Oral care is extremely important for your dog’s health. As brushing the pet’s teeth can turn out to be unpleasant for both of you, it is a good idea to consider the modern alternatives. Dog dental chews are the best option to prevent diseases and to keep your dog active and happy. They manage to ensure a complete oral hygiene, and fresh breath. There are many types to choose from, so you need to pick one that is adequate for your dog’s breed. Chewing is a natural behavior, thus your pet will turn this product into its own toothbrush, and it will adore it.
Starting a daily regimen for keeping your dog clean is important, but not many pet owners are not sure where to start. If you’d like to learn how you can maintain the health of your dog’s mouth, please read our article on the day-to-day steps to keeping your dog’s teeth clean.
As a responsible pet owner, you need to think about its well-being. This includes a healthy diet, exercises and regular visits to the veterinary. The oral hygiene tends to be left behind, and this can lead to serious problems, like infections, pain and tooth loss. If they are not spotted on time, they can spread throughout the body.
It is more than clear that you need to help your dog fight tartar and plaque to keep the teeth and gums healthy. In order to be able to select the right product for your pet, you need to learn what are dental chews, how many types you can find on the market, and their usability. The purpose of this article is to help you ensure a complete dental care for your dog.
The benefits of correct oral health
It is a fact that dogs can suffer from oral health issues. To be more exact, the American Veterinary Dental Society states that by age 3, about 80% of dogs suffer from oral distress. If the owner does nothing to protect the dog’s teeth and gums it can lead to serious problems:
- bad breath;
- leftovers on the teeth that can turn into bacteria and plaque;
- residue on the teeth (due to tartar) that can turn them from white to yellow or even brown, if the problem is more severe;
- irritated or swollen gums that can cause bleeding and lack of appetite;
- pain, that can make your dog agitated and aggressive.
You can take care of many of these problems through simple brushing. If you’ve never brushed your dog’s teeth before, we have a great how-to article on the ins and outs of brushing your dog’s teeth.
Dental chews for dogs can help you fight all these problems and guarantee a complete oral health. They were designed to meet the needs of your pet by cleaning their teeth without irritating the gums. Chewing is part of their everyday life. Dogs do it from a young age when they change their teeth, and continue to do it even when they become adults to prevent boredom.
It is clear that your pet will not find the dental chew disturbing, but an entertaining way to have fun. There are two major benefits of taking care of your dog’s teeth and gums:
In order to have healthy gums and teeth, the dog needs to chew actively. With the right products and a balanced diet, you can reduce the plaque and tartar. Studies show that the natural action of chewing, combined with specially designed dental chews that are treated with particular substances, can isolate the calcium on the teeth, keeping your dog healthy.
In order to purchase the correct product for your pet you need to see if it is approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council. This organization checks if the dental chew manages to reduce tartar and plaque effectively, and if it is treated with the right chemicals, so it is not toxic for the pet.
All dog owners know that the breath of their pet is not very pleasant. If the odor intensifies, it can be an indicator of bacteria build-up. In order to prevent it, you need to make sure that your pet gets the right dental and gum care. Dog chews can do this for you as they act like a toothbrush. They are harder to chew and have a particular shape. As a result, they can reach the areas between teeth and close to the gums in order to remove leftovers.
It is also important to know that if the bad breath does not improve after using these products, it can be an indicator of a medical problem, thus it is mandatory to go to the veterinary as soon as possible in order to have it checked.
Most popular chewing products
There are many dog treats available on the market that can help you keep the teeth and the gums of your pet healthy. When you purchase such products, you need to consider the size of your dog, but also its teeth condition. Puppies, for example, need softer materials because they use their gums to ease the teething discomfort. Adults, on the other hand, need tougher materials, while the size of the treat has to match the size of the dog to do its job effectively.
As all products have the purpose to reduce the plaque and tartar, it can be a bit tricky to find the right one for your dog. In order to make things easier, you need to know that there are three major types of treats:
- raw chews;
- biscuits and bones;
- chew toys.
