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Three Best Toys for Your Dog's Teeth

With time, it's natural for a dog to develop tartar and plaque on her teeth. Your veterinarian may recommend certain foods and dental treats to help prevent too much tartar from developing, or advise that your dog comes in for a teeth cleaning after a certain age. There are a few ways to prolong that point, though, and keep your pup's teeth in tip-top shape just by providing certain types of chew toys.

Chewing also reduced your dog's overall stress level, prevents boredom and gives him an appropriate outlet for his natural need to chew. How easy is that? 

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Here are the top three toys for your dog's teeth:

1. Rubber toys
According to PetSafe, most rubber dog toys are designed with ridges or nobs on them. These little rounded edges have a natural way of loosening plaque on your pup's teeth while massaging her gums at the same time. A massage and a teeth cleaning? What pup wouldn't want that? However, rubber isn't fully durable, and can be chewed apart. If your dog breaks up the rubber, it's possible she could ingest it, which is very dangerous. Monitor your pooch, so if she seems like she might tear up the rubber, you can jump in to take the toy away or remove any parts that she could swallow.

2. Rope toys
Rope toys are ideal chew toys thanks to the natural flossing ability they provide. Many ropes come with knots as well as loose ends that make for the perfect dental toy. According to PawNation, ropes are known for their beneficial effects because of strings that gently wiggle in between teeth and dislodge food and plaque - talk about flossing made easy. Ropes also come in a variety of sizes for every type of dog, and some even have balls attached to make for a very fun playtime. However, use with caution and always supervise use. The strings can get caught in the mouth or on the teeth becoming uncomfortable for the pet. Additionally, if swallowed, the string may need to be surgically removed.

3. Nylon toys
Nylon toys are also a great option for pups. Nylon is similar to plastic, so it's a much harder type of chew toy. But PetSafe states that it gets rid of plaque by scraping against your dog's teeth. There's a caveat, however. Nylon toys can scrape away toughened tartar, but if a dog chews too hard, she can break her teeth! Broken teeth can result in infection as well as surgery. Avoid this hazard by supervising your pooch while she gnaws on the toy. If she seems like she's getting too excited and chomping down hard, it may be time to take the toy away, PetSafe advises. Or, if you know your dog is an excited chewer, aim to buy toys that are more difficult to fully fit in her mouth, such as rubber toys, so she's less likely to chew as hard.

These are just a few ways to keep your dog's teeth healthy.

A word to the wise: Dog toys that provide good dental health aren't the only things needed to keep your dog healthy. Any of these toys should serve as a good addition to regular brushing, a good diet and checkups with your veterinarian. If your dog has bad breath or shows distress or a lack of appetite, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recommends bringing your dog in to the vet. A simple chew toy cannot solve a major dental health problem.