How To Choose The Best Dental Chews For Dogs

Jan 19, 2024

We understand that a dog’s health isn’t just about their happy, wagging tails and their enthusiastic barks. As a company deeply passionate about dogs’ total health, we always focus from the inside out. Dental health in dogs is often overlooked, but it’s a key component of overall wellness in our furry, four-legged friends. Choosing the best dental chews for dogs can make a huge difference in their lives!

Dog Dental Health: It’s Not Just About Brushing!

Did you know that by the age of three, most dogs show signs of gum disease? This isn’t just about bad breath; it can lead to serious health issues, including infections that can spread to the heart and kidneys. A study published in the Journal of Veterinary Dentistry showed the correlation between dog periodontal diseases and systemic health complications. It concluded the importance of a dog’s oral health with their overall health and vitality.

This is where dog dental chews can come into play. Far from being just a treat, the right dental chew is a scientifically proven helper in maintaining your dog’s oral hygiene, which also helps their overall health and happiness. Dog dental chews aren’t just about keeping those pearly whites sparkling; they are designed to reduce plaque and tartar build-up, massage gums, and freshen breath.

But how do you pick the right dog dental chews? There are so many dog dental treats and chews on the market, all claiming to freshen breath, help clean teeth, and keep your dog’s teeth healthy. When we were looking for the best dental chews for our Bernie and Lady, that’s what we found, at least.

So we decided to do the research and partner with the experts to harness the power of science when we created Bernie’s Charming Chompers. We wanted to create dog dental chews that were both effective and enjoyable for dogs, and chews that included natural ingredients that science backs.

Understanding Dental Chews: Types and Benefits for Your Dog’s Oral Health

Dog dental chews often come in various shapes, sizes, and compositions, each created to offer specific dental benefits. Our dog dental chews are more than just tasty treats; they are scientifically designed tools to support your dog’s oral health.

Dental chews are specially formulated products for dogs that serve multiple purposes. Many are designed to be chewed and not immediately consumed, as the physics behind chewing them is what helps clean teeth and gums. Many are made with ingredients that help reduce plaque and tartar build-up, two common causes of gum disease in dogs.

Do Dog Dental Chews Work?An English Bulldog with an underbite sits waiting to choose the best dental chews for dogs

The answer, backed by science, is a resounding yes! Research has indicated that dental chews are not just a pastime for your pooch, but an active component in maintaining their oral health. One study showed that dental chews could significantly reduce plaque and calculus, the villains behind periodontal disease, as well as combat oral malodor — a more pleasant way of saying bad doggy breath. The research found that dogs consuming dental chews had a marked decrease in plaque coverage and thickness, and those benefits extended to fresher breath as well​​.

Another study examining the efficacy of dental chews and other natural chew options like bully sticks and raw bones found that all treatments successfully reduced the number of bacteria on a dog’s teeth. This reduction was quite significant across the board, with raw bones reducing bacteria by 79.0%, brushing by 70.3%, bully sticks by 60.2%, and VeggieDent chews by 54.6%. The study also highlighted that these different methods did not differ significantly from each other in their effectiveness, meaning that dental chews hold their own when it comes to oral hygiene​​.

These findings reinforce the important role dental chews can play in a comprehensive dental hygiene routine for dogs. They’re not just a treat; they’re a part of preventative care, designed to keep those canine smiles healthy and bright. As more research continues to support their use, it’s clear that incorporating dental chews into your dog’s daily routine is a smart move for their oral health.

Types of Dental Chews For Dogs

There are actually several types of dental chews for dogs on the market. They include the following:

  • Edible Chews: These are made from digestible materials and are meant to be consumed. They often contain active ingredients that aid in reducing plaque and tartar.
  • Non-Edible Chews: Made from durable materials, these are not meant for consumption. Their rough texture helps in scrubbing the teeth as the dog chews. The issue with non-edible chews is that many dogs eat and consume them anyway. Some have active ingredients that help oral health in dogs, but many don’t.
  • Dental Chew Toys: These are toys designed to promote chewing for dental health. They typically don’t have active dental ingredients but rely on their texture and your dog’s chewing to clean teeth. Again, the concern with many dental chew toys is that dogs often destroy and consume non-edible parts and that can be an issue when it comes to digestibility.

Benefits of Dental Chews For Dogs

Regular use of dental chews helps in controlling plaque and tartar build-up. This is crucial since unchecked plaque can lead to tartar, which is harder to remove and can cause periodontal disease. Dog dental treats often come in the form of dental chews, and so when you give your dog dental treats or dental chews, it can strengthen your bond with them while doing something good for their gums and teeth.

Additionally, many dental chews are formulated with ingredients that freshen breath. Dog breath isn’t a joke; addressing halitosis caused by bacteria in the mouth is important for many other reasons than just wanting fresh smooches.

If dogs suffer from halitosis, that could be a sign of other issues. The primary cause of severe halitosis is often periodontal disease. Plaque bacteria, particularly anaerobic bacteria, metabolize proteins in the oral microbiome. This releases some pretty nasty and volatile sulfur compounds like hydrogen sulfide, which makes you want to freshen breath.

Trapped food particles in the teeth or decreased saliva production, especially in senior pets, can lead to nasty breath and pain too. Especially in seniors, dental health needs to be a priority.

Other benefits of dental chews include gum stimulation and just general happiness in dogs. Dogs generally love to chew, and dental chews make oral care a fun and rewarding experience for them and for you.

Remember, though, not all dental chews are created equal. It’s essential to choose chews that are appropriate for your dog’s size, dietary needs, and chewing habits. Look for fully digestible chews with ingredients that don’t just freshen breath, but focus on your dog’s dental health overall.

