There is no pain quite like a toothache. If you’ve ever experienced this discomfort, you know what I’m referring to. If not, consider yourself lucky! When faced with dental pain, we have the option to call a dentist and explain our experience. However, the same can’t be said for our dogs. A top-notch dog dental care plan includes several pieces including regular veterinary checkups, dental cleanings, and even dog dental chews. Protect your dog’s health and well-being by offering a special treat that they can enjoy today!
Dog Dental Care and Dog Chews
After your dog has lost his puppy teeth, he will be left with his 42 permanent adult dog teeth. Like humans, these are the only set of teeth that he will get for the remainder of his life. Failure to protect and care for these teeth can lead to bad breath, painful abscesses and cavities, gum disease, tooth loss, and other serious health complications. Unlike children, we can’t teach our dogs to care for their own teeth. Instead, it is our responsibility to provide proper dental care as needed.
There are many different options that we can use to help clean and protect our dog’s teeth including professional dental care, water additives, oral care foods, and even tooth wipes. However, the most popular option currently on the market for the average dog is the wide variety of dog treats that clean teeth.
With so many different dog dental treats on the market, you may find yourself wondering where to start. Especially if you have never experimented with the options before to discover what your pup likes best. This includes dog dental sticks, beefhide chews, softer dental treats with a toothpaste-based center, or uniquely textured dental chews. There is no ‘right’ answer!
To help you get started, we have put together a list of high-quality dog dental chews that we know and trust with our own pups.
10 Dog Treats That Clean Teeth
Greenies Dental Treats
One of the most popular and recognizable dog dental treats on the market, Greenies have built their brand on their ability to provide a wide variety of high-quality dental treats for dogs of every size and life stage. This includes soft puppy treats for dogs 6 months and older right up to their Aging Care treats for seniors. Greenies Dental Treats are made in Kansas City with all-natural ingredients including real chicken. In addition to cleaning your dog’s teeth and helping to promote fresh breath, they are also highly nutritious with a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and necessary nutrients.
Whimzees Dental Chews
Both vegetarian and free from gluten and grains, the dental chews offered by Whimzees are a great choice for dogs with a wide variety of dietary restrictions. Their Brushzees dental chews are designed in a shape that not only works to clean your dog’s teeth, removing plaque and tartar, but is also easy to grip while they are chewing. Rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber, they are made with no artificial ingredients, colors, flavors, or preservatives. Bushzees can be purchased in five different sizes ranging from XS (5 to 15 lbs) to XL (60+ lbs).
Zukes Z-Bone Dental Chews
Crafted in the USA, Zuke’s Z-Bone Dental Chews are made with all-natural flavors and ingredients, including both apple and carrot flavored options. Parsley, alfalfa, and fennel work together to encourage better breath, something that many dogs could benefit from! The treats include no wheat, corn, soy, or gluten. They are also free from cellulose and tapioca, both of which can be difficult for your dog to digest. These dog dental chews are available in three different sizes, including mini (10 to 25 lbs), regular (25 to 60 lbs), and large (60+ lbs).
Virbac C.E.T. VEGGIEDENT FR3SH Tartar Control Chews
Created with veterinarians with their professional needs in mind, Virbac provides high-quality products for a variety of medical needs including your dog’s dental care. The C.E.T. VEGGIEDENT line of chews feature the company’s 3-way performance, focusing on removing tartar and plaque, freshening breath, and supporting digestion with a balancing prebiotic. They are plant based, meaning that there are no animal-derived ingredients, and they are gluten-free, making them a great choice for those that are working around specific dietary restrictions. The treats are suitable for puppies as soon as they can eat solid foods, however, they should always be closely supervised to ensure that they aren’t swallowing large pieces which can lead to a blockage.
Ark Naturals Protection+ Brushless Toothpaste Fortified Dental Chews
The unique design of the Ark Naturals Protection+ chews include a brushless toothpaste center, surrounded by a delicious treat that will have your dog begging for more. By incorporating toothpaste in this way, these treats will not only help to clean your dog’s teeth and freshen his breath, but they will also leave a protective barrier on his teeth that will help to prevent plaque and tartar from forming. The chews are suitable for all dogs 12-weeks-old and older and are available in four different sizes including Mini (up to 8 lbs), Small (8 to 20 lbs), Medium (20 to 40 lbs) and Large (40+ lbs).
