Top Toys for Clean Dog Teeth
Are your dog’s teeth a little on the yellow side? Is his breath a bit gamey? Don’t worry. Dogs need help with their dental hygiene and thankfully, there are ways to make that fun. Check out these super fun and super chewable toys that will keep your doggo entertained while making his molars (and breath) sparkly clean!
Keeping your doggo’s teeth clean can be a real hassle. It’s not as if you can sit your doggo down and teach them the importance of oral hygiene. That’s not going to work. Unfortunately, you’ll have to force strong dental health upon them. As someone who owns seven dogs, I do my fair share of doggie teeth brushing. And let me tell you, that means dealing seven grumpy faces staring accusingly at me at least three times a week. What can I say? My sloppy pooches don’t care about oral hygiene that much- unless it’s in the form of dental toys for dogs.
In that case, they’re all about keeping those pearly whites sparkling. Nibbling and gnawing on a variety of chews keeps them entertained and helps their teeth stay clean and healthy- two for the price of one, as they say. If you can trick you dog into cleaning their teeth while they simply think that they are playing with a toy, that’s huge win. It’s really the only way to get their teeth clean voluntarily. So teeth-cleaning dog toys are an important oral health hack for any puppy parent. If you need one of these multipurpose toys in your dog’s life, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together a handy list at some of the finest teeth-cleaning chew toys on the market. All you need to do is keep your eyes glued to this page and decide which of these chew toys will be the best choice for your pup!
It’s important to note that you’ll want to keep your dog’s teeth as clean as you can naturally for as long as you can. Yes, vets can and do professional teeth cleanings, but not without putting your dog under anesthesia and at a price. And while it’s important you keep your dog’s teeth clean, even if you need to have it professionally done, it sort of opens a Pandora’s Box, if you will. Professional cleaning opens the natural porous teeth enamel up and allows bacteria to absorb more easily after the first professional cleaning, and you’ll need to keep doing a professional cleaning fairly regularly from the first on. That’s why you’ll want to do as much as you can to keep their teeth nice and clean with brushing, bones and chews.
And on that…here are our favorites!
Here are our top best dog chew toys for clean teeth:
1. Editor’s Pick: KONG Dental Dog Toy
Ah yes. The mighty KONG! Is there a dog who doesn’t turn into a chewing fiend once they get hold of KONG? I usually stuff it with peanut butter, and it keeps my dogs occupied for hours on end. Seriously, they couldn’t care less if I was there or not, if it meant getting to gnaw on this rubbery thingy. However, the design of Kong toys make it easy to stuff with a wide variety of different treats and recipes, depending on your dog’s unique tastes and preferences. There are even websites and communities online completely dedicated to sharing stuffing recipes to keep your dog interested for the foreseeable future.
All dogs love gnawing on these things and the good news is that their teeth love it even more! If your dog is an aggressive chewer, they have a separate version of this product that is specifically designed with them in mind. While the shape of the dental toy is the same, with the same plaque-busting ridges, the black color of the material indicates that it’s part of Kong’s ‘Extreme’ line that is even stronger and more durable than their standard products!
2. Runner Up: Benebone Real Flavor Dental Chew Toy
When it comes to my pets, anything bacon-flavored is a massive hit. Yet, even if you have a rare dog who doesn’t adore bacon, this toy seems to be irresistible on all counts. And that’s not just because of the mouth-watering aroma. They also offer other tasty flavors for those that aren’t crazy over bacon, including chicken and peanut butter.
These chew toys seem to drive dogs wild no matter what. They come in a total of four different sizes, ranging from tiny (for dogs under 15lbs) up to large, so pups of all shapes can enjoy them. There is even a puppy-friendly version available for the new furry friend in your life.
Benebones are made from highly durable nylon, making them a great choice for the tougher chewers out there. However, they are not designed to be eaten and will begin to show wear in time. Keep an eye on the condition of your dog’s toy and replace it if you notice significant wear or that the toy is at risk of allowing larger pieces to be taken off. The good news is that they are also budget-friendly, keeping the price point low even when it does come time to replace one.
