Top Pick: Greenies Original
Why We Chose It:
- Great tasting.
- Easy to digest.
- Recommended for medium breeds.
- For adults.
- 36-ounce pack with 36 count.
Dogs love to chew. It’s not just a great way to burn off some nervous energy, but also a necessary function of dogs so that they can take care of their teeth. If you are concerned about your dog’s dental health, it is vital that you give your dog the right things on which to chew – and it’s also one of the easiest things you can do as part of DIY dog grooming. One of the best choices you can make as a dog owner is to take a look at the best dental chews for dogs.
The dental chew category is fairly broad, so finding the best chew isn’t always all that easy. Rather than doing all the research yourself, you can sit back and let us do the work. We’ve compiled a list of not only some of the best chews on the market today but also some of the best chews that fit very specific needs. If you’re looking to take care of your dog’s dental health, you’ll definitely want to read on.
Best Dental Chews for Dogs in 2021
Every dog chew is at least a little bit unique. The differences between some chews can seem minor, yet these differences are what separate useful dental chews from the rest of the pack. Below are today’s best dog dental chews, complete with the factors that help them to be so useful to both dogs and their owners.
Greenies Original Regular Natural Dental Dog Treats
- Made with natural ingredients
- Cleans down to the gums
- Great for freshening dog breath
- Designed for dogs between 25 and 50 pounds
Greenies may not be the only brand of dental chews out there, but they’re definitely the brand that popularized the product for most dog owners. A brand well-known for its all-natural ingredients and its push to really improve dog health, there’s a good reason why so many people immediately identify this brand when they’re looking for any kind of dental chew. If you’re going to shop for the best, though, it’s always a good idea to know whether or not the category leader is worth your money. The good news, though, is that Greenies has maintained an excellent product over the years. These dog dental chews are recommended and accepted by the veterinary oral health council (VOHC)(1), and for good reason.
Greenies are probably best known for their ability to freshen a dog’s breath. An incredibly useful feature, it’s definitely among the best in the business at doing just that. The product also does a fantastic job of cleaning your dog’s mouth all the way down to the gum line, which not only helps with the dog’s breath but also goes a long way towards helping prevent the product of tartar and plaque. There’s a reason why this product really set the tone for the rest of the category and relatively few products have surpassed it in its primary niche.
The other big way that Greenies stands out is by being all-natural. There are no additives or preservatives in this product, so those who are especially worried about what goes into their dogs’ diets can feel safe giving them this product. Though it might lack some of the flavors that are present in other types of dental chews, this is an excellent fit for any dog who has allergies or for any pet owner who wants to reduce the number of ingredients in the foods that are eaten by their dogs. Greenies remain one of the best dog dental chews available today.
Purina DentaLife Small/Medium Adult Dental Dog Chew Treats
- Designed to clean hard to reach places
- Great for improving dog breath
- No artificial flavors or colors
- Available in several different sizes
One of the hardest parts of choosing a dental chew for your dog is that you won’t actually have much control over which parts of your dog’s mouth get cleaned. Though most chews do an amazing job of cleaning the most common areas, there are few that do well when it comes to taking care of the hard-to-reach spots. Unfortunately, failure to do this can lead to bacterial growth and resulting in bad breath – the specific problems that most dog owners want to avoid. Fortunately, Purina’s DentaLife treats are designed to hit those areas that are otherwise easy to miss.
DentaLife stands out largely because it is designed to clean all the way to the gums. While this is certainly not the only product out there – or even on this list – to do so, it’s the product that puts more of its focus on this part of the dog’s mouth than any other. That means that it not only tends to do a better job of cleaning out those hard-to-reach spots, but it also does a good job of killing off the bacteria that makes your dog breathe smell worse. This is a great choice for anyone who’s had to deal with especially bad dog breath.
At the same time, this product is also a good fit for those who carefully watch what their dogs eat. With no artificial flavors or colors, it’s a good fit for dogs on special diets and those who might have allergies to certain ingredients. You can also get this chew in a variety of different sizes so that you’ll always have something that’s the right size for the dog that’s eating your treats. Definitely give this chew a try if you’re looking for something simple that will do a great job with your dog’s bad breath.
Blue Buffalo Dental Bones Natural Adult Dental Chew Dog Treats
- No artificial colors or preservatives
- No poultry by-products
- Designed for dogs between 5 and 15 pounds
- Easy to digest
Some dog owners are especially concerned with the ingredients in dog food products. It makes sense, of course, as many products have cut corners over the years and not everything in them is good for every dog. If you have a dog that’s kept on a strict diet, it can be difficult to find a dental chew that can work for him or her. Fortunately, Blue Buffalo has created some excellent dental bones that are totally free of artificial ingredients and that still do a great job of helping small dogs keep their mouths clean.
