5 Best Dog Dental Chews, with Vet Recommendations!
Every dog owner wants a healthy dog! Taking care of your furry friend includes taking care of their mouth, something many owners forget about. Of course, this means brushing their teeth and getting regular dental cleanings at the vet, but did you know your dog’s mouth health can be aided by dental chews?
Here’s why you should consider adding them to your dog’s diet and a few recommendations for some of the best!
Why Your Dog’s Dental Health Matters
Dogs’ teeth are often overlooked, but they’re an important aspect of your pup’s overall health! In fact, about 80% of pets will develop periodontal disease before they even turn 3 years old. And poor oral health can cause other issues, like:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
You can help avoid issues with your dog’s teeth by regularly brushing them, taking your dog to your vet for check-ups and dental cleanings, and using some recommended dental chews.
If you would like to schedule your next appointment for your pup’s dental cleaning or are concerned about their oral health, give us a call at 281-693-7387.
Why You Should Use Dog Dental Chews
Dog dental chews are just one part of ensuring your dog’s overall health, but they’re an important step—and one your dog is likely to enjoy. Over time, plaque builds up inside your dog’s mouth. Dental chews help reduce that plaque buildup by up to about 70%, and if the chew contains polyphosphate, it can reduce tartar by 55%. To be labeled an accepted product by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC), a dog dental chew must reduce plaque or tarter by at least 10%.
Bonus! Dog dental chews are also known to reduce cases of bad breath.
The Top Dog Dental Chews
There are plenty of dental chews out there to choose from, but here are some of the top options on the market:
1. Enzadent Oral Care Chews (Recommended by Cinco Ranch Vet)
One of the dental chews we recommend the most is Vet Solutions Enzadent Oral Care Chews. Available in petite, small, medium, and large sizes, they work with your dog’s saliva and enzymes to break down any food left on the teeth. The beef hide they contain leaves your dog’s teeth clean and polished.
These chews can be given to your pup after meals.
2. Hill’s® Prescription Diet® Dental Care Chews (Recommended by Cinco Ranch Vet)
Another dental chew treat we recommend to our patients is Hill’s Prescription Diet Dental Care Chews. They’re shaped like a toothbrush and floss and are designed to clean the teeth and reduce bad breath. They are available in small and regular sizes, and come in a mint flavor.
These dental chews are approved by the VOHC, although they are not recommended for dogs under 10 pounds or younger than 10 months.
3. GREENIES™ Original Dental Chews
Used daily, they fight plaque, tartar, and bad breath and have ingredients that are easy for your dog to digest. In addition to the original flavor, try blueberry and freshmint flavors!
GREENIES also offers dental chews that work for weight management and hip and joint care, as well as grain-free choices.
Homemade Dog Dental Chews
Sometimes homemade is best! This can be true even for dog dental chews, especially if your dog is a picky eater.
4. DIY Dog Treat
This chew is similar to GREENIES but uses mint, chlorophyll, and homemade chicken stock and focuses more on combating bad breath in dogs than on reducing plaque and tartar buildup. Find the recipe here!
5. Doggie Pancake Breath Busters
This is another great recipe for freshening your pup’s breath. It makes about 30 biscuits and will have your dog’s breath smelling like mint. Check out this and nine other recipes here. If your dog isn’t a fan of pancakes, there are quite a few others to choose from!
Use Dog Dental Chews with Care
As with anything you feed your dog, it’s important to give them dog dental chews with care. While some are designed to be daily treats, read the label of anything you feed your dog, and look carefully at the ingredients. It’s also a good idea to ask your veterinarian for advice!
Just like regular dog snacks and treats, calories in dog dental chews add up quickly. If your pup is a huge fan of a particular chew, they could swallow it too quickly, before it can have any real benefit on their mouth. It’s important to find the right match for your dog and the right amount to give them, so they don’t pack on the pounds.
It’s also important to use the right size treats for your pet. For example, even the small version of Hill’s Prescription Diet Dental Care Chews are not for dogs under 10 pounds, while GREENIES Dog Dental Treats in petite size are perfect for dogs between 5 and 15 pounds. Giving your dog a treat that is too large can cause them to choke, and a treat that is too small may be swallowed without being chewed. Check with your vet if you’re unsure about the right size.
Other Fun Options for Dental Care
In addition to the top dog dental chews listed above, there are other treats and toys you can give your dog to aid their oral health. Rawhide chews are great for reducing plaque and tartar, although if your dog has diseased teeth, you may want to avoid hard bones and pigs’ ears.
Some kibbles are also designed to aid your dog’s teeth. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets and Science Diet Oral Care for Dogs are two choices that have been approved by the VOHC and are known to reduce tartar.
If your dog has a habit of eating dental care treats too quickly, look into toys! Kong and Gumabones are two recommended brands.
Taking care of your dog’s teeth is an essential part of their overall well-being. Giving them dental chews, brushing their teeth, and taking them to regular dental cleanings at your vet are all great ways to avoid issues like gingivitis and periodontal disease.
If you’re worried about your dog’s dental health or they’re in need of a dental cleaning, schedule their next appointment with us!