6 Best Dental Chews for Dogs: Keeping Your Pup’s Teeth Healthy!



Ben Team


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doggie dental chews

Doggie dental care is one of those things that most owners know is important. But unfortunately, even the most dedicated and well-meaning owners often neglect their dog’s dental care needs.

This is unfortunate, as oral hygiene is a critical aspect of dog care.

Our four-footed best friends can and do suffer from many of the same ailments humans fall victim to, including plaque buildup, gum disease and – perhaps most obviously, given their predilection for licking their owner’s faces – halitosis, or bad breath.

But there is something that can help: doggie dental chews.

We’ll share some of the best dog dental chews to make things easier. That way, you can stop having to read ingredient lists and comparing similar products, and get back to important things (like giving your dog good scritches).

Quick Picks: Dog Dental Chews

  • #1 Greenies [Best Overall Dog Dental Chews]: Likely the most popular choice among owners, Greenies are generally beloved by dogs, and they feature a unique “bristle” section that helps scrape plaque and tartar from all those hard-to-reach areas.
  • #2 Bark Bright [Most Convenient Dog Dental Health Solution]: The easiest possible way to keep your dog’s teeth in great shape between brushings, Bark Bright is a monthly subscription service that sends a month’s worth of dental chews and toothpaste right to your door! K9 of Mine Readers can get a free extra dental kit discount — just click that link!
  • #3 Pedigree Dentastix [Most Affordable Dog Dental Chews]: Designed to reduce tartar and plaque buildup without breaking the bank, these tasty chews are available in several different flavors, so you’re sure to find one your doggo loves!

How to Choose Dental Chews for Your Pup

picking dog dental chews

Like most other dog-related products, the relative quality of dental chews varies widely from one product to the next. Accordingly, it is important for owners to carefully consider the various options on the market and make an informed decision.

Fortunately, there’s a pretty easy way to separate the very best ones from the rest: Look for dental chews bearing the VOHC Seal of Acceptance.

This is simply a distinction that indicates the chews have been submitted to the Veterinary Oral Hygiene Council (VOHC) for review and testing and subsequently awarded the seal.

The seal does not necessarily indicate that a given chew will be the best one for your specific dog, but it does mean that the product is likely to provide effective reduction of plaque and tartar.

Of course, there are a few other things to keep in mind when picking dental chews for your dog, including:

  • Size: You have to pick dental chews that are the right size for your pupper. Fortunately, most good doggie dental chew manufacturers print the recommended size range right on the packaging.
  • Ingredients: The vast majority of dog dental chews made by reputable manufacturers only contain ingredients that are generally considered safe. However, some dogs have food allergies or intolerances, so you’ll want to give the ingredient list a quick skim to make sure the chews don’t contain anything that’ll cause your pup problems.
  • Flavor: Flavor isn’t always a big concern — some dogs will eat anything that smells vaguely like food. But other pooches are picky, which can leave you with a bag full of dental chews he won’t eat. So, always try to pick a flavor that your dog tends to like.
Prescription Dog Dental Chews vs Over-the-Counter Dog Dental Chews

While many different dental chews are available over-the-counter, some are only available from your veterinarian.

While these vet-supplied chews may not be better than those you’d buy at the supermarket, your vet is likely to be very familiar with prescription-caliber products, thereby allowing him or her to provide important insight.

6 Best Dog Dental Chews for Maintaining Your Canine’s Chompers

Now that you understand the importance of dog dental health and know a few of the things to look for, we can move on to our recommendations! No matter what your dog needs in a dental chew, you should be able to find a great option below.

1. Greenies Original Dental Dog Treats

Best Overall Dog Dental Chews

This is a sponsored placement, in which an advertiser pays a fee to be featured in this article. Learn more

Greenies Original Dental Dog Treats

Greenies Original Dental Dog Treats

Incredibly popular among dog owners, these dental treats have earned a VOHC Seal of Acceptance and feature unique “bristles.”

About: By most measures, Greenies Original Dental Dog Treats stand head-and-shoulders above the dog dental chew crowd. They’re not only one of the most popular and highly rated dental treats among owners, but they are popular with vets too, as they’ve earned the VOHC Seal of Acceptance.

These treats also feature a unique “bristle” section, which helps them to scrape away plaque and tartar buildup for total tooth protection. They’re also designed to be easily-digestible, so they’ll help promote dental hygiene without upsetting your pupper’s tummy.


  • Recommended by vets and accepted by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC)
  • Manufactured in the United States
  • They’re low in fat, which is important for overweight pups
  • They contain added vitamins and minerals for greater nutritional value
  • Several sizes are available to suit dogs of different sizes

Ingredients List

Wheat flour, glycerin, wheat gluten, gelatin, water...,

powdered cellulose, lecithin, minerals (dicalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, magnesium amino acid chelate, zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, selenium, potassium iodide), natural poultry flavor, choline chloride, fruit juice color, vitamins ( dl-alpha tocopherol acetate [source of vitamin E], vitamin B12 supplement, d-calcium pantothenate [vitamin B5], niacin supplement, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement [vitamin B2], vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, thiamine mononitrate [vitamin B1], pyridoxine hydrochloride [vitamin B6], folic acid), turmeric color.


  • Per the manufacturer, Greenies are clinically proven to provide a “total oral health solution” when offered daily
  • Most dogs appear to love the taste and texture of Greenies
  • They’ve earned the VOHC Seal of Acceptance
  • They’re available in several sizes and package counts


  • Some owners don’t like treats containing wheat products
  • They’re relatively pricey

2. Bark Bright Dental Duo

Most Convenient Dog Dental Health Solution

This is a sponsored placement, in which an advertiser pays a fee to be featured in this article. Learn more

Bark Bright

Bark Bright Dental Duo

A two-part kit that’s shipped to your home on a monthly basis, these dental chews and toothpaste make dog dental care a breeze.

