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11 Best Dog Teeth Cleaning Treats

Your dog’s oral hygiene is a very serious matter, yet so many owners shy away from it. And I get it, cleaning a pet’s teeth is oftentimes troublesome.

But did you know?

Simply implementing dental treats can reduce up to 70% of the plaque that is responsible for gum inflammation and they can also help to improve your dog’s bad breath. However, that is not all they do,

Since these chews last longer than other treats, they help with dogs that have a need for chewing when they are stressed or bored.

Our Pick? Native Pet Yak Chews for Dogs. Click here to check it out on Amazon.

Chewing crunchy dry food, by the way, can also help with plaque buildup. That is why kibbles and teeth cleaning treats should be a regular part of your dog’s dental care routine.

In this review, I will share my best dog teeth cleaning treats. I will also talk about safe and dangerous dental treats, as well as discussing whether or not you need to brush your dog’s teeth.

best dog teeth cleaning treats

Signs Of Dental Problems In Dogs

  • Bad breath
  • Teeth discoloration (yellow or brown residue)
  • Red gums (usually swollen and bleeding)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loose teeth

A List Of Safe And Dangerous Treats

Dental Treats

Dental treats are a convenient way to take care of your dog’s overall oral health. They are based on glycerin, which makes them chewy, and they are also very flexible and specifically designed to fit between the spaces of your dog’s teeth to remove tartar and plaque.

However, stick to giving just one treat a day to avoid dog weight issues.

Milk Bones

Milk bones are basically dog biscuits which are indeed tasty. They are similar to dental treats in that they remove tartar and plaque, but they do not last as long as they tend to crumble and dissolve pretty easily.

Rawhide

Rawhide is a natural treat made from 100% dried animal hide. You can find it in different sizes, and it is usually shaped like a bone. Plus, it takes a significant time to chew on, which is why it is so effective at eliminating plaque and tartar.

However, I am not a fan of this one as I found it could cause gastrointestinal problems in dogs. Moreover, large rawhide may cause cuts in the mouth and even tooth fractures.

Compressed rawhide is an exception since it is less likely to break into large chunks.

Bones

I do not recommend giving your dog nylon or regular bones, as they pose a risk of ingesting sharp bone fragments along with potential bacterial contamination.

The same goes for pig ears, which can leave cuts in the dog’s mouth or windpipe. Pig’s ears also have not been shown to offer any benefits in regards to dental health.

Homemade Treats

Carrots, apples and even celery are healthy treats that do not stick to your dog’s teeth. Additionally, chewing hard fruits helps clean the tooth surface without damaging the enamel.

Dry Food

Another option worth mentioning is dry food as it naturally scrubs your dog’s teeth while he eats, especially larger kibbles which are harder to break. In fact, feeding dry food can result in a 42% reduction of dental tartar in dogs.

Also, check your dog’s food for the presence of an ingredient called polyphosphate as it can further reduce tartar by 55% while preventing future build-up.

Our Top 11 Best Dog Teeth Cleaning Treats

Best Bully Sticks All Natural Dog Treats Review

Best Bully Sticks are not only tasty and highly nutritious, but they are also perfect for improving your dog’s oral health. They last for a long time and work wonders for scraping away tartar and plaque buildup, which is the primary cause of bad breath and tooth loss.

These dog chews are made from 100% dried beef, which means that there are no other ingredients that can be difficult for your dog to digest. You can use it instead of rawhide and not having to worry about hormones, antibiotics, preservatives, and unhealthy chemicals or additives.

This product is made in a free-range Brazilian cattle and it is an excellent choice for supplying your dog with the nutrition he needs to stay active and healthy.

PROS

  • Long-lasting
  • 100% beef
  • No artificial ingredients
  • High in protein

CONS

  • A bit too small for very large breeds
  • Some owners say that the sticks they got were thinner than usual

The treats measure six inches in length, so they are appropriate for dogs of all sizes. Though smaller to mid-sized breeds will certainly find them more rewarding than larger pups.

