Do Dental Chews Really Work For A Dogs Oral Health?

Do Dental Chews Really Work For A Dogs Oral Health?

Despite its overwhelming impact on your pet's overall health, their dental hygiene is often neglected in both dogs and cats. Periodontal disease can have devastating effects on the liver, heart, and kidneys. And while brushing teeth remains the number one way to prevent gum disease, it isn't always easy to do or effective enough on its own.

That brings us to dental chews. Dental chews are a fun treat meant to clean teeth and freshen breath and my dogs are obsessed with Farmer Pete’s chews. They love them so much that these dental chews are a sort after snack when left at home alone. It makes them happy and causes them to behave, but does it really work for its intended purposes?


To our fur babies, these dental chews are like lollies, but it turns out they have a lot of great hygiene benefits.


dog holding a dental chew treat in its mouth

Do Dental Chews Really Work For Your Dog?

The short answer is YES. Dental chews for dogs can be effective in promoting dental health. These chews are designed to help remove plaque and tartar build-up on your dog's teeth, which can contribute to dental problems like gum disease and tooth decay. The chewing action can help mechanically remove plaque and tartar, and some dental chews also contain ingredients that help reduce bacteria in the mouth or freshen breath.

When choosing dental chews for your dog, look for products that are specifically designed to promote dental health and are appropriately sized for your dog's breed and chewing habits such as Farmer Pete’s chews.


Always supervise your dog while they're chewing to prevent choking or swallowing large pieces and consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your dog's dental health.

When choosing dental chews for your dog, it's important to consider factors such as the size and chewing habits of your dog, as well as any specific dental concerns they may have.


Additionally, always supervise your dog while they're chewing to ensure they're using the chew safely and not swallowing large pieces. Consulting with your veterinarian can also help you choose the most appropriate dental chew for your dog's needs.

Dental chews are proven to be effective in reducing the number of oral bacteria in dogs by 60-70%

Additionally, many dental chew products contain a lot of artificial ingredients, which would be better avoided for general health reasons. So how do you know what is best for your pup?

GO NATURAL! Farmer Pete’s pet treats of course are 100% natural, with no added nasties.

When it comes to dental chews for dogs, there are several types available, and the effectiveness can vary depending on factors such as the size of the dog, chewing habits, and the specific dental needs of the individual dog. 

Types of Dental Chews that are Commonly Recommended

1. Mechanical Chews

  • Hard Nylon Chews: These chews are durable and provide a tough surface for your dog to chew on. The abrasive texture helps to scrape away plaque and tartar as your dog chews, promoting better dental health. They come in various shapes and sizes, making it easier to find one that suits your dog's chewing preferences.
  • Dental Bones: Dental bones are designed with ridges, bumps, or grooves that help clean teeth and massage gums as your dog chews. Some dental bones are flavoured to make them more appealing to dogs, encouraging prolonged chewing sessions that enhance their dental benefits.

2. Edible Dental Chews

  • Beef hide Chews: Similar to rawhide chews but made from a single layer of beef hide, beef hide chews provide a natural chewing experience while also promoting dental health. They come in different shapes and sizes, catering to various dog breeds and chewing preferences.
  • Dehydrated Chews: These come is various single protein, various sizes to meet the needs of every dog. For example, Chicken Feet, Roo Tail, Shark cartilage, Beef ear or Crocodile Tail just to name a few. Your fur baby will enjoy the tasty chew while not knowing their dental hygiene is being looked after
  • Digestible Dental Treats: These treats are formulated with ingredients that aid in dental health, such as enzymes that help break down plaque and tartar. Some also contain breath-freshening ingredients like mint or parsley. Digestible dental treats provide a tasty reward for your dog while also supporting their oral hygiene.

3. Chews with Dental Benefits

  • Chews with Chlorhexidine: Chlorhexidine is an antiseptic agent commonly used in dental care products for its ability to reduce bacteria in the mouth. Some dental chews contain chlorhexidine as an active ingredient, helping to inhibit plaque formation and maintain oral hygiene.
  • Silica-Based Chews: Chews containing silica particles or abrasive agents help scrub away plaque and tartar from your dog's teeth as they chew. These chews provide mechanical action, complementing your dog's natural chewing behaviour to promote dental health.

