Best dental chews for dogs 2024: Keep your pup's teeth in top shape

Dog chewing on the best dental chew
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Offering one of the best dental chews for dogs can be a tasty way to keep your pup’s teeth in tip-top shape. Not only can they be a delicious treat but are also good for cleaning your dog’s teeth and freshening their breath. While they should not replace regular teeth brushing, they can work alongside your regular dental cleaning routine. 

Of course, you can still serve up the best dog treats but why not also offer something that can aid in good dental hygiene? A dental chew can also be used to help ward off anxiety and support natural chewing behaviors. Vet, Dr. Rebecca MacMillan says, “They encourage a dog's natural chewing behavior which can help relieve boredom and anxiety… Dental chews are best used alongside teeth brushing to keep your pet’s mouth as healthy as possible.”

When choosing the best dental chews, you are met with some of the factors as if you were picking one of the best dog toys. Things like the size and age of your dog, and the hardness of the chew are all important when it comes to picking the right chew for your pup.

But never fear, we’ve done the groundwork for you and have rounded up the nine of the best dental chews. Let’s see which chews came out on top.

Best dental chews for dogs 2024

How to choose the best dental chew for your dog

Dental chews are as individual as your dog, so while it may be tempting to grab the first item on the shelf, it’s important to take the time to choose the right one that suits your best friend’s needs. 

Consider your dog’s dietary requirements and ensure the ingredients, nutrients, flavors and even calorie count will work within their current routine. Size is another important factor, too big and your dog will struggle to get a grip; too small and it will not be effective in providing that thorough clean you’re looking for. 

Sensitive stomachs should always come into the equation, and, in particular, look out for grain-free options and natural, highly soluble ingredients that are easily digested. Equally, consider your dog’s current dental health before thinking about how to improve it. 

If they have sore gums or weakened teeth, opt for a softer chew, but if they’re a heavy chewer, try something tougher that will last longer and really reach between the teeth and down to the gums. By considering these details, you can be sure that the dental chew you buy will do everything you need it to while keeping your dog’s oral health in tip top shape.

Dr. MacMillan adds, "You should also check the texture of your chosen dental chew; smaller breeds may require something softer than a larger breed of dog can cope with. 

Regardless of how big your dog is though, never give them something too hard. Your product should have some give, and you should be able to dent it with a fingernail. Antlers and bones are not appropriate as these can cause painful tooth fractures in any breed of dog." 

Can dental chews replace teeth brushing?

While dental chews are a great tool for cleaning teeth and gums, you should still practice regular tooth brushing to ensure your dog's teeth stay healthy and clean.  You can check out our vet's guide on how to brush a dog's teeth for everything you need to know. 

"Dental chews are best used alongside teeth brushing to keep your pet’s mouth as healthy as possible. You can use them regularly, but just ensure that you account for the extra calories that they add to your pet’s diet," says Dr. MacMillan. 

rebecca macmillan
Rebecca MacMillan BVetMed BSAVA PGCertSAM MRCVS Rebecca MacMillan BVetMed BSAVA PGCertSAM MRCVS

Rebecca is a vet surgeon who graduated in 2009 from the Royal Veterinary College in London. She has a wealth of experience in first opinion small animal practice, having done a mixture of day-to-day routine work, on-call emergency duties and managerial roles over the years. She enjoys medicine in particular and she is proud to have recently achieved a BSAVA postgraduate certificate in small animal medicine (with commendation). She writes on various feline and canine topics, including behavior, nutrition, and health. Outside of work and writing she enjoys walking her own dog, spending time with her young family and baking!

Curated by
Alexis De Leaver
Curated by
Alexis De Leaver

Alexis has worked with publications such as Daily Mail, World of Cruising and Father's Quarterly. Originally from the United States, she started her career as an editorial intern at Ohio Magazine and has been in love with writing ever since.