It’s been a long day at work and it’s time to sit on the couch to cuddle with your dog. You grab a nearby blanket and turn the TV on. Your dog gets close to you for some relaxation and tries to lick your face for some kisses. Then it happens – your dog breathes on you and their breath smells absolutely unbearable. Unfortunately you can’t just toss them a mint, but you do have options.

If your dog’s breath stinks, chances are they potentially have dental disease or they are in desperate need of a teeth cleaning. Luckily, dog dental chews are a great solution for freshening your dog’s breath and getting their plaque and tartar under control. While dental chews aren’t a replacement for brushing your dog’s teeth, they do come in handy to consistently clean your dog’s teeth when used routinely.

We’ve created this helpful guide to help you choose the best dental chew for your precious pup. There are several factors to consider but we have an excellent list of recommendations for you! Take a look at some benefits of using dog dental chews, and what to look for when deciding which chew to purchase for your dog.

5 Benefits of Giving Your Dog Dental Chews

Allowing your dog to enjoy a daily dental chew will help freshen breath and reduce the chance of dental disease, but there are other important benefits to consider. Below we list some noteworthy benefits:

  1. Cleans teeth and gums: Dog dental chews are designed to clean your pup’s teeth and gums by removing disease-causing plaque and tartar. Different dental chews are designed to reach between your dog’s teeth for deep cleanings.
  2. Freshens breath: Poor dental hygiene causes bad breath. Dental chews often contain mint, parsley or spearmint to fresh your dog’s breath. The removal of plaque and tartar will also cause your pup’s breath to smell much better!
  3. A delicious daily reward: You can make dental chews into a delicious, daily routine and reward. Reward your pup for good behavior with a dental chew, or add it into your morning routine before you head off to work!
  4. Prevents dental disease: 1 in 3 dogs suffers from dental disease. Administering a daily dental chew will help prevent dental disease and reduce the amount of oral issues your pup has in the future.
  5. Offers other nutritional benefits: Many dog dental chews are formulated to aid in digestive health. Some also contain essential vitamins and nutrients which support the immune system.

Dental Chews vs. Teeth Brushing

A common question among dog parents is “can I give my dog a daily dental chew instead of brushing their teeth?” To be quite frank, there’s no equal replacement for brushing your dog’s teeth. Dental chews will keep plaque and tartar build-up at bay, but nothing offers oral care like brushing your dog’s teeth. If you have the ability to brush your dog’s teeth and they will allow you to do so, it’s highly recommended. Just as brushing your teeth helps prevent cavities and dreaded root canals, brushing is just as preventative and healthy for dogs.

Dental chews are an excellent addition to your dog’s regular teeth cleaning routine. We understand that some dogs simply won’t allow you anything near their mouth, in which case a dental chew is better than no oral care at all! Dental chews are fantastic for keeping your dog’s breath fresh between brushing and yearly veterinary teeth cleanings.

5 Components to Look for in Good Dental Chews for Dogs

There seem to be as many dog chews on the market as there are treats. Consider the following components when picking out the best dental chew for your pampered pooch:

  1. Look for USA sourced and manufactured treats: There have been too many tragic deaths of dogs who ingested treats with ingredients from a variety of foreign countries. If possible, look for treats which are sourced and made in the USA. Some dental chews made in the USA are still created with foreign-sourced ingredients.
  2. Shape: Each brand of dog dental chews seems to have their own unique shape. The shape you choose depends on what you think will be best for your dog’s oral health needs.
  3. Toughness: Some dental treats have more of a chewy consistency, where others are harder to accommodate aggressive chewers. If you have a senior pup or a dog who’s missing some teeth, you may want to get a chewier dental stick.
  4. Meet VOHC criteria: The Veterinary Oral Health Council has put their seal of approval on some dog dental chew options. If this matters to you as a dog parent, the labeling on the package of chews will state if it’s earned the VOHC seal of approval.
  5. Flavor and food sensitivities: Dog dental chews come in a variety of flavors. They are also available for sensitivities to gluten and grain. The type you choose will obviously depend on your dog’s preferences and health condition.

Overall Best Dental Chews for Dogs

Greenies Regular Dental Dog Treats

Key Benefits:

  • Veterinarian recommended
  • Contain vitamins and minerals for adult dog nutritional value
  • Approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council
  • Available in several different sizes and flavor options

Greenies are known for being a trusted veterinarian recommended solution for your dog’s oral care. Greenies come in a variety of shapes and sizes to best fit the needs of your dog. Built with an innovative design, Greenies dental chews are made from all-natural, soluble ingredients that are safe for healthy digestion.

Not only do Greenies taste great, but they will help reduce plaque and tartar while freshening your dog’s breath. Greenies assist in reducing gum disease, and they are recommended by veterinarians to do so. We love that Greenies have been accepted by the Veterinary Oral Health Council. These reliable dental chews are sure to improve your dog’s oral health through safe ingredients and additional vitamins and minerals for exceptional balanced nutrition.

Pros:

  • Unique sizes available to suit every dog
  • Different flavors and grain-free options available
  • Made with healthy ingredients which are easy to digest
  • Veterinarian recommended
  • Approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council

Cons:

  • More expensive than some other dental chews

WHIMZEES Brushzees Natural Daily Dental Dog Treats

Key Benefits:

  • Vegetarian and gluten-free
  • Chew design perpetuates healthy blood flow in the gums
  • Contain fiber to promote digestive regularity
  • No artificial ingredients, flavors, preservatives or GMOs

Runner-Up Best Dental Chews for Dogs: These WHIMZEES dog dental chews are made from nine natural ingredients which freshen your dog’s breath and reduce tartar buildup. WHIMZEES are fresh of gluten, making them a great choice for pups with sensitivities. Brushzees are designed with a knobby shape so your dog can easily grip and chew it while cleaning small spaces between the teeth. The unique grooves reach tight spaces in your dog’s mouth to remove tarter and promote fresher breathe.

