Best Dog Dental Care
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While brushing your dog’s teeth is an important measure for promoting dental health, many pets aren’t fond of the practice. It’s helpful to incorporate multiple strategies for keeping your dog’s teeth healthy, especially if your attempts at brushing your dog’s teeth leave something to be desired.
You can start by simply swapping out your dog’s bone for dental chews, which have unique properties that promote dental health and combat bad breath in dogs. More specifically, they usually contain ingredients like parsley or mint to naturally freshen dogs’ breath. They typically have abrasive, ridged surfaces that can stimulate a dog’s gums and dislodge food that may otherwise contribute to plaque, which can lead to tooth decay. The chews have flavors and textures that make chewing an enjoyable experience, so they’re often more appealing to dogs compared to other dental health measures.
Research suggests that adding dental chews to your dog’s routine can be a useful preventive measure. Studies suggest that they’re effective at reducing plaque and bad breath1, and promoting a healthy balance of bacteria in dogs’ oral microbiomes2. Maintaining your dog’s dental health can have a ripple effect that goes beyond the appearance of your pet’s teeth and the smell of its breath. Poor dental health can result not only in tooth and gum issues, but heart, liver, or kidney issues if harmful bacteria from your dog’s mouth enters its bloodstream.
What to look for in the best dog dental bones
Several factors indicate that a dental chew is safe, effective, and beneficial for your dog's oral health. Here are some qualities to look for:
- Size: Many dental chews come in multiple size options for different dog breeds. Choose a chew that is small enough for your dog to chew on, but large enough that it won’t be a choking hazard.
- Texture: Look for chews with ridges, nubs, and grooves that can help physically dislodge food and prevent plaque buildup.
- Digestibility: Chews that say they’re made with easily digestible ingredients are less likely to create digestive issues for your dog.
- Breath-freshening ingredients: If your dog is prone to bad breath, consider options with odor-fighting ingredients like parsley or mint.
- Quality and source: Choose dental bones from reputable brands with a significant amount of positive customer reviews.
- Allergies and sensitivities: Consider any allergies or sensitivities your dog may have and choose dental bones that are suitable for their dietary needs.
- Personal preference: Dogs have individual preferences, so try a few different types of dental bones to see which one your dog engages with the most.
We kept each of these factors in mind to identify the best dental dog chews for dogs. Keep scrolling to read up on our picks.
The best dog dental care:
Best breath-freshening benefits: Pupper Dental Chew
- Contain parsley and turmeric
- Abrasive surface
- Only 1 flavor available
Cost per ounce:$1.04
Pupper’s dental chews contain parsley flakes for natural breath-freshening benefits and turmeric, which has anti-inflammatory properties. You can choose from medium bones for dogs that weigh 25 to 50 pounds, or large bones for dogs that weigh more than 50 pounds. You can sign up for an auto-shipment to receive a 20% discount and save yourself the effort of reordering the chews.
Best flavor: Bernie's Charming Chompers
- Flavored with real turkey
- Contain mint and parsley
- Some reviewers report that their dogs are uninterested in them
Key ingredients:ParsleyPumpkinSweet potato
Cost per ounce:$0.92
Bernie’s Charming Chompers are a daily dental chew designed to promote a healthy oral-gut microbiome. The chews are gluten-free, grain-free, and contain no artificial flavors or animal byproducts. Bernie’s produces the chews in the U.S. in facilities that are Safe Quality Food (SQF)-certified, meaning they’re evaluated for food quality and safety standards.
Best brushless toothpaste: Ark Naturals Brushless Toothpaste
- Brushless toothpaste filling
- Contain baking soda
- No discounted subscription option
Cost per ounce:$1.22
These dental chews have a medium hardness, so they’re meant for dogs that are “medium to heavy chewers” rather than delicate chewers. They have a brushless toothpaste encased in a ridged, abrasive outer layer designed to fight plaque buildup. Their ingredients include baking soda for its abrasive and polishing effects, and natural breath-fresheners like cinnamon.
Best ingredients: Earthbones Dental Chews
- Made for easy digestion
- Multiple size options
- Some dogs don’t like their peppermint scent
Key ingredients:ParsleyPeppermint oil
Cost per ounce:$1.22
These dog chews come in four different sizes that vary by hardness, in 30- or 60-count bags. They were formulated with digestibility top-of-mind, without animal proteins, artificial preservatives, gluten, or grains, which can all cause issues in dogs with sensitivities. They’re flexible and abrasive, which may help prevent plaque buildup.
You’ve got plenty of options to choose from when shopping for the best dental care for your dog. Dental chews tend to be well-received by dogs, and they can help prevent issues like dental decay and bad breath. The best options are designed to mechanically clean off teeth, and contain ingredients that are nutritious, rather than harmful to dogs’ health.