dog dental chews

Dog owners know the struggle – fighting plaque and tartar to keep your pup’s smile sparkling. Though brushing is best, adding dental chews to your dog’s routine helps tremendously. These tasty treats scrub teeth clean as dogs nibble away. Not all chews are equal, however. As you shop around, prioritize options vet-approved and USA-made with natural ingredients. Steer clear of chews packed with artificial colors and flavors. Get to know the top contenders when it comes to the best dog dental chews.

The Dangers of Poor Dental Health

Before diving into popular picks for dog dental chews, it helps to understand why dental health matters so much for pups. Plaque and tartar buildup leads to inflamed gums, bad breath, and tooth decay. Left unchecked, bacteria from gum disease can spread through the bloodstream, potentially causing damage to major organs like the heart, kidneys, and liver. The bottom line? Poor dental health negatively impacts both length and quality of life.  The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends annual dental cleanings along with daily tooth brushing.

Common Ingredients & Safety Tips

Usual ingredients in dental chews include flavors, abrasives, and humectants. Flavors entice pups to chomp away, while abrasives scrub plaque and tartar off teeth. Humectants like glycerin keep the treats soft and tasty. When surveying options, look for all-natural ingredients free of wheat, corn, and soy. Steer clear of artificial colors and flavors too. Select products made in the USA following stringent quality standards. Always supervise your dog while they enjoy a dental chew. Choose appropriate sizes for your breed and monitor the condition of the treat as your pup works through it. Discard when worn down to a choking hazard size. Ask your veterinarian about prescription dental chews if your dog requires specialized oral care.

Reviews of the Best Dog Dental Chews

Milk-Bone Brushing Chews a long-time favorite, Milk-Bone Brushing Chews use nubs and ridges to scrape away plaque and tartar as dogs chew. The built-in toothbrush design even cleans hard-to-reach back teeth. Made in the USA, these treats contain baking soda and bacon flavor. Just be sure to select the small/medium or large size as appropriate for your dog.

Greenies Regular Dental Dog Treats Greenies excel at reducing tartar and plaque buildup thanks to their unique texture and shape. Their patented design allows the treat to contour to teeth, providing a thorough brushing even for rear molars. Tasty natural ingredients like wheat protein, glycerin, and chlorophyll appeal to dogs too. Greenies dental chews come in sizes suitable for all breeds. Vets recommend the regular (not “teenie”) size for dogs over 6 months old, up to 5 pounds.

Pedigree Dentastix Fresh Triple Action Treats for Dogs As a budget-friendly choice, Pedigree Dentastix Triple Action chews feature an X shape that reaches every tooth surface. The texture also reduces tartar and plaque while freshening breath. Key ingredients include wheat, glycerin, gelatin, and sodium tripolyphosphate. Each dentastix chew delivers 10% of adult dogs’ recommended daily allowance for calcium too, promoting strong teeth. Just note that some veterinarians argue that poorer quality ingredients negatively impact dental health over time. Weigh your options, do your research, and make the best choice for your furry friend!

Provide Proper Preventative Puppy Dental Care

Establishing good dental care early helps set your dog up for health and happiness long-term. Start brushing your puppy’s teeth daily once baby teeth emerge, using a soft-bristled brush and dog-safe toothpaste. Introduce age-appropriate dental chews gradually under supervision. Select toys and treats that encourage chewing to massage gums and scrape teeth naturally as puppy teeth come in. Schedule your first vet dental cleaning between 7-12 months old, then follow your veterinarian’s recommendation for annual cleanings after that. Remember—an ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure when it comes to your pup’s precious smile!

Key Takeaways:

  1. Poor dental health significantly impacts dogs’ length and quality of life.
  2. Vets recommend annual dental cleanings and daily tooth brushing for optimal canine oral health.
  3. Dental chews help control plaque and tartar when used consistently under supervision.
  4. Prioritize natural, USA-made dog dental chews with ingredients vet-approved as safe.
  5. Pedigree Dentastix, Milk-Bone Brushing Chews, and Greenies rank among top dental chew options.
  6. Start preventative puppy dental care as soon as teeth emerge to promote lifelong health.
  7. Schedule your pup’s first vet dental cleaning between 7-12 months old.

Choosing Chews for Different Dog Ages & Sizes

Dog dental chews come in a wide range of sizes and textures suitable for dogs of all ages. When selecting the best option for your pup, consider their breed, age, and individual oral health needs.

