7 best dog dental chews and treats, according to veterinarians

7 best dog dental chews and treats, according to veterinarians

Experts told us dental treats can effectively reduce plaque and tartar buildup on your dog’s teeth — these are the ones they recommend.

Dogs can experience a range of dental issues, from tooth decay to periodontal and gum disease, much like humans. The American Veterinary Medical Association advises setting up a solid dental hygiene practice that includes brushing your dog's teeth several times a week with toothpaste and a toothbrush safe for dogs as well as arranging routine dental cleanings at their veterinarian in an effort to try to prevent these problems. The nutrition of your dog can also have a significant impact on the health of its teeth and gums: Dental chews, a sort of dog treat, often have a light abrasive impact to physically minimize buildup on their teeth. A number of dog meals and kibbles are specially made to reduce the calcification of plaque and tartar on their teeth.

7 best dog dental chews and treats, according to veterinarians

We spoke to veterinarians about the benefits of dental chews, how often to give them to your dog and what to consider when purchasing them. In line with our experts’ guidance, we also listed several dental chews to consider that feature the Veterinary Oral Health Council’s Registered Seal, which means they’re accepted at-home dental care products for dogs.

What are dental treats and chews for dogs?

The best approach to keep your dog's teeth clean and free of plaque is to schedule routine dental cleanings at the vet and wash their teeth twice a day with a toothpaste and toothbrush that are safe for dogs. Also beneficial are dental chews: They strive to remove food debris and microorganisms that cause bad breath from their teeth manually. Some dental chews contain a chemical anti-plaque ingredient, such as delmopinol, which forms a barrier of protection on the teeth.

"Dental treats can help remove some plaque buildup [on their teeth] and can be a valuable addition to your at-home oral health care for your dog," said Dr. JoAnn Morrison, Banfield Animal Hospital's director of veterinary science. However, our experts advised against substituting the aforementioned teeth-cleaning with these goodies.

All of the vets we talked to advised us to look for a registered certification mark from the Veterinary Oral Health Council, a division of the American Veterinary Dental College. This mark signifies that the dental treat has complied with strict guidelines that show it can reduce calculus (tartar) and plaque development on your dog's teeth by 15-20%. The American Veterinary Dental College reports that the VOHC, a committee of veterinary dentists and dental scientists, reviews data from manufacturer research studies and awards the VOHC Seal to products they believe can treat dogs and cats with periodontal disease with frequent usage.

How we picked the best dental chews for dogs

Dental chews, when used in conjunction with routine teeth cleaning, can be quite effective at keeping your dog's teeth healthy and clean, according to veterinarians. Our experts advised taking into account the following variables when searching for dental chews:

  • VOHC Registered Seal: This means they appear on the council’s list of accepted products with the certified mark. 
  • Size: Make sure the dental chews and treats are sized appropriately for your dog since they can be a choking hazard. 
  • Nutritional information on the packaging: This allows you to keep track of your dog’s daily calorie intake and adjust their daily food portions accordingly to avoid going over the recommended amount.

The best dental chews for dogs

Below, we've featured canine dental chews that have been VOHC-approved and follow the advice of our specialists. The veterinarians we consulted advised us that none of the dog dental treats we've mentioned here is appropriate for puppies less than six months.

Greenies Regular Dog Dental Treats

According to the manufacturer, Greenies are a well-known dental treat that can assist preserve gum health and help freshen your dog's breath. My dog Bella, a 4-year-old Havachon who weighs 15 pounds, has been eating Teeny Greenies since she was a few months old, and she has never had any dental problems. She also enjoys the taste of them. According to Greenies, these are shaped like toothbrushes and contain easy-to-digest vitamins and minerals like glycerin and wheat flour. There are many counts of Greenies' Regular size available, ranging from three treats to 72 treats in a box.

VOHC-approved function: 

Reduce plaque and tartar | Size: Teenie (5 pounds to 15 pounds), Petite (15 pounds to 25 pounds), Regular (25 pounds to 50 pounds) and Large (50 pounds to 100 pounds) | Calories per chew: 26 kcal for Teenie, 56 kcal for Petite, 91 kcal for Regular and 147 kcal for Large

Pedigree Dentastix

These dental sticks from Pedigree have a revolutionary X-shape that generates ridges to assist clean teeth down to the gumline and scrape away plaque, according to Pedigree. They can be used regularly daily or weekly to minimise tartar buildup, clean teeth, and freshen breath. According to the manufacturer, the chews also contain critical vitamins and minerals like folic acid and vitamin B12, as well as teeth-cleaning components like sodium tripolyphosphate. These come in a variety of flavours, including mint, chicken, and beef, and are offered in 10-, 25-, and 45-count bundles.

