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Dog dental chews are more than just a tasty treat for your furry friend. When you add dental chews and treats into their routine, you are teaming up with them in the fight against dental disease!
If you have ever experienced the pain of a cavity or an injured tooth, you know just how excruciating this can be. Now imagine the aches and pains you would feel without a daily oral hygiene routine and regular wellness checks in place for your teeth.
This is the reality that most dogs face, and the reasons why they experience the buildup of plaque and tartar, gum disease, and bad breath.
In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of teeth health in dogs, and the best dental chews for dogs we trust to improve your canine’s life!
The Importance of Dog Dental Health
Unfortunately, our dog’s oral hygiene usually falls on the back burner when it comes to their overall health. Some pet owners truly aren’t aware that our furry friends face the same dental dangers as we do when we shy away from daily cleanings and dental exams.
Dental disease in dogs poses a threat to our beloved companions in a number of ways. Some problems that can arise from neglecting their teeth include:
- Pain: The most upsetting part of dental disease is the intense pain that can be brought along with it. Since our pets can’t speak to us, we usually aren’t aware of their aches and pains until they become severe. Some tooth pain can become so painful for our dogs, that eating can turn into a challenge.
- Organ complications: When dogs suffer from severe dental disease, their mouths are filled with bacteria. Once the bacteria from the plaque enters their bloodstream, it can spread to vital organs such as the heart, liver, and kidneys. This bacteria can severely damage their organs, and lead to complications in the future.
- Infections: Dental disease can become so severe, that it begins to create infections and abscesses in a dog’s mouth. Once these infections begin to brew, they can cause facial swelling, pain, and an overall ill-feeling.
- Tooth loss: When plaque is present on your furry friend’s teeth for a long period of time, it can begin to affect the strength of the tooth. When this happens, some teeth will break, or even fall out.
- Bad breath: Severe dental disease in dogs can cause some really bad breath! We love the company of our beloved companions, but it can be quite difficult to enjoy your daily cuddle time when their breath has become foul.
Overall, a healthy set of dog teeth can keep your pet feeling their best, and even help to extend their life. So how do you know if your dog is suffering from dental disease?
What Are Some Signs of Dental Disease in Dogs?
Since our dogs can compensate so well with pain, it can be tough to know when they are struggling. The signs of dental disease in pets can be subtle, so it’s important to educate yourself on things to look for that indicate mouth pain in your pup. Some signs of dental disease in dogs include:
- Red and inflamed gums
- Blood in the water bowl or on their toys
- Difficulty eating
- Chewing on one side of their mouth
- Decline in appetite
- Sensitivity when their face is touched
- Bad breath
- Facial swelling
- Loose teeth or teeth falling out
There are several stages of pet dental disease (periodontal disease), so it’s important to detect it when it’s in the earliest stages. By doing this, you can help to prevent any tooth loss or unnecessary pain.
How Can Dog Dental Chews Improve Your Pet’s Health?
Dog dental chews are like a workout for your pet’s teeth. The act of chewing has been proven to significantly reduce the build-up of plaque on their teeth, which lowers their chances of suffering from periodontal disease.
A quality dental chew for pets has the ability to:
- Reduce bad breath: Since bad breath is the result of bacteria built-up in the mouth in addition to plaque, by reducing the plaque in a dog’s mouth, you will, in turn, improve their foul breath.
- Improving the strength of their gums and teeth: Aside from the strength they achieve with chewing, another benefit is the residue that is left behind after consuming a pet dental chew. Dental dog chews are often coated with ingredients that are known to reduce plaque and tartar on the teeth. When the teeth are coated, it helps to loosen any build-up.
Best Dental Chews For Dogs
Your search to find the perfect dental chew or treat for your dog can be a tough one, as it’s difficult to know which products are the most effective. We’ve done the work for you, and have compiled a list of 7 of the best dental chews for dogs that you can trust.
#1 – Pedigree Dentastix
Pedigree Dentastix has taken the dental word by storm. They are clinically proven to prevent plaque and tartar build-up and are advertised to help improve your pet’s breath. With their “X” shape, they give your dog the ability to grasp on to this chew in multiple ways, ensuring that their teeth will be cleaned from every angle.
