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Dogs need to chew objects to explore the world around them. Chewing is often associated with several benefits in dogs. For instance, it can relieve teething-related pains in puppies and it is a natural way of keeping teeth clean and jaws strong in adult dogs. Chewing is also an excellent way of combating boredom and relieving mild anxiety in dogs.
However, not chew item that goes into your pup’s mouth is safe for him. Just because a dog likes a chew or treat doesn’t mean that it is safe for him. In fact, many chews—including those that your dog discovers on his own and those sold in pet food stores—may pose serious dangers to your Fido’s long-term health. From pierced gums, fractured teeth, stomach upsets, to intestinal obstruction, some chews can do more harm than good to your pup’s dental care and overall health.
To help you keep your dog safe, we are going to explore the safety of one of the most common dental chews in the market today: Whimzees. Is Whimzees safe for dogs? Well, we’ll find out shortly…
What is Whimzees?
Whimzees are oral health chews that are designed to reduce plaque and tartar buildup through mechanical abrasion. They come with chewy textures, which allow the dog to skink his teeth with each bite, causing mechanical scrubbing and scraping of the tooth surface. It is manufactured by Holland-based Company, WellPet LLC, which also owns other popular pet food brands like the Old Mother Hubbard and Wellness.
To establish whether or not Whimzees are safe for your pup, you need to understand their ingredient list. Without further ado, Whimzees are formulated with the following main ingredients according to their website:
- Potato starch
- Sweet Lupin Meal
- Powdered Cellulose
- Dried Yeast
- Malt Extract
Are Whimzees Safe For Dogs?
The short answer is: Yes, your dog can enjoy these dental chews without any problem. As you can see from the above ingredient list, WellPet LLC only uses limited ingredients that are all natural. There are no animal byproducts, artificial flavors and additives, or any weird artificial ingredients, so you don’t have to worry about allergies, gastrointestinal (GI issues), and other health issues that are often associated with unneeded ingredients. The ingredients are also totally edible, easily digestible, and gluten-free, making the chews great for dogs with gluten intolerance and stomach sensitivities.
Another notable thing from Whimzees’ formulation is the fact that the ingredients are:
- Low in fat, making them healthy for all dogs including those with weight problems
- High in fiber, promoting regularity and aiding in good digestive health
- Rich in vitamins and antioxidants, boosting the immune system and overall health of your dog.
Whimzees is also VOHC-approved, which means that it is not only safe for dogs but has been proven to provide dental cleaning benefits. For starters, the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) is the only reputed organization for evaluating data produced by dental testing to authenticate whether a dental product can reduce plaque and tartar buildup in pets. VOHC seal is always a proof that a dental product is effective in caring for pets’ dental health.
Finally, Whimzees has no known recall history. The only thing we know is that the parent company, WellPet LLC, had a voluntary recall in 2017 on a few of their canned and dry food brands. But a voluntary recall is always regarded as a sign of transparency and a company’s commitment to producing high-quality products.
While Whimzees are safe for dogs, there are few concerns that you ought to keep in mind when you decide to allow your dog sample some of these chews, including:
1. Not recommended for puppies less than 9 months of age
Generally, puppies with deciduous teeth aren’t always capable of digesting any form of hard chews. Most puppies below the age of 9 months also have undeveloped swallowing reflexes. Consequently, the company believes that such puppies are susceptible to dental fractures and swallowing fragments that are too big. For that same reason, these chews are not recommended for dogs or pets with soft or sensitive teeth as they might be a bit too hard.
2. Choking Hazard
In the past decade, there have been concerns about chews presenting choking hazards to dogs, especially the smaller breeds. However, manufacturers have since revamped their chew offerings to account for the digestive functions of different dog sizes. Whimzees, for instance, come in a variety of sizes and is formulated with glycerin to ensure that it stays moist and fully digestible to dogs.
Still, you should consider supervising your dog when giving him Whimzees for the first time. And don’t assume that you are safe if you own a large breed—keep a close eye on small-sized Whimzees as they can cause choking hazards. By and large, always remember that dogs are like small children; you never know when a problem may arise.
3. Some Whimzees’ Ingredients Are Questionable
While Whimzees uses limited ingredients in most of their recipes, some of their chews contain other ingredients, including alfalfa, annatto extract color, calcium carbonate, paprika extract, and clove bud oil. Some of these ingredients are a bit controversial when it comes to dogs’ health. For instance:
- Dogs can have hard time digesting Alfalfa in large quantities.
- Paprika can cause eye and throat irritation in dogs as well as a host of GI issues when consumed in large quantities. Learn more here: Can Dogs Eat Paprika?
- Although natural, Annatto extract food coloring has been linked to detrimental allergic reactions in dogs, including seizures.
- Clove bud oil can be toxic to dogs in high doses. Learn more here: Which Essential Oils are Toxic to Dogs?
4. May cause GI upset issues in some dogs
Like any other dog treats out there, Whimzees may affect your pup’s GI system if it is his first time sampling the chews. Note that we are not talking about crazy vomiting and diarrhea symptoms that are often associated with some chews but just minor digestive issues. And don’t worry; it only happens to dogs with sensitive stomachs. To ensure your dog’s safety, introduce the chew gradually and always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on the best feeding practices. Alternatively, just opt for dental chews that specifically designed for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Here are the best: 8 Best Dog Dental Chews for Sensitive Stomachs
Related Post: 20 Dog Breeds Prone to Sensitive Stomachs
Getting the Most Out Of Whimzees Chews
Here are a few tips to help you ensure that your pup always enjoys Whimzees safely:
- Only give Whimzees to your dog when you are ready to supervise him. Always monitor your dog to ensure that the treat is adequately chewed. Remember that swallowing any doggy chew or treat without meticulously chewing it may cause choking hazard.
- The caloric content of Whimzees chew depends on the size and type (Alligator Assorted, Value Pack Medium, Brushzees Extra Small, Long-lasting Stix, etc) that you choose. Ensure that you always choose the correct Whimzees size and type for your dog and always limit your pup to the recommended daily servings. Check the individual package label as well as Whimzees’ website for more information about this.
- To keep your dog’s dental health in top shape, always combine Whimzees with other elements of dental care like brushing and professional care. Dog breeds with crowded or stacked bite are highly likely to have ‘hiding spots’ in their mouths. It is hard to reach these hiding spots no matter how hard your dog chew Whimzees, which simply means one thing: plaque and tartar will still develop. Besides, chewing may not get under the gum lines as would a bristle of a good doggy toothbrush. Other factors may also come into play when it comes to your dog’s susceptibility to dental conditions, including age, breed, immune system, etc.
Related Post: 10 Dog Breeds with Overbites
- Choose the right size of Whimzees for your dog based on his body weight and chewing power. Consider discarding Whimzees when they are too small for your dog to safely chew them.
- If you feel that Whimzees might be too hard for your canine companion, supply him with fresh water while he consuming the treat.
Whimzees is not only safe for dogs but also offer a fun and effective way to care for a dog’s oral health needs. So, if you choose to let your dog sample some Whimzees chews, rest easy that he will enjoy the treats without any problem. Most importantly, remember that Whimzees (or any other dental chews for that matter) should never be treated as a substitute for regular dental care elements like brushing and professional care.