Blue Dental Bones Natural Dog Chews Review

Blue dental bones are designed to scrape your dog’s teeth and gums to support better oral hygiene. While the bones are on the soft side, they are still firm enough to promote abrasive cleaning action.

These dog chews are potato based and they do not include corn, wheat or soy, nor artificial flavors and preservatives, which makes them easier on the digestive system.

What you do get inside them is a small amount of fat from flaxseed (a vegan source of omega-3), this is coupled with parsley for freshening the breath, as well as alfalfa and some minerals and vitamins from carrots and blueberries for overall health.

PROS

  • All natural ingredients
  • Easy to digest
  • No corn, wheat or soy
  • Low in fat
  • Contains omega-3

CONS

  • Some owners say that the texture is too hard

As long as your dog is not sensitive to potatoes, this can be a good product for him. You can get the treats in various sizes to fit puppies and adult dogs ranging from five pounds to fifty pounds and above.

GREENIES Original Dental Dog Treats Review

Thanks to their unique texture and toothbrush shape, GREENIES are ideal for massaging your dog’s gums, fighting against tartar and plaque (approved by the veterinary oral health council) and keeping your dog’s breath fresh.

While it is not a must, the presence of a VOHC Seal of Acceptance is always a good indication of quality teeth cleaning treats for dogs.

These low-fat dental treats contain wheat flour along with other ingredients that are easy to digest for most dogs. They also include naturally derived colors, poultry flavor, and a long list of vitamins and minerals.

Notice that wheat flour is listed as the first ingredient, which means this product has a lot of empty calories. However, since you only need to give your dog one treat per day, you should not stress too much about it. Unless, of course, your dog is sensitive to gluten.

PROS

  • Natural dog treats
  • VOHC approved
  • Low in fat
  • Added vitamins and minerals
  • No corn or soy

CONS

  • Contains gluten

You can choose the size of the treats depending on your dog’s weight, all the way from teenie (five to fifteen pounds) up to large (fifty to one hundred pounds). So be sure to pick the right one for your dog.

GREENIES Grain Free Dental Dog Treats Review

These are similar to the Original GREENIES in the way that they control plaque and tartar buildup while freshening bad breath, but they do not include wheat flour or other grains, so they are suitable for sensitive dogs.

These grain-free dental treats are made of pea flour and potato, which considered being tummy-friendly, and they also have all the vitamins and minerals that the Original GREENIES treats have. In fact, they even taste the same.

This product is most suited for owners who already feed their dog no grains diet. In my experience, the transition to grain-free dog food helped a lot with itchy skin, ear infections and tear stains.

PROS

  • Natural dog treats
  • VOHC approved
  • Easy to digest
  • Grain-free
  • Low in fat
  • Added vitamins and minerals

CONS

  • Some owners say the treats smell slightly different from the grain ones

You can choose the size of the treats depending on your dog’s weight, all the way from teenie (five to fifteen pounds) up to large (fifty to one hundred pounds).

GREENIES Weight Management Dental Dog Treats Review

When your dog is not as active as he used to be, excess calories can become an issue. Luckily, GREENIES have a solution for overweight canines and it has the same brush design that cleans down to the gumline and removes plaque and tartar, as well as freshening breath.

The only difference is that it also contains L-carnitine, which is known to boost metabolism and can help reduce the storage of body fat, as well as the amount of fat in the bloodstream.

These wheat flour dental treats have a low-fat percentage, although the number of calories is nearly the same as in the Original GREENIES.

The two products also share the same taste, and both have a bunch of vitamins and minerals to ensure your dog’s optimal health.

PROS

  • Natural dog treats
  • VOHC approved
  • Contains L-carnitine
  • Low in fat
  • No corn or soy

CONS

  • Contains gluten
  • A negligible difference in the number of calories

Here too, you can choose the size of the treats depending on your dog’s weight, all the way from teenie (five to fifteen pounds) up to large (fifty to one hundred pounds).