The honeycomb-like shape of each Yummy Combs dog dental chew, known as the ‘Syzygy 6 Shape’ to the company, allows it to reach all your dog’s teeth for better cleaning, massage the gums, and prevent your pup from gulping down large pieces. They are free from artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives as well as lactose, gluten, and GMOs. Instead, they are packed with healthy-focused ingredients including glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support, turmeric to alleviate pain, salmon oil to improve coat quality, lecithin to enhance digestion, and more. The treats are available in five sizes including Extra Small (5.5 to 12 lbs), Small (13 to 25 lbs), Medium (26 to 50 lbs), Large (51 to 100 lbs), and Extra Large (100+ lbs), however, they are only suitable for adult dogs.
Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews
Another product from Virbac, the C.E.T. Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews are a great product, worthy of a separate mention. These beefhide chews are enhanced with poultry flavor to entice even the pickiest of eaters. Not only will the abrasive texture of the chews work to scrape away plaque and tartar, but they also feature the company’s exclusive Dual-Enzyme System that helps to remove plaque-causing bacteria to prevent plaque from forming. They are available in four different sizes including Extra Small (under 11 lbs), Small (11 to 25 lbs), Medium (26 to 50 lbs), and Large (51+ lbs).
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Dental Chewz
Designed with the support and direction of a network of scientists and veterinarians, the Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Dental Chewz are a veterinary exclusive product. This means that they must be purchased through a veterinarian and are not available at your local pet store. While they do come at a higher price point than many of the other options on the list, they are a high-quality, long-lasting, and high-protein option for your dog. The company has invested in several studies and found that providing your dog with this dog dental chew twice a day will significantly reduce tartar build-up and freshen his breath.
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Treats Dental Chews
Another grain-free option, these limited ingredient dog dental chews from Natural Balance are formulated with a base of sweet potato and chicken and free from artificial flavors and colors. The ridged texture of the treats works to help clean plaque and tartar from your dog’s teeth while the nutritional blend of ingredients freshen breath, support healthy digestion, and protect cells within your dog’s body with antioxidants. These treats are only available in three sizes, geared towards the smaller pups among us. This includes mini (under 15 lbs), Small (15 to 25 lbs), and Medium (25 to 50 lbs).
OraVet Dental Hygiene Chews
These dog dental chews from OraVet combine the benefits of a traditional chew, scraping the teeth clean of plaque and tartar, with Delmopinol, a power ingredient that provides lasting dental benefits. Delmopinol creates a preventive barrier around your dog’s teeth, blocking harmful bacteria and preventing the formation of plaque and tartar. Provided to your dog daily, this protects your dog’s teeth and provides fresher breath. The chews are available in four sizes based on your dog’s size including 3.5 to 9 lbs, 10 to 24 lbs, 25 to 50 lbs, and Over 50 lbs. However, they should only be given to dogs that are 6 months old and older.
Don’t Forget the Toothbrush!
While the above dog dental chews are a great addition to your pup’s ongoing dental care, they are only one piece of a larger puzzle. Another great way to improve your dog’s dental health is by brushing your dog’s teeth regularly using a toothbrush and toothpaste specifically designed for use with dogs.
Dog toothpastes are formulated to be safe for your pup by avoiding chemicals, dyes, preservatives, and toxic ingredients like Xylitol, found in most human toothpastes. Unlike humans, your dog doesn’t know how to rinse, meaning that his toothpaste needs to be safe to be swallowed.
Most dog toothpastes are flavored to make the experience more enjoyable, and therefore easier for everyone involved. This includes flavors such as peanut butter, beef, and chicken.
Your dog’s dental care is an important part of their overall well-being, with the ability to impact their oral health as well as many other areas of the body! Sign-up for the Pet Health 5 and we will send you a monthly reminder to check 5 important health-related stats on your dog, including examining the condition of their teeth and gums.
The secret to the best dental care is to catch any issues and address them quickly. If you notice that your dog has loose teeth, cracked teeth, bad breath, swollen gums, or any other sign of dental problems, contact your veterinarian ASAP to discuss the best next steps both to provide immediate relief of pain and discomfort as well as to address the problem long-term.
Most dog parents are already spoiling their dogs with treats. By swapping some of their regular treats with dental treats, you can make dental care a priority in your dog’s life. Combine dog dental chews with brushing your dog’s teeth, monthly health exams and regular veterinary check ups to help your dog live their best healthy life.
What are the go-to dog dental chews in your house? Let us know your pup’s favorites!
About the Author: Britt Kascjak is a proud pet mom, sharing her heart (and her home) with her ‘pack’ which includes her husband John, their 3 dogs – Daviana, Indiana, and Lucifer – and their 2 cats – Pippen and Jinx. She has been active in the animal rescue community for over 15 years, volunteering, fostering and advocating for organizations across Canada and the US. In her free time, she enjoys traveling around the country camping, hiking, and canoeing with her pets.