Like most products in the Blue Buffalo line, what you’re really getting here has more to do with a lack of ingredients than anything that’s added into the formula. This dental chew specifically leaves out not only artificial colors and preservatives but also any poultry by-products. This makes the chew a great fit for any dog that has a poultry allergy. It’s also very easy to digest, so it’s a good fit for those dogs who often get upset stomachs when they eat treats. Honestly, this is a good fit for any dog on a limited diet.
With that said, the treat is also specifically targeted towards smaller dogs. Only those dogs between five and fifteen pounds should have this chew, though the fact that it’s targeted towards smaller dogs does make it a welcome addition to a market that seems to be more centered on bigger animals. This is a perfect fit for little mouths and it does a great job of taking care of those problems that tend to be unique to smaller dogs’ oral health. Definitely give this treat a try if you have a smaller dog that is on a more limited diet.
Oravet Dental Hygiene Chews for Small Dogs
- Designed to loosen and dislodge plaque
- Uses delmopinol to prevent bad breath
- Designed for dogs over six months old and under 24 pounds
- Quickly dissolves without a mess
Preventing bad breath is often one of the most important factors that dog owners consider when they’re looking at the dental health of their animals. Though eliminating plaque and tartar is always great, most dog owners really care about avoiding awful doggie breath. If you’re primarily looking for something that will help give your dog fresher breath, there are specific products out there to help you. One such product is this dental hygiene chew from Oravet, which uses a unique mechanism to help ensure that your dog breathe stays a little bit fresher throughout the day.
The key ingredient in this chew is delmopinol, which acts as kind of a coating over your dog’s teeth and makes it harder for bacteria to grow. This, in turn, helps to both keep your dog’s breath fresher and to stop tooth decay. This is the only dental chew on the market right now that uses delmopinol and those who have used the product have definitely seen results. While it can be scary to go with something new, this really can be a good fit for those who haven’t had success with the more traditional types of treats.
Another great feature is that the treat is that it does dissolve. This means less mess for the pet owner and easier consumption for smaller mouths. Though this isn’t recommended for puppies, the chew nonetheless is very beneficial to those dogs who have trouble chewing and who still need help with bad breath.
Virbac CET Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews for Dogs
- Designed for dogs under 11 pounds
- Reduces plaque and tartar with a dual-enzyme system
- Made from a beef hide with a poultry flavor
- An abrasive surface is great for removing plaque
If you’ve got a small dog, you definitely want to make sure that you stick to products that are made for smaller dogs. It’s not that there is anything wrong with products for bigger animals, but rather that small dogs tend to benefit from having chews that are easier to handle and having active ingredients that are actually formulated for their weight. If you are looking for an excellent dental chew that will help out your smaller dog, you’ll definitely want to take a look at this excellent oral hygiene tool from Virbac in order to protect your pet’s oral health.
So, what does this product actually do for your small dog? The biggest feature is that it uses a unique dual-enzyme formula to reduce both plaque and tartar at the same time. This, combined with the abrasive surface of the chew, makes it much easier for your dog to keep his or her own mouth clean just by eating the chew. While this treatment might not have as much of a focus on your dog’s breath as some of the others on the list, it still does a fine job in that arena as well.
The treat also does a good job of appealing to picky dogs. Made of beef hide and flavored with poultry, this chew really will feel like a treat for your dog. If you want something focused on small dogs that still works well, this might be the dental chew for you.
VetIQ Minties Dog Dental Bone Treats
- Designed for larger dogs
- Contains no wheat, corn, or soy
- Unique shape rubs teeth clean
- Designed to help keep dogs’ teeth clean
For some, the main goal of oral health isn’t just fighting bacteria or making sure that their dog’s breath doesn’t smell too bad. Instead, they’re looking to make sure that their dog’s teeth actually stay clean and shiny, both for aesthetic reasons and as a sign of good health. If that sounds like something that interests you, you’ll definitely want to take a look at this excellent product from VetIQ that makes use of a unique shape to help ensure that your dog’s teeth will stay pearly white.
This treat is really all about helping to keep your dog’s mouth looking and feeling clean. It has a unique shape that not only helps your dog to dog a lot of chewing, but that wears away at any build-up in your dog’s mouth at the same time. This has the intended effect of helping to remove things like plaque and tartar without requiring you to actually brush your dog’s teeth, helping you to avoid an unpleasant task that neither you nor your dog will particularly enjoy.
