How many hours a week do you spend slaving over cleaning your dog’s teeth? Or are you one of those dog mommas (guilty!) who never seem to have a chance to properly brush their precious pooch’s plaque-coated chompers? Brushing your dog’s teeth can be an exhausting, infuriating chore with little reward even for those who stick to the vet-recommended schedule of once daily. Clearing out all that plaque and grime is a nearly impossible task when you have a wriggly, slobbering bundle of love squirming to lick you from head to toe.
Dental chews are an excellent way for loving (and lazy) dog parents to ensure their dog’s teeth get a proper cleaning. Often bone-shaped and engineered for flavor as well as functionality, they provide dogs a fun, easy way to whiten those – formerly! – disgusting teeth.
When searching for a dental chew, it is important to keep in mind a variety of factors, such as: weight of the dog; size of the dental chew; and the current state of the dog’s teeth. Different chews are designed for different depths of cleaning, so it is important to have an idea of your needs going in.
Dental Chews for Dogs Reviews
These naturally-based, easy-to-digest dental chews from Greenies are formulated with your dog’s teeth and digestion in mind. They are manufactured in the United States to ensure the best possible quality products.
Greenies use a unique texture to make sure your dog’s teeth are cleaned clear down to the gumline and provide a fun chewing experience. This helps fight any plaque and tartar buildup in the mouth and gums, as well as to freshen Fido’s breath.
Greenies are also veterinary-recommended as a wholesome and nutritionally-based treat. They are accepted in the Veterinary Oral Health Council.
This treat also uses a natural, scientifically-based formula that is not only good for the teeth, but easy on the stomach, to make sure the journey is easy from mouth to grass.
- Unique texture cleans Fido’s teeth down to the gumline
- Freshens breath in addition to cleaning teeth
- Natural, easy-to-digest ingredients in a nutritionally complete formula
- Not for dogs over 25lbs
- Caloric content of a full meal, so only one per day is recommended
Greenies Original Teenie Natural Dog Treats are a fine choice for small dog owners who want to make sure their dog’s teeth are as clean now as they emerged from the gum. Questions or comments about this product? Have you tried this product and want to offer suggestions? Let us know!
Pedigree DENTASTIX Large Dental Dog Treats are manufactured only in North America to ensure your pooch gets the best clean for your money. DENTASTIX are offered in several flavors, so there is something for every dog.
The unique x-shaped design of DENTASTIX lets your dog munch and clean their teeth at the same time. Your dog can gnaw at any angle and you can be sure that even the deepest, toughest plaque deposits will be ground away.
DENTASTIX have been clinically proven to reduce tartar build-up by up to 80% when used daily. Through the natural act of chewing, your dog’s teeth will be scraped free of tartar and plaque down to the gumline.
There are many flavors of DENTASTIX to choose from, such as beef, bacon, original, and bacon plus chicken; and there are no grains, so you know you are not pumping your pooch full of unnecessary food groups.
- Multiple flavors to choose from
- No grains included
- More chewy and less bone-like than other options
- Not all-natural
- 51 treats in this size, so if on auto-order one per day won’t cover two full months
DENTASTIX are an excellent option for any dog owner who wants to offer Fido a variety of flavor choices while still ensuring his teeth are clinically-proven clean. Questions or comments about this product? Have you tried this product and want to offer suggestions? Let us know!
Virbac CET Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews offer an exclusive dual-enzyme treat, combined with an extra-abrasive texture, to power through that plaque. These treats are for dogs 26-50lbs.
Only select, all-natural beef hide is used in the manufacturing process. Virbac treats are flavored with natural notes of poultry that your dog is sure to gnaw crazy for.
Virbac treats are vet-recommended by veterinarians and animal practices nationwide for best overall oral hygiene results. Virbac are accepted in the Veterinary Oral Health Council.
A natural antiseptic system works with the naturally abrasive texture of Virbac treats, as well as your dog’s natural chomping prowess, to loosen tartar, scrape off plaque, and clean down to the gums.
- Unique antiseptic system coupled with abrasive texture provides a natural clean
- Veterinary Oral Health Council accepted
- Very few additives/preservatives
- Different sizes due to the natural beef and manufacturing process
- Not for small dogs
Virbac are a good choice for any dog owner who wants to provide a safe, natural, veterinary-accepted clean for their precious pooch. Questions or comments about this product? Have you tried this product and want to offer suggestions? Let us know!
Milk-Bone Fresh Breath Brushing Chews combine an irresistible taste with a patented design and formula designed to support strong teeth. They are designed for dogs 25-49lbs and have 63 calories per treat.