About: Bark Bright is a dental-care subscription program that’ll help you keep your dog’s teeth super clean in super convenient fashion. Simply sign up for the program, share a bit of info about your pupper, and wait for the packages to start arriving! No more forgetting to order dental chews all the time!

Each month, you’ll get a package of dental chews along with a triple-enzymatic dog-safe toothpaste. This double-headed dental-care combo is specifically designed to help reduce plaque and tartar, thereby keeping your canine’s chompers looking their best.

Best of all, a Bark Bright subscription is pretty affordable — it only costs about one dollar a day!

Get Your Discount!!!

Don’t forget: K9 of Mine readers can get a free extra dental kit discount! Just click on any of the Bark Bright links in this article and follow the instructions!


  • Shipped directly to your front door on a monthly basis
  • Comes with dental chews and an easy-to-use dog-friendly toothpaste
  • Backed by Bark Bright’s 30-day, money-back guarantee
  • Add some toothpaste to the groove on the dental chew and offer to your pup

Dental chew ingredients:

Ingredients List

Potato Starch, Vegetable Glycerin, Gelatin, Pea Protein, Chicken...,

Water, Potato Flour, Chicken Fat, Cultured Skim Milk, Sunflower Lecithin, Citric Acid (Preservative), Powdered Cellulose, Natural Smoke Flavor, Sodium Hexametaphosphate

Toothpaste ingredients:

Ingredients List

Water, Lactose-Free Skim Milk Powder, Glycerol, Sorbitol, Chicken Powder...,

Microcrystalline Cellulose, Alginate, Citric Acid, Enzymes, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Carboxymethyl Cellulose


  • The automatic monthly shipments provide unbeatable convenience
  • Most dogs go ga-ga over the taste of these chews
  • Owners report visible improvements in tooth health over time


  • Unfortunately, these don’t bear the VOHC Seal of Acceptance
  • Chicken may be a problem for dogs with allergies
K9 of Mine Staff Review

K9 of Mine contributor Kelsey Leicht had the chance to try out Bark Bright. Check out her thoughts and experiences! 

With four dogs at home, I was excited to try these chews with my crew for two weeks since I do a lot of toothbrushing. My pack includes a 13-year-old Chihuahua, a 6-year-old Staffy/pit mix, a 4-year-old Staffy/pit mix, and a 12-week-old Labrador, so I had a mix of chewing styles and needs for testing these kits out.

Bark Bright Dental Chews

I received kits containing the large chews, but I broke them in half for testing with two dogs due to their size. 

All chews arrived intact, which is impressive since similar products always seem to break in transit.

BARK’s top-notch packaging deserves credit here.

Everything was clean, organized, and well-insulated.

Filling the chews with toothpaste is easy and surprisingly mess-free, especially once the toothpaste is refrigerated.

Neither the toothpaste nor chews have a strong smell, which I definitely appreciated. They had a very faint, almost sterile chicken smell.

First up: Batman the Chihuahua

Batman LOVES chews. At 13, he still has all of his teeth, and they remain in good shape.

Batman with Bark BrightUpon offering the chew, Batman immediately took the treat and spun around his crate with it in his mouth like a cigar.

Eventually, he settled, though he kept a suspicious eye on me as I tried to snap a photo. He ate his entire half chew in about five minutes, gnawing it between his paws without issue.

He was also a big fan of licking the toothpaste groove like a doggy ice cream cone.

Over the two weeks of use, he didn’t experience any stomach upset and continued to eat the chews happily. That’s a big win since his stomach is sensitive.

It’s hard to say if his breath improved, as he doesn’t normally have super-smelly breath.

Next: Maya the Staffy/Pit Mix

Maya is wary of all new treats, chews, and toys and doesn’t like to enjoy them in front of people, so I had to be stealthy in watching her chow down. 

Maya Bark Bright Chews

Initially, she wouldn’t take the chew, but once I placed it in her kennel and walked away, she happily took it in her mouth and ate it like a treat versus a chew.

Compared to Batman, she finished hers in under a minute and immediately looked at me in the doorway like, “That’s it?”

Over the two weeks, Maya ate the chews without a problem.

She’s prone to stomach sensitivity, but there was no change in her bathroom habits, thankfully.

Out of the four dogs, I would say that I detected the biggest improvement in her breath.

Instead of the classic doggy smell, it became more neutral.

Next: Moxie the Staffy/Pit Mix

Moxie is my pack’s piglet and will eat anything. Moxie with Bark Bright

She was already drooling and ready to feast while I assembled the chews.

She DEVOURED these chews in maybe 20 to 30 seconds, tops.

It made taking a photo difficult, as she shark-chomped the chew from my hand and started chewing.

Out of the four dogs, she made the biggest mess with slobber, so if you have a drooler, definitely offer these in an easy-to-clean area. 

No surprise, but Moxie ate these for two weeks without hesitation.

I didn’t notice much change in her breath, but she did experience more gas than usual. It’s hard to tell if the chews were to blame or her breed, as bully breeds tend to be fart fortresses.

Last: Finn the Labrador

Note: BARK states these chews should be used with your dog’s adult teeth, meaning puppies and dogs older than six months should enjoy them, but I couldn’t leave Finn out. I asked my vet during a routine vaccination appointment and got the green light.

Finn with Bark Bright

I used half of a large chew, as I did with Batman.

Finn had typical puppy curiosity before chewing, but he quickly got the hang of gnawing it between his paws by watching Batman.

He enjoyed the flavor and finished each chew in around two to three minutes. 

Like the other dogs, Finn continued to gnaw the chews without tummy issues or flavor fatigue.

His breath did seem to get marginally better, too.