Raw chews represent natural hides coming from horses and cows. They have various shapes and sizes, and some products can even be smoked. Dental bones for dogs and biscuits play a double role: they help you ensure a balanced diet for your pet, and they keep the teeth and gums clean and healthy. They are small, and this makes them easy to break. Pet owners can also use them as rewards when training their dogs.
Chew toys cannot be eaten, but they can help the dog keep its teeth healthy by removing the plaque. They are a great alternative if your pet chews really fast and eats the bones and natural hides before they do their job.
How to select the proper product for your dog?
The most important thing that you need to analyze before purchasing a dental chew for your dog is the quality of the item. As there are many assortments available, you need to be aware of the pros and cons of each of them before giving them to your pet. Good products come from reliable providers, while bad ones include dangerous toxins. This is why you need to check the label and see whether you are dealing with a natural product or with an artificial one. They are both effective, as long as they follow the standards imposed by the Veterinary Oral Health Council.
In order to fulfill the chewing requirements of your dog, the product you purchase needs to meet these 6 criteria:
- to make the dog feel happy when chewing it;
- to reach the gums and jaws in order to clean them;
- to visibly remove plaque or prevent it from forming;
- to satisfy the dog’s need to chew and through it to expend energy;
- to be antibiotic and steroid free;
- to be made of organic ingredients.
Some dental chews come with particular tastes in order to make them more appealing. If you opt for such products it is advisable to avoid items that are based on generic phrases like “meat meal”. In order to make sure that you provide your dog the right thing, select those who include “chicken” or “beef” in their ingredient list. If the treats are eatable, those that contain vitamins C and E are preferred because these are natural preservatives.
Sweeteners (in small amounts) are also accepted, considering that you do not give them to your dog on a regular basis. There are certain ingredients that need to be avoided, like sodium nitrate, potassium sorbate, artificial colorings and humectants.
|Natural Chews||Toy Chews|
|Can help the dog keep its teeth clean||They are very well designed and target the major oral problems of your dog|
|They are very tasty and the dogs love to chew them||They exercise the jaws, gum and teeth|
|There are no additives or colorants included so they are 100% safe||They are easy to find, and you can purchase them from nearly everywhere|
|There is a wide variety to choose from: bones, chicken jerky, rawhide, pig ears, bully sticks, etc.||They can become a great pastime activity|
|They can be a great night treat||They are very resistant|
|The marrow can upset dogs who have problems with their stomachs||They can contain unhealthy chemicals, especially if they come from a doubtable provider (thus you need to know the list of ingredients that you must avoid)|
|If they chew them intensively they can end up breaking their teeth||If they are not well-build they can break and the dog can swallow them|
|Cooked bones can brake easily and the splinters can hurt the dog|
Dental chews come in different shape and sizes in order to meet the needs of all dog breeds. Though they are all labeled according to the type and size of the dog, it is not a good idea to rely exclusively on that. If your dog chews and swallows its treat in a matter of seconds, it means that it was completely useless for its oral health.
On the other hand, the ones that require a decent amount of time in order to chew them, are the ones that manage to clean their teeth effectively. As it can be seen, the size is absolutely relative. This is why you need to analyze how your dog reacts to the dental chew in order to decide which one is best for it.
Chew brands and products
C.E.T. enzymatic oral hygiene chews
C.E.T. Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews come in various shapes, for small, medium-sized and large dogs. These dog chews have the purpose to keep the plaque under control by mixing the abrasive action with the natural antiseptic activity. At the same time, they manage to eliminate the bacteria that form the plaque. As they are made of beef hide, they can be a delicious daily treat. People who bought this product seem to be satisfied with it, as the reviews are mostly positive.
Based on them, here are the major traits of this product:
- it really manages to eliminate the plaque, and the results are visible after two months;
- it can help the dog relieve stress while chewing;
- it is made from pieces of rawhide, thus they are moist and easy to break, reducing choking hazards;
- the small-sized ones are very easy to chew, even by a Chihuahuas.
