Best Dental Chews For Dogs: Give Your Dog A Pearly White Smile

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Puppy chewing on dental stick: Best Dental Chews for DogsYou walk in the door after a long day of work and your dog jumps on you and gives you all the puppy kisses in the world. How sweet, but man does their breath stink! Your sweet pup is just trying to show you how much they missed you, but you are not enjoying the affection because it’s so smelly!

Thankfully, the best dental chews for dogs can help with this stinky situation. Not only can they freshen your pup’s breath, but they can also help with gum health and reduce plaque and tartar build up.

Article Overview

Before You Give Dental Chews For Dogs

Make sure there is always fresh drinking water available when you give your dog one of these treats. Also, be sure to monitor your dog and don’t leave them alone while they are eating a treat in case she bites off too large of a chunk and has difficulties.

Teeth Brushing Is Important Too

Hand brushing dog's teethWhile dental chews can help to keep plaque at bay, there is no substitute for brushing your dog’s teeth.

We know it can be hard to convince your dog of the value of this activity so we put together a dog teeth brushing guide to help guide you through this sticky situation.

Best Dental Chews For Dogs: Greenies vs Dentastix

What are the best dog dental chews? It really depends on your dog’s preference, eating habits and dental needs. Two of the best dental treats for dogs are Greenies and Pedigree’s Dentastix, but which one is better? We compared these dog dental chews against one another. Honestly, we think they’re both great, and they came out being equals, which is why they are tied for Best Dental Chews for Dogs.

Greenies Dental Dog Treats & Dog Chew Review

Greenie's Dental Dog TreatsView on Amazon

These Greenies dental sticks for dogs help fight plaque and tartar build-up to keep your dog’s oral hygiene in check. If they love to give you lots of kisses you’ll like these too since they help with bad breath. These natural dog chews are low-fat and include vitamins to keep your pup healthy.

Are Greenies good for dogs? Yes, they can help maintain healthy teeth and gums when used correctly. However, if dogs eat too quickly, they can swallow sharp pieces and hurt their throat or internal organs. It is crucial to keep an eye on your pet while they are enjoying this or any chew or toy.

Our First-Hand Experience

Greenies are pricier than Dentastix, but we found they work slightly better for our dog Lexie. They are harder and thus last a little longer. She goes crazy over these things, but it’s only effective (and safe) when she takes her time versus swallowing it quickly. – Sadie C., Canine Journal

Pros

Cons

  • Available in teenie, petite, regular, large and jumbo
  • Helps fight plaque and tartar build-up
  • Helps with bad breath
  • Made in the USA (check package for ingredient sourcing)
  • Not for dogs under 5 pounds
  • Not gluten-free (not a con if your dog isn’t gluten intolerant)

Pricing

Dog Dental Health Matters

This video from Greenies has some stats that show us why it’s important to give our dogs dental chews.

Pedigree Dentastix Dental Dog Treats Review

Pedigree DentastixView on Amazon

The Pedigree Dentastix have a patented x shape to help with plaque and tartar build up. They are available in multiple flavors, so hopefully, you can find one that your dog loves. For maximum effectiveness, give your dog one treat a day to get that pearly white smile.

Author’s Experience

We use Dentastix for our dog, Sally. She can get some gnarly breath and these have helped reduce the smell drastically. Our vet always comments on how great her teeth are too.

We like the Fresh ones opposed to the Original or Beef Flavor ones because we find the mint smell to be more pleasing than the others. However, Sally gobbles down any of them within seconds!

Pros

Cons

  • Available in various flavors (bacon, beef, chicken and original)
  • Available in mini and large
  • Reduces plaque and tartar build-up
  • Freshens breath
  • Made in the USA
  • Not for dogs under 5 pounds
  • Not gluten-free (not a con if your dog isn’t gluten intolerant)

Pricing

32 Large Original Treats –  $12.99 ($0.47 / Ounce)

Other Dog Dental Chew Reviews

Blue Buffalo | Paragon Whimzees | Virbac C.E.T. | Zuke’s Z-Bones

Blue Buffalo Dental Bones Review

Blue Buffalo Dental BonesView on Amazon

The Blue Buffalo dog dental bones are available in different sizes, so your dog isn’t eating a treat the size of your dog’s body. (Although we’re sure she wouldn’t mind!) The treats are textured to help soothe dog’s sore gums, which are great for when she is teething.