Natural Balance Dental Chews Review

I personally love Natural Balance products. Their dental chews have grooves that encourage chewing, and that alone should reduce plaque and tartar, which is one of the main causes of bad breath.

These dog treats are made with a limited list of grain-free ingredients such as potato, sweet potato or pumpkin for easy digestion, and they even include real meat for great taste.

There is also a formula called Fresh & Clean that includes spearmint and parsley, which can have a deodorizing effect and leaves a minty-fresh breath behind.

All products also supplemented with vitamin C, which is known for its immune system support properties. Other than that, fat content is pretty low, and there is also a moderate amount of protein.

PROS

  • Limited ingredients (excluding Fresh & Clean)
  • Grain-free
  • Includes vitamin C
  • Low in fat

CONS

  • Some owners say that the treats can be quite hard

If you already feed your dog a grain-free diet, then this is an excellent addition to his menu. The treats come in four flavors, and there are three sizes to fit adult dogs up to fifty pounds.

Nature Gnaws Jumbo XL Thick Bully Sticks Review

Nature Gnaws dog chews help promote oral hygiene when used on a daily basis and they are also extremely long-lasting. This means your dog will stay occupied for long periods of time while helping his teeth and gums at the same time.

These bully sticks are made entirely from meat. Unlike other treats that contain fillers and unnecessary additives, there is nothing here but grass-fed beef. This makes them high in protein as well as essential nutrients, along with being tasty to boot.

Since this product can stand up to some serious chewing, this makes it ideal for overly anxious dogs or those who are aggressive in their chewing. Plus, this is an excellent natural alternative to rawhide without added hormones, preservatives or other chemicals.

PROS

  • Long-lasting
  • All natural
  • 100% beef
  • Good for larger breeds
  • High in protein

CONS

  • only six sticks inside the package

This treat come in two sizes, but it may be a bit to0 much to handle for smaller dogs (here is one for small breeds and light chewers). Larger dogs, however, will find that this is a treat they are able to enjoy for more than seconds.

Native Pet Yak Chews for Dogs Review

Native Pet Yak are simple, wholesome treats. They are quite hard in texture which means that your dog will happily occupy himself with them while simultaneously cleaning his teeth and improving overall oral hygiene.

These chews are made from only three ingredients – all-natural yak’s milk, lime juice, and salt. This means that you know exactly what your pet is getting, so you don’t have to worry about chemicals or other additives.

Interestingly, yak’s milk is lactose-free, so it is great for dogs who have issues with milk products.

While there isn’t any meat in the product, the yak’s milk is rich in protein as well as essential vitamins and minerals. In addition, the lime juice provides an added boost of vitamin C, which helps to strengthen the immune system.

PROS

  • Long-lasting
  • All-natural
  • Limited ingredients
  • Gluten, grain, and lactose-free
  • High in protein
  • Includes vitamin C
  • Money-back guarantee

CONS

  • Some owners say that the thickness of the treats may vary
  • A bit pricy

The treats are appropriately sized for medium to larger breed dogs, though they can be cut in half for smaller breeds. If you are not fully satisfied with the product, there is a money-back guarantee.

Merial Oravet Dental Hygiene Chew Review

Merial Oravet dental treats are great for giving your dog the best shot at perfect oral health, as they reduce plaque and tartar build-up while actually repelling bacteria from attaching to your pooch’s teeth. Less build-up means less decay and much better smelling breath.

These chews are plant-based and the active ingredient in them called delmopinol hydrochloride. They are specifically designed to release an ingredient as it is chewed which works specifically to coat your dog’s tooth and prevent anything from clinging to the tooth’s surface.

Other than that, they also contain alfalfa, as well as parsley for added freshness. Although the company cannot release a full ingredient list due to patent and licensing regulations.

Keep in mind that when this product is first introduced, it may alter your dog’s potty habits somewhat until he is used to it.

