Keeping Your Dog’s Teeth Clean with Dental Chews

Your dog’s oral health is just as important as the rest of their body. Poor dental care can lead to plaque buildup, gum disease, and tooth loss. These issues are not only painful for your pup, but can affect their overall physical health. The good news is that regularly brushing your dog’s teeth and providing dental chews can dramatically improve their dental hygiene.

What are Dental Chews?

Dental chews are treats made specifically to clean your dog’s teeth as they chew. They are often made of materials like nylon, vegetable fibers, or animal parts that scrape away tartar and plaque. The abrasive textures also massage gums to increase circulation. This all helps reduce bacteria, prevent gum disease, and strengthen teeth.

Benefits of Dental Chews

There are many advantages to giving your dog dental chews:

  • Remove Tartar and Plaque – The gnawing motion scrubs teeth surfaces while special materials clean hard-to-reach spots.
  • Freshen Breath – Getting rid of bacteria and plaque helps eliminate bad doggie breath.
  • Strengthen Teeth – Chewing toughens gums and exercises jaw muscles.
  • Improve Overall Health – Cleaner teeth decreases risks of disease spreading to organs.
  • Easy to Use – Chews are a tasty, enjoyable way to improve dental health.

Types of Dental Chews

There are a variety of dental chews to choose from including:

  • Rawhide – Tough, long-lasting rawhide scrapes away plaque and tartar as dogs work away at the treat. Look for responsibly sourced rawhide without added chemicals.
  • Vegetable Chews – These all-natural chews are made from ingredients like sweet potatoes or carrots. They have an abrasive texture that cleans teeth down to the gumline.
  • Beef Chews – Pizzle sticks (bull penises) and other beef treats have a sinewy texture that helps scrape teeth surfaces. These protein-rich options are tasty and digestible.
  • Edible Nylon Chews – Nylon chews can be consumed safely, making for a good choice in multi-dog homes. They are highly effective at removing plaque and massaging gums.

Key Features to Look For

When comparing dental chews, consider these factors:

  • Effectiveness – Check that the chew is rigid or coarse enough to actually scrub teeth. Softer treats may be tasty but won’t clean as well. Look for the VOHC seal from the Veterinary Oral Health Council for proven dental health products.
  • Safety – Ensure the chew is the appropriate size and texture for your dog based on their age and chewing habits. This prevents choking hazards or intestinal blockages.
  • Ingredients – Seek out all-natural, high-quality ingredients free of artificial additives. Steer clear of products heavy in fat, salt, or preservatives which can upset your dog’s stomach.
  • Flavor – Finding a taste your pooch loves makes it more likely your dog will fully enjoy their dental treat. Look for real meats, cheeses, veggies, or peanut butter in the ingredients.
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Tips for Using Dental Chews

Follow these tips to get the most out of dental chews:

  • Get the Right Size – Size the chew to your dog’s mouth and chewing capabilities. It should be large enough to gnaw but not so big as to present a choking risk.
  • Supervise Your Dog – While most chews are digestible, keep an eye on your dog anytime they enjoy a dental treat to prevent issues. Take away smaller pieces as they get towards swallowing.
  • Combine with Brushing – While chews help a ton, they can’t fully replace a toothbrush. Aim to brush several times per week in addition to providing chews.
  • Give Them Often – Consistency is key for oral health. Plan to give dental chews or other teeth cleaning treats 2-3 times per week.

Keeping your dog’s smile shining bright is easy with yummy dental chews in their routine. Providing the right chew for your pup ensures healthy teeth and gums for years to come.

The Best Dental Chews to Clean Your Dog’s Teeth

As you search for the perfect dental chew for your pup, there are some top options to consider. The best dental chews tick all the boxes – they are highly effective at cleaning teeth, made from premium ingredients, and tempting flavors dogs go wild over. These picks stand out above the rest.

Greenies Original Dental Dog Treats

Greenies are veterinarian recommended and carry the VOHC seal as an effective dental chew. The unique texture and shape clean down to the gumline as dogs chew while also freshening breath. They are made with natural ingredients and come in sizes for all breeds. Plus, the yummy chicken flavor keeps pups coming back for more teeth cleaning goodness.

Milk-Bone Brushing Chews Daily Dental Treats

The nubbly, nylon surface of Milk-Bone’s Brushing Chews scrub away plaque and tartar with specially designed ridges and grooves. These treats are also infused with minerals and vitamins for overall health. The built-in safety ridges help clean teeth without splintering while keeping gums healthy. Dogs find the real chicken and vegetable flavors simply irresistible.

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Whimzees Variety Dental Dog Treats

Whimzees natural vegetable ingredients and oral cavity shape provide a thorough yet gentle clean. These highly effective chews are not only great for dental health but easy to digest as well. They come in fun shapes like alligators and hedgehogs that dogs eagerly nibble away at. The potato starch and vegetable glycerin construction break down safely if swallowed.

