There are dozens of products out there that claim to be good for your pet's teeth.
To find out which ones might be most useful for your cat or dog we spoke to vet expert Dr Sophie Bell to get her views on the pet dental products available.
Why is pet dental care important
Many dogs and cats experience some form of dental condition, the most common is periodontal disease, which is caused by bacteria found in plaque. When it's bad it's expensive to treat and stressful for pets and owners.
But regular dental care can help prevent issues developing or stop them from becoming serious problems.
We have also written an article on the most common dental conditions and how to avoid them.
Best pet dental toothpaste
Dr Bell says anything containing chlorhexidine is great.
You can even apply it without a brush. Introduce it to the mouth with your finger and your pet's tongue will distribute it around the mouth.
The product Dentisept can also be applied to your cat or dog's lips. This is an extra benefit as it can help lower irritation and infection.
Using a paste that does not require brushing can be useful for owners who are not used to the process.
Best pet dental toothbrush
For dogs over 6 months, a child’s toothbrush is one option, or you can get a dog-specific brush from a pet shop as these will have similar soft bristles. For puppies, a finger brush is ideal, and it will get them used to the process of brushing.
There are ultrasonic brushes available and if your dog tolerates them they can be more effective at removing plaque. But they can be expensive, for example, the Cleany Teeth brush for dogs costs over £200.
Introducing brushing from an early age will help get your pet used to it and regular vet dental checks are always recommended.
Check out our guide to brushing your pet’s teeth.
Best pet dental wipes
There are lots on the market but choosing the ones containing chlorhexidine should give better results for less effort. Wipes can useful if your pet dislikes brushing.
Best pet dental water additive
Aquadent is good but there are many other options available. Just ensure they do not contain xylitol.
Any daily treatment like pastes, mouthwash and sprays will make a difference and using them can be a nice way to play an active role in your pet's health. However, brushing is often the best way to give your pet's teeth a deep clean.
Best pet dental sprays
Petzlife oral care is a good product, as well as all chlorhexidine-based products. Sprays can be useful because they're easy to use.
A minute or two out of your schedule can make a huge difference to your pet’s oral health. A pet may prefer one product over another, so if one doesn’t work for your pup or cat, try something else.
Best pet dental treats
It's best to avoid dental sticks that are high in sugar and calories. Although it can be difficult to find this information as the manufacturer might not list all ingredients.
Some dental treats might help remove plaque but brushing will tend to do a better job.
Meaty bones are a healthy option to consider but be careful as bones are harder than teeth and can also cause dental damage. Make sure you're giving them when your pet is an appropriate age and not too often.
Hairy treats like rabbit ears can work away at the plaque and are safer. Just ensure you always monitor a dog chewing a treat.
Chewing can help with working away at plaque and also gives your pet some mental stimulation that can cats and dogs that are anxious.
Best pet dental food
In terms of food that can support good dental health, you can consider a raw diet but understand the risks and the potential benefits.
If you want to avoid raw, branded food like the Royal Canin dental food is a good option. You can also buy a food additive, which means you don’t have to go through the hassle of changing your pet's diet.
PlaqueOff, which many of our owners and vet experts recommend, is a good option.
Diets that help maintain dental health will always be a huge benefit. But if you adopt a good dental cleaning routine you might not need a specific dental diet.
Best pet dental chews
Some of our team have had a positive experience with Lily’s Kitchen’s Woofbrush chews.
Like dental treats, anything harder than the enamel on teeth can cause problems. Dogs must be monitored with any chew, especially if they eat them fast, as some can get stuck in their throat.
Chews improve wellbeing as well as dental health and can prevent boredom. It’s a great way you can engage in dental health as an owner but chews alone might be enough to keep their teeth clean so you should still consider brushing.
Best kitten and puppy dental teething toys
Any toys that can be frozen can be useful for teething as cooling helps with inflamed gums. It will have a similar effect to many of the teething gels available on the market.
It's best to avoid toys that have really hard, solid surfaces, for pets of any age, because they can damage or wear down teeth.