Few things are better than happy puppy kisses when you get home from a long day at the office…unless your dog has breath that smells more like fish than flowers. Pets, just like people, can develop dental plaque, tartar, and tooth decay when their teeth are not properly cared for. While vets do recommend using a doggie toothbrush and toothpaste, chew toys can improve dental hygiene too!
They won’t help much for pups that prefer squeaky toys to heavy chewing, but those who love to gnaw can extend the time between dental cleanings with toys alone. And who doesn’t want to postpone an expensive trip to the vet? Here are a few of our favorites chew toys for fresh breath and healthy teeth.
The Bullibone SuperBrush is tough and bristly with a wide, easy to grip base. The raised ridges massage gums as your dog chews and scrapes plaque off teeth in the process.
Plus, the toy has a naturally derived apple cinnamon flavor that lasts for the entire life of the toy. It comes in both a small and large version, but if you have a teacup poodle or Maltese you may want to go with something smaller.
Next, we have the Kong Dental Toy. Kong is the gold standard for heavy chewers, and this toy includes extra ridges for ultra-clean teeth. The large size is recommended for dogs between 35 and 60 lbs.
Then, there’s the Benebone Real Flavor Dental Dog Chew Toy. Its patented design makes it easy for pups to hold it with their paws as they chew, great for teeth, and comes in four REAL flavors- mint, chicken, peanut, and best of all, bacon! They come in three sizes. Take note: They’re meant for chewing, not eating, so keep an eye on the wear and tear and replace the toy if pieces start to break off.
For less aggressive chewers, the BOSHEL Dog Ball Toy might fit the bill. It has soft, rubbery bristles that work to clean teeth while your pup plays. You can use it for a game of fetch, or hide treats in it to encourage more chewing. It also includes a freezable water pouch to insert, which helps soothe the sore gums of teething puppies.
Lastly, we have the Nylabone Comfort Hold X Bone Power Chew Durable Dog Toy. It’s designed for aggressive chewers and comes in a small and large size to accommodate dogs up to 50 lbs. It reduces tartar and helps eliminate destructive chewing behaviors in one go!
Our best tip for picking the right dental chew toy? Know your chewer. Does your dog like soft toys? Hard toys? Flavored toys? Does he destroy every toy he gets his paws on? Choose a toy that best fits your dog’s size and activity level to max out toy longevity and teeth-cleaning power.