You might find it strange but the first thing that I notice when I meet someone new is their teeth. No, I’m not a dentist by profession but I guess the attractiveness of the teeth largely affects the smile of a person.
When it comes to dogs, the first that I or should I say my nose notice is the breath. I have met dogs with doggie breath so bad that it made me gag.
Bad breath in a dog usually signifies a dental problem.
Many dog owners will feed their dogs some sort of dental chews like Dentastix to help with their oral hygiene.
But what if your dog decided to eat a whole bag of dentastix?
Eating too many dentastix than recommended can lead to vomiting, diarrhea and other stomach problems in dogs. In more serious cases, it can lead to canine bloat which can be life-threatening and requires surgery to resolve.
Let us take a closer look at the possible problems that can arise and what you can do to help if your greedy dog ate too many dentastix.
What Are Dentastix?
Dentastix is made by the brand Pedigree and is meant to be fed to dogs as dental sticks or dental chews.
This dental stick is longish in size and comes in the shape of an ‘X’.
Pedigree claims that dentastix has been clinically proven to reduce plaque and tatar build-up in the dog’s teeth.
It also doubles up as a mouth refresher to help with bad doggie breath.
What Can Happen If My Dog Ate Too Many Dentastix?
The idea of your dog anything too much of anything isn’t good. Unfortunately, it does happen more often than not with dogs given how big of an appetite they have.
Or should I say greed?
My dog loves sweet potatoes and will hound me to no end to give him some if he knows I’m making some for my meal. He can easily gobble up the entire sweet potato pie if he had the opportunity.
Although dentastix is somewhat safe for dogs to eat, consuming too much of it can make your dog sick.
When a dog eats food, it tends to do it rather fast. This could stem from its own instincts of protecting its resources.
The faster the dog eats its food, the lesser the chance of having another dog or animal coming along and stealing it away.
Some dogs are just super excited when it comes to food.
When your dog eats too fast and furious, it doesn’t chew and breaks up the food in its mouth first. It basically just swallows as much as possible which involves taking in too much air into the stomach as well.
Given that there is only finite space in your dog’s stomach, it can lead to your dog regurgitating or vomiting some or all of the dentastix.
Even if your dog manages to hold down the entire bag of dentastix and not vomit up the contents of its stomach, the digestive system still has to deal with a sudden influx of food.
A dog’s stomach contains a good amount of strong stomach acid, up to 100x more than a human’s. This allows dogs to eat spoiled meat and not get sick as the pathogens are quickly destroyed by stomach acid.
But in this case, the stomach just can’t handle the amount of food and gets overloaded very quickly. We tend to see this more often in puppies and older dogs who have more sensitive stomachs.
When your dog has an upset stomach, it can no longer absorb food effectively and has to expel it via its rear end.
This results in bad explosive diarrhea until your dog has cleared the contents of its intestines.
An intestinal blockage in your dog is a very serious issue that can become life-threatening very quickly.
A blockage can happen when your dogs eat too many dentastix without chewing properly. This whole lump of food can travel down into your dog’s stomach and get stuck somewhere along its intestines.
When this happens, your dog won’t be able to absorb food and poop as per normal.
This causes your dog’s stomach to get bloated with all the food and poop that are stuck there and have nowhere to go.
Canine bloat can also be caused by consuming large amounts of air, water or engaging in too much physical activity after a big meal.
A bloated stomach can fold onto itself and cut off the blood supply to that area.
What Should I Do If My Dog Ate Too Many Dentastix?
As much as we try to prevent such incidents from happening, it is impossible to have a perfectly clean record. Dogs can be very resourceful when it comes to finding food and treats.
So don’t beat yourself up over it.
More importantly, here are a few steps that you can take to make sure that your dog is ok after eating too many dentastix.
Give Your Vet A Call
I always feel that it is good practice to give your vet a call when your dog does something it shouldn’t.
The vet will be able to advise you on the next best possible steps in order to help your dog. Based on my experience, most cases of overeating something safe shouldn’t require veterinary assistance yet.
But if your dog is still a puppy or has an underlying medical condition, it might be a different story.
Induced vomiting is one effective way of getting your dog to regurgitate or vomit out the dentastix.