3. Best Durable: Nylabone Durables
My 70-lb mutt can chew through anything, except extremely tough toys like Nylabones. Not only does she love the challenge (hey, you can’t keep a girl from trying to gnaw right through this thing!), I can also leave her alone while she plays without being scared she’ll choke on a piece of the toy. Since chewing can last for hours, the toy really helps clean her teeth. What a win-win combo! If only human teeth cleaning could be this fun.
4. Best for Aggressive Chewers: VRTOP Dog Chew Toys for Aggressive Chewers
Some pooches get overly enthusiastic about their toys, meaning that they shred them to pieces before there’s any opportunity for the toy to do its intended work- aka keep those canines sparkly clean. Well, that won’t be the case with this cute crocodile! Designed especially for aggressive chewers that easily destroy most of their toys, VRTOP Dog Chew Toys for Aggressive Chewers is made from premium quality, all-natural rubber that is both tear-resistant and safe for pets to chew on. Instead of scary teeth in the mouth of the gator, there are rubber bristles that are meant to remove plaque, massage the gums, and promote better overall oral hygiene.
For added interest (in case your pooch is a picky one), this dental chew toy has a squeaker so it will sound off when your doggo bites its head. Additionally, the rubber is also flavored to taste like milk so it further entices your pet. The size of the toy (circa 6” in length and around 2” in width) makes it suited for medium and large breeds that weigh between 30 and 80 pounds.
6. Best Pack: Petstages Mini Dental Chew Pack
Three of my dogs are small breeds, so this one pack keeps them all happy and nibbling all day long. If you have one little pooch, this chew pack offers a fun variety for the price of one. For enthusiastic chewers, though, supervised playing is the way to go. These aren’t the toughest toys out there and even tiny pooches can bite through them over time. So be careful if your doggo is a particularly vicious chewer.
If your dog has a tendency to chew off and eat the rope portion of toys like this, it is best to look elsewhere. Ingesting a string-like product like these can lead to serious medical problems if left unaddressed. However, if your pup prefers a fun game of tug or a light chew from time to time, this could be a great option.
7. Best Beef Flavored: Nylabone Dura Chew “X” Bone
Got a power chewer? Try this beef-flavored monster bone. Not only that it’s virtually indestructible, but its unique shape also makes it comfortable to hold between paws- and that’s super important to those dedicated nibblers, am I right? The Nylabone Dura Chew “X” Bone will keep your little pupper gnawing away for hours and treat their teeth well!
Each of the four fun textured chewing ends feature nubs and rigs that help to clean your dog’s teeth while chewing, which also helps to freshen their breath and improve their overall health. It’s available in two different sizes, small and large. The large size is only recommended for dogs up to 50lbs meaning that dog owners with large or giant breed dogs may want to consider another option on the list.
8. Best for Dental Health: Hartz Chew’n’Clean
The Hartz Chew ‘n Clean Tuff Bone is made to last, using durable nylon material. The small nubs on the colored and textured surface will work to remove plaque and tartar, promoting better health for both your dog’s teeth and gums.
While we, as dog owners, recognize the importance of clean, healthy teeth, it can sometimes be harder to convince our pups to jump on board. Hartz took that into consideration with these popular dental toys as well, adding a bacon scent and flavoring that few dogs can resist. But rest assured, the bacon scent doesn’t take away from the fresh breath experienced by those dogs with clean, healthy teeth!
9. Best Wood Toy: Petstages Dogwood Real Wood Chews
If your dog loves to chew on tree branches or maybe he has even gotten his teeth into your wooden fence, then you are looking for a good wooden chew toy for the dental care of your dog. In order to create a safer stick that still has the chewy attraction and teeth cleaning benefits, Petstages Dogwood Chews are wood mixed with synthetic materials so you don’t have to worry about splintering, choking or bacteria and bugs! Even though the Petstages Dogwood is a polypropylene wood blend they have done a great job making it look and smell like real wood so your wood chewer is gonna be a happy dog, and all that chewing is going to make for a happy mouth. By chewing on the stick your dog is basically brushing their teeth, removing plaque and exercising their gums. Petstages is even looking out for the little guy since they offer their Dogwood Chew in 4 separate sizes:
- Petite: 6.5″L x 3.5″W x 1″H — Up to 15lbs
- Small: 6.5″L x 5.5″W x 1.35″H — Up to 20lbs
- Medium: 8.5″L x 5.5″W x 1.5″H — Up to 35lbs
- Large: 10.5″L x 5.5″W x 1.6″H — 50lbs and Over
They can also be safely used for teething puppies!