4. Dental Toys

  • Rubber Chew Toys: Rubber chew toys are designed to withstand heavy chewing and provide a textured surface that helps clean teeth and massage gums. They come in various shapes and sizes, offering a fun and interactive way for your dog to maintain their dental health.
  • Dental Ropes: Dental ropes are made from sturdy materials like cotton or nylon and feature fibres that help scrub away plaque and tartar as your dog chews and plays. They also promote healthy chewing habits and provide mental stimulation for your dog.

Dental chews work in various ways to promote your dog's oral health

Mechanical Action

Many dental chews are designed with textured surfaces, ridges, or grooves that create friction against your dog's teeth as they chew. This mechanical action helps to loosen and remove plaque and tartar build-up, like how brushing your teeth helps clean them.

Saliva Stimulation

Chewing on dental chews stimulates saliva production in your dog's mouth. Saliva contains enzymes that naturally help break down food particles and bacteria, which can contribute to plaque formation. Increased saliva flow can also help wash away debris and bacteria from your dog's teeth and gums.


Some dental chews contain special ingredients that provide additional benefits for your dog's oral health. For example, certain chews contain enzymes that help break down plaque and tartar, while others may include ingredients like chlorhexidine, which has antibacterial properties and can help reduce the population of harmful bacteria in your dog's mouth.

Gum Massage

Chewing on dental chews can help massage your dog's gums, which promotes good gum health and may reduce the risk of gum disease. The pressure applied to the gums during chewing helps improve blood circulation, which can keep the gum tissue healthy and resilient.

Breath Freshening

Some dental chews contain ingredients like mint or parsley that help freshen your dog's breath by neutralizing odour-causing bacteria in the mouth. Additionally, the mechanical action of chewing helps dislodge food particles and bacteria that can contribute to bad breath.


Plaque on a dogs teeth can lead to bad breath

Why Do Dogs Need Dental Chews?

Dogs need dental chews for several important reasons:

Promoting Dental Health

Just like humans, dogs can develop dental problems such as plaque build-up, tartar accumulation, gum disease, and tooth decay. Dental chews provide a proactive approach to maintaining your dog's oral health by helping to remove plaque and tartar build-up from their teeth. Regular use of dental chews can reduce the risk of dental issues and keep your dog's teeth and gums healthy.

Preventing Dental Disease

Poor dental hygiene can lead to serious dental diseases in dogs, including periodontal disease, gingivitis, and tooth loss. Dental chews offer a convenient way to help prevent these conditions by mechanically removing plaque and tartar, which are primary contributors to dental disease. By incorporating dental chews into your dog's oral care routine, you can reduce the likelihood of costly and painful dental problems down the road.

Improving Breath Odour

Bad breath, or halitosis, is a common problem in dogs and is often caused by bacteria in the mouth. Dental chews can help freshen your dog's breath by reducing the population of odour-causing bacteria and removing food particles that contribute to bad breath. Many dental chews also contain ingredients like mint or parsley that naturally freshen breath.

Preventing Behavioural Issues

Chewing is a natural behaviour for dogs and provides mental stimulation and stress relief. Dental chews offer a safe and appropriate outlet for your dog's chewing instinct, helping to prevent destructive chewing behaviours that can result in damage to furniture, shoes, or other household items.

Enhancing Overall Well-Being

Maintaining good oral health is essential for your dog's overall well-being and quality of life. Dental problems can cause discomfort, pain, and difficulty eating, which can significantly impact your dog's health and happiness. By providing dental chews as part of your dog's dental care regimen, you can help ensure they have a healthy mouth and enjoy a better quality of life.


Dental chews provide a convenient and enjoyable way to help maintain your dog's oral hygiene between professional cleanings and regular toothbrushing. However, it's important to choose high-quality dental chews that are appropriate for your dog's size, chewing habits, and specific dental needs. 

Additionally, always supervise your dog while they're chewing to ensure they're using the chew safely and to prevent any potential choking hazards.

Incorporating dental chews into your dog's daily routine can help support their oral health and contribute to a happier, healthier life.

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