A unique design of nubs and ridges work like the bristles on a toothbrush to control tartar and plaque. This scrubbing action, if given daily, is equivalent to brushing your dog’s teeth twice weekly.
Fresh Breath Brushing chews are accepted by the Veterinary Oral Health Council for excellence in oral health. They not only clean plaque, they work to freshen breath.
Milk-Bones are also fortified with calcium and a natural minty taste to strengthen your dog’s teeth and freshen breath. Over time, this will help build stronger, healthier teeth and gums.
- Unique design of nubs and ridges works to scrub plaque away
- Naturally fortified with calcium and a clean, minty taste
- Freshens breath
- Formula includes additives
- Not for large or small dogs
Milk-Bone Fresh Breath Brushing Chews provide a clean, fresh scrub of your dog’s teeth with their unique design of ridges and nubs that both you and your dog will love. Questions or comments about this product? Have you tried this product and want to offer suggestions? Let us know!
Virbac C.E.T. VeggieDent FR3SH Tartar Control Chews are designed for large dogs over 66lbs. They offer a plant-based alternative to traditional rawhide chews.
A unique Z-shape allows the natural gnawing of your dog’s teeth to scrape off the tartar in hard-to-reach places such as between teeth and at the gumline. You can rest assured that with Virbac VeggieDent, your dog is getting the most thorough possible clean.
VeggieDent FR3SH clean teeth, reduce plaque, and cut down on tartar formations through normal chewing motion when given daily. This helps to freshen breath in the short and long-term.
Virbac VeggieDent also contains a probiotic designed to balance gut flora and maintain intestinal well-being. This supports proper digestion, as well as an overall healthier dog.
- Unique Z-shape gets tartar in hard-to-reach places
- No artificial flavors or ingredients
- Probiotic supports natural gut flora
- Only for very large dogs
- Required daily to achieve same results as a toothbrush
Virbac VeggieDent FR3SH Tartar Control Chews are an excellent choice for dog owners who want to provide a natural, meat-free alternative to traditional dental chews, while still providing a deep, complete clean. Questions or comments about this product? Have you tried this product and want to offer suggestions? Let us know!
Oravet Dental Hygiene Chews are a clinically-proven, vet-recommended way to clean your doggo’s teeth. They are formulated with a unique ingredient, delmopinol, which has been used for years in human oral rinses.
Oravet provides a once a day, low-calorie option of dental chew. It is clinically proven to prevent plaque and tartar buildup.
Oravet is also unique in that its one-of-a-kind formula is designed to create a preventive barrier against bacteria and bacterial attachment; this is one of the root causes of stinky breath and bad plaque in dogs.
Delmopinol, a plaque-clearing additive that has been used in human oral rinses for several years, is specially blended into Oravet Dental Hygiene Chews to provide an exclusive clean for any dog whose teeth have resisted other methods.
- Vet-recommended and clinically proven to clear plaque
- Formulated with delmopinol, an additive in human oral rinses
- Creates a preventative barrier against bacterial attachment
- Only for large dogs
- Delmopinol can cause upset stomachs in dogs with especially sensitive stomachs
Oravet Dental Hygiene Chews are a fantastic choice for dogs with particularly difficult-to-remove plaque deposits, as well as for owners who don’t want to worry about bacterial buildup in their furbaby’s mouth. Questions or comments about this product? Have you tried this product and want to offer suggestions? Let us know!
Bones and Baths Dog Chews use real, natural ingredients, dried at room temperature for several months, to create a delicious, toasty-flavored, long-lasting dog chew.
Due to their exclusive formula and manufacturing process, Bones and Baths dog chews are harder than most. Even the most aggressive chewers will spend hours enjoying and cleaning their chompers.
A ribbed texture on these natural yak-hide treats grinds the plaque down while your dog chews. They also prevent plaque and tartar buildup over time.
No added artificial ingredients or unnatural preservatives provides high-quality nutrition with a high-quality clean. This also makes them odorless and zero-waste, so you can feel good about what your dog’s teeth are doing for the environment too.
- Natural yak hide dried at room temperature provides a toasty-flavored clean
- Odorless and zero-waste
- Prevents plaque buildup over time
- Harder than most dog chews; not suitable for small dogs or dogs with weak teeth
- Irregular shapes/sizes have occured due to the manufacturing process
Bones and Bath Dog Chews are specifically manufactured with your dog’s health and well-being in mind. A one-of-a-kind drying process over a series of months allows your dog to have the hardest, healthiest chew of their life, while still gnawing that plaque away. Questions or comments about this product? Have you tried this product and want to offer suggestions? Let us know!
