The Best Dental Chews for Dogs

As all dog owners know, having a dog is like having a furry, four-legged family member. Unfortunately, though, our canine friends are woefully unable to keep up good hygiene, particularly when it comes to their teeth. One of the biggest canine hygiene issues is plaque and tartar buildup. This buildup is the main culprit that plagues dogs and owners alike with stinky doggie breath. Luckily, there are many products on the market that can help with these issues. Dental chews for dogs can help to prevent and reduce plaque and tartar buildup in dogs. Read on to discover which kind is right for your pup.

Greenies Teenie Dental Dog Treats

Clean and green

Greenies' Teenies are an affordable and effective way to keep smaller dogs' mouths clean.
Best Overall

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Greenies are undoubtedly the most popular dental chew brand in the game right now. Dogs can’t seem to get enough of their chewy fresh taste. Greenies’ Teenie dental chews are intended for smaller dogs (5 to 15 pounds), so if you’re a chihuahua mom this is the pick for you. Not only do Greenies have an unmistakable texture that helps to clean your dog’s teeth up to the gum line, but they also contain essential vitamins and minerals that promote your dog’s health in other ways. If your little pup is starting to develop some stinky breath, grab these Greenies Teenies immediately and get your dog on track to healthier oral hygiene.

Pros:

  • The texture cleans your dog’s teeth to the gum line
  • Contains healthy vitamins and minerals

Cons:

  • Some dogs might be averse to the minty flavor

Greenies Original Dental Dog Treats

Minty fresh

Greenies' originals are an owner-tested, dog-approved dental chew that tastes good enough to replace your old doggie treats.
Best Value Pack

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Calling all big dog owners: this is the doggie dental chew you’ve been waiting for. Greenies Originals are dog treats designed with the specific intent of keeping bigger dogs’ oral hygiene in check. If you’re a big dog owner, you know they can pick up all sorts of things while they’re running around the park or the woods. Greenies Originals contain breath freshening agents along with key vitamins and minerals to keep your dog’s breath smelling fresh. Not to mention, they’re also a highly affordable replacement for your current doggie treats.

Pros:

  • Great for big dogs
  • Affordable alternative to regular dog treats

Cons:

  • Small dogs may have a very hard time chewing on them

Pedigree Dentastix Dental Dog Treats

Three of a kind

Dentastix offers three different flavors of hygiene-forward dental chews that your dog will love as much as you do.
Best For Large Dogs

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Everybody likes a bit of variety, even your dog. Pedigree understands this well. That’s why Pedigree Dentastix is stacked with three different flavors your dog is sure to go wild over. Many dogs aren’t over the moon about the minty fresh flavor that a lot of doggie dental chews use. This pick contains an original flavor along with a beef flavor that works as great teeth-cleansing alternatives to the fresh mint flavor. The X-shape of the dental chews helps to sneak into those hard-to-reach back molars and chip away at some of the plaque and tartar buildups.

Pros:

  • Three flavors to choose from
  • X-shape helps to remove plaque

Cons:

  • Only designed for big dogs

Pawstruck Peanut Butter Filled Cow Hooves

Hoof it

Pawstruck's Peanut Butter Filled Cow Hooves are an unconventional, yet highly effective, way to keep your dog's teeth and mouth healthy.
Best All-Natural

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This might seem like a strange inclusion at a glance, but hear us out. Cow hooves are some of the most effective teeth-cleaning products for dogs available. Tartar buildup is hardened and virtually every soft dental chew treat is not going to be able to break through it. Cow hooves, on the other hand, most definitely can. And when you add peanut butter into the mix, these cow hooves from Pawstruck are truly a match made in doggie heaven. These cow hooves are a long-lasting, affordable, and useful tool to help keep your dog’s mouth clean.

Pros:

  • The only kind of dental chew that can break up tartar buildup
  • It may be able to save you some money in professional teeth cleaning

Cons:

  • Some dogs don’t like cow hooves
  • Some owners feel conflicted about the use of cow hooves from an ethical standpoint

Merrick Fresh Kisses Dental Dog Treats

The big brush

Merrick's Fresh Kisses breath-strip filled dental chews are shaped like toothbrushes and work just as well.
Best Taste

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What better way to step onto the path of doggie oral hygiene than with a toothbrush? Okay, this isn’t an actual toothbrush, but it’s shaped like one and that’s good enough for us (and most likely your dog). Merrick’s Fresh Kisses dental chews are a lot like normal dog treats aside from the breath-freshening strips. Embedded within the unique toothbrush-shaped design are small breath strips to keep your dog’s breath from smelling. The toothbrush shape helps to get in between teeth and push some of the plaque off of your dog’s back molars.

Pros:

  • Contains small breath strips inside the treat
  • Unique toothbrush shape helps to remove plaque

Cons:

  • The toothbrush shape makes it difficult for some dogs to chew

Frequently Asked Questions

How do dental chews help my dog’s oral health?

Dental chews help your dog’s health in a number of ways. For one, they are tougher to chew on than normal treats, which helps scrape some of the plaque buildups off of your dog’s teeth. They also contain breath-freshening agents that help to keep your dog’s breath smelling fresher. Dental chews can be one of the most effective canine hygiene tools in a dog owner’s arsenal.

What is the difference between plaque and tartar?

Plaque is a filmy substance that builds up on your dog’s teeth over time. At this stage, plaque can be removed using dental chews or doggie toothbrushes. If left alone, plaque turns into tartar. Tartar is a big plaque buildup that has hardened over time. Dental chews may help with tartar buildup to some degree, but when a dog’s teeth are caked with a lot of tartar, the best option would be to get professional teeth cleaning.