My Personal Pros:

These chews were a big hit with my pack and had some noteworthy pluses, including:

  • Taste: All four of my dogs really enjoyed these chews. That’s a feat since at least one always seems to dislike a product.
  • Ease of use: I prepared and offered all four dogs these chews in less than a minute. It would’ve been even faster had I not kenneled them for chewing.  
  • Enrichment: I liked that my dogs got to try a fun, new chew with a unique smell and taste. They simply had a great time nomming them. 
  • Versatility: I rarely can use the same product on all four dogs since they’re so different in size and age, but these chews worked great. They weren’t too hard for the Chihuahua, yet weren’t too dainty for the larger dogs to enjoy.
  • Lack of tummy issues: Trying new chews always comes with a risk of digestive upset. I’m pleased that none of my dogs experienced any belly issues. Moxie had gas, sure, but she’s a bully breed, and she may just be gassy on her own.
  • Smell: These were mild in scent. They also weren’t minty, which is a plus because I like something my dogs will enjoy.

My Personal Cons:

I don’t have a lot of negatives to say about these chews, but if I had to be picky:

  • Longevity: I wish the chews lasted a bit long for my larger dogs. While they weren’t super fragile, they didn’t last as long as some other chews. A thicker design would help here.
  • Lack of flavor options: While my pups love chicken, other dogs can’t tolerate it or dislike it. A peanut butter, beef, or bacon option would be great.

Would I Recommend Them or Not?

After my experience, I recommend them if you’re looking for a quick touch up when you can’t brush your pup’s teeth. These are simple, fuss-free, and reasonably priced. They did as promised and didn’t cause any digestive upset. These would’ve been an enormous help when my Peke was still around, as he REFUSED to let me brush his teeth entirely.

Try Bark Bright for yourself (and earn a free extra dental kit discount)!

3. Pedigree Dentastix Large Dog Treats

Most Affordable Dog Dental Chews

This is a sponsored placement, in which an advertiser pays a fee to be featured in this article. Learn more

Pedigree Dentastix Large Dog Treats

Pedigree Dentastix Dog Dental Treats

Super affordable dental treats that are also a bit chewier than other options and shaped like an “X” to make them easy to grip.

About: Dental chews can certainly be a bit pricey, but if you need a budget-friendly way to protect your pupper’s teeth, Pedigree Dentastix may be just what you need.

Designed to reduce plaque and tartar build up while keeping your dog’s breath smelling good, these dental chews are shaped like an “X” to make them easy for your doggo to grip.

Unlike most other dental treats, Pedigree Dentastix Chews are not especially hard – they have a somewhat chewy texture. This may make them especially well-suited for dogs who already have dental issues, as well as those who just prefer softer treats.


  • Constructed in a patented “X” shape to allow your pup to get the best possible grip
  • Made with a chicken flavor and meaty smell dogs love
  • Wheat- and rice-based recipe, with no soy
  • Available in several flavors, including Original, Bacon, Beef, and Fresh

Ingredients List

Rice Flour, Wheat Starch, Glycerin, Gelatin, Gum Arabic...,

Calcium Carbonate, Natural Poultry Flavor, Powdered Cellulose, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Iodized Salt, Potassium Chloride, Vitamins (Choline Chloride, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate [Source of Vitamin C], d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement [Vitamin B2], Pyridoxine Hydrochloride [Vitamin B6], Vitamin D3 Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Folic Acid, Alpha Tocopherol Acetate [Source of Vitamin E]), Potassium Sorbate (A Preservative), Smoke Flavor, Zinc Sulfate, Green Tea Extract, Turmeric, Iron Oxide Color, Copper Sulfate.


  • Per the manufacturer, these are clinically proven to reduce tarter and plaque buildup
  • Pretty affordable
  • We love the variety of flavors these come in


  • These treats do not have the VOHC Seal of Acceptance
  • Not all dogs will appreciate the chewy texture

4. Blue Buffalo Dental Chews for Dogs

Best Dog Dental Chews for Sensitive Pups

This is a sponsored placement, in which an advertiser pays a fee to be featured in this article. Learn more

Blue Buffalo Dental Chews for Dogs

Blue Buffalo Dental Chews for Dogs

Made without wheat, soy, corn, or poultry by-products, these dental chews will protect your pet’s teeth without triggering allergies.

About: Got a sensitive pooch at home? Do you find yourself scanning the ingredient lists of treats, food, and chews to ensure they won’t upset your pup’s stomach or leave him itchy? Well, you may want to try Blue Buffalo Dental Chews.

Made without many of the ingredients that give dogs problems, these dental chews will help ensure your dog’s teeth stay clean (and breath fresh) without making him miserable. They’re also made in the USA and feature carrots, blueberries, and parsley for antioxidant awesomeness.


  • Made without corn, wheat, soybeans, or poultry by-product meal
  • They’re made in the USA
  • They come in sizes for large adult dogs, small adult dogs, and puppies
  • Made without artificial colors or flavors

Ingredients List

Potatoes, Powdered Cellulose, Vegetable Glycerin, Water, Gelatin...,

Pea Protein, Sunflower Lecithin, Natural Flavor, Oat Hulls, Sunflower Oil, Flaxseed, Carrot, Calcium Carbonate, Dehydrated Beets (Added For Color), Zinc Propionate, Blueberries, Parsley, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Preserved With Citric Acid and Mixed Tocopherols, Oil of Rosemary.


  • Most dogs appear to really love the taste of these chews — including dogs who’re typically picky
  • The lack of common allergens is huge for dogs with sensitivities
  • These are pretty affordable dental chews


  • We wish they came in multiple flavors
  • Unfortunately, these don’t bear the VOHC Seal of Acceptance

5. Virbac C.E.T. VeggieDent Dental Chews

Best Plant-Based Dog Dental Chews

This is a sponsored placement, in which an advertiser pays a fee to be featured in this article. Learn more

Virbac C.E.T. VeggieDent Dental Chews

Virbac C.E.T. VeggieDent Dental Chews

Plant-based dental chews that are great for keeping your dog’s teeth clean, even if he’s allergic to common animal proteins.

