In a rush and just want my recommendation? I think the Pedigree Dentastix is a great choice.
As you probably know, dogs are not always too cooperative when it comes to brushing their teeth. It’s a process they would rather avoid.
It can be tough to brush your hound’s teeth on a regular basis, but you can’t ignore the need for dental care. So, one of the things I’ve found that is incredibly helpful in keeping up proper dental hygiene is the use of dental chews for dogs.
In this article, I’m reviewing the following dental chews for dogs.
- Pedigree DENTASTIX Large Dental Dog Treats
- Oravet Dental Hygiene Chews for Dogs
- Greenies Original Regular Natural Dental Dog Treats
- Virbac CET VEGGIEDENT FR3SH Tartar Control Chews for Dogs
- VetOne DuoClenz Enzyme Coated Dog Dental Chews for Large Dogs – Veterinarian Formulated – 30 Count
Why Is Dog Dental Care Important?
The American Veterinary Medical Association explains dental care is essential for your dog to avoid pain, infections, and lost teeth. Left untreated, dental issues can lead to other health problems, just as in humans. Proper dental care will keep plaque under control, prevent cavities, and help give your dog good breath.
Professional cleanings at your veterinarian’s office require your pet to be under anesthesia. It comes with the usual risks of anesthesia, so you want to avoid doing it too often.
One of the best ways to limit professional cleanings is by using dental healthcare products made for dogs, such as dental chews. Check out this video that explains a little about how these products work.
How to Choose the Best Dental Chews for Dogs?
There are several things to consider when choosing a dental chew. You have to be sure your dog likes the flavor. These chews come in a variety of choices, including beef, chicken, and mint. Your dog may prefer a particular flavor that will make it easier to get them to use the chew.
You also need to keep calories in mind. Most chews recommend giving them once a day, so you need to ensure the one you choose isn’t too high in calories.
The American Kennel Club recommends buying only chews made in the U.S. as this guarantees high quality. Make sure the ingredients come from the U.S. as the law does allow labeling as made in the U.S. for products packaged here, but it is the ingredients that matter the most.
Match the chew to your dog’s needs. For example, older dogs may not be able to comfortably chew harder products, whereas puppies may benefit more from something that requires more chewing.
Make sure the size of the treat is appropriate for your dog, too. The design of dental chews is that they last one use. These are not treats that your dog will chew on a little here and there. They should consume the whole treat in one sitting.
Finally, consider safety. Chews need flexibility to avoid them breaking and creating a choking hazard. If they are not flexible, then they should dissolve easily.
What Types of Dental Chews Are on the Market?
There are two main types of dental chews. The first is a rawhide made from animal skin. These usually have a rough substance covering them that is abrasive on teeth to remove tartar and plaque as your pup chews.
The other type is a treat-like chew that may have a special shape designed to scrape your dog’s teeth as it chews. They are often more comfortable for a dog to chew up than a rawhide, and many contain unique ingredients to help promote healthy teeth and gums. Most of the dental chews you will find in the store fall into this category.
What Are the Concerns About Dental Chews?
Dental chews are not without controversy. The biggest issue with them is the choking hazard. Canine Journal explains that when your dog uses a dental chew, you need to provide plenty of drinking water and monitor your dog to avoid choking issues. If your dog is breaking off pieces from the chew, you should take it away.
Another issue is many pet owners think dental chews can replace other types of dental care. You should still brush your dog’s teeth and get regular dental checkups and cleanings at your vet’s office. Chews only help to get rid of some plaque but cannot provide full cleaning.
I’ve reviewed a variety of chews, some of which my dogs have used in the past, to narrow the options down to five that I feel are the top choices on the market.
Pedigree is a well-known name in the pet industry. The Dentastix treats come in size options so that you can match the size of the treat to the size of your dog. They also come in a variety of flavors, including peanut butter, mint, and bacon.
The treats claim to clean teeth and freshen breath thanks to the unique “X” shape that can get between teeth and down to the gum line. The company also says it has clinical proof that its chews reduce the buildup of plaque and tartar.
- Made in the U.S. and Canada
- Good flavor variety
- Not too hard for senior dogs
- Contains wheat
One of the selling points for these Oravet dental chews is that it is the only product on the market to contain Delmopinol. This forms a barrier on teeth that helps to prevent bacteria growth. The treats, therefore, help stop plaque buildup and keep breath fresh.
These treats are also unique in that they dissolve, which makes them ideal for puppies and senior dogs who may not be able to handle harder chews. They look like a flat piece of bubble gum in a rectangular shape. The company claims veterinarians recommend this product for good canine dental health.
- Made in the USA
- Only product to contain Delmopinol
- Great for senior dogs
- Contain soy and wheat
- Stain flooring
Greenies are perhaps the most well-known dental chew on this list. They were one of the first to gain popularity as a dental health treat, and you will recognize the chew by its toothbrush shape and the green color that gives the product its name.
Greenies have great flexibility and will not break right away, which allows them to provide adequate chewing for the best possible teeth cleaning. They have acceptance from the Veterinarian Oral Health Council, and veterinarians also recommend this product.
- Easy-to-digest ingredients
- Made with natural ingredients
- Includes vitamins, minerals, and nutrients
- Made in the U.S.
- Contains wheat
- Only for dogs over five pounds
What stands out about these Virbac dental chews is that they are free of animal protein and entirely plant-based. It’s made with non-GMO corn, gluten-free, and contains no artificial ingredients. They also have a special “Z” shape that helps it scrape your dog’s teeth as it chews.
These treats help support digestion with a prebiotic ingredient that promotes healthy gut flora. It also has approval from the VOHC.
- Free of wheat
- Suitable for dogs of all sizes
- Nice choice for dogs with allergies
- May be too hard for senior dogs
- Recent size change to make treats smaller
The VetOne dental chew is the only rawhide on my list. It has an abrasive coating of dual enzymes, Glucose Oxidase and Lactoperoxidase, that work to clean teeth and freshen breath. It comes in poultry flavor and is flat with a look similar to pigs’ ears.
The product comes from Mexico, but the hide comes from North American beef. Its unique aspect is that it has a bursting effect of the coating when your dog chews on it.
- No wheat or soy
- Enzyme cleaning
- Provides a rawhide option great for bigger dogs
- Contains Whey
- Not made in the U.S.
- Higher choke risk than other treats
The dental chew I feel is the best is Pedigree Dentastix. My dogs love this chew. I’ve tried the various flavors, and every one has been a winner, which is essential because you need your dog to get excited about the dental chew.
Dentastix also has excellent flexibility and breaks down nicely to prevent worries about choking, especially in smaller and younger dogs. It works fine for dogs of all sizes and ages, which makes it one of the more usable options from the list, especially if you have multiple dogs.
The chew also does a nice job of cleaning teeth and making them whiter and shinier. It reduces bacteria in the mouth as well to give you pup fresh breath.
You can feel comfortable giving your pet this dental chew and know that it is safe.