Saturday, February 28, 2015

Choosing Dental Treats and Rawhide Chews

When you walk into a pet store, the treat and bone selection can be overwhelming. There are so many brands and flavors it's hard to choose which one to buy. Dental treats, rawhide chews and rubber chews are options that will improve oral health and satisfy a dog's need to chew. Dogs that chew on bones and rawhides have stronger teeth and less tartar build-up.

Dental Treats

Dental treats can be given daily to kill harmful bacteria in a dog's mouth and freshen their breath. 

Dental treats come in a variety of brands and flavors. Nylabone and Greenies are two popular brands. When considering what brand to buy, be sure to examine the ingredients and calories in each treat. Overall, the treats are easy to digest and come in larger quantities than other dental products.

Due to the small size of the treat, it's debatable how much tartar they scrape off dog's teeth. It only takes a few minutes for a dog to consume one and doesn't require a lot of chewing.  Only buying them occasionally will not be beneficial. If you give dental treats to your dog on a daily basis and brush their teeth, the results will be more effective.

Rawhide Chews

Rawhide chews come in a variety of shapes, sizes and flavors. You can find rawhides almost at any store where pet products are sold.

Rawhide chews are made out of dried out cow or horse hides. They come in plain, chicken, beef and liver flavors.

Most dogs love rawhides. Depending on how aggressive of a chewer your dog is, a rawhide should keep them occupied for a long time too.

While rawhides are a popular treat for dogs, they have several risks. Rawhides made in other countries can contain toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde. To avoid this make sure to check the label to see if the chew is made in the U.S. Also examine the ingredients and calories in each chew.

Rawhides can also be a choking and digestive hazard. If a dog tries to swallow a large jagged piece of rawhide, the piece can get lodged in their throat and block off their airway. In addition, if your dog has a sensitive stomach, chews can cause irritation in the digestive track and symptoms like diarrhea.

In my opinion, the key to giving your dog rawhides lies in making sure you buy a quality brand and supervising your dog while they consume it. If you notice your dog has trouble swallowing or digesting the rawhide, stop buying them and try a different bone alternative.

Rubber Chews

Rubber chews can have small nubs that help clean teeth.
 Rubber chews last a long time and if pieces break off they should pass right through your dog's digestive system. The chews also have no calories or odor.

However, dogs can get bored and stop chewing them. Even though the rubber chews come in flavors, they have a less appealing taste than the other products I have mentioned.

As you can see, there are many factors to take into consideration when selecting the right bone for your dog. 

I personally choose to give my dogs dental treats or rubber chews. My pug, Otis, had difficulty swallowing a rawhide chew in the past and I stopped buying them. Otis tends to gobble his treats whole so chews that break down in smaller pieces were better for him.

However, my boyfriend's golden retriever, Jake, has no problem with rawhide chews and loves them. It really all depends on your dog and what works best for them.

Jake with his rawhide he got for Christmas.

I would love to know what types of bones other owners feed their dogs. If you get a chance, write your preference in the comment section below.


  1. May I add also that I have been using for awhile TropicalClean Products in a pack of 3 one is a gel for Tartar prevention, one is a breath spray, and one is a solution for their drinking water one adds just a tablespoon. I buy this on the HSN Shopping Network ( My dog is 7 years old and has NO tartar, the chews are good as described in the blog but personally I give him accordingly. Also make sure you get into the habit of brushing your dogs teeth, have them taste the toothpaste and introduce and desensitize the process always reward maybe with some of the same toothpaste they like or a treat.

  2. I would not recommend any product made outside the USA if you are getting these products just to be on the safe side.
    Always as mentioned in the blog supervise when they are working on their chew or playing with their toy and know what to do if something goes wrong as far as a piece logged in their throat etc.

  3. That is great your dog has no tartar. You definitely seem like you care for his teeth very well. I will have to try the TropicalClean products on my dogs.