black doggy with a funny dental chew stick in its mouth

Dental sticks for dogs

6 May 2023

Written and reviewed by Dr Jill McMaster BVM&S MBA MRCVS, Veterinary Surgeon and in-house expert at BorrowMyDoggy

So tooth brushing might be the best way to keep your dog’s teeth at their best, but sometimes it’s just not practical to brush those gnashers twice a day, every day. So what else can you do to keep your dog’s smile in pawsome shape? 

One of the most common things on the market at the moment are dental chews or sticks. While they’re not going to get rid of a very smelly mouth or built up dental disease, if your dog takes their time over them, these chews claim to reduce plaque build up, with plaque being a major cause of dental disease.

Sadie, the lurcher

So what should I look for in dental chews for my dog?

  • It’s impawtent that any new treat you get for your dog is introduced gradually, trying a little bit at first, to make sure it doesn’t upset your dog’s system. Similarly if you already know your dog can’t stomach some ingredients, be sure to check what’s in a new treat before letting them chow down.
  • Chews your dental sticks wisely. Think about what age your dog is when you’re looking for dental sticks. For example, if your dog is a puppy, make sure the chews are suitable for their age group.
  • Watch the calories. Just because dental chews might be good for your pup’s teeth, doesn’t mean they don’t have any calories in them! Any time you add a new treat to your dog’s diet, it’s important to reduce how much they are getting from their main meals and any other treats. Your veterinary practice can always advise on your pet’s weight.
  • As a rule of thumb, your dog shouldn’t chew anything that you can’t indent your fingernail in, as anything tougher than that can potentially cause them to break a tooth. If you are ever unsure about your pet’s dental health, or if you have any questions, you should always contact your vet for advice and support.

Percy, the miniature dachshund

Here are some dental chew sticks that are currently available:

Pedigree Puppy Denta Tubos

View here

Price - 46p per chew

What we love -

  • Suitable for puppies of all sizes
  • Specially designed for developing teeth and gums
  • Low in fat

Best for -

  • Training or treating puppies
  • Teething pups, to show them good chewing habits

Yumove Dental Care Sticks

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Price - £2.04 per chew for a medium sized dog (less with subscription)

What we love -

  • Subscription option available so you never run out
  • Money back guarantee if you don’t see any difference in 60 days
  • Natural ingredients

Best for -

  • Sensitive stomachs
  • Dogs of all sizes, coming in three different sizes

Purina Dentalife

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Price - 30p per chew for a medium sized dog

What we love -

  • Come in Standard, Activfresh and Duraplus
  • Subscription option available
  • States they are scientifically proven to reduce tartar build-up

Best for -

  • All sizes of dogs with 4 different size options from X-small to large
  • Dogs who like a daily chew

Virbac Veggiedent FR3SH Chews

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Price - 70p per chew for a medium sized dog

What we love -

  • Easily digestible
  • Z-shape allows the chew to get round awkward angles in the mouth

Best for -

  • Sensitive pooches as these chews are free from animal proteins, wheat and gluten
  • All sizes of dogs with 4 different size options from X-small to large

The information in this article should only be used as a guide, and should never replace advice or treatment given by your veterinarian. If you ever have any concerns about your pet’s health you should speak with your veterinary practice.

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Alternative to brushing your dog's teeth

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Dog dental toys

Dental sticks for dogs

Dental dog food

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