10. Best Squeaker: Petpark Squeak Bone
Come on, be honest, do you even hear the squeakers in your dog’s toys anymore? I don’t mean do your neighbor’s hear it, I mean do you? Dog’s love squeakers. You must have gotten over that a long time ago. So why not give your dog the thing he loves especially if using it means better dental hygiene for your beloved pooch. This 6.3” bone is suitable for all sized dogs. And those little nubbins situated all over the bone are no accident. Each one of them will help to clean your dog’s teeth while he chews and stimulates the gums. It can float on water so is great for taking out to the pool or lake. It is made from eco friendly TPR (thermoplastic elastomers) and this material is strong and resistant to tears and abrasions, will not break down due to adverse weather conditions and is recyclable. So if the squeaker bothers your neighbor next store, just tell him it’s for the environment.
11. Best Chicken Flavored: Nylabone DuraChew Dental Chew Dinosaur Dog Toy
Do you have a dog that tends to chew apart his toys really easily? Then the Nylabone DuraChew Dinosaur Toy might be what you’ve been looking for. This toy, which is chicken flavored and made from nylon, is designed to withstand powerful chewing action, so it will last longer and keep your pooch happy. But, in addition to being a wonderful way to enrich your pet’s day and prevent boredom, it also does double duty as a dental cleaner that helps massage the gyms, control plaque, and reduce tartar. Plus, it comes in three cute shapes: T-Rex, Stegosaurus, and Brontosaurus. These dinos are the perfect fix for any doggo who tends to chomp their way through expensive chew toys. Ironically, these dinosaurs might be the only chew toy that your dog won’t make extinct.
12. Best for Stinky Breath: Arm & Hammer Dental Super Treadz Dog Toy
This indestructible toy has a sweet smile on its face and that probably comes from the fact that this Gorilla is close to your dog’s fresh breath because the Arm and Hammer Super Treads Gorilla Chew Toy helps freshen your dog’s breath while he plays. The textured surface all over the chew toy helps to remove plaque and stimulates the gums. But that fresh scent? That comes from the infused baking soda in the rubber that helps eliminate bacteria and icky smells. You can pick the proper size for your type of dog as it comes in both small and large. The toy is extremely durable and will stand up to even your most aggressive chewer. If you aren’t into Gorillas, Arm and Hammer also offers a Gator version. Whichever version you choose you know the baking soda will leave your dog with fresh breath and the construction will reach and stimulate your dog’s gum line.
13. Best Rope: Mammoth SnakeBiter Iguana Rope Dog Toy
Your dog chews on a lot of tough materials and super strong rubber. As your dog gets older you want to make sure you are giving him a good workout without possibly breaking or chipping his older teeth. That is when a softer, natural chew toy makes a great choice. This Iguana Rope Toy from Mammoth is 17 inches of cotton blended rope designed as an Iguana. As your dog chews and destroys this iguana he is invigorating his gums and shining his chompers. All of that chewing also stimulates your dog’s natural saliva that will help to rinse away food debris and kill unwanted bacteria. If you want to get sneaky, rub a little doggie dental paste on the rope toy and get that smile really gleaming! The rope fibers even act like dental floss getting in between teeth and crevices – all without hard rubber. The soft rope is also a great choice for teething puppies!
14. Also Consider: Busy Buddy Bristle Bone Dog Toy
Available in a range of sizes, this dog toy, which features rubber nubs and nylon bristles, is designed to clean your pet’s teeth and stimulate his gums. Plus, this entertaining toy is also equipped with four all natural rawhide treats that your dog can chew on to his heart’s content. Plus, when your dog has gone through all of the treats, you can purchase more rawhide treat rings and refill this toy to make it like new again. This is the chew toy that keeps on giving. You never have to worry about your dog getting tired of it. All you have to do is refill it with new treats and watch your doggo go crazy for it all over again!
