Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

9 Best Dental Chews for Dogs in 2023 – Reviews & Top Picks

pug chewing dental treat

Dental chews come in various shapes, sizes, and flavors for your dog to enjoy. They are a fun way to keep your dog’s teeth healthy and strong. As the dog chews them, plaque and tartar are scraped away. In addition to brushing your dog’s teeth and having them cleaned by a professional each year, dental chews can help ward off diseases and keep their breath fresh.

With so many dental chews on the market, you may not know which one is right for your pup. Finding the appropriate chew is important because each different dogs require different sizes. Some dogs also have different dental needs than others.

To help narrow down the search, we gathered the nine best dental chews on the market today. Browse our reviews to choose the one that your dog needs today.

divider-dog

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites – 2023 Reviews

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Pedigree Dentastix Large Pedigree Dentastix Large
  • Effectively cleans plaque and tartar
  • Freshens breath
  • Enticing flavor
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Milk-Bone Original Brushing Milk-Bone Original Brushing
  • VOHC Seal of Acceptance
  • 12 vitamins and minerals
  • Cleans hard-to-reach areas
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Blue Buffalo Wilderness Wild Blue Buffalo Wilderness Wild
  • No poultry, grain, or by-products
  • Freshens breath
  • Best for Puppies
    Greenies Puppy Teenie Dental Greenies Puppy Teenie Dental
  • Puppy version of classic Greenies treats
  • Soft texture
  • VOHC accepted
  • DentaLife Daily Oral Care DentaLife Daily Oral Care
  • Chicken flavor
  • Cleans teeth down to the gums
  • Chewy texture
  • The 9 Best Dental Chews for Dogs

    1. Pedigree Dentastix Large Dog Treats — Best Overall

    Pedigree Dentastix Large Original Dog Treats

    Life Stage Adult
    Breed Size Large

    Our overall best choice for dental chews is Pedigree Dentastix Large Dog Treats. These are specifically for large dog breeds. They are not suggested for dogs that are under 30 pounds.

    The unique X-shape design helps clean your dog’s teeth all the way to the gumline as they chew. When used consistently, these chews are clinically proven to reduce plaque and tartar.

    The chews are packed with vitamins, calcium, and potassium to be nutritionally beneficial. Added poultry and smoke flavors are enticing for your dog and make them want to chew more.

    Another benefit of the removal of nasty dental buildup is fresher breath.

    The most common problem with these chews is the smell. While dogs seem to love it, most owners find it to be unpleasant. The outer packaging is also difficult to open.

    Pros
    • Effectively cleans plaque and tartar
    • Freshens breath
    • Enticing flavor
    Cons
    • Frustrating outer packaging
    • Unpleasant smell

    2. Milk-Bone Original Brushing Dog Dental Chews — Best Value

    Milk-Bone Original Brushing Chews

    Life Stage Adult
    Breed Size Extra small, toy, small, medium, large

    The best dental chew for dogs for the money is Milk-Bone Original Brushing Chews. They are available for all breed sizes so you can choose the right one for your pup. They are not intended for any dog that is under 6 months old, though.

    These chews have the Veterinary Oral Health Council Seal of Acceptance (VOHC) and are said to be as effective as teeth brushing twice a week if your dog chews these daily. The grooves, ridges, and bumps act as bristles on a toothbrush. They can clean hard-to-reach areas because they bend while your dog chews. They scrape away plaque and tartar to the gumline.

    These are chicken flavored and made with 12 vitamins and minerals for a healthy treat that keeps your dog’s mouth clean.

    Some dogs have been reported to eat these so fast that their owners couldn’t see any teeth cleaning happening.

    Pros
    • VOHC Seal of Acceptance
    • 12 vitamins and minerals
    • Cleans hard-to-reach areas
    Cons
    • Some dogs may eat them too quickly

    3. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Wild Bones Dental Treats — Premium Choice

    Blue Buffalo Wilderness dog treats

    Life Stage Adult
    Breed Size Medium

    The Blue Buffalo Wilderness Wild Bones Dental Treats are ideal for medium-sized dogs between 25 and50 pounds. They contain no grain, by-products, or gluten, which is perfect if your dog has allergies or food sensitivities. They also contain no chicken or poultry by-products.

    The main ingredients are potatoes and potato starch, so they do have a higher number of calories than some other chews, at 121 calories each.

    The bone-shaped treats encourage dogs’ natural wild chewing instincts. They also freshen their breath while they clean their teeth.

    The biggest issue dog owners have with these chews is that so few come in each package. Also, the smell is reported to be unpleasant.

