oral Hygiene In DogsPhoto: Two Golden Retrievers smile at each other as they play in a park.

The connection between gut health and oral hygiene in dogs is so intertwined. Research has increasingly shown that the oral and gut microbiomes share many bacterial species. This shared microbiota means that imbalances in the oral microbiome can lead to dysbiosis in the gut, and this can make your dog sick overall.

It’s really fascinating how much connection there really is between oral and gut health. For example, in humans, harmful bacteria like Fusobacterium nucleatum and Porphyromonas gingivalis are often associated with poor dental hygiene. But, research shows that they’ve also been found in the gut biopsies of people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), suggesting a similar process could happen in dogs. This is just one instance where it may seem that oral health issues might contribute to gut health problems and vice versa.

Prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics play an important role in regulating the microbiota in both the oral cavity and the gut. Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that feed beneficial bacteria (probiotics), the live beneficial bacteria that can repopulate the gut with healthy microflora. Postbiotics are the beneficial by-products of probiotic bacterial fermentation that may benefit the dog’s health.

Digestive enzymes are also super important. They help break down food particles in the gut, which helps prevent bacterial overgrowth and maintain a healthy microbiome.

All of these support a balanced microbiome, which is essential for good oral and gut health, and that’s why your dog’s digestive system deserves so much attention when you’re looking to keep them the healthiest they can be. Oral health care routines for dogs that include dental chews or toys can be beneficial, but paying attention to gut health is key. That’s why finding dental chews that also focus on good gut health is such a win-win.

Important Ingredients In Premium Oral Health Supplements For Dogs

From a holistic viewpoint, including premium ingredients in dog oral health supplements is essential for many reasons. Some of those reasons include:

Enhanced Overall Health

Oral health is so deeply connected to overall health. Issues like gum disease can lead to systemic inflammation, which affects the heart, kidneys, and metabolic processes. Premium ingredients like probiotics, antioxidants, and natural anti-inflammatories support oral health and contribute to a dog’s overall well-being.

Prevention of Disease

Many holistic ingredients have preventive benefits that go beyond just cleaning teeth. Ingredients like turmeric and neem have anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, coconut oil and seaweed can help reduce harmful bacteria in the mouth that might lead to plaque buildup and dental disease. When you treat the body as an interconnected system, using holistic ingredients to maintain oral health does the same for overall health as well.

Natural and Safe Alternatives

Our dogs are family. Using natural premium ingredients that work means you’re likely to have fewer side effects in your dog. Premium natural ingredients can offer a safer way to maintain dental health without the risks associated with synthetic chemicals or additives.

Improved Quality of Life

Good oral health significantly enhances your dog’s quality of life. It can prevent pain and discomfort that often goes with dental issues and help your dog to eat comfortably and interact without pain. Holistic supplements often include ingredients that promote healing and reduce discomfort naturally.

Sustainability and Ethical Sourcing

Choosing clean and natural premium ingredients can help make sure that the products are sourced responsibly and sustainably. This is important to many dog parents who pay attention to their effect on our dogs and the environment. This ethical approach typically means you’re more likely to have products with higher quality and purity of ingredients and a greater concern for animal welfare.

Customizability and Specificity

Premium ingredients allow for formulations that can be tailored to the specific needs of individual dogs, like age-specific or breed-specific formulations or solutions for specific health concerns like sensitivity or allergies. This personalized approach is a core principle of holistic health because it recognizes each dog’s unique health needs and conditions.

The goal of premium, holistic ingredient usage in dental health supplements for dogs is pretty basic–to help a dog’s oral and gut microbiome. If a dog is going to be chewing on something, why not ensure that it is good for both their mouth and their gut? This philosophy helps in the creation of products that maintain a dog’s dental health but also takes their overall health and wellness into account.

Protein And Antioxidants For Dog Dental HealthPhoto: A beautiful white dog sits smiling in a field.

Protein plays an important role in the overall health and dental care of dogs. It serves as a fundamental building block for body tissues, supports tissue repair, and is essential for muscle growth. For active dogs, especially those who exercise regularly or even work, protein is even more important as it aids in the natural process of building and breaking down muscle protein, which is known as protein turnover. This process is heightened during and after exercise, meaning your dog needs to take in more protein to meet their increased metabolic demands. Adequate levels of high-quality protein in a dog’s diet can help maintain their energy, muscle strength, and overall vitality. So, while it’s great for taste, real turkey also offers amino acids and protein that help with optimal health.

As for antioxidants, they’re vital in combating oxidative stress in a dog’s body. Ingredients rich in antioxidants, like blueberries, can have beneficial effects on a dog’s oral health as well as their general well-being. Antioxidants can prevent cellular damage and support the immune system, which may indirectly benefit dental health by potentially reducing inflammation and aiding in the repair of oral tissues.

Both protein sources and antioxidant-rich ingredients are essential for a balanced dog diet and can contribute to better oral health outcomes if you combine them with regular dental care practices.