For young puppies, look for soft chew treats made especially for teething. These support healthy gum and tooth development while satisfying the urge to chew during this mouthy life stage. Senior dogs benefit from softer dental chews as well to accommodate tender mouths and weaker teeth.

Small and medium breed adult dogs do well with dense, abrasive treats that massage gums and scrape away built-up plaque and tartar. Large and giant breeds require size-appropriate chews big enough to be long-lasting. Tailor your choice by monitoring wear and adjusting size or texture as needed.

DIY Dental Chew Recipe

Want to take total control over ingredients while saving money too? Try making your own homemade dog dental chews! This simple recipe puts healthy human foods to work for canine oral health. You’ll need:

  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup water
  • Half a banana
  • Pinch of cinnamon

Blend ingredients into dough, adding water gradually until a thick, firm ball forms. Flatten to 1/4 inch on a clean surface. Use cookie cutters to shape, then place treats on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes, flipping halfway. Let cool completely before serving to Fido!

These affordable chews store in an airtight container for up to a week. Their mild flavor and gentle abrasiveness make excellent teeth-cleaning treats. Customize as you see fit by adding yogurt, pureed veggies, or peanut butter. Get creative to please your pup’s palette while protecting their precious smile.

Oral Healthcare Groomed for Success!

Don’t underestimate the value of professional veterinary dental care paired with home care. Together, these establish a thorough oral healthcare routine groomed for success. Not only does this optimize dental health, but also overall wellness too. Do right by your faithful companion – make dental care a top priority throughout every stage of their precious life!

Why are dental chews important for dogs?

Proper dental care is extremely important for dogs, as poor oral health can lead to tooth loss, gum disease, and even damage to major organs over time. Dental chews help clean dogs’ teeth by reducing plaque and tartar buildup as they chew. Using dental chews regularly removes bacteria and food debris missed by brushing alone, freshening doggy breath. The chewing action also stimulates gums, increases saliva production, and helps prevent gum disease. As a supplement to, not a replacement for, brushing, quality dental chews are an easy way to improve dogs’ dental health.

How often should I give my dog dental chews?

Veterinarians typically recommend giving dogs dental chews about 2-3 times per week to effectively help control plaque and tartar. Keep a close eye on your dog while they enjoy dental chews to monitor for any aggressive chewing or destruction that could present a choking risk. It’s also important to select the proper size chew for your dog’s breed and weight. Check chews frequently for signs of wear, discarding used-up ones promptly. For dogs with significant dental disease, more frequent dental chews may be prescribed, while healthy adult dogs do fine with more occasional chewing sessions.

What precautions should I take with dental chews?

It’s crucial to pick the right dental chew size for safety, as improperly sized treats pose a choking hazard. Always supervise your dog during chewing sessions in case you need to promptly remove chunks or splintered pieces. Select reputable brands made from digestible, natural ingredients to minimize gut upset or blockages. Steer clear of rawhide, which swells with chewing, and very hard treats dogs may crack their teeth on. Stick to products specifically designed as ingestible dental chews. For aggressive chewers, try a more pliable option close to their usual treat texture. Start seniors or rookie chewers with softer styles too. Ask your veterinarian if prescription dental chews are recommended to enhance efficacy.

Can dental chews replace brushing?

While dental chews certainly help control plaque and tartar buildup between brushings, they cannot replace daily tooth brushing. Brushing with dog-safe toothpaste remains the gold standard for removing soft food debris and bacteria missed by dental chews alone. Still, adding reputable dental chews into the oral care routine substantially boosts overall dental health. Dog owners should brush daily along with providing safe, digestible dental chews several times per week. Also take your pup in for annual veterinary dental cleanings and exams to uncover lurking problems early. Work as a team with your vet to optimize your dog’s oral wellbeing.

How do I introduce dental chews to my dog?

The key is taking it slow, as forcing unwanted chewing does more harm than good! Start by offering your dog a nibble from your hand, pairing with bountiful praise and pets. Keep chewing sessions brief at first to leave them wanting more. For reluctant chewers, rub a dab of peanut butter, pumpkin, or low-sodium broth over dental chews to spark interest. You can also demonstrate chewing by pretending dental sticks are your own tasty treats! Be patient – regular positive exposure helps dogs accept new foods and textures over time. Once your dog appears comfortable with dental chews, try leaving one in their crate or puzzle toys to discover. In no time they’ll be hooked…and so will their dentist!