About: Most dog owners are keen to provide their pet with as much animal protein as is humanly possible, but some dogs have so many allergic triggers that it is just easier to go with plant-based products (at least as far as treats and dental chews are concerned — not your dog’s primary food).

If your dog is in that camp, you may want to check out Virbac C.E.T. VeggieDent Dental Chews. Based on a corn-, rice- and soy-based recipe, these chews are designed to keep your dog’s teeth clean (and breath fresh) through their natural chewing behaviors.


  • Designed to reduce plaque, freshen breath and help remove tartar from the teeth
  • Made in the shape of a “Z” for easy handling
  • No animal protein or wheat gluten for dogs with sensitive systems
  • Contains no artificial colors or flavors
  • Available in 4 versions for dogs of different sizes

Ingredients List

Corn Starch, Glycerin, Soy Protein Isolate, Rice Flour, Brewers Dried Yeast,...,

Sorbitol, Ground Corn Cob, Erythritol, Potassium Sorbate, Water, Inulin, Pomegranate.


  • Owners loved the value they provide — many found half a chew was sufficient
  • Dogs appear to love the taste of these
  • Plant-based recipe may be helpful for dogs with allergies to common proteins


  • These are made in Vietnam, which gives some owners pause
  • The prices of these chews fluctuates pretty significantly

6. Milk-Bone Brushing Chews

Best-Tasting Dog Dental Chews

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Milk Bone Brushing Chews

Milk-Bone Brushing Chews

Super tasty, US-made, vitamin-packed dental chews that have earned the coveted VOHC Seal of Acceptance.

About: Milk-Bone Brushing Chews are chicken-flavored oral health treats designed to reduce plaque and tartar buildup, as well as freshen your dog’s breath. Made with rice instead of soy and fortified with vitamins and minerals, these are great for supporting your dog’s overall health.

But the big appeal of these dental treats is their taste. Simply put, doggos usually love them, which makes them an especially awesome choice for those with picky pooches.


  • They’ve earned the Seal of Acceptance from the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC)
  • The recipe contains 16 essential vitamins and minerals
  • Made in the USA
  • Tooth-cleaning “nubs” included to help scrape plaque and tartar away

Ingredients List

Brewers Rice, Powdered Cellulose, Chicken By-product Meal, Propylene Glycol, Dried Skim Milk...,

Modified Food Starch, Dextrin, Water, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Bone Phosphate, Calcium Sulfate, Gelatin, Animal Digest, Potassium Sorbate (Used As A Preservative), Phosphoric Acid, Titanium Dioxide (Color), Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganous Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, D-calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate,


  • Owners rave about how much their dogs love the taste of these dental chews
  • They’ve been awarded the VOHC Seal of Acceptance
  • The little “nubs” are great for cleaning plaque and tartar


  • Chicken by-product meal is included — something some pet parents like to avoid
  • They’re a bit pricey

The Importance of Dental Hygiene for Dogs

dog oral health

Unfortunately, not all dog owners take care of their canine’s chompers.

Some are simply unaware that dogs require oral hygiene care to protect their teeth and remain healthy, but others deliberately abstain from the practice, often citing the absence of tooth-brushing behaviors among wild animals, including wolves, coyotes, and other canines.

the importance of brushing dog's teeth

If wolves and other wild animals don’t have to brush their teeth, the thinking goes, why should your dog?

After all, your dog isn’t hunting elk and stripping the flesh from carcasses with his teeth – he probably eats kibble or a wet food.

It is true that wild dogs and the wolf-ancestors of our modern, domestic pets do not employ oral hygiene measures in the wild; but it is also true that many of these canines lose or break their teeth because they do not brush their chompers.

This can lead to pain, inappetence and, potentially, starvation.

Additionally, it is important to realize that our domestic pets live much longer lives than their wild-roaming counterparts do.

Whereas the average wolf only lives for 4 or 5 years, dogs often live for a decade or more. This elongated lifespan means that your dog’s teeth may need to last 2x or 3x as long as those of wild canids.

Accordingly, your dog’s teeth demand proper care and attention.

Oral Health Basics: Brush Those Teeth!

Dental chews are a great component of your dog’s dental-care routine, but they’re just that — a component. You’ll still need to brush your dog’s teeth regularly and have your vet perform regular cleanings.

Brushing your dog’s teeth is pretty simple once you get the hang of it and get into a regular groove. But while some dogs seem to enjoy it (most dog toothpastes are flavored with chicken or other dog-tastic ingredients), others absolutely hate having their teeth brushed.

Some normally placid pups may even nip at their owners’ hands during the procedure! So, be sure to start brushing your dog’s teeth early in life so he’ll get used to the practice and start to take it in stride.

Potential Risks of Dog Dental Chews

risks of dental chews for dogs

While dental chews are commonly used by pet parents, some owners and veterinarians question their safety.

While many dogs consume dental chews without suffering any ill effects, some dogs have suffered health problems associated with the use of teeth-cleaning treats. In a handful of cases, these results have proven fatal.

But don’t worry: These types of cases are almost always linked to a few key issues. To help avoid them, heed the advice below:

Look For US-Made Treats to Avoid Potentially Dangerous Ingredients

good fiber treats for dogs

Some of the health problems associated with dental chews are similar to those that occasionally occur with other pet foods and treats: They may contain ingredients that are harmful to dogs.

This occurred on a frighteningly large scale in 2007, when more than 300 dogs and cats died from eating tainted food.