Included is DHA to help with cognitive development, Taurine for a healthy heart and vitamins for her immune system. These chews will not only clean your dog’s teeth but give them fresh breath too.

Pros

Cons

  • Available in mini, small, regular and large sizes
  • Made in the USA
  • 100% grain and gluten-free
  • Doesn’t mention prevention of plaque or tartar build-up

Pricing

Paragon Whimzees Toothbrush Star Dental Treat For Dogs Review

Paragon WhimzeesView on Amazon

The Paragon Whimzees dog teeth cleaning treats are toothbrush shaped and made of vegetables with no added chemicals. They help freshen your dog’s breath while fighting plaque and tartar build up. These treats are low-fat and high in fiber.

Pros

Cons

  • Available in x-small, small, medium, large and x-large
  • Gluten free and vegetarian
  • Helps control plaque and tartar
  • Helps with bad breath
  • Made in Holland (if you are looking for American-made)
  • Not for dogs under 5 pounds

Pricing

Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews Review

Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Oral Hygiene ChewsView on Amazon

Virbac’s oral hygiene chews are made using select beef hide. The treats help eliminate and control plaque. They state nothing about freshening the breath. Unfortunately, there are reports that some dogs experience vomiting after ingesting one of these treats.

Pros

Cons

  • Available in small, medium, large and x-large
  • Reduces plaque build-up
  • Made in Mexico (if you are looking for American-made)
  • Buyer reviews state that size is inconsistent
  • Pet parents say it causes some dogs to vomit

Pricing

Zuke’s Z-Bones Dental Dog Treats Review

Zuke's Z-BonesView on Amazon

Zuke’s Z-Bones dental chews help freshen your dog’s breath, polish their teeth and keep your dog’s gums healthy. They are available in different flavors and sizes, so you can find a good fit for your pup. Unfortunately, dogs must weigh at least 10 pounds to consume these treats.

Our Personal Experience

We like Zukes because they are one of the few grain-free options. Our dog Horatio is allergic to grain. – Dane M., Canine Journal

Pros

Cons

  • Available in apple, fruit, vegetable, berry and carrot
  • Available in mini, regular, large, giant
  • Made in the USA
  • Grain free
  • Freshens breath and polishes teeth
  • Not for dogs under 10 pounds
  • Doesn’t mention plaque or tartar build up

Pricing

Water Additive: Oxyfresh Review

View on Amazon

If treats don’t seem to be working, you could try this product that you simply add to your dog’s water bowl. It claims to fight tartar, plaque and gum disease. This is another easy way to clean your dog’s teeth between brushings.

All you do is add a capful to your dog’s drinking water each day. The liquid is odorless and tasteless, so your dog won’t notice it’s there.

We suggest you check with your vet before giving this to your dog, just to make sure it’s considered safe for your dog’s health.

Pros

Cons

  • Helps fight plaque and tartar build-up
  • Aids with bad breath
  • Made in the USA
  • Causes diarrhea and vomiting for some dogs

Pricing

Are Dogs’ Mouths Cleaner Than Humans’?

We’ve all heard it. Dogs’ mouths are cleaner than ours. Some of us believe this while others think it’s a bunch of malarkey. Is their saliva “cleaner” than ours? It can be hard to believe since they get into, lick and sometimes eat some not so good things.

Some veterinarians say it’s not true that dogs’ mouths are cleaner, but most of the bacteria found in a dog’s mouth won’t harm humans. So, if you want to kiss your pup — go ahead! Just make sure they are up to date on all their shots and parasite control medications.

Check this out if you are looking for other ways to get rid of your dog’s bad breath. If you are looking for treats to reward your dog, we have you covered as well.

Do dental chews work on your dog?

About The Author:

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. She has been writing about dogs since 2014, covering subjects such as dog insurance, training, health, accessories, and more. Her work has appeared in many notable brands, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Reader's Digest, Forbes, People, Woman's World, and Huffington Post.

Kimberly's natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing, and personally testing canine products and services. With every piece she writes, her goal is to help our readers find the best fit for their unique needs. Kimberly grew up in a family that loved Labrador Retrievers and remembers running and playing in the yard with them as a child.