    Pros
    • No poultry, grain, or by-products
    • Freshens breath
    Cons
    • High number of calories
    • Foul smell
    • Small number of treats per package

    4. Greenies Puppy Teenie Dental Dog Treats — Best for Puppies

    Greenies Puppy Teenie Dental Dog Treats

    Life Stage Puppy
    Breed Size Small, toy

    The Greenies Puppy Teenie Dental Dog Treats are best for puppies that are over 6 months old and between 5 and 15 pounds. They’re made with a 50% softer texture than original Greenies and are easier for puppies to digest. They have calcium for healthy teeth and bones, along with DHA for healthy brain development.

    These chews contain poultry and chicken flavoring to encourage puppies to chew. They come in the classic Greenie shape of little toothbrushes with bristles on one end. They’re also accepted by the VOHC for at-home dental care.

    Some puppies like to play with these instead of chewing them. The biggest complaint about these chews is that they are said to be for puppies but aren’t suitable for dogs under 6 months old. Puppy teeth begin to fall out around 3 months of age. By 6 months, all their adult teeth should have grown in. That said, this is the time to start dental care to make sure that your dog’s permanent teeth stay healthy.

    Pros
    • Puppy version of classic Greenies treats
    • Soft texture
    • VOHC accepted
    Cons
    • Some puppies use them as toys
    • Not recommended for puppies under 6 months old

    5. DentaLife Daily Oral Care Dental Dog Treats

    DentaLife Daily Oral Care Dental Dog Treats

    Life Stage Adult
    Breed Size Small, medium

    Dogs will love the chicken flavor and chewy texture of the DentaLife Daily Oral Care Dental Dog Treats. Each treat has eight porous ridges that work to scrub teeth clean right down to the gumline. They freshen breath by cleaning hard-to-reach back teeth, where bacteria can grow and spread.

    They have a chicken flavor and are made with rice. These chews won’t be suitable for dogs with poultry or grain sensitivities.

    The bag that they are stored in must remain sealed, or else these chews can dry out and grow stale. Some dogs don’t seem to like the smell of them. They are difficult to break in half, so make sure to purchase the right size chew for your dog.

    Pros
    • Chicken flavor
    • Cleans teeth down to the gums
    • Chewy texture
    Cons
    • Must be kept in an airtight bag
    • Made with grain

    6. Greenies Regular Dental Dog Treats

    Greenies Regular Dental Dog Treats

    Life Stage Adult
    Breed Size Medium

    The Greenies Regular Dental Dog Treats have a classic chewy texture that is effective at removing plaque and tartar as dogs chew. They are made of soluble, easily-digested ingredients and vitamins and minerals.

    Greenies work to freshen breath as they clean your dog’s whole mouth. They are VOHC accepted. The green color comes from a natural blend of fruit juice and turmeric.

    Like most other dental chews, these should remain in an airtight bag until your dog is ready for one. They can dry out over time.

    Each Greenie has 91 calories. While this is a higher number than some other brands, the calories can be factored into your dog’s daily diet.

    Pros
    • VOCH accepted
    • Freshens breath
    • Removes plaque and tartar
    Cons
    • High in calories
    • Can go stale if not stored properly

    7. True Acre Foods All-Natural Dental Chew Sticks

    True Acre Foods, All-Natural Dental Chew

    Life Stage Adult
    Breed Size Medium, Large

    The six-point scrub shape of the True Acre Foods All-Natural Dental Chew Sticks removes plaque even on teeth that are hard to reach. They’re easily digestible and have no artificial flavors or preservatives.

    These chews have a peanut butter flavor to attract dogs and encourage them to chew.

    No added sugars go into these sticks. They’re made with chicken and pork and have only 62 calories each, so they’re easy to add to your dog’s diet. They satisfy a dog’s need to chew while cleaning teeth and freshening breath.

    These sticks have a hard texture and are difficult to break into pieces. Some people don’t prefer this feature. Still, they are long-lasting for dogs that are strong chewers.

    Pros
    • Peanut butter flavor
    • No artificial flavors or preservatives
    • Low calorie
    Cons
    • Hard texture
    • Difficult to break

    8. Merrick Fresh Kisses Double-Brush Dental Dog Treats

    Merrick Fresh Kisses Dog Treat

    Life Stage Adult
    Breed Size Small, toy

    Banish bad breath from your small or toy breed dog’s mouth with Merrick Fresh Kisses Double-Brush Dental Dog Treats. Their soft texture removes plaque and tartar from teeth as dogs chew. Each end has uniquely-shaped bristles for your dog to chew on, so they get double the cleaning power. All-natural spearmint is included to freshen breath immediately.

    These treats are suitable for dogs with allergies because they include no potatoes, grains, corn, beef, poultry, or gluten. While these treats are made for small dogs, the brand makes them for dogs of other sizes too.

    The minty-fresh breath doesn’t last long after the treat is consumed. Continued use can help keep their breath fresher for longer, though.