Similar, if less widespread, reports have emerged, which blame ingredients in various dental chews for causing illness or death. However, the cause of many such problems has yet to be determined, and it is not yet clear that tainted dental chews are to blame.

Regardless of whether these fears are well-founded or not, it makes sense to limit these types of risks. One way that dog owners can do so is by purchasing products made exclusively in North America, where quality-control and oversight are stricter than in some Asian markets.

Still, even many US-made products source ingredients from Asia, so keep a keen eye on brand labeling and do your research to find products that use ingredients exclusively from North America.

Monitor Your Mutt and Select the Right Size Chew to Avoid Choking and Obstructions

dog treat

The other potential source of harm occasionally associated with dental chews (and other edible treats) relates to choking, intestinal obstructions, and the associated trauma.

Sometimes this occurs when dogs swallow an excessively large piece, but it also occurs when they simply consume a significant quantity of a dental chew.

In either case, the swallowed portion may fail to breakdown quickly. This can block the contents of your dog’s digestive tract from progressing as they should, which can lead to a host of serious health problems.

Intestinal blockages represent a medical emergency, and it is imperative to bring your dog to the veterinarian or emergency clinic immediately if you suspect a blockage.

To help avoid intestinal obstructions, select the proper size chew for your pooch and try to ensure your dog chews the treat thoroughly.

This is not always easy with dogs that gulp their food down – you may have to offer such dogs the treats after breaking them into small pieces. Alternatively, it may be better to hold the chew in your hand and let your dog nibble at the other end.

It is also wise to select a dental chew comprised of easily digested ingredients, such as rice. Such items are less likely to bind up in your pup’s intestines and are easier on your dog’s stomach.


Dog Dental Chew FAQs

What dog dental chew cleans best?

Any doggie dental chew with appropriate ingredients that are made in the USA should do a great job at keeping your dog’s breath fresh. To find a dental chew that also cleans your dog’s teeth, look for chews with ridges, bumps, and grooves that will help scrape plaque away from your dog’s teeth.

How often can I give my dog a dental chew?

Each manufacturer will provide directions for how often you can give a dog a dental chew. On average, you can usually safely give your dog one dental chew each day. More than one a day may upset your dog’s stomach.

Can I give my dog a dental chew instead of brushing their teeth?

No, you should still brush your dog’s teeth, regardless of whether or not you feed them dental chews. Dental chews can help keep your dog’s breath fresh and can help keep teeth cleaner between brushings, but regular teeth brushing is still essential for good canine oral health!

Dental chews won’t completely eliminate the need to brush your dog’s teeth or have your veterinarian perform regular cleanings.

But giving your dog dental chews on a regular basis will help keep your dog’s teeth cleaner, gums healthier, and breath fresher. It’ll also help prevent serious problems from developing over time.

As you can see, most of the leading dental chews for dogs have been well-received by both dogs and their owners, and it is difficult to recognize any particular product as superior to the others. Each possesses its own set of strengths and weaknesses, so be sure to consider your pet’s preferences and unique needs before making your selection.

We’d love to hear your experiences – both good and bad – with various dental chews. Have you encountered a winner we missed, or have you experienced problems with any of the ones we mentioned? Let us know on in the comment section below!

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Written by

Ben Team

Ben is the managing editor for K9 of Mine and has spent most of his adult life working as a wildlife educator and animal-care professional. Ben’s had the chance to work with hundreds of different species, but his favorite animals have always been dogs. He currently lives in Atlanta, GA with his spoiled-rotten Rottweiler named J.B. Chances are, she’s currently giving him the eyes and begging to go to the park.

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  1. Mike Avatar

    “reduce plaque and tartar build up” Sadly not yet medically proven as a fact

  2. Carol Carranza Avatar
    Carol Carranza

    What’s your take on the Trader Joe’s version of Greenies?

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      We’re not familiar with those, Carol.
      But, I’ll try to grab a bag next time I drop in to buy some bacon ends & pieces, and we’ll let you know what we think!

  3. Agnes Strada Avatar
    Agnes Strada

    Our 7 month old Cavachon loves Greenies, which he gets a couple times a week. I saw a similar Kirkland product. I’ve read mixed reviews online. Do you think it’s worth trying for the cost savings?

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      It may be, Agnes. Just be sure to check the ingredient list, and see if you can find any user reviews for them online.
      Let us know what you (and, more importantly, your pooch ) think of them!

  4. Aimee B Avatar
    Aimee B

    From one pet lover to another, please remove Blue Buffalo as your number one pick: https://www.truthorfiction.com/blue-buffalo-dental-bones-hemorrhagic-gastritis-facebook-warning/

    I have a friend that works at the FDA and she sent an urgent to text this morning urging me to let everyone I know STOP buying these. The issues will soon come to light but you can act now.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Aimee.

      We care deeply about our own dogs, as well as those of our readers. And this means we take reports of food or treats making dogs ill very seriously.

      We obviously feel horrible for the dog and owner in question and wish them nothing but the best (for the record, it appears the pooch recovered, which delights us). But in this particular case, the evidence that Blue Buffalo Dental Treats are causing dogs to fall ill (in any kind of widespread fashion) is pretty thin.

      We stand ready to be corrected if you (or any of our readers) have more information to share, but it appears that this all traces back to a single Facebook post detailing a single dog becoming sick after eating some of these dental chews.

      We found that one (relatively small) media outlet covered the story, but they essentially just cut and paste the original owner’s account. A few fear-mongering websites have shared the story too, but that’s what those types of sites do: They grab an anecdote, ramp the emotional claims up to “10,” and run with it to frighten dog owners and drive page clicks.

      But there aren’t even whispers of a problem on any reputable sites we can find, including the FDA’s. For that matter, the fact-checking site to which you linked characterizes the claim as “unknown.”

