Oral health is an important part of your dog’s overall health, but with so many options out there, what are the best dental chews for dogs to help keep their teeth pearly white?
Dental chews perform multiple functions that are vital for a healthy dog. They prevent and reduce plaque and tartar build up, reduce bacteria, condition the gums, freshen breath and satisfy dogs’ natural chewing behaviour, which can be particularly helpful for anxious pups.
Because dental chews do so much to keep your dog in great shape, it’s important to choose the right one for their specific needs.
With our guide, you can ensure you tick all the right boxes, whether you’re looking to tackle those hard-to-reach spots, searching for something easy on the stomach, avoiding certain ingredients, or seeking something softer for more sensitive teeth.
We’ve researched the best dental chews to suit a variety of needs, from nutrition to age, so you can be confident that you make the best choice for your companion.
Key facts, pros and cons, and our balanced reviews take the guesswork out of choosing, so you know you’re making an informed decision based on their individual needs.
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1. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Dental Chewz: Best overall dental chew for dogs
The veterinary-approved dental chew
Protein content: 70% | Fat content: 0.5% | Accreditation: Veterinary Oral Health Council Seal of Approval | Main ingredient: Beef hide
These low-in-fat, high-in-protein beef-hide chews come complete with the seal of approval from the Veterinary Oral Health Council. Widely recommended by vets due to their accreditation, giving your dog two Dental Chewz per day is proven to significantly reduce and break down tartar, freshening breath and helping to keep the gums healthy.
Purina’s Dental Chewz are suitable for dogs of all sizes. Smaller breeds can safely be given a full chew; however, some owners may opt to cut them down into smaller pieces.
As these chews are made from natural beef hide, there is a variety of size and thickness within each package, so you don’t get the same consistency as with other standard-sized products. Sold by weight, the number of treats may also vary from pack to pack.
The texture of Dental Chewz sets them apart from competitors. Unlike alternatives such as Pedigree Dentastix, Purina’s chews aren’t specially ridged or shaped to reach between the teeth. However, as the beef hide softens, it gently clings to the contours of the teeth, providing a thorough, deep clean.
The more malleable texture also keeps dogs chewing for longer than others which are more easily snapped and crunched, prolonging the cleaning process. In addition, a longer-lasting chew helps to curb any destructive behaviour, keeping your dog occupied and satisfying the chewing instinct.
While rawhide can get stuck in the digestive tract and should be removed from use once thoroughly chewed, beef hide is digestible, so your dog can safely chomp on, and swallow, Dental Chewz without any digestive issues. Its broad appeal, effectiveness and accreditation easily earn these chews the best overall spot.
2. Pedigree Dentastix: Best budget dental chew for dogs
A well-known favourite for a reasonable price
Bulk boxes available: Yes | Scientifically proven: Yes | Tartar reduction: 80% | Fat content: 1.8%
Pedigree Dentastix are a market leader, widely available in supermarkets and online. A familiar and trusted brand for many dog owners, these chews are a popular go-to, not least for their budget-friendly price.
Developed with insight from Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition and known for their distinctive X shape, Dentastix are designed to get between your dog’s teeth into those hard-to-read areas.
Thanks to their special structure and abrasive surface, these chews are scientifically proven to reduce tartar build-up by up to 80%.
Dentastix represent great value for money, whether you opt for a smaller pack or buy in bulk for further savings. A box of 28 or even 56 chews can cost the same as a pack of 6-10 chews from a higher end manufacturer such as Lily’s Kitchen or Greenies, making for big savings when feeding one per day.
Pedigree’s popular chews have no artificial colors or flavors, are low in fat and include no added sugar. However, they are cereal-based, which makes them unsuitable for some dogs with allergies and intolerances.
Additionally, the ingredients lack clarity, listing “derivatives of vegetable origin” and “meat and animal derivatives,” which some owners who are particularly ingredient-conscious may find off-putting. However, Dentastix are the best-selling dental chew on Amazon and come recommended by vets.
Another string to the Dentastix bow is the huge variety on offer. Your dog has a choice of traditional meaty flavors or green tea and eucalyptus oil-infused chews for fresher breath.
There are also options for small, medium and large dogs, all at a similarly competitive price. This is the obvious choice for a tasty, effective dental chew at a great price.
3. Lily’s Kitchen Woofbrush Dental Chew: Best dental chew for older dogs
The soft chew for seniors
Feefo rating: 4.9 | Vet approved: Yes | Different sizes available: Yes
The Lily’s Kitchen Woofbrush is different to other chews in a number of ways. Made from botanical ingredients including algae, fennel, coconut oil, green tea extract, and parsley, it’s designed as a healthy option for a thorough clean and breath freshening.
The “chewy bubbly texture” of the Woofbrush makes it much easier to chew than its crunchy counterparts, ideal for senior dogs who may have more sensitive teeth.
As well as making for a more comfortable experience, the softer composition also means this chew reaches right down to the gumline, helping to fight plaque and keep gums in tip top condition.
A premium pet food brand, Lily’s Kitchen works with vets to formulate each product and undertakes vigorous nutritional testing. As such, these dental chews are a more expensive choice and if feeding the recommended one chew per day, the cost can add up.
