A dog’s smile can melt your heart. Those big, goofy grins full of pure joy are one of the best things about being a dog owner. As much as we love it when our pups flash those pearly whites, it’s important to keep your dog’s smile healthy by taking care of their dental hygiene.
One of the best ways to maintain good canine dental health is by providing your dog with specially designed dental care toys. These unique products help clean teeth and massage gums while your dog chews and plays.
In this article, we’ll explore the top 5 dental dog toys on the market. We’ll also provide tips for choosing the right dental toys for your furry friend and answer some frequently asked questions about these chew toys that clean. By the end, you’ll have the knowledge to pick the perfect dental care toys to keep your dog’s smile sparkling.
Top 5 Dental Care Dog Toys
Dental chew toys are not all created equal. Some are better suited for aggressive chewers while others are gentler on sensitive teeth. When picking dental toys, you have to consider your individual dog’s needs.
Here are 5 of the top options on the market right now:
Nylabone Durable Dental Dinosaur
This classic dinosaur shape is a long-time favorite for cleaning teeth and massaging gums. The nubs and ridges reach all tooth surfaces while the mild abrasiveness helps scrape away plaque and tartar. Made of durable nylon, it stands up to even the most aggressive chewers. The edible flavors make it even more enticing to dogs.
- Ridged, nubby shape
- Durable nylon material
- Multiple sizes for different dog breeds
- Edible flavors added for taste
- Effectively cleans all tooth surfaces
- Long-lasting even for power chewers
- Inexpensive compared to other dental toys
- Some dogs lose interest quickly
- May be too hard for dogs with sensitive teeth
Kong Dental Stick
This versatile toy takes the shape of a convenient stick. It has grooves and ridges to clean teeth and the natural rubber is gentle on gums. Many owners use it to distract dogs when clipping nails or administering medication. It bounces unpredictably for added fun!
- Stick shape with grooves
- Made of rubber
- Hollow center can be filled with treats
- Erratic bouncing action
- Soft rubber is gentle on teeth
- Grooves clean all tooth surfaces
- Distracts dogs from stressful tasks
- Unpredictable bouncing is fun and engaging
- Not as long-lasting as nylon toys
- Some dogs destroy rubber easily
Petstages Dogwood Stick
For dogs that love to chew sticks, this toy mimics that natural shape while cleaning teeth at the same time. Real wood is safely encased in plastic bristles that scrape away plaque. Different diameters work for different sized dogs. The bold colors make it easy to find if your dog hides it!
- Real wood center with plastic bristles
- Stick shape dogs love
- Available in different sizes
- Bright colors
- Bristles clean teeth while chewing
- Safer than real sticks which can splinter
- Engages dogs that enjoy chewing sticks
- Easy to spot if hidden around the house
- Some dogs destroy the bristles quickly
- Not as effective for dogs that don’t like chewing sticks
Arm & Hammer Super Treadz
These ring-shaped toys have raised tread that cleans down to the gumline as your dog chews. The middle can be stuffed with treats adding extra motivation to chew. Made of durable rubber, they satisfy even aggressive chewers. The added baking soda helps fight bad doggie breath!
- Ring shape with tread pattern
- Made of baking soda infused rubber
- Center can be filled with treats
- Available in three sizes
- Tread pattern cleans teeth and gums
- Baking soda freshens dog’s breath
- Sturdy even for power chewers
- Treat filling provides added incentive to chew
- Some dogs don’t like the taste of baking soda
- Not as effective for timid chewers
Dental Life edible toothbrush sticks
Combining an edible stick with a built-in toothbrush, this treat helps clean teeth as dogs nibble. The abrasive bristles scrub away plaque and tartar while the delicious flavors make chewing irresistible. They are completely edible, so no hard chunks to choke on.
- Toothbrush bristles on edible stick
- Made from rawhide or vegetable fibers
- Delicious flavors like chicken and mint
- Bristles scrub teeth while chewing
- Bristles clean hard-to-reach back teeth
- Chewing motions brush teeth
- Dogs love the tasty flavors
- Completely edible and digestible
- Some dogs gulp them down without much chewing
- Not as long-lasting as rubber or nylon
How to Choose the Right Dental Dog Toys
With so many options out there, how do you decide which dental care toy is right for your pooch? Here are some tips for making the best choice:
- Consider your dog’s size and breed. Some toys come in sizes suited for everything from tiny chihuahuas to giant great danes. Also factor in your dog’s jaw strength based on their breed.