      We take our product recommendations seriously, and that means carefully considering the evidence. In this case, we simply don’t feel that the evidence available justifies changing our recommendation. But, as with all of our product recommendations, we will continue to consider any evidence that becomes available and make any changes we feel necessary.

      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.

  5. Mark Avatar

    your title says 5 Best Dental Chews, where did Purina DentaLife Oral Care come in after #5? It has a better rating on Amazon then some you listed!

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Mark.
      We use our own criteria to judge products. Amazon ratings are certainly a component of that, but we looked at ingredients, country of origin, VOHC seal of acceptance, etc.
      Also, all of the ones we did include have a 4.5-star or better rating, which is pretty good.
      Thanks for reading!

  6. Mitch Mitchell Avatar
    Mitch Mitchell

    What is your opinion on rope chews for dog teeth care & flossing?

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Mitch.
      Personally, I always make sure my Rottie has a rope toy, but that’s more for play than the dental benefits they may provide.
      Rope toys probably do achieve a bit of flossing action, but you’ll still want to brush your pup’s teeth. Also, be sure to supervise your dog closely whenever he or she is enjoying a rope toy, as swallowed string or fibers can cause dangerous intestinal blockages.
      Thanks for your question!

  7. Lynnette M Peters Avatar
    Lynnette M Peters

    I have mini Dachshunds. Must have Good food and good treats for them. Any help is appreciated!

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Lynnette. This would be a good start: The Five Best Foods for Dachshunds.
      Best of luck!

  8. Glynda Henderson Avatar
    Glynda Henderson

    Our dog food is Blue Buffalo. Having never seen their dental bones I did not know they had them. I will start looking for them. We have been giving them Purina Dentalife and a soft bone called Luvsome distributed by Kroger. I saw the VOHC on the Dentalife so I guess they are ok. Now I am trying to locate information on Krogers Luvsome. If you have any information on this product I would appreciate it if you could let us know. To us our pets are like our children and just like a human child we want only the healthiest foods for them. Our children are 2 Pomeranians and a Yorkie/Pom mix.

  9. Fernanda Desabrais Avatar
    Fernanda Desabrais

    How often should I brush my dog’s teeth?
    Thank you

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Fernanda. Twice or thrice a week is a good rule of thumb.

  10. Da Dogs Avatar

    My dog is a difficult personality, and when things get tough, I give her a Dingo Dental Stick, she will take it to her bed and be quiet and calm. I am always hesitant about the products I offer my dog. I try to provide good dog food and natural treats. The size is ideal for my female husky, who cannot handle larger rawhides. My dog enjoys and expects one after dinner.

  11. Ray Avatar

    My GF and I give our yellow lab Greenies. He likes it and it helps keep his mouth fresh. Win win right?

  12. John Avatar

    I have never seen or heard of a dental chewer dogs that make any difference whatsoever. A nice meaty raw bone once a month will clean teeth and keep them clean better than any chew.

    Plaque removers and all this dental stuff for dogs do no good whatsoever, I have tried a ton of them.
    Good canine toothpaste and brush combined with a solid cleaning regime is far superior.

  13. Deborah A Roberts Avatar
    Deborah A Roberts

    I wish you would also review Kirkland Signature Chews. Even after comparing the ingredients I know less than before reading them.

  14. Joe Avatar

    Good report! Thanks

  15. Michael RayBould Avatar
    Michael RayBould

    I noticed that Purina Dentalife was not on the list. Is there any particular reason? Are they bad?

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Michael.
      We’re not aware of anything that is specifically wrong with Purina Dentalife Chews; we just liked the five listed above more (as did most owners).
      However, they’re American made (which is the most important criteria to consider) and many dogs seem to like them, so they are worth considering.
      Thanks for reading!

  16. Carolyn Emole Avatar
    Carolyn Emole

    While I appreciate the effort, all of these listed have horrible ingredients…from Modified food starch (whatever that is) to wheat gluten and on and on.

    I’m looking for all natural organic green bones for my pups. Guess I’ll keep looking.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Carolyn. Sorry you didn’t find one that looks like a winner for your pup.
      I do feel it important to point out that modified food starch and wheat gluten are both perfectly safe ingredients. Dogs with wheat or corn allergies (both of which are quite rare) should avoid them, but neither ingredient is dangerous in any way.
      Thanks for reading!

  17. Jean Brewster Avatar
    Jean Brewster

    As per a couple of comments below, I would also like to know if Oravet Dental Hygiene Chews are recommended. I have a small 4.2 kg Cavoodle and give her one of the small ones (dogs up to 4.5 kg) every day. She loves them, but I have noticed that they are hard and it does take her some time to get through them which is a good thing. They were recommended to me by a vet. What are your thoughts on the Oravet Dental Chews?

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      Hi Jean, if your vet recommended them they are definitely worth a shot. In our research, a significant number of folks found that the Oravet Hygiene Chews gave their dogs diarrhea, which is why we chose not to include them. But you could still try them and see how your dog responds.

      1. Jean Brewster Avatar
        Jean Brewster

        Thanks for your reply Meg. I found that the Greenies gave my little girl diarrhea. She loved them but they just didn’t suit her digestion. Oravet have been great. She’s into her second box of 28.

  18. Karen Teeling Avatar
    Karen Teeling

    What’s the word on OraVet Dental treats?

    1. Nancy McKenn Avatar
      Nancy McKenn

      My Cavachon pup who is one years old did not do well with the Oravet dental chews.
      She had a green slimy poop and if on the carpet it wouldn’t be good. I have given her the
      Dentahex Oral care chew (Vetoquinol) a recommendation but it is not HOVC approved. What dental product is best for a small dog that might have a sensitive stomach?