VOHC-approved function: 

Reduces plaque and tartar | Size: Mini (7 pounds to 22 pounds), small/medium (22 pounds to 40 pounds) and large (over 40 pounds) | Calories per chew: 21 kcal for mini, 53 kcal for small/medium and 76 kcal for large

Milk-Bone Original Brushing Chews

According to Milk-Bone, these chews have a proprietary shape with bristle-like nubs and ridges that are intended to twist while your dog chews in order to reduce tartar and battle foul breath. According to the manufacturer, the chews, which are flavoured to resemble savoury chicken, include 12 critical vitamins and minerals, including ferrous sulphate, calcium iodate, and vitamin E. These chews are available in bags with 9, 25, or 36 pieces.

VOHC-approved function: 

Reduces tartar | Size: Mini (for dogs 5 pounds to 24 pounds), small/medium (25 pounds to 49 pounds) and large (over 50 pounds) | Calories per chew: 30 kcal for mini, 65 kcal for small/medium and 100 kcal for large

Tartar Shield Soft Rawhide Chews

With components like sodium tripolyphosphate, which aids in the prevention of tartar formation, Tartar Shield claims that its Soft Rawhide Chews have been clinically shown to reduce bacteria and tartar build-up by more than 50%. These chews are developed so your dog may bite into them, chew them, and digest them securely since the rawhide is chopped, the brand claims, unlike normal rawhide, which can be a choking hazard for many dogs. There are 8 to 30 chews in each bag, and they have a delicious bacon flavour.

VOHC-approved function: 

Reduce tartar | Size: Small (under 35 pounds), large (35 pounds to 75 pounds) and extra-large (over 70 pounds) | Calories per chew: 51 kcal for small, 78 kcal for large and 240 kcal for extra-large

OraVet Hygiene Dental Chews

The OraVet Hygiene Dental Chews are made with delmopinol, a canine-safe component also found in human mouthwashes. Delmopinol, according to OraVet, aids in reducing the development of gingivitis on the teeth and acts as a protective agent to ward off further buildup. There are 14-count and 30-count bags of chews available.

VOHC-approved function: 

Reduces tartar | Size: Extra-small (3.5 pounds to 9 pounds), small (10 pounds to 24 pounds), medium (25 pounds to 50 pounds) and large (over 50 pounds) | Calories per chew: 26.8 kcal for extra-small, 47.7 kcal for small, 80.5 kcal for medium and 128.2 kcal for large

Virbac CET Veggiedent FR3SH Tartar Control Chews

For dogs with food sensitivities, these chews from Virbac are easily digestible because they are plant-based and gluten-free. According to Virbac, they contain a special Z-shape that enables the treat to remove tartar from various areas of your dog's mouth. There are 30-treat and 60-treat packages of these chews available.

VOHC-approved function: 

Reduces plaque and tartar | Size: Extra-small (under 11 pounds), small (11 pounds to 22 pounds), medium (22 pounds to 66 pounds) and large (over 66 pounds) | Calories per chew: 24 kcal for small, 48 kcal for small and medium, and 105 kcal for large Virbac CET Veggiedent FR3SH Tartar Control Chews.

Purina DentaLife Chews

According to the firm, Purina DentaLife Chews have been shown in manufacturer testing to reduce tartar buildup by an average of 57%. According to Purina, the chews' eight different ridges can mechanically exfoliate teeth, and the long stick shape makes it easier to access teeth in the back of the mouth. These chews are available from the firm in three sizes and numerous counts, ranging from 10 treats to 94 treats.

VOHC-approved function: 

Reduces tartar | Size: Mini (5 pounds to 25 pounds), small/medium (20 pounds to 40 pounds) and large (over 40 pounds) | Calories per chew: 25 kcal for mini, 63 kcal for small/medium and 100 kcal for large

Anas Ibn Yousuf

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