- Think about your dog’s chewing style. Aggressive chewers require durable rubber or nylon. More gentle dogs do fine with softer materials. Test out toys first to see if they’re up to the chewing challenge.
- Choose toys that are resilient but not too hard. You want something firm enough to massage gums and scrape plaque but not so hard it damages teeth. Rubber or nylon toys are gentler than hard plastic.
- Look for lots of ridges, nubs and textures. These features help clean all tooth surfaces as your dog chews. Rope toys floss between teeth.
- Select toys that encourage chewing and cleaning motions. Toothbrush sticks prompt brushing motions. Erratic bouncing toys keep jaws engaged.
- Consider toothbrush style toys for extra cleaning power. The toothbrush bristles clean hard-to-reach back teeth while dogs indulge chewing urges.
- Ask your veterinarian for dental toy recommendations. Your vet can suggest the best options for your dog based on their specific dental health needs.
With the right dental dog toy, you can help scrape away plaque, massage your pup’s gums, and keep their breath fresh while they indulge their chewing instincts. It’s a win-win for good canine dental care and a happy dog!
Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Care Dog Toys
How do dental dog toys clean teeth?
Dental chew toys clean teeth in a few different ways:
- Ridges, bumps and textures help scrape plaque and tartar off the tooth surface while the dog chews.
- Toothbrush-like bristles reach even the back teeth to brush away bacteria.
- Rubber abrasiveness gently scrubs teeth.
- Chewing action massages gums, helping dislodge food particles.
- Bouncing action keeps jaws engaged for a dental workout.
At what age should you start giving your dog dental chew toys?
Veterinarians recommend introducing dental chew toys:
- As soon as baby teeth start emerging – gentle chewing helps soothe sore gums
- Around 16 weeks old – permanent teeth have come in and plaque will start accumulating
- Right after a professional dental cleaning – helps maintain that clean feeling
Choose softer toys until all adult teeth have fully emerged around 6-7 months old.
How often should you replace dental dog toys?
It depends on the toy and your dog’s chewing habits:
- Nylon – Replace every 2-3 months for average chewers, more frequently for power chewers
- Rubber – Replace every 1-2 months for average chewers
- Edible – Replace whenever fully consumed, usually within a week or two
- Natural materials – Replace when signs of wear appear, typically every few weeks
In general, replace any toy once it stops effectively cleaning teeth due to being too worn.
Are edible dental chews as effective as toys?
Edible chews serve to clean teeth only while being actively chewed, but toys can provide longer-lasting dental benefits. However, edible chews often motivate dogs to chew more, resulting in similar dental effects. For best results, use both edible chews and durable toys.
Can dental dog toys harm my dog’s teeth?
Quality dental toys from reputable companies will not damage teeth when used properly. Look for toys made from non-toxic materials like rubber, nylon, or vegetable fibers. Avoid toys that are too hard like bones, antlers, or hooves which can fracture teeth. Discontinue use of any toy showing signs of wear or causing gum injury.
What signs indicate my dog may need professional dental cleaning?
Signs your pup’s dental health requires professional attention include:
- Bad breath
- Red, inflamed, or bleeding gums
- Yellow-brown tartar accumulation on teeth
- Broken teeth or other mouth pain
- Loose or missing teeth
- Reduced appetite or difficulty eating
Schedule a veterinary dental exam if you notice any of these issues.
Are certain dog breeds more prone to dental problems?
Yes, some breeds tend to have more dental disease including:
- Small dogs – Crowded teeth are harder to keep clean
- Flat-faced breeds – Short snouts and overcrowding increase risk
- Older dogs – More time for tartar and plaque to accumulate
Make dental care a priority for any predisposed breeds. Seek veterinary dental cleanings as needed.
What other steps can I take to maintain my dog’s dental health?
In addition to dental chew toys:
- Brush your dog’s teeth – Daily is ideal, but a few times a week helps enormously. Use dog-safe toothpaste.
- Schedule professional cleanings – Vets recommend professional dental cleaning once a year.
- Feed dental diet food – Some kibble is formulated to reduce plaque.
- Give raw bones to chew – Natural chewing scrubs teeth but supervise to avoid cracking.
- Add dental rinse to water bowl – Liquid solutions help kill bacteria.
With the right combination ofhome care, dental toys, and professional veterinary cleanings, you can help ensure your pup keeps that beautiful, bright smile for years to come. Just look for that big grin full of clean, pearly whites – it will make all your dental care efforts worthwhile as your dog shows their happiness.