15. Best for Tug of War: Dogzilla Monster Tug Dog Toy
If you don’t want your dog to know you are in the middle of health maintenance but instead want him to feel it is just another good old dog day afternoon, then the Petmate Dogzilla Tug Toy will keep his mind on all the fun he is having with this giant chew toy. You can look on happily or grab one handle and play along with your pup as you know that this game is helping your dog keep his teeth and gums clean. The tough quality rubber makes it a long-lasting purchase and the bumpy textures on the toy are helping to clean your canine’s canines, and incisors and molars, etc. When you see how much fun he is having cleaning his teeth or if you are cleaning them with him, it may make you rethink the whole dental routine for your pup.
16. Best Treat Toy: Bojafa Dog Puzzle Teething Toys Ball
OK, this one is so much fun. I love watching dogs trying to figure out how to get the yummies out of the teeth-like design. Just stick some treats or your pooch’s favorite kibble in there and watch them try to find a way to devour them. An added bonus: their adorable struggle will also thoroughly clean their mouth and teeth. So that means big laughs and endless entertainment for you and clean teeth for your pup.
If you’re looking for a fun option to entertain your dog on a hot summer’s day while also promoting clean, healthy teeth, consider filling the sides of one of these balls with an easy to spread treat like wet canned food, plain Greek yogurt, or peanut butter and freezing it before handing it over to your pup. The frozen goodies will keep your dog working on their ball even longer!
These durable toys are also made from a non-toxic rubber that’s nearly – emphasis on nearly- indestructible, so even aggressive chewers can munch away on this toy. When your pup is done removing all the tasty goodness, these balls can also double as a fun toy for those that love a good game of fetch. Give it a toss and your dog may even enjoy some additional tooth-cleaning action by gnawing on the toy as they carry it back to you.
Other Products Designed to Help Keep Your Dog’s Teeth Clean
In addition to the fun toys that are listed above, there are many other products on the pet market that can help you take care of your pet’s teeth. A few of them are listed below. Consider using these to help prevent some common canine tooth and gum problems. When in doubt about the right oral care products for your unique pooch, though, it is best to talk to your veterinarian, who can provide you with personalized advice. There are solutions for any dog with oral health problems. All you need to do is seek the advice of a professional who will know what your doggo’s mouth needs.
- Treats: One of the easiest ways to get your dog to clean his teeth is by giving him a treat that is designed to do just that. He won’t know that he’s cleaning his teeth, but you will, and he will look forward to his treat, so getting the job done will be easier on you. Look for treats that are specially designed to clean canine chompers. As an example, there are dental sticks that your dog will enjoy chewing on, and that action can help remove plaque.
- Dental Wipes: You’ve probably heard about all of the canine toothpastes that are out there, right? But did you know that there are also dental wipes that you can try? These might be the ideal solution if your pooch doesn’t let you get near his mouth when you have a toothbrush and toothpaste in your hands. The great thing about dental wipes, too, is that they come in various flavors to make the experience more pleasant for your pet. All you have to do is take the wipe and gently rub it against your dog’s teeth. The wipes are typically textured, to help remove plaque, yet they are soft. And they’re disposable, so you just throw them away when you’re done cleaning your dog’s teeth.
- Dental Sprays: Yet another alternative to traditional toothpaste and toothbrush, as well as dental wipes, is canine dental spray. This could be just what you have been looking for if your dog is really difficult to work with and won’t let you near his mouth, or if there is the risk that your dog will bite you out of frustration or fear. Just spray your dog’s teeth and gums, and you’re done!
- Water Additive: Another way to clean a dog’s mouth when he won’t let you near him—even if he won’t let you get close enough to use a dental spray—is an oral care water additive that is designed for canines. This can simply be added to your dog’s water bowl. Every time he drinks, he will be taking a step towards keeping his teeth and gums clean. It doesn’t get much easier than that!
Finally, seeing your vet regularly to let him or her examine your dog’s mouth is important too. While there are a variety of products and treats that you can use at home to help keep your pet’s teeth healthy, nothing beats a good dental cleaning performed by a veterinarian. Do you have any other tricks for keeping your dog’s teeth clean and strong? Please let us know in the comments below!
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A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.
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