VetIQ Minties Dog Dental Bone Treats are an all-natural, no-animal-additives option for health and environmentally conscious dog parents. Their unique blend of ingredients gives a thorough clean at a low cost to the world around you.
VetIQ Minties have no wheat, corn, or soy in their formula, so you know your dog is not getting unnecessary grains. There are also no animal byproducts, added sugar, or added salt.
A unique blend of five breath fresheners work to make your dog’s breath minty-fresh while they clean tartar and plaque. VetIQ Minties do not compromise their gluten-free status: this blend is simply alfalfa, parsley, fennel, dill, and peppermint.
These chews are vet-recommended for dogs to chew away plaque buildup and control tartar production over time. Daily use can help promote good oral health and fresh breath.
- All-natural, with no animal byproducts
- Completely gluten-free
- Freshens breath as well as cleans plaque over time
- Not good for dogs sensitive to the plants in the mint family
- Softer chew may not provide as thorough a cleaning for some dogs
VetIQ Minties Dog Dental Bone Treats are formulated with your dog’s long-term health in mind. No gluten, no soy, and no animal byproducts mean that your pooch’s stomach will be spared the harsher chemicals of some other options on the market. Questions or comments about this product? Have you tried this product and want to offer suggestions? Let us know!
Whimzees Natural Grain-Free Dental Dog Treats are manufactured by a sustainable, socially responsible company. They use an all-natural, highly-digestible formula to ensure your small pooch has an enjoyable trip from mouth to…you get the idea.
Whimzees Naturals are designed with grooves, knobs, and hollow spaces to reach tight places and ensure proper blood flow. Over time, this helps to prevent buildup of plaque, tartar, and bacteria that cause bad breath.
Six natural, low-fat primary ingredients ensure that Whimzees manufacture the best possible product with the best possible results. Limited ingredients equals improved digestion from the get-go.
Whimzees also have no grains, no gluten, no GMOs, no artificial flavors, and no artificial colors. This makes Whimzees a perfect, clean product for dogs with sensitive stomachs or allergies.
- Low-fat formula means this treats are low-calorie with high effectiveness
- Grooves, knobs, and hollow spaces clean those hard-to-reach places in small dogs’ mouths
- Can improve proper blood flow over time
- Not meant for large dogs
- Are not animal-product free
Whimzees Natural Grain-Free Dental Dog Treats are designed and formulated with your small pooch in mind. With six primary ingredients and absolutely no unnecessary additives, you can rest assured knowing your dog is clean inside and…inside. Questions or comments about this product? Have you tried this product and want to offer suggestions? Let us know!
Dental Bones Natural Adult Dental Chew Dog Treats from Blue Buffalo are chews specifically designed for miniature dogs from 5-15lbs to clean teeth, freshen breath, and maintain the health of your dog’s mouth.
Dental Bones are highly digestible, formulated with a flavor specifically with dogs in mind. This ensures they clean poochs’ teeth while not clogging up your precious baby’s insides.
No chicken or poultry byproducts or meals provides a healthier option than some more heavily formulated options. There are also no added corn, soy, or wheat products, or artificial colors or preservatives.
Dental Bones do have one type of additive: extra minerals! These minerals are included to ensure your dog’s teeth and bones are as healthy and strong as possible while they have the time of their life.
- Added minerals for bone and teeth health
- No added grains or poultry byproducts
- No artificial colors or preservatives
- Not for dogs over 15lbs due to choking hazard
- Not animal-product free
Blue Buffalo Dental Bones Natural Adult Dental Chew Dog Treats are designed and formulated with consideration to your miniature pet’s health. No unnecessary additives, while still mixing in some extra minerals, ensures your pup will enjoy every nosh from crunch to swallow. Questions or comments about this product? Have you tried this product and want to offer suggestions? Let us know!
Types of Dental Chews
Knowing what type of dental chew you are looking for before you buy is essential. Each type of chew is best for dogs with certain needs, be it due to size, plaque buildup, or medical concerns. There are several types of dental chews to consider:
- Rawhide chews are, as the name suggests, made of animal hide. They tend to be tougher and harder to chew, and may not be suitable for small dogs due to being a choking hazard. As dogs naturally like to chew on rawhide and animal/meat-originated products, many will gravitate toward rawhide chews for their own gnawing pleasure, and the rawhide will gnash and rub against their teeth in a way guaranteed to drag the plaque off with it.