Pedigree Dentastix is flexible but sturdy enough to give your pup something to do for a brief period. You don’t have to worry about any large pieces breaking off and becoming a choking hazard.
This dental dog chews come in different flavors including beef, bacon, or fresh. This means there is a chew for every single taste!
- The unique “X” shape targets the teeth from each angle.
- Grain-free, so dogs with allergies can still consume them.
- This product does not have the Veterinary Oral Health Council seal of approval, but this does not mean that it is not still effective.
Oravet Dental Chews have won awards for their impressive strength. This product works to disturb the attachment of bacteria, plaque, and tartar. This pet chew releases delmopinol HIC, which is a safe ingredient that coats the teeth in an effort to create a barrier for bacteria.
Even with its powerful ingredients, they are still tasty and well-loved by their canine consumers. You will have no difficulty getting your pet to snack on this tasty chew.
This product also has a groove that’s made to target the parts of the tooth that are a bit tougher to reach. By doing this, it can handle tartar from every angle.
- It leaves behind a protective barrier on the tooth to repel bacteria.
- Low in calories, so they are ideal for weight management.
- Since they are more powerful, they are more expensive than the average dental chew.
Greenies Dental Dog Treats are veterinarian recommended and trusted by the Veterinary Oral Health Council for quite some time. They are one of the few dog teeth cleaning treats that have been clinically proven to reduce plaque build-up with everyday use and reduce the risk of severe dental disease.
Greenies are entirely flexible, making them safe for your pup to chew. You won’t ever have to worry about the fracture of a tooth, or any pieces breaking off that could cause your dog harm. These products are pliable to their chew but sturdy enough to break off plaque.
Even with Greenies’ natural dog chews being low in fat, dogs seem to love them as a daily treat. There are also several flavors to try if your pet seems to like one flavor more than others.
- With its incredible reputation in the veterinary field, you can trust that your pup is snacking on a quality chew!
- They are low in fat, making them a great option for weight control.
- They are tasty, so you won’t have any difficulties getting your pup to munch on this dental dog treat.
- Greenies do contain wheat products, so dogs who have grain allergies should not consume them.
Milkbone has been producing dog treats for years, making them a well-known name in the pet wellness industry. With their history of producing tasty bones, it’s no surprise that their dental dog treats are a huge hit.
They have a twisted design that allows the chew to target the hard to reach places in your dog’s mouth. They are also incredibly flexible, giving you the peace of mind that this chew will only benefit your pup’s teeth.
With its unique features, this treat has the seal of approval from the Veterinary Oral Health Council. These dental dog chews are clinically proven to take care of that pesky plaque and tartar!
- Its unique shape allows it to take care of the hard to reach places on the tooth.
- It’s lower in calories, making it ideal for weight management.
- It’s one of the most affordable options on the list.
- Some note that this product does not instantly freshen their breath as other products have.
- They are not grain-free, so dogs with grain allergies should not consume them.
Zuke’s is well known for its creation of an extra chewy dog dental treat that keeps your pup engaged. While he is enjoying this tasty treat, this chew is hard at work to fight off bacteria and plaque build-up.
The Z-bone contains several grooves that are made to target the tough to reach spots on your pet’s teeth. This helps to fight off plaque from every angle, making for a clean mouth!
Z-Bones prides themselves on their healthy and natural ingredients. These teeth cleaning chews for pets are made of cherries, potatoes, cranberries, and peas. All of these ingredients in this product work together to create an oral health chew that your pup will love.
- Filled with natural ingredients of fruits and veggies.
- Grain-free, so dogs with grain allergies can enjoy.
- Known to instantly freshen your pup’s breath with a fruity scent.
- Some owners do mention that this chew did make their pups a bit gassy.
This is one of the few chews you will find on the market that is entirely made of all-natural ingredients. This oral health product helped pave the way for the idea of the natural dental chew.
This product is uniquely shaped in an effort to clean the teeth from every single angle. It offers a double brush angle, so each time your dog chews, their teeth are being ridden of bacteria and plaque!
