Although that might seem like common sense, I don't know if there are any studies done that support it. According to Only Natural Pet, it's just a myth. They had this to say:
Myth #2. Dry food cleans a dog's or catís teeth.
This one you might even hear from some veterinarians - but it is most definitely not true. Actually, if one wanted to stretch things a bit, kibble might clean the very tips of the teeth, but that's about it. Take a look in your companion's mouth. Dogs and cats have very pointed teeth; even their molars are sharp edged, not flat. These are teeth that were designed to bite, tear and chew raw meat. When a dog or cat eats kibble they either swallow it whole or, when they manage to bite down on a kibble or two, it will shatter. Kibble does not scrape down onto the lower parts of the teeth or near the gums - which is where dental problems start. In fact, kibble can contribute to dental problems when small bits lodge between the teeth and promote bacterial growth.
They suggest that to keep your pet's teeth clean, you can brush them regularly, and offer raw meat and bones, or other treats that require vigorous chewing. My dog gets a combination of wet (AM) and dry (PM) plus rawhide bones, puffed beef hide chews, greenies, etc. to keep his teeth clean.
If you've ever seen a dog vomit up recently eaten food you'll find that most of the kibble is intact. Dogs just inhale the stuff.
at my work we once had a food rep explain it like this: Consider that you ate nothing but croutons day in and day out, would your teeth be very clean? He then compared that to a dog eating nothing but dry food. Personally I don't think that wet food does all that much damage as long as they're getting a mixture of both in their diet. If you're worried about tooth decay get some doggie toothpaste and a doggie tooth brush! They work wonders when used regularly!
Wow, good replies everyone. I usually give them 3 oz of canned food mixed with their kibble ( wellness brand). I am going to continue to do so. I do brush their teeth, at least 3 to 4x a week. There is also a product I just heard about that can eliminate the need for professional cleanings & needless dangers of anesthesia. It's called Petzlife. I am going to check it out for my girls.
Actually when I read the cruton thing, I thought it was a horrible analogy, because people's teeth are shaped nothing like dogs teeth. We also chew our food more before swallowing it.
I don't know, I go off of my own experiences in some things, not what I read. And to me those experiences indicate my dogs teeth get nastier faster when they eat wet food. So they don't eat wet food, even though they go crazy over it.
If you're brushing your dog's teeth 3-4 times a week though I can't see what difference it makes in what your dog eats, you're clearly brushing their teeth enough that it won't matter one way or the other.
Never trust a tall dwarf... he's lying about something.
When we first brought Bode home his teeth were disgusting--near the gums they were brown. I believe his previous owners fed him only table scraps, which is about the same thing as wet food only, and did not give him any toys.
But after a switching to a healthy diet (back then, mostly wet with a little dry--he was very picky) and lot of greenies and other treats, his teeth looked great. He went over two years without a dental cleaning, and even then he didn't really need it, but he was getting a tooth pulled so we did it anyways. He's lost a lot of teeth over the years, but the ones he has left are beautiful! :-)
My mom's dogs, on the other hand, have gotten only dry food their entire lives. Back when I was home I would buy Canine T/D from where I worked and she'd give it to them as treats. But it didn't matter--their teeth were awful. She has to get them dental cleanings every year or 1.5 year and by then they NEED it badly.
So, I can certainly see that a soft diet, or an unhealthy diet, given alone can contribute to dental trouble...but so can dry food in some dogs. Tartar buildup is avoidable and even reversible if you brush (I personally don't) or offer a lot of chewing treats. The latter is probably easier/cheaper when you have a really small dog. Even with vigilant dental care at home, a professional cleaning will still be needed eventually, but not nearly as often.
Minniyar, Brushing is a good hygenic for them, yes, but it does matter. My Sage has tarter now (she is 6). She had a full cleaning just 2 years ago! Shylo is only 15 mos. and still has her perfect white "new" teeth. Again, I am hoping the product I mentioned earlier Petzlife, will most probably eliminate Sage's tarter as well as prevent Shylo's tarter from ever developing. Illini, my dogs are not small. They are Lab mixes & weigh 50 & 60 lbs. Glad you pointed out that a healthy diet either dry or wet matters to good dental care, but again, professional cleanings worry me for the anestic effects it could have, hence my interest in Petzlife. I am trying to find out if anyone has ever used it. When I receive it, I will post updates on my own results for anyone who will be interested.
Theres alot of things to consider. What kind of wet food is it? How big is the dog? Smaller dogs have smaller mouths, most of our Dental Surgeries are small dogs. What kind of eater is the dog. Some dogs swallow without chewing, their teeth would stay cleaner longer. The wet food will accumilate at the gum line more likely then the dry.
When I look up into the sky, I think to myself, Wheres the ceiling?