Feline VOHC Approved Products
By Dr. Karen Burgess
The Veterinary Oral Health Council was developed by leaders from the veterinary dental industry to objectively evaluate products that claim to prevent dental tartar and plaque. Product makers must submit statistical proof on their product’s performance to fulfill the Council’s predetermined criteria. Those that have successfully obtained certification can be found on the VOHC website and carry the VOHC seal.
Hill’s PrescriptionT/D Diet (prescription product)
Hill’s Science Diet Oral Care for Cats (over the counter)
Prescription Diet T/D and Science Diet Oral Care are both completely balanced food for cats that were developed to help prevent plaque, tartar, gingivitis, and bad breath (halitosis). Pet owners have mistakenly been led to believe that eating a kibble cat food alone helps prevent dental disease. Most dry cat food actually shatters or crumbles immediately after a pet bites into it thus providing very little mechanical cleansing. T/D and Oral Care kibbles are designed to “stick together” thus encouraging more chewing and essentially scrubbing the teeth as a cat eats. The maximum benefit comes from feeding these diets exclusively after a professional dental cleaning. There has been lesser benefit shown in feeding as little as 25% of the daily diet as T/D. While there is evidence that “dirty” teeth and the associated gumline benefits after 4 months of feeding T/D diet, this should be done with caution as a pet with significant dental disease that is not first addressed may experience pain from eating a dental diet. Similar to all prescription diets, T/D is 100% guaranteed and returnable.
Healthy Mouth Water Additive
A unique and completely natural water additive (free of synthetic ingredients or artificial flavors, read the ingredient list and see for yourself), Healthy Mouth has been shown to decrease plaque by over 70%. Sold in a concentrated form that is mixed with water, Healthy Mouth is both palatable and helpful. Ideally begin to use Healthy Mouth at 6 months of age or when adult teeth are erupting.
Greenies brand has a wide variety of treats that have been clinically proven to prevent plaque and tartar. While there are many products available in retail stores that resemble Greenies, only the brand name version has been proven to help with dental disease prevention.