In 2017, she and her husband adopted their Coonhound mix, Sally, from a local shelter. Kimberly’s research was put to good use since Sally faced some aggression issues with other dogs and needed some training to be an inside dog. She worked daily with Sally and sought help from professionals to help Sally become the happy pup she is today. One of Kimberly’s favorite pastimes is spoiling Sally with new toys, comfy beds, and yummy treats (she even makes homemade goodies for her). She tries to purchase the safest products for Sally and knows that each canine has their own specific likes and dislikes. Kimberly is passionate about dogs and knows the bond between humans and canines is like no other.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Disclaimer: The information provided through this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.

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Rking
January 26, 2020 6:33 pm

Everybody knows by Now, that Amazon reviews are fake news , so I don’t like the fact , that Amazon is on every Product to review “no Thanks Amazon , there are other more legit vendors out there “I found out , after receiving dried out wonder brow several times “!

Jodi
October 27, 2019 9:38 am

I am shocked that recommend greenies

Joe
August 19, 2019 4:39 pm

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN ! My Hound mix, female 11 yrs old Marsha was limping for a while,with difficulties will jump to “her couch” an impossible task to our high bed;read about Glucosamine bought from Sams Club VETIQ Maximum strength Hip and Joint Glucosamine 600mg MSM 210 mg Krill 210 mg wE gave Her two daily with her food (No dry food at all) very soon limping is gone,running after pray very fast to our joy,and jumping to our high bed to wake mother…very please this is our third package of 180 soft chews (chicken flavored) we are going to give Her only one treat instead two because she has very soft stool and we blame the Glucosamine…HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Marsha is not limping anymore! we feed Her boiled chicken liver,pork,chicken breast,apples,boiled carrots…..no dry or commercial food) we stop giving Her Dentastix and we will switch to Blue Buffalo dental Bones…thinking the last one is a better product from USA! i SINCERELY HOPE THAT THIS “REPORT” WILL BE OF BENEFITS TO ALL . God Bless YOU ALL . jv

Jane Martin
April 28, 2020 2:26 am
Reply to  Joe

Wish I had searched the internet before I gave my standard poodle dentastix..has had 3 bouts of severe diarrhea. Vet kept giving him antibiotics…he had no clue what caused his issue. By process of elimination and reading on line, it has to be this product. I just hope & pray he makes it!

Michelle Shipp
February 10, 2019 2:34 pm

What is your opinion on VetIQ Minties ? On the package they say removes plaque and tartar, smells good and wheat,corn or soy. multiple sizes, Amazon’s price is very good compared to greenies.In the ingredients Rice flour, Vegetable Glycerin,Water, Natural Chicken Flavor mixed Tocopherois is the preservative also made in Eagle,ID

Adrienne Asplin
September 4, 2019 3:53 pm
Reply to  Michelle Shipp

I give my doberman a VetIQ Mintie every night and he has good breath and great teeth! They work better than Greenies for him and he likes them better as well. I’m not a vet but this has been our experience. The other non mint treats didn’t clear up his breath too much.

Karen Whyte
December 16, 2018 7:12 pm

So, I thought you were going to date these different chess not just give pros and cons. I’m disappointed.

Barbara McDonough
December 7, 2018 5:36 am

Our 125 lb Rottweiler,Chop who is 3,,years old has a Greenie most every day. He is very affectionate and has the most beautiful white teeth and clean smelling breath.

Judy
October 10, 2018 11:33 pm

I use to give my Yorkie a dentastick daily. So when I adopted my pit bull I bought dentasticks. He was happy for the treat and took it to eat, then dropped it. I was curious. why. I smelled the stick and it smells like ammonia. They use to smell decent. It smells awful. It was a large box and was wondering if they stand behind their product. I’d like to return for a refund.

Diana
July 15, 2018 10:11 pm

My dog is a chihuahua and mini dachshund, about 7.5 pounds, a rescue. She was fed soft dog food that nearly ruined her teeth. I get Oravet from my vet. It has individually wrapped dental chews. She loves them and has already cleaner teeth and breath. (She also has crunchy food from the vet.)

Fagan's mom
August 17, 2019 7:18 pm
Reply to  Diana

You can get Oravet from chewy.com. That may be less expensive. My greyhound gets one a day, she loves them!!! She also gets prescription dental food and chewy.com has that as well.

John Hill
July 13, 2018 2:40 pm

Has anyone ever used Dingo (green pkage/yellow pkage) dental chews? Are they any good?