With that said, the treat is also well-designed in terms of ingredients. It doesn’t have any additives or fillers, so it’s actually good for your dog. Though it’s only recommended that your dog eats one of these treats per day, the nutritional content of the treatment is such that you really won’t have to worry about what your dog is eating. If you’re looking for something to help keep your dog’s teeth white that won’t hurt his or her stomach, this might be the treat for you.
Milk-Bone Original Brushing Chews
- Made for dogs over fifty pounds
- Dogs love the taste
- Full of vitamins and minerals
- Supports stronger teeth
It’s always important to get a dental chew that’s right for your dogs. One of the first things you’ll need to consider when looking at a treat isn’t its shape or its contents, but whether it is made for a dog that is the same size as your own. If you’ve got a medium or large dog, that can be harder to do than you think. Fortunately, choosing a good dental chew for bigger dogs really is as easy as going with one of the biggest brands of treats on the planet. If you want to keep your bigger dog’s mouth clean, you should really think about getting one of these chews from Milkbone.
This treat really is made for big dogs, with a recommended weight of at least fifty pounds for any animal that uses the treat. If your dog’s the right size, though, he or she will be in for a real treat as this chew is formulated to ensure that dogs love the taste. That not only means that your dog is going to get a clean mouth with this excellent chew, but that he or she will actually be excited to participate in the process. As anyone who has ever tried to brush a big dog’s teeth knows, getting out of this process without a struggle is almost always worth the price of admission.
It’s a good thing that dogs love this treat because it is actually good for them. Full of vitamins and minerals that are just as good for a dog’s general health as they are for his or her oral health, this treat can end up being a very important part of your dog’s vitamin regimen. Whether you’re looking for a chew that’s going to wear away plaque or you want something that does a job of keeping your dog generally healthy, this is definitely a treat at which you should look.
WAG Dental Dog Treats
- Reduces plaque and tartar
- Meant for dogs between 25 and 50 pounds
- No additives
- The textured shape helps with cleaning a dog’s mouth
Dog dental chews can be a little weird if you don’t understand how they work. While they are definitely treating that your dog will love, they also do a lot of work to help keep your dog’s mouth clean in many different ways. While many of them do rely on specific active ingredients to do so, there are others that rely more on the shape of the treat to do the heavy lifting. If you’re looking for a product that does a good job of reducing plaque and tartar by rubbing it away as your dog chews, you’ll want to take a look at this product from WAG.
The first thing that most people notice about this treat is the shape. It looks a lot like a toothbrush, and that’s not just clever marketing; instead, the shape actually helps to wear away all the plaque and tartar on your dog’s teeth as he or she chews. this is a clever piece of design work that not only makes it easier to keep your dog’s mouth cleaner, but that gives your dog enough stimulation that he or she will keep chewing on the treatment long enough to help it do its job.
The treat is also great for those dogs who have limited diets, as it is free of additives and other ingredients that could inflame a dog’s allergies. It’s a nice little touch that ensures that any dog who really needs to keep his or her teeth clean can enjoy this treat.
Pedigree DENTASTIX Treats for Large Dogs
- Cleans teeth freshen breath and fight tartar build-up
- Made for dogs over 30 pounds
- Available in a variety of flavors
- Texture helps to fight plaque
When you’re searching for a new dog chew, it makes a lot of sense to establish a baseline from which to work. Though there are a lot of marketing buzzwords thrown around in the world of dental chews, the truth is that you’re really only going to be looking for a relatively small handful of features when you’re shopping. A great way to get the process started is to look for a product that exemplifies everything that the average customer wants in a dental chew. One such choice is DENTASTIX from Pedigree, a product that’s incredibly popular among dog owners.
Pedigree is already a household name in the dog food space, so it does make sense that they would also have a product in the dental chew category. It’s very easy to point at this product as a baseline because it acts in a more general manner than some of the other chews on this list. In fact, this is one of the best dental chews around for those who are looking to take care of their dogs’ overall dental health rather than for those who have very specific reasons for looking into dental chews.
DENTASTIX hit all the high notes when it comes to this product category. It does a fantastic job of cleaning off your dog’s teeth and preventing both plaque and tartar build-up while still doing an excellent job of keeping your dog’s breath fresh. The product also does a stellar job of keeping picky dogs happy, as it is available in a number of different dog-friendly flavors. While it has fewer targeted uses than some of the other products on this list, DENTASTIX is still one of the best chews for those who just want to ensure that their dogs have great dental health.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do dental chews really work for dogs?