Is Your Dog’s Dental Chew Fully Digestible?

It’s an important question to ask! Dog dental chews like our Charming Chompers mostly work using physics. Your dog uses the chew as a slightly abrasive surface to scrape against plaque buildup. Many dog dental treats and chews do this. But not all are. At Bernie’s Best, because we were creating dental chews for our own dogs, we wanted to make sure they were. We conducted a test about the risk of blockage, with the results being that Charming Chompres dissolved 100%, the best score possible!
There have also been some studies across several brands that show that vegetable-based chews made in compression injection molds, like the ones Chompers are formed in, help reduce tartar and keep dogs’ mouths healthier between vet visits.

More Things To Consider When Choosing Dog Dental Treats Or Chews

Several additional factors play a crucial role when selecting the perfect dental chew for your furry companion. These factors are not just about preference but are grounded in scientific research to ensure the health and safety of your dog. They include:

  • Size and Breed of Dog. The size and breed of your dog significantly influence the type of dental chew that’s just right for them. A study evaluating different dental chews found varying effects on plaque and calculus coverage based on the size and breed of the dog​​. It’s important to use dental chews that are the right size for your dog.
  • Ingredients and Nutrition. The composition of dental chews is super important. Healthy, safe ingredients are a must! We’re not looking just to freshen breath but to take care of their important oral microbiome. Look for chews with natural ingredients backed by science. Avoid chews with unnecessary additives or allergens that might not agree with your dog’s diet and may just be there for ‘show’.
  • Texture and Durability. The texture of a dental chew contributes significantly to its effectiveness. A study comparing various dental chews, including a vegetable-based one like Charming Chompers, highlighted how different textures impact dental and gingival health​​. Chews should be durable enough to allow physics to work, and digestible when your dog consumes them so there are no blockages.
  • Safety and Risks. Safety is the most important factor. Choking hazards and digestive issues are critical concerns. A study on the effectiveness of dental hygiene chews noted the importance of choosing safe and effective chews in reducing plaque and gingivitis without causing harm​​.

How To Make Dog Dental Chews Part Of Your Dog’s Daily Routine

Should you give your dog a dental chew every day? Well, do you want to help them have healthy gums and teeth every day?

Giving your dog a dental chew every day as part of an oral hygiene routine can be beneficial for many reasons–they don’t need to replace brushing your dog’s teeth, but they sure can supplement! And let’s be honest…if you don’t brush your dog’s teeth daily, a dental chew that’s good for their mouth and their gut can go a long way in helping keep them healthy anyway.

We suggest you create a happy habit of giving them a chew like Charming Chompers each day! Start with a chew at generally the same time each day, and watch their little internal doggy clocks start loving chew time!

Always provide your dog with fresh water during chew times, as chewing can make them a bit thirstier.

We recommend you keep an eye on your dog while they are chewing. While ours are 100% fully digestible, and most dogs will enjoy their new treat, it’s never a bad idea to keep an idea on them while they’re eating and treating!

Most importantly, remember that while every dog is unique, and their dental health requirements may vary, there are ingredients that science shows to be beneficial for all dogs.

When we created Bernie’s Charming Chompers, that’s what we were looking for–clean and healthy ingredients that science-backed and made a difference for our dogs.

Bernie’s Charming Chompers: The Right Chews To ChooseTwo golden retrievers sit enjoying Bernies Charming Chompers in a field.

At Bernie’s Best, we’re all about that evidence-based wag. So, we don’t just add any old thing into our chews–popular or not. We pick ingredients with purpose, backed by science, to keep your best friend in the best health. We chose this for our dogs because we believe that good oral health starts in the gut, and a healthy dog is a happy dog!

All the ingredients we choose as part of our scientifically-backed formula are designed to attack the root of oral problems which often start in the gut. By promoting gut health, we’re not just freshening breath but also enhancing overall health through improved digestion, which is pivotal for your dog’s oral health, immunity, allergies, energy, mood, and more. We do this by including the following in our dog dental chews:

  • Sweet Potato: A real superfood, sweet potatoes are not just delicious but also a rich source of dietary fiber for dogs.
  • Real Turkey: A great source of protein, turkey is both tasty and nutritious for your dog’s muscles.
  • Pumpkin: This gourd is a wonder! It’s full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals that contribute to digestive health.
  • Yogurt: Packed with probiotics, yogurt supports the balance of beneficial bacteria in your dog’s gut.
  • Blueberries: These little berries are superheroes, loaded with antioxidants and vitamin C for your dog’s immune system.

For staple gut health, we also include fiber, prebiotics, and probiotics.

Fiber isn’t just for keeping things regular; it’s a cornerstone for good gut health. Studies have shown that a blend of dietary fiber is well-tolerated by our furry friends and brings about a beneficial shift in fecal metabolites, supporting a healthy gut. And a healthy gut means a happy pup with a tail that won’t stop wagging​​.

Prebiotics are the cheerleaders for the good bacteria (probiotics) in your dog’s digestive system. They encourage the growth of beneficial microbes that are essential for gut health and overall well-being. Prebiotics have been found to offer a host of benefits, from improved stool quality to enhanced gut immunity​​.

As a special part of the fermentation process in the gut, you also get postbiotics that include components like peptidoglycan and teichoic acids (say that three times fast!), which can maintain the immune balance of the gut. They’re like the trusted friends that help your dog’s gut stay in tip-top shape​​.

And all of these ingredients are in a delicious chew your dog will love!

We know there are a lot of different dog dental chews from which you can choose, but choosing Charming Chompers means you’re not just looking for pearly whites or freshening breath–you’re also looking to keep your dog’s health in the best shape it can be from the inside out! We’re with you all the way!


Sign up now to receive the latest updates via email.