ANNE
April 2, 2019 9:17 am
Reply to  John Hill

My dachshund has been throwing up every other day so I am going back to Greenies. He does not chew all the way so I am sure that is the problem.

Arushi Gupta
June 23, 2018 7:44 pm

My dog, Bijou, hates Greenies. My family and I do not know why. Thanks for this article. We are going to try the Buffalo ones. My dog is pretty small and is a Papillion.

Sally Goodrich
June 20, 2018 10:06 pm

I had been giving my 3.3# Yorkie Whimzee extra extra small treats, apparently they don’t make them anymore. What would be a safe alternative for her?

Fran
June 16, 2018 7:54 pm

Does anyone know if Whimzees are safe? I gave my 14 1/2 year old dog almost one bag of whimzees (which worked to remove plaque on her back teeth) and she just had a little protein in her urine. I want to make sure this product does not effect their kidneys.

Marybeth
June 19, 2018 1:51 pm
Reply to  Fran

I’ve been giving to my dog for about 7 years without a problem.

Jasmine
June 3, 2018 4:10 am

I have used Dentastix for my dog since she was a pup (now 3), and they have worked well, she loves all except the bacon flavor. I have also,since she was 12wks, brushed her teeth. Her teeth are pretty clean (except for the far back, which is also why I brush) and breath has never smelt bad.
In regards to the ingredients, I do wish they were better ingredients, more natural.

Heidi Bookenstock
May 24, 2018 2:36 pm

I’m a first-time dog owner and I was not prepared for my dog loving to chew household items so much. I bought her some chews from the grocery store but they lasted all of 2 minutes before she had destroyed them. I love that this article reviews different chews and gives specific reasons why each one is a good option, I really appreciate knowing the health benefits of the different chews.

Donna
December 16, 2017 10:50 pm

I have been giving our Spaniel mix 1 Dentastyx a day for around 2 years. He loves them, his teeth are pretty white and his breath is nice for a dog! He likes all flavors, even the minty ones. He is healthy, active and loves his morning Dentastyx (to “brush” his teeth). After his morning time outside, he goes straight to the closet where I keep them!

Buddy
December 4, 2017 2:05 am

I have been giving my dog 1 dentastix everyday for as long as I can remember.
He is 11 now and very healthy and fit and still loves them

Holly
October 10, 2017 8:49 pm

Greenies are NOT made in the USA. The ingredients come “from around the world” according to the package. They are assembled and boxed in Franklin, TN. And they cannot be sold in Canada….My husband ordered from Amazon and they are being returned!

Eric b Sevigny
April 6, 2019 7:03 am
Reply to  Holly

You can buy them in Canada, I buy them from PetSmart. That sounds like Amazon issue.

Sheila
June 4, 2020 7:39 am
Reply to  Kimberly Alt

Thank you for this review. I agree with Holly that the locations of ingredient sourcing are at least as important, perhaps more so, than the location where those ingredients are mixed together into a product. I remember the Chinese pet food debacle, responsible for the death and sickness of many dogs, and will not buy any pet edible with unknown ingredient sourcing.

josh
September 15, 2017 9:33 am

You should be careful when feeding greenies or dentastix. both manufactured by pedigree, they are filled with cheap grains & by products, I wouldn’t let my dog any near these horrendous things

chris
September 7, 2019 7:11 pm
Reply to  josh

So what do you do for your dogs teeth?

Sally Goodrich
September 8, 2017 3:12 pm

My dog is 3 pounds, Greenies upset her stomach so I don’t give those to her. What would be a safe alternative? Being a Yorkie, she needs a dental chew. I have a natural additive for her water and I think that helps, I can’t find a toothbrush or finger brush small enough for her mouth. Any suggestions?

Bella
January 9, 2020 6:13 pm
Reply to  Sally Goodrich

On every package it says DO NOT give to dogs under 5 pounds, so that might be your problem.

Sally Goodrich
September 11, 2017 9:54 am
Reply to  Kimberly Alt

No I haven’t but I will check them out. Thanks

Rayna P
May 27, 2018 12:16 pm
Reply to  Sally Goodrich

My dog is a Yorkie and a lot of things bother his stomach so he can only have certain treats and i have found the dentastyx work great for my Yorkie. Does not bother his stomach one bit and freshens his breath as well. He gets one every other day.

