- Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.
Chewing is a natural behaviour. 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 behaviour 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.
Reduction of bacteria in your dog’s mouth can be accomplished not only through brushing but also with diet—and the use of chew toys. That’s where dental dog chews come in.
Using Dog 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.
Note that dental chews aren’t meant to occupy your dog for a long time, unlike other chews and rubber toys. Also, edible chews add calories to your dog’s diet, so consider them part of the daily calorie intake!
Signs of Quality
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. A few of the following products are approved by vets. Other products have been tested by my three hounds, so they’re on the list!
6 Dog Dental Chew Recommendations
Note: check with your vet for any concerns about your dog’s dental health, including persistent bad breath or unusual drooling, as these can indicate a tooth problem.
Cute shapes make Whimzees stand out. Made with only six ingredients, they use a safe, natural additive for colour. They’re grain-free and gluten-free, though that’s a common quality for dental chews so not necessarily a differentiator here. Did we mention they’re shaped like alligators?
2. Dental Chewz
Dental Chewz are recognised by vets as a product that works effectively to significantly reduce tartar in dogs. They’re backed by extensive testing at the Purina Pet Care Centre.
3. Hill’s Prescription Diet Dental Chews
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.
These have a fresh mint flavour, which some dogs love (or don’t notice), but other dogs may not like as much as poultry or beef. Of course, we humans probably prefer the smell of mint …
4. Greenies Dental Dog Treats
Awarded the Veterinary Oral Health Care (VOHC) seal of acceptance by the European Veterinary Dental Society (EVDS), your dog will love these dental dog treats . They reduce plaque and tartar while freshening your dog’s breath and they break down easily for safe and gentle digestion.
5. Lily’s Kitchen Woofbrush Dental Chew
These daily dog chews will reduce tartar build up and freshens your dog’s breath. The all natural chews have a spongey texture to get right down to the gum line.
6. C.E.T. VeggieDent Fr3sh Tartar Control Dog Chews
These vet-approved, plant-based chews help keep your dog’s dental health in check by reducing plaque and tartar, freshening breath, and promoting a balanced digestive system. The shape makes the easy for your dog to hold and the tough chewy consistency ensures they’ll last a while.
Remember, it’s important to supervise your dog after giving them a chew, as sometimes dogs can break off a piece and swallow it.
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