In addition to the dental benefits, there are natural ingredients that are good for their overall health. This chew contains protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy fats.
This tasty treat is low in calories, so it’s perfect for weight management. You can also rest assured that your pup is being exposed to several beneficial ingredients, with its addition of nutritional and natural ingredients.
- This chew contains the most natural ingredients of all the chews on our list.
- Also included ingredients beneficial for overall health, not just dental health.
- A unique double brush feature targets the teeth from every angle.
- Consumers do mention that this treat is quite pricey compared to its competitors.
Purina is a brand that has a long history of producing quality products in the pet industry. It’s no wonder that they were able to create a popular dental chew, with a bit of a twist. This large breed dental chew is porous, giving it a quality that sets it apart from the rest.
Its porous texture works to target every angle of your pet’s teeth. Though it does have a unique texture, it is still flexible and safely breaks apart during each chew.
These dental dog treats come in a chicken flavor that dogs seem to love! Your pup will be excited about their daily dental routine!
- The unique porous texture targets teeth in a way that other chews don’t.
- Its shape is able to work on the hard to reach corners in your pup’s mouth.
- This chew has no artificial flavors or colors.
- Though pet owners love the unique shape and texture, they do mention how quickly their pups consume this treat. This makes it seem like it may not have enough time to really do the job.
Safety Tips for Dog Dental Treats
Just like any other new treat, you should always monitor your pet when they are enjoying their dental dog treat. While most quality dog dental chews are safe, there is always a possibility of the unexpected!
A few ways that you can ensure safety for your dog while they snack on their chew includes:
- Check for flexibility: When choosing a dental chew for dogs, it’s important to make sure that the chew is flexible and pliable. If a chew is too hard, it can easily fracture a tooth, or be broken off into small pieces that can cause an obstruction. You want their dental chew to be able to stand up to the strength of their chew, but dissolve once it becomes weakened.
- Make sure they last: While dog dental chews aren’t meant to last for hours on end, they should put up a fight for at least a few minutes. If they are so easy to chew that they are gone the second you hand them to your dog, then they aren’t doing the job.
- Check their size: There are dental chews available for dogs of all sizes. If you have a large dog, you won’t want to give them a chew designed for smaller pups. Small treats can be a choking hazard when given to a large dog.
- Natural ingredients: It’s important that a dog dental chew is easily digestible so it doesn’t cause any complications in their gastrointestinal tract. Make sure to check for natural ingredients on the label such as rice, potato, sweet potato, etc.
Dental dog chews are generally safe, but it’s just good puppy parenting to monitor them when they munch!
Additional Tips on Taking Care of Your Dog’s Teeth
When it comes to your dog’s teeth, dental chews are just one step in the full routine for optimal oral hygiene. If you want to keep your companion safe from any harm, make sure you have a well-rounded hygiene routine in place.
- Routine check-ups: Dental disease is so common, that it’s one of the main conditions treated in animal clinics. Veterinarians guess that up to 80% of all dogs older than 3 years old are suffering from some form of periodontal disease. By taking your pup to their yearly check-ups, you can stay on top of their dental health, and know when you need to intervene.
- Teeth cleanings: Each dog will vary, but it’s recommended to schedule yearly teeth cleanings at your veterinarian once your dog reaches 3 years of age. Just like in humans, plaque and tartar will begin to build on a dog’s teeth, leading to further complications. By keeping your dog’s teeth clean you can help to prevent the progression of periodontal disease and other oral health issues.
- Brushing their teeth: One of the best ways to keep your dog’s teeth clean and reduce plaque is by brushing their teeth daily. They benefit in the same way we do with teeth brushing, so this can be one of the most effective ways to keep their teeth pearly white.
Wrapping Up the Best Dental Treats for Dogs
Now that we’ve discussed the ins and outs of your dog’s oral health, you have the tools you need to pick the best dental dog treats for your beloved companion.
Remember that dog dental chews are not the only factor in a healthy oral hygiene routine. With a plan in place and a chew that you can trust, you have everything you need to keep your dog’s teeth looking squeaky clean!