How to choose the right dental chew for your dog

Should I Give My Dog Dental Chews?

For dogs that are especially skittish about a tooth-brush, or their teeth just need a touch up between brushing, dog Dental Chews are an excellent choice. Most veterinarians would agree that chews are a great addition to dental hygiene, along with regular checkups.

So should you give your dog dental chews? In short, yes you should. Read on to learn more about why they’re not only a great treat for your dog, but also super beneficial for their dental hygiene.

They say a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a humans, however that is not true.

dog with dental chew

Yes, dogs do have different bacteria in their mouths that may say they are cleaner, but they also have dirtier mouths in different ways. We all know our four-legged friends are notorious for eating the most disgusting things around.

Vomit, cat poop, raw meat, old food, any random thing lying around, and more. Dogs consume some pretty disgusting things, even if we try our hardest to keep them away from it. It’s in their nature, and we do our best to make up for some of their more questionable choices.

It is common knowledge that for a human, brushing our teeth at least twice a day keeps our mouths fresh and our teeth safe from decay. Why should that be any different for a dog?

Dog’s do experience tooth decay, cavities, gingivitis, and more. While brushing teeth is the best way to deal with your pups oral hygiene, some will not let us near their pearly whites.

Dental Dog Chews Can Keep Your Pup’s Teeth Clean

Dog dental chews are designed to clean a dog’s teeth. They protect against plaque build-up and remove most of the bacteria responsible for bad breath. They also fight against tartar.

A good dental hygiene routine can prevent the gums from swelling, or bleeding, and keep their teeth from hurting. The chews have unique shapes that help get in and around the teeth as well as clean and stimulate the gums.

Just the act of chewing is beneficial to a dog’s dental health, and having good teeth changes their mood.

Potential Risks Of dog Dental Chews

While dog dental chews help with oral hygiene, they come with risks like any product. The first thing to consider is your dog’s size, personality, how they behave with anything they chew or bite.

Having a product too small for your pup is bad because they will swallow it before it helps clean their teeth. This can cause an unnecessary calorie increase. If the chew is too hard, but your dog can chew like a champ, it could cause unwanted wear and tear in their mouth.

Like any snack, having too many is unhealthy, so knowing the right amount of chews to give your pet will go a long way.

dog eating treat

How To Choose The Right Dental Chew For Your Dog

The first thing you should consider when picking out the right dental chews is your dog’s size. Inedible chews like rawhides can be too big and too hard for smaller dogs. Dental snacks might be too small for big dogs, depending on what type they are.

Instead, it will just be gulped down. If your dog has a special type of diet, an edible chew may not be best. If your dog’s teeth have a history of dental issues, they may break or weaken their teeth.

If you have a picky eater, considering the flavors is also an important thing to consider. Always keep an eye on the nutrition facts of each chew, for a dogs health varies just as much as a person. Their dietary differences should always be a reason.

There are a few ways to tell if the dental chew you pick is a good quality and will get the job done. First, an important thing to keep an eye on is the shape of the dog dental chews.

If you are picking a snack, then the shape will generally be textured, that way it can get in and around your pup’s teeth.

Another important feature to look for in dog chews is ingredients. The best ingredient to look for is potato starch for its flexibility.

If the product is too rigid, it could harm your dog’s intestines as well as teeth, but potato starch poses less risk as well as removes plaque.

The ingredient list on the dental chews should be short; if they have too many dangerous ingredients, they could potentially be harmful. If you are not sure of which chew would be best, consulting a vet is always a good option.

The Worst Chew Toys And Treats For Dogs

Animal Chews

Bones, hooves and antlers are rigid and may lead to chipped or broken teeth. Bones can splinter and pierce the dog’s mouth or become a choking hazard. Some animal chews may also become sharp when the ends are whittled down by chewing.

Tennis Balls

Although these tend to be a popular play item, the woolly nylon fuzz on tennis balls is abrasive and can wear down the enamel on dogs’ teeth.” Also, the fuzz can harbor grit and tiny pebbles when outdoors, creating an even more abrasive texture.

Compressed Rawhide

Rawhide isn’t actually digestible and can cause blockages and even choking for your dog, and the chemicals used in the bleaching process aren’t good for your dog either!

Corn Starch Chews

If you’re avoiding animal chews for your dog, these may seem like healthier treats. But, in addition to corn being a common dog allergen, these are really hard and have been known to break teeth or become choking hazards as small pieces break off the treat.

Ice Cubes

Ice cubes can render teeth brittle and more susceptible to fractures.

labrador chewing toy

Better Chew Choices

Rubber Toys

The smooth surfaces offer some flexibility when chewed and won’t collect tooth-chipping debris. As a bonus, they can be filled with a mix of hard kibble and soft dog food to keep the pet engaged longer with the toy.

Fresh Produce

Seedless apple slices and raw carrots provide both vitamins and chewing entertainment.

Dental Treats

Chews infused with medication to keep the pet’s teeth clean are a bonus. Some vets suggest products with 10 percent Chlorhexidine Gluconate, which provides “an antimicrobial action.”

Bully Sticks

These jerky-style treats are chewy, so dogs aren’t at risk for hurting their teeth.

Pressed Pork Hide

Pig-based chews are high in protein, low-fat, easily digestible, and softer than cow rawhide.

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