How Do I Know What Pet Food Is Good for My Pet’s Oral Health?

I recently found myself in a large, local pet supply store. Out of curiosity, I made my way to the dental care aisle.

It was enormous, and I was surrounded by seemingly hundreds of products claiming to improve my pet’s breath or oral health. It was overwhelming! With so much available, how does a pet owner choose a suitable product?

There is help! The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) has created a seal of approval to ensure that consumers have the ability to recognize products that are safe and effective in preventing the accumulation of plaque and/or tartar.

This voluntary program requires the manufacturer to prove through clinical trials that, with proper use, accumulation is decreased by at least 20%. Products that meet the strict standards can proudly display the seal on packaging and consumers can choose these products with confidence as part of a comprehensive approach to oral health (including diet, chews, homecare and professional dental care). There are currently 49 approved products (13 for cats and 36 for dogs) that carry the VOHC seal of approval.

Regular use of approved products can decrease the frequency and severity of dental disease. There are also effective products that your veterinarian might recommend that do not carry the seal. We are happy to answer any questions that you may have.

More information on the Veterinary Oral Health Council and approved dental products can be found at

Written by: Dr. Joanne Emiry, DVM