WHIMZEES Brushzees are low in fat but high in vitamins and antioxidants. They also contain fiber to promote active digestive health. WHIMZEES are sustainably sourced and free of artificial ingredients as well as GMOs and preservatives. Dog parents can purchase WHIMZEES in a variety of shapes and sizes, but the Brushzees take our runner-up best dental chew spot.

Pros:

  • Gluten-free for sensitive dogs
  • Unique design reaches spaces between the teeth to remove plaque and tartar
  • Available in a multitude of sizes and shapes
  • Sustainably sourced
  • Made with only 9 ingredients

Cons:

  • Not available for purchase in bulk sizes

Pedigree Dentastix Large Fresh Dog Treats

Key Benefits:

  • Clinically proven to reduce plaque and tartar build-up
  • Patented ingredient list helps freshen breath
  • Extremely affordable
  • Chewy X-shape design

Best Budget-Friendly Dental Chews for Dogs: Dentastix works to reduce plaque and tartar in your dog’s mouth right down to the gum line. These chewy, X-shape treats are clinically proven to assist in giving your dog the very best oral care. These particular Dentastix are for large dogs, but they come in a size which will be appropriate for any dog. You can also purchase Pedigree Dentastix in other flavors.

These stick-like dental chews for dogs are a great daily regimen to promote dental health. The ingredients help freshen breath so your pup will be kissable again in no time! We love Pedigree Dentastix because they are affordable for dog parents on any budget, and they are proven effective in reducing canine dental issues.

Pros:

  • Cost-effective
  • You can purchase them in several sizes and flavors
  • Patented X-shape helps remove tartar and plaque build-up
  • Chewy rather than rock-hard
  • Clinically proven to freshen breath

Cons:

  • These dog dental chews do not have the Veterinary Oral Health Council seal of approval, but that doesn’t stop them for being one of the highest recommended dental chew options.

4 More Top Dental Chews for Dogs

Milk-Bone Fresh Breath Brushing Chews Daily Dental Dog Treats

These dental chews from Milk-Bone are made with an innovative design which scrub away plaque and tartar as your dog chews it. They are formulated with calcium to promote healthy teeth and bones. Milk-Bone dog dental chews are made without artificial ingredients, and they have earned the Veterinary Oral Health Council seal of approval. Milk-Bone Fresh Breath Brushing chews are made in the USA and come in mini, small/medium and large sizes.

Natural Balance Dental Chews Fresh & Clean Formula Grain-Free Dog Chews

Natural Balance dog dental chews contain vitamin C to help support immune system function, as well as spearmint and parsley to freshen breath. These dental chews have unique grooves which help remove tartar and plaque build-up. Natural Balance dental chews are grain-free and come in three different sizes. They are made to provide balanced nutrition while supporting healthy teeth and gums.

Authority Dental & Multivitamin Grain-Free Dental Dog Treats

Authority dog dental chews are made with an Ora-Shield System that delivers a specific formula and texture to help remove tartar and plaque. These dental chews are grain-free and gluten-free for dogs with sensitivities. They are formulated with multivitamins to promote a healthy immune system. Authority dog dental chews are made with a blend of parsley and mint to encourage fresh breathe. They come in a few different sizes so you can pick which is best for your dog. Authority chews are made in the USA.

Virbac C.E.T. VeggieDent Fr3sh Tartar Control Dog Chews

These dog dental chews from Virbac are a plant-based formula made into a Z-shape for easy gripping and effective chewing. These dental sticks have a chewy consistency, and they are made free of animal-based ingredients. Virbac vegetarian dog dental chews come in three different sizes and they can be administered daily, like the other chews on our list. Virbac VeggieDent chews are a great oral health solution to keep plaque and tartar under control.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do dog dental chews work? – Dental chews are built with ridges and other helpful designs which work to remove plaque and tartar from your dog’s teeth. The shape of the chew will massage your pup’s gums to promote oral health. Many dental chews also contain ingredients with help fight dental disease and freshen breath.
  • Can puppies have dental chews? – Puppies can have dental chews but it’s important to purchase chews specifically formulated for young dogs. If there’s a particular brand you like for adult dogs, chances are you can purchase puppy chews from that company. Puppy dental chews will be smaller and may have different ingredients to help with teething and their growing needs.
  • Will dental chews get rid of my dog’s bad breath? – A dog’s bad breath is caused by periodontal disease. Dental chews help to reverse dental disease by cleaning teeth and gums. Some chews are formulated with breath freshening ingredients like mint and spearmint. Considering these factors, dental chews should get rid of bad breath.
  • Can dental chews replace brushing my dog’s teeth? – Ideally dog parents should brush their pup’s teeth and offer a routine dental chew. We know it can be difficult to brush a dog’s teeth, especially if they express extreme fear, and that’s where dental chews come into play. Giving your dog a dental chew every day is much more beneficial for their oral health than not taking any preventative measures at all.

Conclusion

It’s hard to resist dog kisses, but when their breath smells rancid it’s easy to push them away in disgust. Your dog deserves to have a healthy mouth that they can give you regular kisses with! Making close cuddling with your dog an enjoyable activity again by getting their oral hygiene under control. Giving your dog a daily dental chew will freshen their breath and remove plaque and tartar so your pup will be feeling and smelling their best!

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