Benebone Wishbone Dental Chew Toy

The Benebone Wishbone is a hardy chew toy that stands up to serious gnawers. It’s curved shape allows dogs to really get their jaws around the toy for maximum teeth cleaning potential. The textured surface scrapes away plaque and tartar while the delicious real bacon flavor entices pups to keep chewing. Benebones are made in the USA with USA-sourced nylon for safety and durability.

OraVet Dental Hygiene Chews

OraVet Chews provide an advanced dental care option proven to reduce plaque and tartar by 70%. This veterinarian recommended treats contain delmopinol hydrochloride, an ingredient that prevents bacteria from sticking to teeth surfaces. Dogs eagerly chew away thanks to the irresistible chicken and mint flavor. OraVet chews give pet owners peace of mind knowing their dog’s teeth are getting expert-level care.

Give your dog the gift of clean teeth, healthy gums, and fresh breath with these top dental chews. Adding teeth-cleaning treats into their routine pays off with better overall wellness for years to come. With so many options, you can find the perfect chew to suit your pup’s preferences and dental needs.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Dental chews are treats made to clean tartar and plaque off dog’s teeth as they chew. The abrasive texture also massages gums.
  2. Benefits of giving dogs dental chews include fresher breath, plaque and tartar removal, stronger teeth, improved overall health, and an easy way to improve oral hygiene.
  3. Types of dental chews include rawhide, vegetable chews, beef chews, and edible nylon chews. Each works a bit differently to clean teeth.
  4. When comparing dental chews, look at their effectiveness, safety, ingredients, and flavor to find the best match for your dog.
  5. Tips for using dental chews include: getting the right size, supervising your dog, combining chews with brushing, and giving them consistently.
  6. Top recommended dental chew brands include greenies, Milk-Bone Brushing Chews, Whimzees, Benebone Wishbone, and OraVet Chews.
  7. Adding dental chews 2-3 times per week improves your dog’s oral health by reducing bacteria and plaque leading to cleaner teeth and gums.
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Why are dog dental chews useful?

For caring dog owners, dental chews provide an easy and effective way to improve your pup’s oral health. As your dog chews on these abrasive treats, they mechanically scrub away plaque and tartar build-up which can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. The physical gnawing and scraping motion at unique angles cleans spaces where toothbrushes have difficulty reaching. Dental chews massage gums as well which stimulates circulation. Their specialized texture and materials are better at fighting bacteria growth. Combine dental chews with occasional brushing for a comprehensive oral care plan.

How often should I give my dog dental chews?

Aim to give your dog dental chews around 2-3 times per week as a preventative oral care regimen. For dogs that already have moderate to severe plaque and tartar, you may need more frequent dental chews at first to get the teeth cleaner. Once your vet confirms teeth and gums are in good shape, you can scale back to 2-3 chews weekly for maintenance. The key is consistency with dental health rather than leaving long gaps between chews. Always follow package instructions and never exceed daily portions. Monitor your dog’s teeth at home and make adjustments as necessary.

What dog dental chews are the best?

Some stand out dental chew options include Greenies chicken flavor treats containing natural ingredients, Milk-Bone brushing chews with special nubbly ridges to penetrate crevices, Whimzees vegetable chews in fun hedgehog and crocodile shapes, Benebone wishbone shaped bacon flavored nylon chew toy for heavy chewers, and vet recommended OraVet chews with bacteria fighting ingredients. You can’t go wrong with any of these reputable, top-rated picks that clean teeth, freshen breath, and leave pups begging for more thanks to high-quality ingredients and flavors.

Can I make home-made dental chews?

Some dog owners opt to create their own dental chews at home, though store-bought ones are often more effective. You can bake treats using abrasive ingredients like carrots, sweet potatoes, apples, or celery which offer limited plaque removal. Other items around the house like knotted rope toys, wet washcloths twisted and frozen, rubber dog toys, and raw bones with meat scraps also provide some dental benefits too. However, specialized dental chew recipes are scientifically tested and designed to penetrate crevices and fight dangerous bacteria. So while home-made treats have some perks, they likely don’t fully replace engineered dental care products.

How do I transition from regular treats?

Like most changes to a dog’s routine, introduce dental chews slowly alongside their normal rewards. On the first day, give your dog praise and excitement when handing over a dental chew. Provide just a few so they don’t fill up only on the new treat. Over the following week, slightly increase dental chew portions while decreasing regular treats. Once your dog eagerly anticipates their yummy dental reward, you can fully swap out regular snacks for exclusive dental chew time. This gradual approach prevents upsetting your dog’s digestive system. Make it a celebration so your dog associates dental care time with tail wags!