Like this amazing product? Then you can buy it here.
Pedigree dentastix dog treats
Pedigree Dentastix dog treats are daily treats. They keep the dog’s mouth healthy and also freshen the breath. The special texture can reach even the harder to reach areas, like the gum line and between the teeth. The patented X-shape treat manages to reduce the tarter buildup effectively. As they rely on positive reviews, it seems that they really manage to provide the quality stated.
Based on them, here are the major traits of these treats:
- they have a great taste, and dogs love them;
- they keep the teeth white and without tartar;
- the breath of the dog is fresher;
- they can be broken into smaller pieces easily in case your dog finds them too big.
If you interested in this product you can check its price here.
Greenies dental chews
Greenies Dental chews for dogs can help the dog clean its teeth in a natural way, through chewing. They can remove tartar buildup and wipe away plaque. These treats contain dietary fiber and natural sources of antioxidants, as well as a delicious taste. These dental chews have many positive reviews that certify their quality.
Based on them, here are the major traits:
- the dogs love their taste;
- they clean the teeth and freshen the breath;
- they manage to reach the area between the teeth, thus they prevent bacteria.
If you like this product you can find and check its price here.
Nylabone dental chew
Nylabone dental chew is an original flavored bone toy. The special texture can help your dog clean its teeth in an effective manner. It is also a great alternative to control the tartar and plaque. The rounded dental nubs do not hurt the gums because they are soft and sensitive.
Based on people’s reviews, here are the major traits of this product:
- it is very durable and long-lasting, even if the dog uses it daily as a toy;
- it is perfect for moderate chewers;
- the numbs massage the gums and promote salivation that cleans the teeth in a natural manner.
If you interested you can buy it from Amazon.
Rawhide chews natural dog treats
Rawhide Chews Natural dog treats are made of natural ingredients. They are handmade and batch cooked for extra delicious flavor. They are quite resistant, and can satisfy the dog’s need to chew. At the same time, they manage to reduce tartar, for healthy gums and clean teeth. There are no additives, hormones or preservatives added. Most dog owners who purchased this product were very satisfied.
Based on their reviews, here are the major traits:
- they manage to clean the dog’s teeth effectively;
- they are made of quality meat;
- dogs love their taste.
Like this great product? Then you can check its price here.
Things to consider when purchasing treats
The quality is an important indicator that needs to be considered when purchasing dog chews. This means that you need to double-check the brand before giving the product to your dog. While some are effective and safe, others can cause choking or other hazards that can end up pretty bad. In order to keep your pet safe, it is a wise idea to consider the following things:
- The dimension of the treat needs to match the size and chewing preferences of your dog. Aggressive chewers, for example, though small, need firmer dental chews;
- Edible treats are delicious and dogs love them, but they contain sweeteners and this adds lots of calories. It is a wise idea to alternate chewing toys with natural treats in order to help your dog keep its teeth clean;
- If your dog already has tartar or plaque, it is not recommended to give it hard treats as they can hurt the gums. Fresh bones and soft toys are a better alternative until the pet manages to clean its teeth;
- If your dog is an aggressive chewer, then you should avoid giving it small treats like rawhide chews because it can swallow the whole piece and choke. In this case, bones or chew toys are a better alternative because they are more resistant.
And if your dog doesn’t seem to be interested in any of the treats you bring home, we have an article on some of the other wonderful dog dental cleaning products available in the market for you to consider.
As it can be seen, dental chews have a series of benefits that can help the dog keep its teeth clean. As there are many types available on the market, it is important to take your time and analyze which one is more suitable for your pet.
This means that you need to look at the ingredients or the material, in order to avoid toxic chemicals. The size is also relative, considering that you have a small, but aggressive chewer. Whether you choose natural treats or specially designed toys, you have the certainty that they manage to keep the teeth of your dog free of plaque and tartar while freshening their breath.