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Best dental chews for dogs: Six options to keep your pup healthy

A brown puppy eating one of the best dental chews for dogs
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Good oral hygiene plays an important part in your canine companion’s overall health and with the best dental chews for dogs, keeping your furkid’s fangs sparkling clean couldn’t be easier. Just like dog food, dental chews come in a range of different options which have all been specially designed to meet the unique needs of your pooch.

Dental chews for dogs come in shapes and textures that act like a brush, sweeping away debris, plaque, and tartar as your dog chews. They’re a great option for any furkid who isn’t a fan of having their teeth brushed, and they can also do double-duty, being used like the dog treats to train your pup, while also keeping them healthy at the same time. Now, that’s what we call a win-win!

With so many other things to consider as a pet parent, you might not have given too much thought to your dog’s teeth, but dental chews are well worth the investment. Not only can they remove leftover food and clean the teeth, but they’re also great at reducing bad breath and improving gum health.

When choosing a dental chew, look for high-quality ingredients that are low in calories and match the treat to your dog’s size, age, and personality. Aggressive chewers may need a firm product that takes some crunching, while senior dogs will do best on a softer chew that’s gentle on the mouth. Let’s take a look at some of our favorite dental chews for dogs that will help keep your pup’s pearly whites in tip-top condition.

PetsRadar's pick of the best dental chews for dogs

Best overall dental chew for dogs: Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Dental Chewz
Best budget dental chew for dogs:
Pedigree Dentastix
Best dental chew for older dogs:
Lily’s Kitchen Woofbrush Dental Chew
Best dental chew for smaller dogs:
Greenies Original Petite Dog Treat
Best dental chew for sensitive stomachs:
Whimzees Natural Dental Dog Chews
Best veggie-based dental chew for dogs:
Zuke’s Dental Chew Dog Treats

Best dog chews Purina

(Image credit: Purina)

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Dental Chewz

Best overall dental chew for dogs

Protein content: 70% | Fat content: 0.5% | Accreditation: Veterinary Oral Health Council Seal of Approval | Main ingredient: Beef hide

Long-lasting
Suitable for all breeds
Proven to break down tartar
Chews not a consistent size

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.

Best dog chews Pedigree

(Image credit: Pedigree)

Pedigree Dentastix

Best budget dental chew for dogs

Bulk boxes available: Yes | Scientifically proven: Yes | Tartar reduction: 80% | Fat content: 1.8%

X shape reaches between the teeth
Developed by vets
Market leader
Affordable
Don't last long
Contain cereals

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.

Best dog chews Lily's

(Image credit: Lily's)

Lily’s Kitchen Woofbrush Dental Chew

Best dental chew for older dogs

Feefo rating: 4.9 | Vet approved: Yes | Different sizes available: Yes

Softer texture for senior teeth
Natural, botanical ingredients
Developed by vets
A more expensive choice

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. 

Greenie's

(Image credit: Greenie's)

Greenies Original Petite Dog Treat

Best dental chew for smaller dogs

Accreditation: Veterinary Oral Health Council, European Veterinary Dental Society | Calories: 57 | Protein: 34% | Fat: 6% | Different sizes available: Yes

Sized for smaller dogs
Soluble ingredients for easy digestion
Regularly on offer
Dogs should be monitored while eating

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. 

Best dog chews Whimzee's

(Image credit: Whimzee's)

Whimzees Natural Dental Dog Chews

Best dental chew for sensitive stomachs

Tartar reduction: 80% | Artificial ingredients: 0 | Calories per gram: 35 | Different sizes available: Yes

Vegetarian
Grain-free
Gluten-free
Low in fat
A more expensive choice

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. 

Click here to read our round up of 5 dog treats for sensitive stomachs.

Benebone

(Image credit: Benebone)

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

Lasts for months
Reusable
Patented design
Flavored with real food products
Cannot be used in households with nut allergies
May be damaged if correct size is not used

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.  

Zuke’s Dental Chew Dog Treats

(Image credit: Amazon)

Zuke’s Dental Chew Dog Treats

Best veggie-based dental chew for dogs

Free from: Corn, soy, wheat, artificial flavors and preservatives | Sizes available: 3 | Flavors : Apple or carrot

Gentle on the digestive system
High-quality ingredients
Free from many known allergens
Not suitable for aggressive chewers

Take the natural path to cleaner and brighter teeth with these veggie-based dental chews that come packed full of peas and spinach with a crisp and fresh apple base. Free from hard-to-digest tapioca and cellulose, these chews contain easily digestible ingredients that are gentle on the stomach.

Available in a choice of three sizes, these chews are ideal for toy, regular, and large breeds, and there's also a carrot recipe if you want to add some variety to your dog's diet and prevent boredom. The addition of vitamin E helps fight oxidative damage and contributes to a healthy immune system, heart, and skin. 

Containing no corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors, or flavors, these chews are made from only the highest-quality ingredients and come in a resealable pouch for freshness. With a unique texture that cleans even the hardest-to-reach places and plenty of alfalfa, parsley, and fennel to freshen the breath, these dog chews make for a healthy and delicious treat. 

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.