  19. Clara Avatar

    Have you heard of Lyons treats dental

  20. Gabrielle Knowlton Avatar
    Gabrielle Knowlton

    I really wanted to know what came after, ” Intestinal blockages represent a medical emergency, and it is imperative to bring your dog to the veterinarian or emergency clinic immediately if he exhibits such symptoms, including:” — what the symptoms were. But the page skipped the list, and went onto the next thing. If you would email me the list, I’d appreciate it! (And put it in the article following the sentence I quoted.) Thanks!

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Oops! Thanks for pointing that out, Gabrielle. Sorry about that — sometimes things just fail to transfer when we’re uploading.

      I added the missing bit above, but here you go:

      Excessive gas

      Thanks for reading!

  21. Gabrielle Knowlton Avatar
    Gabrielle Knowlton

    I really wanted to know what came after, ” Intestinal blockages represent a medical emergency, and it is imperative to bring your dog to the veterinarian or emergency clinic immediately if he exhibits such symptoms, including:” — what the symptoms were. But the page skipped the list, and went onto the next thing. If you would email me the list, I’d appreciate it! (And put it in the article following the sentence I quoted.) Thanks!

  22. Woldt Avatar

    I noticed most of your recommended dental treats contain glycerin or vegetable glycerin. I’ve heard both are not good for dogs, especially glycerin. It’s really challenging to find dog treats and dental chews that don’t have these two ingredients. Milk Bone Dental chews don’t have them, but many stores are no longer selling Mik Bone dental chews.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Woldt.

      Glycerin is an ingredient that is starting to give some owners pause, but it’s a bit of a complicated issue. Get comfortable, this is going to take a minute…

      Glycerin is a common food additive that is generally recognized as safe by the FDA. It’s used as a thickening agent, sweetener and preservative, and it is present in many human foods (ranging from ice cream to the dried fruits included in some cereals).

      It’s also present in a few relatively high-quality dog foods and, as you have noted, dog treats.

      Glycerin certainly doesn’t provide any substantive nutrition or health benefits, but it doesn’t appear to be inherently harmful to people or dogs – particularly in the small amounts contained in most foods and treats (it can cause intestinal issues in large doses).

      Glycerin has been used in products for years, and it stands to reason that if it were inherently dangerous, we’d have already seen it affecting countless dogs.

      But here’s where things get complicated:

      A few years back, a lot of dogs started becoming sick after eating treats made in China (most were made at a single factory).

      Eventually, the FDA started looking into the issue. They were relatively sure that the treats were responsible for sickening the pets, but because they couldn’t identify the cause, they couldn’t initiate a recall or explain what the problem was.

      Ultimately, it appears that the problem boiled down to the source of the glycerin used in the treats.
      Instead of using food-grade glycerin, the factory producing the problematic treats appears to have used industrial-grade glycerin. Industrial-grade glycerin should not be used in the production of food products.

      Industrial-grade glycerin is often produced as a byproduct of the biodiesel manufacturing process. Such glycerin may be contaminated with methanol and other dangerous substances. Additionally, it appears that some biodiesel manufacturers are using plants from the genus Jatropha to make their fuels.

      This isn’t a problem for industrial-grade glycerin, but because Jatropha plants are toxic, they should never be included in glycerin destined for use in foods.

      Now, all of this is complicated by the fact that the Chinese factory in question appears to have engaged in a fair bit of subterfuge and dishonesty once regulators started investigating the problem.

      The takeaway from all this is that vegetable-derived, food-grade glycerin appears perfectly safe for pets in small amounts. However, industrial-grade glycerin is potentially hazardous and should be avoided whenever possible.

      The problem is manufacturers rarely (if ever) disclose the source for their glycerin on their product packaging. They *should* be using safe versions of the ingredient, but that doesn’t mean they are.
      We’re currently re-evaluating this ingredient and trying to determine how we’ll treat products containing it moving forward.

      It is likely that foods and treats made in the U.S., Canada, Western Europe, Australia or New Zealand contain only food-grade glycerin, making them safe for your pets. On the other hand, foods made in other countries (particularly China) should probably be avoided.

      We normally avoid recommending any Chinese foods or treats, but we’ve occasionally recommended some that were produced in other southeast Asian companies. We just try to point out where the food was manufactured, so owners could make an informed decision for themselves.

      However, given the grey area involved with the glycerin issue, we’ll likely be removing the Virbac Chews (which are made in Vietnam) when we update this article.

      As for your challenge, I’d just recommend sticking with the Milk-Bone Chews. Don’t worry about buying them at the store – just click on the link above and have them shipped right to you!

      Thanks for your question and comments!

  23. Angela L Eberle Avatar
    Angela L Eberle

    Our mini golden doodle Max (cute as a teddy bear weighing about 26 lbs due to diabetic weight loss) was recently diagnosed with diabetes. He usually eats a greenie every night after his dinner. Since they are made with wheat and gluten, I assume they turn to sugar when eaten as in humans. I think I need to make a change to his after-dinner treat. Your thoughts? Thanks!

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      Hey Angela – I couldn’t say for sure, but I think switching it probably a good idea. Have you seen the tool Bristly? It’s a tooth-brushing toy that might make sense instead of a greenie! We’ll work on adding it to this list. Other good options are the Blue Buffalo treats mentioned here (although check the ingredients) as well as Benebone dental chews and Nylabone dental chews. However, since your dog is diabetic, I’d say check with your vet beforehand.

  24. Gail Avatar

    Just dropped $1000 at the vet after introducing my dog to Pedigree dental chews. Two weeks after introducing these chews, she started vomiting and getting diarrhoea. X-rays showed an obstruction in the gut. Chews had expanded and as a gooey mess, gotten stuck in her stomach. I googled this and read many accounts from people all around the world where these products are sold. Some cases were fatal. We are watching her daily, hoping for a recovery! Really pissed!