- Animal-free. Animal-free chews tend to be grain-based, and may or may not contain gluten and/or soy. While they may be just as effective for some dogs, they also can contain additives that may upset some dogs’ stomachs. The benefit of animal-free chews is that they are often designed to be more “chewy” and less hard/crunchy than animal-based chews, so your dog will spend longer chewing on the same bone and achieve a deeper, more effective clean. Animal-free chews are often good for small dogs or dogs with sensitive teeth.
- Bone chews. Bone chews are just as they sound: dental chews made of animal bones. These bones have been dried, formulated, and treated to provide the best possible clean in as natural a chew as possible. They can be made for smaller dogs; however, they are often targeted toward larger animals. Bone chews naturally draw in dogs who have a penchant for gnawing, and can contain antiseptic additives that dried rawhide may not.
How to Select the Right Dental Chew for Your Dog?
There are several important factors to consider when selecting a new (or first) dental chew for your dog. Once you know what type of chew you are after (grain-based vs animal bone/hide), taking into consideration the needs of your specific dog can help you narrow down your options further.
- Needs of your dog’s teeth. If your dog’s teeth have rarely or never had a brushing (guilty again!), they will likely have more plaque buildup, and potentially worse breath. If this is the case, you will want to start with a chew known for breaking down existing plaque as well as keeping new plaque and tartar from being deposited. Additionally, if your dog has fragile or weak teeth or gums, choosing a harder chew could cause them more pain or harm in the long run. Knowing the capabilities of your dog’s chewing abilities is important when selecting a dog dental chew, as is knowing how much initial buildup needs to be broken down.
- Size of your dog. If you have a 5lb chihuahua, providing it with a bone chew twice its size will clearly not be effective. In the reverse, giving a 100lb dog a rawhide chew especially designed for small dogs will serve to provide an unnecessary choking hazard, as well as a lack of effectiveness. Choosing a chew formulated and pieced for the size of your dog is important as a good dog parent, and will lead to better results in the long term. However, it should be noted that if a chew designed for a larger dog is more effective, large chews can sometimes be broken into smaller parts for smaller dogs.
Take Care When Giving Your Pooch His New Dental Chew!
When choosing a dental chew, it is important to keep in mind when and how your dog will be enjoying their new treat, as well as to know your dog’s regular eating and bowel patterns.
- Always keep an eye on your dog. Especially when first trying out a new dental chew, you will want to be sure to be where you can quickly reach your dog if necessary. Rawhide and crunchy chews can get stuck in some dogs’ throats, especially if the chews are meant for a smaller dog. Grain-based or meal-based chews can contain additives and preservatives that can make your dog vomit, especially if they have sensitive stomachs; knowing if this is the case for your dog immediately can save you some gags down the road.
- Know your dog’s bowel and behavior patterns. As non-glamorous as this sounds, knowing how often your dog poops, and roughly what it should look like, is important if trying or switching to a new chew. Various types of chews can contain ingredients, additives, and preservatives that may not cause an initial reaction, but can over time cause a dog to become sick or lethargic. If you notice that your dog is suddenly acting out of character or going more often, or if there is blood in the stool, choosing the wrong dental chew might be to blame.
Advantages of Dental Chews to Toothbrushes (Or Doing Nothing…)
Dental chews are great for people and dogs alike in a variety of ways that traditional toothbrushes can’t quite match.
- Less time-consuming. Brushing your dog’s teeth by hand may be a quick, easy experience, or it may be a slobbery nightmare. Dental chews eliminate the need to find out which experience you will have. Just grab a chew, toss it to the dog, and go about your business while they chow down and clean up.
- Deeper clean over time. This is especially true for wriggly dogs, or dogs with particularly stubborn plaque. Dental chews can get deeper between the teeth than many toothbrushes can, and not having to make sure you got every inch of their mouth can be a relief. Dogs are also more likely to get a dental chew a day than a teeth brushing a day, which means that the plaque-fighting can continue 7 days a week, 365 days a year, rather than once or twice per week.
- Prevent bad breath. Unlike a plain toothbrush or even toothpaste/mouthwash, many dental chews are formulated with antiseptics or mint additives. Over time, this can improve the bacterial populations in the mouth and gut and lead to less bad-breath causing bacteria.
Doggy dental chews are an excellent way to keep your favorite child’s (we won’t tell!) teeth clean without having to put in a lot of extra time in return for a slobbery smile. Knowing which to pick for your pup, from size of dog to type of chew to how much work needs to be done on those soon-to-be-gorgeous teeth, is an excellent first step in picking out the best dental dog chews for you and your pup.
Hi, I am Andrew. I am the editor at FamilyWithPets. I am enjoy learning and sharing information about pets that helps enrich the lives of pets and pet parents.