The Best Dental Chews for Dogs
Bad breath! Tell me about it. It is in humans as it is in our beloved pets – including our lovely dogs. Except that for humans you can tell them to brush their teeth and off they go. So what is a dog parent to do when all they look forward to after work is spending some quality time with their dog at home? You know, the incessant dog licking that we all hate to love accompanied with puppy kisses. Using the best dental chews for dogs any dog owner should be able to rid their dogs of bad breath. However, dental chews for dogs not only help with the breath but also reduce plaque and tartar buildup while improving the gum’s health.
Dental chews come in both edible and non-edible forms. The main differences between these two forms of dental chews is that dogs really love the taste of the edible ones so they serve as perfect treats while the non-edible chews are usually toys that serve to satisfy the natural craving that some dogs have towards chewing.
Ideally, you should brush your dog’s teeth if they love to cooperate when you do that. (how often should you brush dog’s teeth?) However, we know that just like little babies, our dogs hardly cooperate. Which is why dental chews come in so handy when you just don’t feel like having a fight with your dog because of their stinking breath.
Why Should You Care About Your Dog’s Teeth
1) According to the origin of the domesticated dog, we shouldn’t really bother about dogs’ teeth because these guys were once wild animals that evolved from wolves, right? Well, they are no longer wild animals just like you are no longer the cave-man. With that evolution, it is fare to say dogs need more care from you as a dog owner. However, that alone cannot justify why we should take care of our dog’s teeth. But there is more.
Wolves survive for up-to 4 to 5 years in terms of age while dogs leave for 10 years or more. Unlike wolves, dogs need their teeth to be stronger for longer and to survive for longer. Wild animals lose their teeth so fast and earlier in their ages because of bad care, poor gum health, and lack of basic teeth grooming. But dogs became our friends because they knew better than to stay in the wild. No sane human being wants their dogs to lose a tooth or more so better take care of them.
2) A well-meaning dog parent obviously loves their dog. If you are this person, then your dog loves you too. Every day when you come back home it probably rushes towards you, licks you, and keeps playing and jumping onto you until it is satisfied with your presence. For you to enjoy these moments with your dog, the dog’s breath should not be stinking. It is therefore just better off for you to keep the bad breath away.
3) Taking care of your dog’s teeth also keeps the gum health in good shape ensuring that the teeth have a healthy gum to exist in. When the gum is not healthy, then the teeth also begin to deteriorate slowly over time.
4) Plaque is a soft sticky film that builds up around your dogs gum-line on the outside of their teeth. Too much build up of plaque mixing up with minerals from your dog’s saliva forms tartar. This is a brownish lining that looks rough on the surface of your dog’s teeth. If the plaque and tartar is not removed, it may lead to serious health issues for your dog including gingivitis and periodontal disease (also gum disease) in dogs.
Why Dental Chews?
In summary, taking care of your dog’s teeth is good for you and your beloved four-legged friend. The first step to keeping their teeth clean is to brush them. However, due to the resistance involved, some pet parents decide to take their dogs to the vet for that cleaning.
This can be difficult to keep up with considering that plaques start to develop on your dog’s teeth immediately after they eat, and become tartar if not removed after 3-5 days. It is not possible to take your dog to the vet for regular cleanings this often. It becomes expensive and time-consuming.
This is where the best dental chews for dogs come in. Because some parts of the dental chews are shaped like toothbrushes, they help clean the dog’s teeth easily and more often as compared to forcefully brushing their teeth every few days. Your dog chews on it either because it is a real treat or because of every dog’s natural urge to chew. They are also items you buy to keep at home hence removing the need to visit a vet except for regular periodontal examinations.
Most veterinary doctors will recommend dental chews as part of your dog’s comprehensive cleaning and hygiene plan. This does not mean that your dog’s teeth will no longer need brushing. They will need brushing but less often.
Considerations When Buying Dental Chews for Dogs
Dental chews can be found in different sizes. If you have a small dog or puppy, you should get a dental chew that fits his mouth and small size perfectly. The same goes for medium to large dogs. For most chews, you will find different sizes of them and should be aware of the size of your dog before getting them one.
Dental chews are expected to adhere to manufacturer standards stipulated by law. The seal of approval on dental chews mean that there is no conflicting information out there showing the product to be unworthy of approval.
Additionally, the Veterinary Oral Health Council has provided a list of accepted products duly available online here. In summary, avoid dental chews that contain rawhide, gluten and corn syrup because they are not healthy for your dogs. However, we must say that due to this being common knowledge, you will not find these harmful ingredients in the products we have recommended below. The ingredients for the best dental chews for dogs should be easily recognizable on the package and totally safe for the dog’s consumption or play.
A dog’s dental chews will need to have some specific features in order to be effective and useful. The features include:
- Cleaning ability – The main reason for getting a dental chew for your dog is almost always to help clean their teeth. The best dental chews for dogs do a very good job at cleaning the dogs’ teeth. Therefore, consider this factor and read reviews from other customers as well to ensure that the dental chews deliver on their cleaning ability and power. For what it’s worth, all our recommended dental chews in this guide reliably deliver on this front impeccably than the average dental chew.
- Edibility – As stated earlier, dental chews come in both edible or non-edible varieties. Edible chews are usually treats with tooth cleaning capabilities. Non-edible chews are usually chew toys which help satisfy a dog’s natural urge to chew while cleaning their teeth in the process. You should probably get both if you can just to intensify your dog’s teeth cleaning efforts because non-edible chews last longer and can often be reused severally while edible chews last only until your dog eats them.
- Flavor – Some dogs will refuse to chew if the dental chew lacks in flavour and taste.It is important to know what will entice your dog to chew. We advise that at the beginning you get a dental chew with flavour and one without to taste what will be more effective to your dog. Remember that the goal is to get the dog to chew as often as possible.If they are not chewing on the dental treat, then their teeth aren’t being cleaned. It is fair to say that some dental chews will have a flavour or taste to entice your dog to chew on them even when they are non-edible dental chews.
- Durability – Non-edible dental chews need to be strong enough to withstand your dogs canines and strength. If they are too soft the dog will eventually bite some chunks off them eat them which is dangerous for your dog. Therefore, if you are buying non-edible dental chews for dogs they need to be strong enough to act the part of the chewing process but sturdy such that they are safe enough for your dog.
The Best Dental Chews for Dogs
1. GREENIES Original Large Dog Natural Dental Treats
2. PEDIGREE Dentastix Dental Treats
3. Nylabone Dura Chew Textured Dog Chew
4. Blue Buffalo Dental Bones Natural Adult Dental Chew Dog Treat
5. Milk-Bone Advanced Oral Care Brushing Chews Daily Dental Dog Treats
6. Virbac CET VEGGIEDENT FR3SH Tartar Control Chews for Dogs