Let’s Chomp Down on the Best Dog Dental Chews

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We know dogs love to chew, but those squeaky toys and picked up sticks don't provide any healthy benefits to our canine companions, especially if bits of them are swallowed. So what's a better alternative? Dog dental chews!

In this post, we are going to "dig our teeth" into all things dog dental chews, including the benefits, the different types available and also some precautions you'll want to follow when using a dog dental chew. Plus, we'll also take a look at our top five picks for some of the best dog dental chews on the market today. Let's chomp down on the best dog dental chew so you can make an informed decision.

Best Dog Dental Chews at a Glance​

Products

Features

Rate

- Scrubs away plaque/tartar

- No added colors

- Added protein

- Massages gums

- No additives

- Unique shape, hardness and texture work to clean your dog's teeth

- Made with mint, parsley, dill, fennel and chlorophyll

- Veggie-based chews

- Tough and chewy texture to clean away plaque and scrub the tongue

- Unique Z-shape is easier for dogs to hold onto

- Veterinarian approved
- No added dyes

- Delicious taste

- Proven to fight plaque and bacteria

- High in protein

- Reasonably priced

- Can be given on a daily basis

Products

How Can My Dog Benefit From Dog Dental Chews?

According to WebMD, the buildup of tartar and plaque on a dog's teeth can lead to many health issues, including loosened, broken or the loss of teeth, bad breath and even organ damage if the bacteria gets into the bloodstream. These can all be painful experiences that will jeopardize your pet's quality of life. However, by providing your dog with a daily dental chew, you will be giving your pooch the benefits of:

  • Improved teeth and gum health - some dog chews can reduce plaque and tartar buildup by 70% simply through the design of the chew itself and how your dog gnaws on it.
  • Reducing that nasty doggy breath - dogs with poor oral care can suffer from bacteria buildup in the mouth, which can lead to bad breath. Some dental chews are formulated to help with this condition.

Types of Dog Dental Chews

There are three main types of dog dental chews. These include:

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Rawhides, Bones and Biscuits, and Dental diets are three main types of dental chews

1. Rawhides - these come in a variety of sizes and shapes and are generally made from the hides of cows and horses. Check out the best 5 Rawhides for dogs here!

2. Dental Chews, Bones, and Biscuits - these are made from edible ingredients and also come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and flavors.

3. Dental Diets - these dry kibbles have been formulated specifically to reduce the buildup of plaque and tartar on your dog's teeth. Although not edible, some dog chew toys are also specifically designed to remove plaque from your canine's teeth. These include Kong toys, Plaque Attackers, and Gumabones.

Follow These Precautions When Using a Dog Dental Chew

Like anything you allow your dog to have there are some precautions, you will want to follow when using dog dental chews.

1. The Right Dental Chew

Since there is such a large variety of dental chews on the market today, finding the right one for your pet is important. To do this match your dog's size and chewing habits to the right dental chew. For example, an aggressive chewer will need one that is firmer and tougher to get through, while a smaller breed will need one that fits its tiny mouth.

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You should choose the dental chews that match your dog's size and chewing habits

2. Set a Limit

Again depending on the product, some dental chews can be consumed very quickly which won't do much for your dog's oral health and can also pack on the pounds. A good rule-of-paw is small dogs should have fewer treats.

3. Use With Caution

Pig ears, cow hooves, antlers and compressed rawhides should all be used with caution. Pig ears and compressed rawhides can all be eaten very quickly which can cause stomach irritation and may even pose a choking hazard, so monitor your dog when eating these products. Extremely hard chews like hooves and antlers can further damage teeth that are already broken.

The Best Dog Dental Chews - Our Top Picks

Now that we know all about dog dental chews, let's explore some of the best dog dental chews on the market today. These are not only recommended by pet parents everywhere, but they have either Doctors Foster & Smith's recommendation and/or the Veterinary Oral Health Council's (VOHC) stamp of approval so you know they will be good for your dog.

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These delicious chews will not only help scrub away plaque and tartar on your dog's teeth, but they have real chicken/meat packed in the middle of each chew. These bones are fully digestible and have added vitamin E to help support healthy gums. The natural bone color and shape will be enjoyed by your pup so he won't even know he's brushing his teeth, too! 

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PROS

  • Healthy treat
  • Scrubs away plaque/tartar
  • No added colors
  • Added protein
  • Massages gums

CONS

  • The one concern pet parents may have is this bone is easily eaten, so those dogs with a big buildup of plaque and tartar most likely will not benefit from the cleaning action.
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These dog dental chews are veterinarian recommended and made in the USA. They are free of wheat, gluten, soy, corn, artificial flavors, and animal by-products so you know they are a healthy choice for your dog. Plus, the triple-action formula will work to freshen your dog's breath, clean his teeth and fight tartar and plaque buildup. 

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PROS

  • No additives
  • Unique shape, hardness and texture work to clean your dog's teeth
  • Made with mint, parsley, dill, fennel and chlorophyll
  • Comes in small, medium and tiny 

CONS

  • VetIQ Minties are not recommended for dogs under 6 months-of-age.
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These vegetable-based dental chews will not only help scrub away tartar and plaque, but they will also whisk away the bacteria film on your dog's tongue, making your dog's mouth fresher and cleaner. Is your dog a bit porky? These Z-shaped chews won't pack on any unwanted, extra pounds so you can give your pet one every day to help with his dental regime. Plus, they come in three convenient sizes to fit most any dog. 

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PROS

  • Veggie-based chews
  • Tough and chewy texture to clean away plaque and scrub the tongue
  • Unique Z-shape is easier for dogs to hold onto 

CONS

  • This product does contain corn starch and soybean protein. Plus, the price point on this product is a tad high.
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Accepted by the VOHC, Greenies makes supplementing your dog's daily oral hygiene regime a snap. The unique texture of each Greenie dental chew scrubs down to your dog's gum line to ensure a healthier mouth, teeth, and breath. They are also easy to digest (so you won't have to worry about intestinal blockages) have added vitamins and minerals, and they come in both blueberry and naturally fresh flavors. 

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PROS

  • Well known brand
  • Veterinarian approved
  • No added dyes
  • Delicious taste
  • Comes in 4 sizes to suit most dogs 

CONS

  • Greenies should not be fed to dogs that are less than 6 months-of-age and less than 5 pounds.
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Although we've covered some amazing dog dental chews, our number one spot goes to Virbac C.E.T Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews and here's why. These chews are made from only selected beef hide with the added properties of a natural antiseptic that provides an abrasive action for controlling plaque. This clinically proven dual-action system is activated by your dog's saliva to produce "hypothiocyanite ions" which eliminates plaque-forming bacteria. In addition, to great cleaning action, they also come in four different sizes to suit every dog. 

PROS

  • Proven to fight plaque and bacteria
  • High in protein
  • Reasonably priced
  • Can be given on a daily basis 

CONS

  • These dog dental chews are made from rawhide.

Conclusion

Good oral hygiene is paramount in having a healthy dog. Be sure to brush your dog's teeth daily and give him one of our top five picks for best dog dental chews on the market today. These are Veterinarian and/or VOHC approved so you know they are good for your canine companion.

References
http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/dog-dental-treats#1
http://www.vohc.org/VOHCAcceptedProductsTable_Dogs.pdf
http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/6-dental-health-products-your-dog-shouldnt-chew-on
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?aid=1020

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