Dental Chews for Dogs: Healthy Treats for Healthy Teeth

Dog dental chews are a lifesaver to pet owners. Most dog owners will recall the difficulties when it comes to their dog’s dental care. From realizing the need to maintain a healthy dental care routine on a daily basis after learning it from your vet, only to discover your best friend’s utter dislike towards the process of you brushing their teeth. 

You then go on a research spree on various products in the market that will help you solve this problem. Like most of us, it’s like that you stumbled into purchasing dental chews or dog dental treats for your pooch. 

Even most who do not own dogs will notice how common these dental chews and treats are. It is very likely that we take for granted that these chews help in their effectiveness and that these products bring multiple benefits to your dogs. Let’s find out more about these dental chews today. 

How do dental chews work?

Most owners are fairly surprised when they first realize the need to care for their dog’s teeth. However, most of us do not pay much heed to the products that we use for our dog’s dental health. 

To explain if dental chews really work, let’s first look at how they work towards cleaning our dog’s teeth. 

dental chews for dogs
Photo by Helena Lopes from Pexels
The basic principle behind dental chews and treats is to create a chew or treat for dogs that is tougher than your regular dog food. 

This additional toughness to the chew means your dog will require more effort to get the chew into smaller chunks prior to swallowing. 

Dental chews also have added ingredients known as polyphosphate. Both these features in terms of texture and ingredient increase chewing when your dog consumes the dental chew.

This, in turn, reduces tartar and plaque build up in your dog’s oral cavity. 

Most if not all dental chews work via this principle of encouraging your dog to chew more and therefore remove the small bits of food that may remain in the small spot between their teeth and in their mouths.

Do dental chews really work?

So do dental chews actually work? This is the question that is asked and is on the minds of many dog owners. Especially those who are still skeptical. 

In theory and most of the time yes they do work. It is proven that there will be less tartar and plaque build up when your dog chews its food more. 

Studies have shown that dry food results in less tartar and plaque build up when compared to wet food simply because your dog has to chew on dry foods more. 

Polyphosphate, which is in these chews, is also effective because it functions to inhibit the buildup of tartar and plaque.

However, the effectiveness of dental chews is more complicated than its texture design and ingredients. Many other factors come into play when it comes to the effectiveness of these treats that claim to care for your canine’s teeth. 

One challenge, for example, is a dog’s eating habits, some dogs have the habit of swallowing their food without much chewing which renders dental chews useless. Since it relies on your dog chewing more and not less, there is not much point to just swallowing the food.

The size of your dog is also a factor to be considered as the size of dental chews should be selected according to the size of your dog. 

Give a large dog a chew that is too small and it wastes no time eating it, gobbling it up in a hurry. A smaller dog with a chew that is too large may have trouble getting the necessary contents to a smaller or hidden spot in their mouth. 

Simply put, yes dental chews are effective in what they do, but only when you make the correct purchase for your dog depending on its size and eating habits. 

How often should I give my dog dental chews? 

For optimum dental health, the recommendations given by most dental chew products is once a day. This recommendation is to ensure that your dog maintains a balanced diet and does not end up relying on dental chews as snacks. 

Dental chews are dental health products in the form of treats and snacks and they should be treated as such. 

Separating dental chews from your dog’s snacks will ensure that their eating habits and dental care habits are kept isolated, consistent and therefore healthy. 

It is also important to note that the use of dental chews should not exempt your dog from their daily dental care. 

Dental chews will help improve their dental health, but it does not replace habits such as brushing their teeth.

Benefits of dental chews

As canine dental care products, dog dental chews carry with it multiple benefits aside from the obvious dental health. Below, is a list of benefits for dear doggo:

Strong and healthy teeth

Ensuring that there are minimal food bits stuck between your dog’s teeth will maintain strong and healthy teeth. 

This is achieved because there is less food stuck between your dog’s teeth which means that bacterial growth is reduced. Therefore cavities are prevented.

At the same time, healthy teeth will definitely result in better oral health as cleaner teeth means bacteria has less opportunity to develop in the oral cavity and your dog can maintain a cleaner and healthier mouth.

Maintains cleaner and healthier gums

Additionally, dental chews also help maintain cleaner and healthier gums. This is because the use of dental chews or treats also helps clean your dog’s gums as well. 

Reduces bad breath

Cleaner teeth and oral cavities also result in better smell in your dog’s mouth. Bad breath is a common ailment and also an indicator of poor dental health. 

Dental chews help maintain better smell in your dog’s mouth through its function as a dental chew but also via added ingredients that reduces bacterial growth and promotes better breath in your dog’s mouth.

What to avoid in dog dental chews?

As always, there are certain things to avoid when it comes to your dog’s diet. Although your dog may gnaw on some chews for a long time, it may ultimately cause more harm than good. The types of chews to avoid is as below:-

1. Bones

Bones can splinter. Whether they are cooked, uncooked, solid, hollow or in any form, they can splinter. These splinters can lead to puncture wounds in their organs and your dogs will suffer unnecessarily. 

2. Cow Hooves

Cow hooves, although they are quite popular as a treat, can potentially break your dog’s teeth.

3. Ice cubes

Although technically this is not a chew, there are many people who give dogs ice cubes to chew on, particularly on a hot summer’s day. Unfortunately, ice cubes can be hard enough to break your furry pet’s teeth!

Dog dental treats

For dog owners, particularly those who are busy, it may be a good idea to buy dog dental treats from the store. As your dog’s dental health is important, it may be a good idea to incorporate their treats into a dental health opportunity. 

There are multiple types of treats available in stores nowadays that it can be rather confusing when purchasing them. Keep in mind the above information and you can read more about dog treats before heading to the store.

Of course, read the label beforehand as stated on the dog dental treats to see if there are any ingredients such as unnecessary additives, preservatives and type of meat used in the treats. 

For a start, you may want to consider heading to Petcubes website and purchasing their Pig Ears treats. Although it is unconventional, rest assured that your dog will love it! It is a great source of protein with 9 out of 10 amino acids that your dog needs in it. 

It also mitigates bad breath in your dog, which is one of the benefits of a dental chew for dogs. Your dog will definitely take the time to chew on this treat as it is crunchy and chewy. 

If pig ears are too weird for you, you can also buy another, rather unconventional chew which is the Beef Trachea

beef trachea

This is ideal for medium to large sized dogs. Because of its size, which is about 18cm long, the longer chewing action works as a natural dental cleaner for your dogs, removing tartar and is effective in ensuring your dog’s teeth are clean.


Your canine companion’s dental health is incredibly important as it directly affects their overall health. When your dog has problems with their teeth, they will have a hard time eating and maintaining a proper and healthy diet. In order to ensure that proper dental health is achieved using dental chews or treats, make sure you consult your vet for advice and also recommendation prior to purchasing. Making sure that your dog is using the chew or treat the right way will also be a journey as you will need to find the right fit, taste and preference of chews and treats for your best friend. A good reminder would also be to continue practicing proper dental health habits with your dog to make sure their teeth and oral cavities stay strong and healthy.

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