Chewing is a natural behavior. Dogs explore the world around them by sight, sound, smell, and taste. Whether your dog is a senior or a puppy, dental chews leverage this instinctive chewing behavior to help clean teeth. Earlier this month we wrote about pet dental health month and why oral health is an important part of your pet’s overall health. With that in mind, there are various dental chews available to help keep your dog’s teeth and gums clean and healthy.
Using Dental Chews Safely
Look for dental chews that are flexible. Anytime your dog is enjoying a chew, you should be monitoring them. Dogs can break off pieces and swallow them. In the worst-case scenario, this can lead to a GI obstruction or a fractured tooth. As a Certified Vet Tech, I’m constantly looking for flexible chews so my dogs won’t end up at the vet hospital!
Another tip? Always have fresh water available for your dog when they’re spending time enjoying their chews.
How to Spot a Good Dental Chew
Consider chews made with potato starch. Potato starch is a very flexible material and helps remove plaque and tartar as well as freshens breath.
Look for quality ingredients and products with a short ingredient list.
A variety of shapes and sizes keep the treats interesting for your dogs.
We referred to a list provided by the Veterinary Oral Health Council for some of these products. Other products below have been tested by my three hounds, so they’re on the list!
5 Dental Chew Recommendations
- Cute shapes make Whimzees stand out. Made with only six ingredients, they use a safe, natural additive for color.
- Dental Chewz are recognized by the Veterinary Oral Health Council as a product that works effectively to significantly reduce tartar in dogs. They’re backed by extensive testing at the Purina Pet Care Center.
- For a dental chew with a unique shape, try Hill’s Prescription Diet Dental Care Chews. The shape works like a toothbrush and dental floss to clean teeth and freshen breath.
- Zuke’s Z-Bones Dental dog treats are a great dental chew you can travel or hike with, and they’re a fave of my three hounds. Available in multiple flavors and sizes.
- For chews with an abrasive texture, try C.E.T. Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews for Dogs. These chews feature an exclusive Dual-Enzyme System. Working with the dog’s chewing action, C.E.T. Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews reduce plaque and tartar, helping keep teeth clean and breath fresh, even on days when brushing isn’t possible.
Top Pick from The Dog People
My dogs were recently introduced to the C.E.T. Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews for Dogs and they love these. They last a long time—and I characterize my three as power chewers.
Remember, it’s important to supervise your dog after giving them a chew, as sometimes dogs can break off a piece and swallow it.
With this in mind, reduction of bacteria in the mouth can be accomplished not only through brushing but also with diet and the use of chew toys. The Veterinary Oral Health Council, or VOHC, has a long list of approved products for dog dental care that includes pet foods and toys that go beyond our suggestions here. Check it out to see if what you’re currently giving your dogs made the list of products!
The information in this article is not a substitute for professional veterinary help.
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