Just like humans, dogs need oral care. But unlike humans, dogs can’t learn to brush their teeth. Brushing your pet’s teeth regularly is essential to taking care of their oral health, but it can be challenging and unpleasant for both of you. Adding the right dog dental chews to their oral care routine is a great way to help prevent diseases, plaque, tartar, and bad breath.
How do you know which dog dental chew is right for your pet? Check out our three steps to choosing the best dental chews for dogs of all types and sizes.
What to look for when choosing a dental chew for your pet
1. Pick the type of dog dental chew
There are many different textures, shapes, and other qualities to choose from when picking a dog dental chew. Some dog dental chews are long and stick-like; others are flat or bone-shaped. Some are more leathery; others are softer or more rubbery.
Consider your pet’s age, chewing behaviors, and the health of their teeth as you make your dental chew decision. For example, puppies or dogs with sensitive gums may need treats with softer textures, while dogs who enjoy gnawing may prefer a tougher chew. The dental chew you pick should keep your pet happy, clean their teeth, and satisfy their need to chew.
2. Read the label of the dog dental chew
Ensure you understand all the information available about the chews you’re considering. Here are some specific things you should look for from vet-recommended dog dental chews:
- High-quality, natural ingredients
- No generic ingredients or names you can’t recognize
- No foods or products that will trigger stomach sensitivities or allergies
- Manufacturing locations with known, strict industry standards and regulations
- Seal of Acceptance from the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC)
Read more about how to understand the dog dental chew’s label in our WHIMZEES blog on Which Dental Chews are Right for Your Dog.
3. Check the size of the dog dental chew
Dog dental chews come in different sizes to match your pet’s daily caloric intake and mouth size. Choosing the right size chew for your dog can help you avoid upset stomachs from overeating or swallowing pieces that are too large.
The right size dog dental chew should also last the appropriate amount of time for your pet. If the treat is too small, your dog will finish it too quickly, making it ineffective at cleaning teeth. If the treat is too large for your dog, it could cause issues with jaw strain or trouble with digestion.
Approved dental chews for pets
Check out this list of our top approved dental chews for pets to see why people – and their dogs – love WHIMZEES daily dental treats:
Innovatively shaped and delicious for dogs, our redesigned WHIMZEES Brushzees® dental chews are a fan favorite. This treat’s grooves and shape make it fun for dogs to grip and chew while effectively removing plaque and tartar from their teeth. They also come in a range of sizes from Extra Small to Extra Large for every pet!
WHIMZEES Brushzees natural dental chews for dogs have met the high standard for both VOHC Plaque and VOHC Tartar reductions through rigorous scientific studies. The VOHC awards its Seal of Acceptance to the best dental chews for dogs that have been scientifically proven to reduce plaque and tartar.
Reduce harmful bacteria, improve your pet’s breath, and deliver a dose of delicious, nutritious, all-natural fun with a WHIMZEES Veggie Ear! This dog dental chew is made with just six wholesome primary ingredients and is the perfect daily teeth-cleaning treat for medium to large dogs between 25-60 pounds.
Does your dog love to chew on sticks? Our WHIMZEES stix are the perfect alternative to wooden sticks that can splinter and cause an infection. Since these treats last a long time and come in sizes from Extra Small to Extra Large, your pet can enjoy chewing on some stix that reduce plaque, tartar, and bad breath.
Big dogs from 40-60+ pounds often devour dog dental chews too quickly for them to be effective. That’s not a problem with Herman the Hedgehog! This popular WHIMZEES dog dental chew is fun-shaped and tasty to occupy your big buddy’s interest while targeting plaque, tartar, and bacteria that cause bad breath and disease.
Oral health and nutrition are always important for your dog, but they are particularly crucial during the puppy years. Our WHIMZEES Puppy Dental Dog Treats come in two sizes and are specially crafted for puppies who are three months or older: soft, grain-free, and gluten-free, with a 100% natural recipe containing calcium to support growing teeth and bones.
5 types of dog dental chews to avoid
You might think anything that encourages your dog to chew and gnaw will help remove plaque and tartar. However, there are many reasons some common dog dental chews are actually bad news for your pet.
Anything that splinters
Bones, hooves, and sticks splinter easily when chewed. The sharp pieces can cut or puncture your dog’s gums, tonsils, gastrointestinal tract, or stomach and cause a number of mild to severe problems.
Anything they can choke on
Small objects can often safely pass through your pet’s system and come out the other end without causing problems. However, small chews can be choking hazards, and once swallowed, can still cause dangerous intestinal blockage.
Anything too hard or tough
Dogs often enjoy chewing or carrying objects like antlers, hooves, rocks, or ice. However, any materials that are harder than your pet’s teeth can chip or wear down their teeth. Avoid tooth injuries by keeping your dog away from chews that are too hard or tough.
Anything too abrasive
It might surprise you to learn that tennis balls are on the list of items that are bad for your dog’s teeth. Abrasive materials such as tennis ball felt can irritate the gums wear down the enamel on your pet’s teeth, so take care to limit how often your dog chews on them.
Anything full of bacteria
Bully sticks are another popular dog chew that may not be the best choice for your pet. Besides being tough on their teeth, bully sticks can also be full of harmful bacteria. The same is true of other chew options such as rawhide or pig ears.
Treat your dog to safe, healthy, approved dog dental chews
Your friends and experts at WHIMZEES know that you care about what’s best for your pet. Keeping them safe and healthy while you care for their dental health includes the following:
- Pick the appropriate type of chew, read the label, and choose the correct size treat
- Look for VOHC-approved dog dental chews
- Avoid dog dental chews that may be harmful to your pet
- Keep an eye on them as they enjoy treats, chews, and toys
If you ever have other questions about taking care of your dog’s teeth, gums, and other aspects of their oral health, we’re always here to help. In the meantime, shop our fun, delicious, and effective dog dental chews to make your dog’s oral care easier than ever.