Generally speaking, dental chews really do a great job for dogs. The secret behind them almost always has to do with the fact that dogs in nature do a fair bit of chewing, which in turn helps them to keep their teeth clean. Dental chews simply work with this natural process by giving dogs some textured items on which to chew. While not every dental chew is going to have the same level of success with every dog, the product category itself is fairly solid and most dog owners do report good results.
Why is Dentastix bad for dogs?
It’s not quite fair to say that Dentastix is bad for dogs. The complaint most people have about the product is that most of the ingredients don’t really have much to do with cleaning your dog’s mouth. While that might be true, what even critics admit is that the shape and consistency of the chew do a very good job of helping to keep your dog’s mouth clean. The only other real complaint is that the chews do contain a number of different grains, an ingredient with which some dog owners have a problem.
Can I give my dog dental chews every day?
Yes, you can give your dog dental chews every day. In fact, many chews are designed to work better over time and the instructions will direct you to make sure that your dog takes them daily. It is important, though, that you follow the directions in terms of serving size. The vast majority of chews direct owners to only give their dogs one treat a day, as many of the treats have ingredients that should only be given to dogs in moderation. If done properly, though, giving these treats daily can be a very good thing for your dog.
What are dog dental chews?
Dog dental chews are a special kind of dog treat that is meant to help improve your dog’s dental health. Most of them work by helping to break down the formation of plaque and tartar through simple abrasion, though others do have special ingredients that can help to destroy bacteria or coat the teeth. Every chew is a little different, so make sure that you know exactly what you are getting before you feed one to your dog.
Dog Dental Chew Buying Guide
There are enough different types of dental chews on store shelves right now that it can be confusing to find the right one for your dog. Though there are some great online reviews available, the truth is that you need to know exactly what you need from one of these treats before you can get the one that is perfect for your dog. Below are some of the qualities that you should look for in a dental chew before you decide on the brand that you are going to feed to your dog.
Breed Weight Restrictions
The first thing to look at when you’re trying to find a great dental chew is the size of the dog for which a given brand is meant. Virtually every treat on the market has some kind of weight restriction, and this is usually more than just marketing. It’s vital that you choose a treat that fits your dog’s weight range so that you’ll be able to be sure that the dental chew does its job and that your dog will be safe when he or she uses the treat.
The truth is that while most dental treats probably aren’t going to cause your dog problems if they aren’t from the right weight class, they won’t work as they should. Most of these treats have certain active ingredients that help to fight bacterial buildup, so choosing something that’s too small might mean that your dog doesn’t get quite as much of the ingredient as he or she needs. Though these treats aren’t toxic to smaller dogs, you should also be aware that some of the treats meant for bigger dogs might fall outside of a smaller animal’s daily allowances for certain ingredients.
Treat Size and Shape
Treat size is another one of those categories that is largely going to be shaped by your dog’s breed. Though this might be related to the weight restrictions above, some dogs just don’t do well with bigger or smaller treats. If your dog is the kind of dog that easily chokes, for example, going with something too big might not be a good idea. On the other hand, dogs that tend to immediately swallow smaller treats really aren’t going to get everything that they need out of a smaller dental chew.
The shape also matters. The shape of a dog treat is going to play a huge role in how well it deals with plaque and tartar. Generally speaking, finding something that has a textured exterior is a good idea because it helps with that process. If you can’t find something with a textured exterior or a special shape, make sure that you find a treat that is tough enough that it will make your dog keep chewing for an extended period of time. The more your dog chews, the more likely it is that the treatment can do its job effectively.
Why are you getting your dog one of these chews? Are you looking for something that you can use between brushings to keep your dog’s teeth white? Are you concerned about bad breath? Are you afraid of plaque or tartar buildup? Each of these issues has its own specific solutions, though there are some good all-in-one treats that can help with each issue to some degree. If you know what specific problem you are trying to solve, you’ll have a better idea of exactly what kind of treatment you need and what kind of performance you will expect from the chew.
This is especially important for those dogs who have allergies or weak stomachs. Most dog chews are made out of fairly standard ingredients, though you can get chews that have no additives or no specific fillers. There are some treats that have very specific additives that are meant to help protect against certain medical issues, though, so it’s a good idea to make sure that your dog won’t have an adverse reaction to them before trying a treat. You may also want to look at things like calorie count, as some treats won’t work too well when you’re trying to help your dog drop a few pounds.
Finally, you should consider the cost. This is a deeply personal issue, so don’t feel like you have to spend a certain amount to take care of your dog. There are great dental chews at almost every price point and some of them cost significantly less per unit if you are willing to buy them in bulk. Though keeping your dog’s mouth clean is definitely very important, you do need to try to stay within your budget when you are looking at this kind of dog treat.