What are the Best Dental Treats to Prevent Dental Disease?

Dr. Debra,

I get several womens magazines and there are all kinds of ads on dental products and treats for dogs. What really works?

Jackie C. Zanesville, Ohio


Hi Jackie,

You are absolutely right. I get vet journals, some women’s magazines and see dozens of dog treat ads with “dental benefits”. It is confusing to know what works, how they work and IF they work.  

The idea behinds the development of these treats and promotions is to help control  the most common disease in dogs and cats. That disease is periodontal disease (gum disease).

It is one of the most common infectious diseases in the world in dogs and is caused by bacteria that make up plaque.It is the leading cause of tooth loss and, in human dentistry, periodontitis is called the silent killer due to its destructive nature.

The BEST way to prevent dental disease in your dog is daily brushing. Here is a tip on how to brush your dogs teeth. Go to: How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth. 

So back to the question – what are the best dog treats to help prevent dental disease in your dog?

There is actually a “Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC)” that created standards that evaluates products to determine if products (dental treats) are benefical to the dogs teeth. They will gives a seal of approval for products they believe are beneficial based on their standards.

 Their claim is that “Regular use of products carrying the VOHC Seal will reduce the severity of periodontal disease in pets”.

Here is a link to their website which shows you all the approved products. Go to: VOHC Accepted and Approved Dental Products. 

Some of the products are foods and others are dog treats. 

Recommended products on the vohc website include:

  • Prescription Diet® Canine t/d®: Original Bites
  • Prescription Diet® Canine t/d®: Small Bites
  • Prescription Diet® Feline t/d®Friskies® Cheweez® Beefhide Treats
  • Science Diet® Oral Care for Dogs
  • Science Diet® Oral Care for Cats
  • Iams® Chunk Dental Defense Diet for Dogs
  • Eukanuba® Adult Maintenance Diet for Dogs
  • Purina Veterinary Diets® DH Dental Health® brand Feline Formula
  • Purina Veterinary Diets® DH Dental Health® brand Canine Formula
  • Purina Veterinary Diets® DH Dental Health® brand Small Bites Canine Formula
  • Purina Veterinary Diets® Dental Chewz™ brand Dog Treats
  • Tartar Shield Soft Rawhide Chews for Dogs
  • Canine Greenies ® Weight Management, all sizes
  • Canine Greenies ® Senior, all sizes
  • HealthiDent®, Bright Bites and Checkups Chews for Dogs – all sizes
  • Dog::ESSENTIAL™ healthymouth™ anti-plaque water additive
  • Dog::ESSENTIAL™ healthymouth™ anti-plaque gel
  • Cat::ESSENTIAL™ healthymouth™ anti-plaque water additive
  • Cat::ESSENTIAL™ healthymouth™ anti-plaque gel
  • Greenies® Veterinary Formula Canine Dental Chews
  • Dog::ESSENTIAL™ healthymouth™ anti-plaque oral spray
  • Cat::ESSENTIAL™ healthymouth™ anti-plaque spray
  • Petsmile by Supersmile toothpaste
  • SANOS Dental Sealant
  • Dog::ESSENTIAL™ healthymouth™ anti-plaque water additive – Mobility Formulation
  • Feline Greenies® Feline Dental Treats
  • Royal Canin Feline Dental Diet
  • ADA-compliant soft-bristle, flat head toothbrush
  • Virbac CET ® VeggieDent ® Chews for Dogs, all sizes
  • Canine Greenies® Hip and Joint Care Chews, all sizes
  • Milk-Bone Brushing Chews for Dogs

I hope this helps you better understand which dental products may be acceptable for your pet.  

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