Milk-Bone dog biscuits have been promoted for years as a treat that “freshens breath” and “cleans teeth.” Now, the manufacturer, Del Monte Foods, has won the endorsement of the Veterinary Oral Health Council for the company’s new Milk-Bone Brushing Chews, which when fed daily are touted as effective as brushing a dog’s teeth twice a week.
The treats are scheduled for national distribution in March after their unveiling in January at the North American Veterinary Community conference in Orlando, Fla.
The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) awarded its Seal of Acceptance for Milk-Bone Brushing Chews’ ability to control tartar.
More than 80 percent of dogs develop periodontal disease by age 3, according to the American Veterinary Dental Society.
“In addition to professional teeth cleanings, it is important in our [veterinary] profession to recommend at-home plaque- and tartar-control products to our clients that are recognized for meeting clinical standards and evaluated by an organization such as the VOHC,” said Jan Bellows, DVM, Dipl. AVDC, Dipl. ABVP.
Dr. Bellows, who attended the unveiling, is president of the American Veterinary Dental College.
More than 30 pet products have earned the VOHC Seal of Acceptance since 1998. Among them are Greenies dental chews from The Nutro Co. and oral gels, sprays and water additives from HealthyMouth LLC.
The new Milk-Bone is bone-shaped and twisted 75 degrees. The treat is designed to reach the back teeth, and the nubs and ridges clean to the gum line, the manufacturer reported.
“The unique product design helps dogs maneuver the Milk-Bone Brushing Chews in their mouths with their paws and tongue, while the proprietary formula and manufacturing process increase chew time, providing the greatest opportunity for effective cleaning of the teeth,” said Steve Bautista, director of research and development for San Francisco-based Del Monte Foods. “The chews are also highly effective in reducing halitosis.”
Made with rice and chicken protein, the chews come in miniature, small/medium and large sizes. The calorie count is less than 65 calories in the small/medium treats.
The suggested retail price for a box of seven treats is $4 to $5.