    Pros
    • Double bristles
    • Spearmint to freshen breath
    • Suitable for dogs with allergies
    Cons
    • Minty breath doesn’t last long

    9. OraVet Dental Care Hygiene Chews

    OraVet Dental Care Hygiene Chews for Dogs

    Life Stage Adult
    Breed Size Large

    The OraVet Dental Care Hygiene Chews are made with delmopinol, an ingredient used in oral care rinses for humans. It prevents bacteria that cause bad breath. These chews are VOHC approved and suitable for dogs over 6 months old. They break away plaque and tartar while your dog chews.

    If given once a day, they are clinically shown to reduce dental buildup. Protective agents are released during chewing that also guard against future buildup.

    Large dogs may be able to chew them quickly, not getting the full benefits of the teeth cleaning power. These chews have caused diarrhea and upset stomachs in some dogs, whose owners had to cut back on giving them the chews once a day and change it to twice a week. This has solved the problem in some cases.

    Pros
    • Made with delmopinol
    • VOHC approved
    • Prevent future dental buildup
    Cons
    • May cause upset stomach and diarrhea

    divider-paw

    Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Dog Dental Chew

    No matter which dental chew you pick for your dog, it’s going to make up part of their diet. So, there are a few things to consider before you buy.

    Dental Chew Nutrition

    Your dog’s dental chews should be made of high-quality ingredients with a low-fat content. The number of calories is also important to consider. Extra calories in your dog’s diet can lead to unnecessary weight gain. If your dog’s dental chews are high in calories, you might want to cut back on their food and other treats throughout the day to compensate for the addition.

    Overweight dogs can still enjoy dental chews, just note the number of calories in each chew. They are listed on the package under the ingredients. This way, you can factor that number in each day as part of their allotted diet.

    Dental Chew Size

    Dental chews are made of different shapes and textures to be able to scrape your dog’s teeth as they chew. Some chews are bumpy and rough, while others are X-shaped. Some are soft and flexible, while others are hard.

    The size of your dog is important to keep in mind when choosing dental chews. You might think that a large chew for a medium-sized breed would work even better at cleaning their teeth.

    Owner feeding dog treats
    Image Credit: Omerlavon, pixabay

    The problem is that the chews are specifically made for breed sizes for a reason. With so many dog dental chews on the market, it’s hard to know which one is right for your pup. If a small dog is given a large dental chew, it won’t be able to effectively clean their teeth. The texture won’t reach in between their teeth, scrape along their gumlines, or fit in their mouths to reach their back teeth. If a large dog is given a small chew, this can be dangerous. Not only will it not clean their teeth because it simply isn’t big enough, but it may also be a choking hazard if the dog attempts to swallow it whole.

    Dental Chew Feeding Frequency

    The recommended instructions for how often your dog should have a chew are printed on the package. Usually, this is once or twice a day. Sometimes, the recommendation is a few times per week. If you have any doubt, your veterinarian will be able to tell you how many your dog should have and how often.

    divider-paw

    Do Dog Dental Chews Work?

    Dental chews work to remove plaque and tartar from dogs’ teeth, just like brushing works for human teeth. They can also prevent bacteria from building up in your dog’s mouth. You’ll want to find a product that’s been proven to remove plaque and tartar or is accepted by the VOHC. The longer the dog chews, the more teeth-cleaning power is at work. If the chew is consumed in a few minutes, it doesn’t have the same effectiveness as one that takes around 10 minutes to get through. The right chew will depend on your dog’s chewing ability.

    Funny dog eating appetizing treat
    Image Credit: Olena Yakobchuk, Shutterstock

    Maintaining Good Dog Dental Health

    The buildup of plaque and tartar on dogs’ teeth can lead to periodontal disease. Even if you give dental chews to your dog regularly, always watch for signs of dental diseases, and have your dog’s teeth examined by a veterinarian at their annual appointments. If you notice any of the following, symptoms take your dog to the vet for a dental check.

    • Persistent bad breath
    • Swollen gums
    • Bloody gums
    • Loose or missing teeth
    • Receding gumline
    • Shying away from having their face touched
    • Excessive tartar buildup
    • Changes in chewing or food falling from the mouth
    • Reduced appetite
    • Behavioral changes

    divider-dog

    Conclusion: Best Dog Dental Chews

    We hope that our reviews have helped you choose the right dental chew for your dog. Remember to always select the proper size according to your dog’s age, weight, and breed. Our overall pick for best dog dental chews is Pedigree Dentastix Large Dog Treats. They have an enticing flavor and a unique design to thoroughly clean teeth. Our best value pick is Milk-Bone Original Brushing Chews. They are VOHC approved and are packed with vitamins and minerals.

    Dental chews don’t replace teeth brushing or professional cleaning. If you notice your dog having dental trouble, have them examined by a veterinarian.


    Featured Image Credit: Anton_dios, Shutterstock

    Our vets

    Want to talk to a vet online?

    Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

    Our vets