Tracy
June 26, 2017 4:40 pm

The only one here that fights Plaque and tartar and is VHOC approved is Greenies!!! To me, that would be the only one I’d consider!

Shernne
April 3, 2017 12:51 am

I have a little one that weighs only 2.5 kg, we got him from a shelter so he was undernourished previously. According to this post, most of the treats are not for dogs that are below 5 pounds. Anyone able to advice?

Jason
June 21, 2017 1:51 am
Reply to  Shernne

Do not under any circumstances give these to your dogs that are under the weight range!!! What they don’t tell you is that it will cause pancreatitis and can cause kidney failure!! I made the mistake and my female Chihuahua paid with her life. My male Chihuahua was able to be saved but he almost died as well and it was VERY costly for me and very painful for him.

Gail Rhodes
September 26, 2017 10:06 am
Reply to  Jason

I just let my new puppies eat a Denta Stix not realzing they should not have them. Should I be worried? They seem to be fine.

(Admin)
Michelle Schenker
September 27, 2017 12:03 pm
Reply to  Gail Rhodes

Hi Gail,
Just keep a watchful eye on your pup when trying this or anything that is new.

SCHULTZ LAURIE
June 10, 2018 8:10 am
Reply to  Kimberly Alt

Take to the vet. Might have some bad teeth. Once pulled breath should smell better

Mari
August 12, 2018 9:31 pm
Reply to  Kimberly Alt

I’ve heard rawhide are not a good idea as dogs don’t digest them well.

Straightforward
June 20, 2018 3:43 pm
Reply to  Kimberly Alt

Try different dog food. I went through a couple of different brands and flavors, since my dog had recurring yeast infections in his ears. Tired of antibiotics and yeast smell, I asked the vet to do an allergy test. We did, and when the most excellent test result booklet came back, it listed 5 foods – in addition to a number environmental (we lived in the desert and mesquite trees – well we both suffered with those) AND the report included which brands and flavors of dog food and treats – wet and dry were “Safe” for him. I took the booklet to the feed store with the best selection, and the owner went through the list telling me what he regularly carried, could get and all that. Plus he asked what price point I was looking for.

What a difference – almost immediate. My dog ate well now, and didn’t smell bad. I stopped with the allergy shots, because clinically there was no longer a problem – I could manage it by examining the ingredients on every treat, pill, and such. – We had to eliminate salmon, corn, sweet potatoes, eggs, and brewers yeast. Each time I tried a different food, my dog smelled different. His smell also changed some when we moved from the desert to the mountains, where we had some of the purest cleanest water on a mountain next to a cave.

I know of a dog that likes to taste urine of other dogs. It’s hard to catch him at it, as he has this glorious flowing fur – and you just can’t see what is going on under that mane when he sniffs and sneaks a taste.

Some feed/pet supply stores will give you samples of food to try, others will let you bring back anything the dog won’t eat.

Kathy
November 20, 2018 8:14 pm

Was the “allergy test” a blood test? I’m curious as my puppy was deemed by vet to have ‘food sensitivity/s” & changed to a hypoallergenic kibble w/out any testing. I asked what she may be allergic to & was told no way of determining!

Catherine
February 24, 2017 8:07 pm

Try the Whimzees! My dog loves it and it comes in all shapes and sizes. There are grooves that get into the tough parts of dog’s teeth. These treats are also vegetarian, gmo free, and gluten free. There are no harsh ingredients that should make your dog sick! Look on their website for more info. Honestly, Whimzees are great and trustable!

Pamela Black
February 15, 2017 7:55 pm

I’ve been giving my dogs Merrick mini brush bones. They are made in America, chicken flavored, grain and gluten free with natural ingredients. The problem I have is that they are packaged in such small bags. I noticed that Greenies offers a large box. I’ve never tried Greenies and wonder how they compare to Merricks.

guest
January 28, 2017 2:49 pm

Greenies have made 3 of my dogs sick. When I talked to my vet about them she stated that she does not recommend them because she has seen a lot of dogs having blockage issues with the treats. After seeing what they have caused my dogs, I tell people not to buy them.

Lucinda
December 10, 2018 10:07 pm
Reply to  guest

My golden also has had stomach issues and our vet suggested staying away from “most” chewies because of blockage issues – he didn’t have a recommendation however. Our dog also has teeth issues however and I’ve been giving him Dentastix several times a week without issues – so far so good!