The rise in price is, however, reflected in quality and very high-scoring buyer reviews on Feefo. While chosen for quality, the more unusual ingredients mean the taste will likely be unfamiliar to dogs who are more used to meaty flavors.
Feeding trials and reviews show that the unique mix of ingredients is popular with dogs, but Lily’s Kitchen does provide free samples for those who are unsure if it’s right for their pet.
The natural, grain-free ingredients are also designed to be easily digestible, and the Woofbrush is part of the product range recommended for senior dogs of 8 years and older.
While a pricier choice, the careful development and unique texture of these chews make them a super choice for senior dogs who need something a little more gentle on the palette.
4. Greenies Original Petite Dog Treat: Best dental chew for smaller dogs
Specially sized for smaller dogs
Accreditation: Veterinary Oral Health Council, European Veterinary Dental Society | Calories: 57 | Protein: 34% | Fat: 6% | Different sizes available: Yes
If a dental chew is too big, a small dog could struggle to get purchase on it, meaning it doesn’t reach the right places and doesn’t give that thorough clean you want.
While some chews can be cut to a smaller size, many will simply break into pieces, so it’s important to choose a properly sized dental chew that will be truly effective in cleaning your dog’s teeth.
Greenies Original Petite Dog Treats are specially formulated for dogs between 7 and 11 kgs (there’s a ‘Teenie’ option available for dogs who weigh between 2 and 7 kgs too).
At 55 calories per treat, they are a balanced mix of protein, fat, fibre, vitamins and minerals, and one per day is enough to keep your dog’s teeth clean and breath fresh.
Certified as meeting the standards of the Association of American Feed Control Officials for nutrient profiles in dog food – the leading standard in the pet food industry in – the ingredients are designed to be highly soluble and therefore easily digestible.
However, Greenies advises that owners should monitor dogs while using their chews so as not to swallow any larger pieces that may cause a choking hazard. This advice is echoed by user reviews and vets.
Shaped like a toothbrush, the bumps and ridges, along with the slightly chewy texture, work to scrub away at plaque and tartar, getting down into the gumline for a deep clean that doesn’t damage the enamel.
If your dog needs something a little more manageable in size, this is the chew for them.
5. Whimzees Natural Dental Dog Chews: Best dental chew for sensitive stomachs
The grain-free, hypoallergenic chew that’s easy on the digestive system
Tartar reduction: 80% | Artificial ingredients: 0 | Calories per gram: 35 | Different sizes available: Yes
If your dog has allergies, intolerances, or digestive sensitivities, the right dental chew can be hard to find, but Whimzees come to the rescue with their natural dental dog chews.
Covering all bases, their chews are vegetarian, grain-free, gluten-free, GMO-free and have no artificial colors or flavors. They’re also made from just a small handful of clearly labelled ingredients, so you know exactly what your dog is getting, ideal when there are specific dietary requirements to work around.
Grain-free chews can help to ease digestive issues and skin complaints, and a gluten-free option can help with gluten-related allergies such as itchy skin, ear infections, and stomach upsets that, while rare, can be very distressing.
A slightly harder chew than others, they’re long-lasting but may not be suitable for older dogs with more sensitive teeth. Whimzees chews are available in a range of sizes from XS to XL and in a variety of shapes, from ridged sticks, to playful alligators and toothbrushes, with variety packs available to keep your dog interested and entertained.
Designed with plenty of bumps and ridges, they not only remove plaque and tartar build up but also massage the gums for increased blood flow.
As well as being available in different sizes to suit your dog’s weight, Whimzees chews are shaped to be gripped between the paws, so your pup can get a good hold for easy chewing.
These chews are a more expensive choice than some, but are reported to be two times more effective than their leading competitor, so this is a great choice for dogs with more sensitive systems who need a bit of extra care and attention when it comes to their diet, and their dental routine.
6. Benebone Dental Chew Toy: Best re-usable dental chew
The chew that lasts for months, not minutes
Flavors available: 3 | Ergonomic design: Yes | Artificial flavors: 0 | Material: Food-grade nylon | Different sizes available: Yes
Whether your dog is on a diet and you need to cut down on treats, or you’re looking to save on the regular cost of edible dental chews, a reusable option is a great alternative.
While most treats last a matter of minutes, or hours if they’re a little tougher, the Benebone Dental Chew Toy can last for months.
They come in four sizes, from XS to L, so you can choose the correct chew to suit your dog’s weight and breed. Do take care to pick the correct size as a strong chewer can cause damage to a smaller product, meaning it won’t have the same, long-lasting effect. However, if you choose the right size, the strong nylon material can stand up to some tough chomping for weeks on end.
A choice of real bacon, chicken and peanut flavouring keep dogs coming back for another taste, the patented ridges working to remove plaque and stimulate the gums. And the ergonomic curved shape naturally fits the mouth comfortably and makes it easy for paws to get a good grip.
Be aware, a previous version with larger holes became stuck over the jaw in a small number of instances, so it’s important to ensure you buy the new, safely updated design. Check the design against the official images on the Benebone website to keep your companion safe and, like any chew, remove it once it shows signs of heavy wear.
If you need something long-lasting that will withstand even the most enthusiastic of chewers, the Benebone chew is the ideal choice.
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, flavours 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.
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