However, it is always better to check with the vet before doing so. There are times when trying to induce vomiting in your dog can do more harm than good.
The majority of vets will recommend using hydrogen peroxide (3%) to get your dog to puke. Let the vet know when and how many dentastix your dog had eaten so that they can advise on the right amount of hydrogen peroxide to use.
Please do not use a salt solution to induce vomiting.
If your dog doesn’t vomit, all that excess salt in its body can cause salt poisoning in your dog which can cause side effects such as tremors, lethargy and even going into a coma.
Do not feed your dog any other kind of medication without first consulting your vet.
Restrict Water Intake
Remove all sources of water for now at least restrict the amount of water that your dog can drink.
The main ingredient in dentastix is rice flour which can expand further in size in your dog’s stomach if it were to drink water.
This can cause very bad food bloat that can be very painful and uncomfortable for your dog.
The same thing can happen if your dog accidentally gorges on dry food. Do not let your dog drink a large amount of water or the kibbles will drastically expand and can cause canine bloat.
Slowly increase your dog’s water intake over time as the stomach is able to digest away more of the dentastix.
Keep The Diet Clean
Over the next few days, you need to keep your dog’s diet as clean as possible to not add any more stress to the dog’s digestive system.
Keep your dog’s food bland by giving it plain chicken and rice.
A bland diet will enable your dog to easily digest and absorb its food.
When my dog is having tummy problems, I like to add in some fresh pumpkin or psyllium husk to his food to add some bulk to the stool for better bowel movements.
Look Out For Adverse Signs
Make sure to watch your dog closely for the next 24-48 hours for any adverse side effects. Even if your dog has not shown any symptoms over the last few hours, that doesn’t mean the coast is clear.
You have to be sure that there are no signs of an intestinal blockage or canine bloat such as:
- Loss of appetite
- Straining to poop
- Excessive vocalization
- Bloated abdominal
In the event that your dog starts showing these symptoms, please take it to the vet immediately for a physical examination.
How Many Dentastix Can A Dog Have Daily?
The recommended number of dentastix by the manufacturer is one a day. It is supposed to be a dental chew and not a dog treat.
Furthermore, dentastix contains a large amount of calories per stick, between 60-80 calories, depending on the size of the dental stick.
The amount of calories that your dog needs daily would depend on a lot of factors like its breed, age, activity level, etc.
You can use a dog calorie calculator to find out the exact number.
Calories coming from such dental chews and treats should not amount to more than 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake.
This can be easily exceeded if your dog eats too many dentastix on a daily basis.
There has also been some controversy about the type of ingredients used in dentate which brings me to the next point.
Can Dentastix Make Dogs Sick?
I have nothing against such ‘dental chews’ but I don’t really think they do much with our dog’s dental hygiene.
I can’t see how something that my dog can eat in less than 30 seconds can have any beneficial cleaning effect.
Chewing only cleans the top part of your dog’s teeth but it doesn’t help to remove tartar and plaque build up on other parts of the teeth and gums.
Furthermore, such treats are also high in sugar which works against maintaining good oral hygiene.
As mentioned earlier, some of the ingredients used in the making of dentastix do seem questionable. The top main ingredients are rice flour, wheat starch, glycerin are stuff that I wouldn’t want to feed my dog on a daily basis.
Dogs are carnivores and shouldn’t be consuming a lot of carbs which can lead to weight gain and diseases like diabetes.
There are also a lot of other chemicals and preservatives that you are only familiar with if you work as a chemist or rocket scientist.
When buying treats and food, I prefer to see as few as possible of such ingredients in the mix.
What Are The Healthier Alternatives To Dentastix?
If you wish to keep your dog’s teeth and gums clean, the best thing that you can do is brush your dog’s mouth on a regular basis.
I have both a cat and a dog and it is 100x easier to brush my dog than my cat.
Make sure to use toothpaste that is pet-friendly as human toothpaste contains artificial sweeteners that are toxic to pets.
The best time to start on oral hygiene for your dog is when it is still a puppy. Make teeth brushing a fun activity and it will be a lot easier as your dog gets older.
Some dog owners will also let their dogs chew on a frozen carrot and big raw bones.
Remember to never ever give your dog cooked bones as they harden in the cooking process and can splinter into tiny sharp pieces which can harm your dog.