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      Wow Gail – that’s terrible! Sorry to hear about that. Most folks don’t seem to have such a bad experience with Pedigree Dentastix (assuming that’s the product you used?), but if this issue has happened with several folks, we’ll consider removing them from our recommendation list when we update the article. Glad your dog is OK!

  25. Diane Brooks Avatar
    Diane Brooks

    I have Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers
    They have extremely sensitive stomachs and have had Pancreatitis. I feed them food from the vet, Hill Prescription Diet Digestive Care, when one young dog was excreting bloody stools.
    Even then they tend to have a rumbly stomachs periodically and want to eat grass or something to find relief
    I have been prescribed Metronidazole, which I give 1 every 12 hours for a couple days, which seems to help.
    What is your opinion

    Is there a dog chew my Terriers can have?

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      Hi Diane – you’ll want to discuss that with your vet considering the drugs your dog is on and past health history. Good luck!

    2. Jim Avatar

      I have had dogs all my life and I’m going to share my experiences with you.

      Dogs that have the rumbles in their stomach are experiencing gas. If left untreated, it can lead to bloat. Bloat is when the dog can not expell the gas in their stomach and the start to swell. If it isn’t treated, their digestive track will literally tear open and kill them. If I’m not mistaken, a Vet will insert a tide of sort into the rectum and deflate them. It is a very serious and sometimes fatal situation.

      A dogs do not eat grass because they like it, but because it makes them vomit and brings the gas out of their stomach. They do this by instinct. The gas only has two ways to go, out their mouth or their rectum

      I have had Boxer dogs for around 30 yrs now and they seem to have a problem with gas. I can hear them laying down and breaking wind , sometimes changing octaves! (Just kidding). Then they look behind them like, what was that.

      Often times you can hear the rumbling in their stomach. What I have found effective is giving them the product called Gas X. It’s what people use for the same problem. It breaks down the gas bubbles so the dog will pass it. I have found it to work very well for that problem. It’s a lot less expensive than having a Vet deflate them.

      Of course, I don’t just assume the problem is solved. I still watch the hardness of their stomach and will go to a Vet immediately if necessary. GasX has been proven to do the job. I wrap it up in a treat of some sort. I give my boxer 1 whole tablet. It does the job.

      Of course, I am open to constructive criticism from anyone that can prove me wrong or has a better idea. That’s how we learn.

      Hope this helps. I can be reached at uclmm2@gmail .com
      Merry Christmas to all. Jim

      1. Jan Avatar

        Thank you very much for your information. I appreciate that you took the time to write such a detailed response. I have a Standard Poodle and worry about bloat.

  26. LETTY Avatar

    I noticed when I gave to MY Dog Pedigree DENTASTIX (green one) at nights, the next morning she has stomach noises and some times vomiting and she does not want to eat.Do you think Dentestix could cause it? Its a Papillon 10 years old

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      There have been some reports of some dogs having stomach issues from Dentastix, so they are definitely a potential culprit!

  27. RayLinStephens Avatar

    My dog really loves Bones & Chews All-Natural Dental Chew Sticks and so far I can only find them at Chewy.com
    But he’s a bit of a fussy Boston Terrier so you may want to check them out. Does not contain artificial colors, flavors or preservatives and is proudly crafted in the USA.

    1. Juan Avatar

      it’s a product of chewy

  28. Catherine Lombardo Avatar
    Catherine Lombardo

    Any comments on Authority chicken flavored dental sticks by Petsmart? I am upset that they changed their composition after giving them to my dog successfully for many years (they added multi vitamins to their product) but it seems that Greenies had already done that and they are highly rated

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      Sorry, we’re unfamiliar with this product. Maybe other readers have had experiences with this item?

  29. patsy grieff Avatar
    patsy grieff

    What about oravet dental hygiene chews for dogs are they a good choice

  30. jules Christine Avatar
    jules Christine

    I’ve given my pet the DentaStix for over 2 years. He loves them. (25lbs). He went for his dental (long over due) they did not have to pull any teeth.. YAY! Now I’m finishing the DentaStix and also the MilkBone Chews.. He lives those as well.. Anything VOHC is highly recommended.

  31. William Talbott Avatar
    William Talbott

    We used the Pedigree stix for almost a year. Suddenly our dog developed horrible diahrea. Fecal checks all negative. Fed him chicken rice and he recovered. Slowly added old food back…no problem. Gave him a Pedigree stix again and BAM..massive diahrea. They claim recipe has not changed but the ruined rugs in my house tell the truth of it.

  32. Courtney Avatar

    I find the greenies make my dog’s stomach sick. She always has diarrhea after so I had to stop giving them to her even though I like that they did help with the tartar. Is there another treat that is shaped the same but more organic?

  33. Rusty Boyd Avatar
    Rusty Boyd

    Are Pedigree DentaStix made in the USA?

  34. Yvette Avatar

    I gave my Chihuahua and Shih Tzu a real organic bone with meat. They loved it and their teeth were white, no more tartar, and had fresh breath . I believe in real food .

  35. Sally Goodrich Avatar
    Sally Goodrich

    I have a 3 pound Yorkie, had been giving her Whimzee dental chews, they have stopped making them for her weight so I’m looking for safe and healthy chew, any ideas?

    1. Bonnie Robson Avatar
      Bonnie Robson

      Hi Sally! Dozers makes a mini size, I would recommend breaking one in half for her! They are all natural and made in the USA! (Rochester, NY) http://www.dozerspet.com

  36. Miriam Alvarado Avatar
    Miriam Alvarado

    I’ve been feeding my dog pedigree dentastix-daily he’s about 25 pnds
    And now I’m worried.
    I’ve decided to purchase other dental products for my little friend thanks to this article -THANK YOU!

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      You’re welcome Miriam! Let us know how the new dental items go. 🙂