By Carol Bryant – Link To The Article
Dental chews for dogs provide dental health benefits between cleanings. This list offers our top picks to beat bad breath, plaque, and more!
Dogs are innate chewers but determining which dental chews are both good and safe for dogs can be challenging. Since our canine friends have a natural instinct to chew, dental chews for dogs are a win-win for pet parents wanting to please their pups while helping to keep their teeth clean.
Let’s face it, squeezing in time to brush a dog’s teeth isn’t always feasible. “Not every pet parent can do daily brushings on their furbaby’s teeth,” says Dr. Adam Christman, chief veterinary officer for the Fetch dvm360 veterinary conference and a practicing veterinarian in Jackson, New Jersey. “Although it still is the gold standard to oral care in pets, it has its challenges.”
Christman isn’t alone in his pursuits to help canines keep their chompers clean. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reports by the time most dogs are three years old, they will likely have early evidence of periodontal disease. If preventative care isn’t included in a dog’s oral regimen, the disease will worsen with time.
Bacteria left to build up in a dog’s mouth may harden on teeth and contribute to dental disease. Take a whiff at your pup’s breath the next time you lean in for a kiss. Most cases of bad breath in dogs are caused by gingivitis which leads to periodontal disease. Maintaining good oral health includes a healthy diet, regular brushing, and the right dog dental chews.
We took a closer look at some of the most popular dog chews for dental health. In between cleanings and regular oral care, here are our favorite dental treats and chews that help keep teeth in tip-top shape.
What Are Dog Dental Chews?
Dog dental chews are designed to help satisfy a dog’s natural urge to chew while helping remove plaque and tartar through gnawing. They are not a substitute for dental care nor should they be used in place of in-office routine dental cleaning. However, canine dental treats, sticks, and chews make a great addition to your dog’s overall oral health plan.
Not all dog dental chews are created equal. Because there are so many canine dental items on the market, the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) exists to recognize products that meet pre-set standards of plaque and calculus (tartar) retardation in dogs and cats.
Each year, VOHC awards their seal of acceptance, which appears on specific canine dental products. They are not a regulatory agency but VOHC’s seal indicates the product is effective in reducing plaque and tartar when used as directed.
“The longer a dog spends on a dental chew the greater the chances of them removing plaque and tartar buildup,” Christman shares. “Dental treats are effective but recommended in conjunction with a chew.”
Dental Treats Vs. Dental Chews
Dental treats are different from dental chews but neither is designed to last a long period of time. A dog’s chewing mechanism is not the same as a human being. Dogs do not chew as much or as long in order to prepare whatever they are eating for digestion.
Dog dental treats are smaller and designed to be eaten quickly. Dog dental chews, however, provide more friction against the tooth and gum, with a goal of reducing plaque and tartar.
What To Look For In A Dog Dental Chew
When picking the right dental chew for your dog, there are a couple of things you should look for. These include:
Quality ingredients. Not all ingredients are created equal in dog chews. Some add unnecessary additives, which means they won’t be making our list.
The right size. Size matters when it comes to the best dog chews for dental health. A Great Dane would surely inhale a dental chew meant for a smaller pooch like a Maltese. One of the more serious problems the VOHC reports is that of obstruction in a dog’s throat, esophagus, stomach, or intestines.
They recommend pet parents choose the right-sized product for their dog’s body weight and to observe your pooch while she consumes the dental chew. Follow packaging guidelines on products.
VOHC seal. While this isn’t absolutely necessary, looking for the seal of approval from the Veterinary Oral Health Council ensures that the chew you’re giving your dog is safe and beneficial for your dog’s dental health.
We carefully selected our top dog dental chews using the following criteria:
Reputation of the brand and company. We looked for brands and companies with positive online reviews and a good reputation in the industry. We also stayed away from brands that made false claims.
Affordability and accessibility. We chose treats that are easily accessible online or in stores and kept price in mind when picking our favorites.
Dental health benefits. We looked for treats that contained seal from the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC). While not all of the dental chews on our list were given this seal, it was something we weighed when putting together our list.
Versatility. We gave bonus points to dental products that had options for both small and large dogs. Plus, we liked when chews had added benefits of interactivity or fun!
Dental chews should be a fun and healthy treat to help improve and sustain your pup’s oral health. Try out a variety of dental chews to see which tastes and textures your dog prefers.
This list includes our favorite chews, but it’s important to note that even the most avid chewer can develop oral problems. A dog’s age, background, health history, immune system, diet, and genetics all play a role in the formation of dental disease.
Best Dog Dental Chews: Overall Winner