PROS

  • Repels odor-causing bacteria
  • Contain alfalfa and parsley
  • VOHC approved

CONS

  • No full ingredient list
  • May contain corn, wheat, and soy

These treats come in a range of sizes, so you can purchase whatever is best for your dog’s specific weight and height. From extra small to large, there is a size that will fit your dog just right.

Whimzees Natural Grain Free Dental Dog Treats, Brushzees Review

WHIMZEES Brushzees have a unique shape consisting of grooves, knobs, and hollow spaces for reaching the small gaps between your dog’s teeth, and they also have ridges that help prevent the build-up of plaque and tartar, the primary cause of bad breath.

These potato starch-based dog treats contain a handful of natural ingredients, which means no artificial flavors or colors, and they are also GMO, gluten, and grain-free so there should be no digestive problems, even for dogs with allergies or sensitivities.

Plus, the fat percentage is low, as is the protein since it is a vegetarian treat. On the other hand, there is a lot of fiber inside which is great for weight management.

Some people like to compare WHIMZEES Brushzees with GREENIES because of their toothbrush design. However, the former has a very simple, easy-to-read ingredient list and no white flour.

PROS

  • All natural
  • Limited ingredients
  • No GMOs, gluten, or grains
  • Easy to digest
  • Low in fat
  • High in fiber

CONS

  • Low in protein
  • Some owners say the treats are too hard to chew on

The treats come in four sizes suitable for dogs all the way from five to sixty pounds. You can also find other shapes such as alligator and stix as well.

Zuke’s Z-Bone Dental Chew Dog Treats Review

Zuke’s Z-Bone is a dental chew with a chewy texture that supports clean teeth, fresh breath, and overall oral hygiene.

These dog treats do not include grains and instead are made of ground potatoes and other wholesome foods such as apples, spinach, peas, and carrots.

They even contain parsley, which is a natural deodorizer and has antibacterial properties. As befits a vegetarian treat, there is not much fat, yet it is relatively high in protein from vegetable sources.

If you are looking for a product that is made in the USA and doesn’t source ingredients from China, you can give this one a try.

PROS

  • Natural dental chew
  • Grain-free
  • Low in fat
  • Made in the USA
  • Two fruit flavors

CONS

  • Some owners say the treats do not last long enough

You can find the treats either in apple or carrots flavor, and they come in mini, regular and large size depending on your dog’s weight.

Are Dental Treats Really Enough?

We all know that good oral hygiene can be taken care of with daily brushing, but that is much easier said than done.

Dogs love dental treats because they have a natural urge to chew things. The dental treats satisfy this need, so we can avoid some of the issues related to poor mouth hygiene just by giving our dog a treat.

Dental chews act like a real toothbrush in a way, because they have a particular texture that allows them to reach in between the teeth, close to the gums, as well as into other problematic places.

Also, if you need to distract your dog from thunderstorms or other stressful situations, one dental treat goes a long way.

That being said, dental treats shouldn’t replace brushing your dog’s teeth or visiting the vet for a full cleaning, but they certainly help you keep your dog’s mouth clean and fresh in between brushes.

Bottom Line

Just as you take care of your own teeth, you should help your dog avoid unnecessary tooth loss or gum disease so he can enjoy his time and food for many years.

Some of the teeth cleaning dog treats out there include controversial food colors and preservatives that do more harm than good. That is why I only picked the ones I would feel comfortable giving my dog.

Native Pet Yak Chews for Dogs are not only made from a few basic ingredients, but they are also hard enough to last for a long time, which keeps your dog busy while he cleans his teeth. Click here to check it out on Amazon.

Clearly, dental treats are an important part of your dog’s oral health but do not give up on brushing his teeth just yet. After all, this is the best way to get rid of plaque, tartar, and stinky breath.

And don’t forget, always supervise your dog and have fresh water available when you give him a dental treat, as large chunks can be dangerous if swallowed whole.

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