Get Those ‘Greens’ For A Dog’s Dental Health

Parsley is widely recognized for its breath-freshening properties for dogs and can be a natural remedy due to its antimicrobial benefits. Even small amounts of flat-leaf parsley can help improve your dog’s breath. Parsley is also a source of vitamins A and C and contains antioxidants that combat free radicals, supporting their overall immune system health.

Besides its benefits for freshening breath, parsley has anti-inflammatory properties that could be beneficial for dogs with urinary tract infections or arthritis. The high chlorophyll content in parsley can improve the health of blood cells, and since it’s a diuretic, it can help flush waste out of their body.

Seaweed and kelp are also increasingly recognized for their dental health benefits in dogs, primarily because they reduce plaque and freshen breath. These marine-based ingredients contain natural anti-bacterial properties that help manage the bacteria responsible for plaque formation and gum disease.

Experts believe the efficacy of seaweed in dog dental care is because of its specific compounds that fight harmful oral bacteria and prevent plaque buildup. Brown seaweeds are particularly known for this, as they’re rich in enzymes that can protect against tooth decay and freshen breath.

Seaweed’s benefits aren’t just limited to dental health; it also supports overall wellness thanks to its high content of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These nutrients can help in many other bodily functions, including boosting the immune system and improving skin health.

Enzymatic Additives In Dog Dental Treats

Papain and bromelain are enzymatic additives that consistently get praised for their potential benefits in dental health, particularly in controlling tartar buildup in dogs. These enzymes are proteolytic, which just means they help break down proteins. This is useful for your dog’s plaque-fighting abilities because they can break down the protein components.

Papain, which comes from papayas, has properties that may be particularly beneficial for oral health due to its ability to degrade and remove damaged or diseased tissue in the mouth without harming healthy tissues. This superpower selectivity makes it a useful partner in dental health products, as it can help remove plaque and prevent its buildup.

Bromelain, found in pineapples, shares similar proteolytic properties with papain but has been noted in some studies to be particularly effective in breaking down tough dental deposits on your dog’s teeth.

Both enzymes also have anti-inflammatory properties, which can be beneficial in reducing gum inflammation and supporting overall oral health.

Zinc Ascorbate

Zinc ascorbate is another compound that’s being explored for dental health. Zinc has natural antibacterial properties, and when combined with ascorbate (the salt form of vitamin C), it can help to strengthen gums and reduce bad breath. This combination works by boosting collagen production in the gum tissue and inhibiting the growth of plaque-causing bacteria.

Unique Oral Health Ingredients In Dog Dental Care

Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are increasingly used in various applications due to their powerful antimicrobial properties. Science continues to explore their use in dietary and dental supplements for dogs because they can offer benefits like enhancing immune response and treating infections due to their antibacterial capabilities. 

Black Soldier Fly Larvae (BSFL) meal is gaining attention in the pet food industry, including for its potential benefits in canine oral health. A recent study found the impact BSFL had on volatile sulfur compounds and Moraxella spp to be significant.

If you’re asking what that means, that’s a great question. Volatile sulfur compounds are major contributors to halitosis (bad breath) in dogs. These compounds are primarily produced by the bacterial decomposition of proteins in the mouth and gut. Studies have shown that BSFL meal can influence the levels of VSCs because of its high protein content and unique amino acid profile. They believe this may alter the microbial fermentation processes in the dog’s gut. By modifying the gut microbiota, BSFL meal could reduce the production of VSCs, and in turn, help breath in dogs to be fresher.

Moraxella spp. are bacteria associated with certain health issues, including respiratory infections. They have also been studied for their role in oral health environments. Preliminary research has suggested that the inclusion of BSFL meal can alter the dog oral microbiome and potentially impact the populations of bacteria like Moraxella spp. The protein-rich nature of BSFL, along with other micronutrients, might influence the growth conditions in their oral cavity, which would then affect the presence of these bacteria.

Aside from impacting VSCs and potentially affecting Moraxella spp., BSFL meal is noted for its high levels of lauric acid, which also has antibacterial properties. Lauric acid could contribute directly to controlling pathogenic bacteria in the mouth, thus supporting dental health by reducing plaque formation and gingivitis.

Bernie’s Charming Chompers: A Chomp Above The Rest

At Bernie’s Best, we believe in the connection between dogs and their humans. Our own journey began out of love — a love for our furry bestie, Bernie, and his sister, Lady. Their health and happiness are top priorities for us and are what inspired us to dive deep into the science of keeping them healthy from the inside out. That’s why we look for the most advanced, scientifically-supported ingredients for our Charming Chompers. We want to support both oral and gut health.

Our choice of fiber, prebiotics, and postbiotics is backed by current research, and reflects our commitment to not only your dog’s health, but ours too. From the nutritious sweetness of blueberries to the hearty goodness of pumpkin and the probiotics, every ingredient is selected for its high quality and holistic benefits.

Charming Chompers aren’t your average dog dental chew, and that’s by design. They’re our promise to our dogs and to yours–the promise to help every dog have a healthy diet and a happy life!


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