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The Best Vet-recommended Dog Chews For Dogs in 2021

What should I feed my dog?
Dog chews not only help your dog’s teeth but also freshen their breath.

As a pet parent, you only want what’s best for your furry friend.

While this certainly means choosing a healthy dog food that’s made from safe and nutritious ingredients, it also extends to the dental chews you offer your pooch.

Dog chews are great treats that actually clean your dog’s teeth and improve their overall oral health.

In today’s guide, we’ll be taking a look at the best vet-recommended dog chews on the market today!

How We Aim to Help

To help you find the ideal option for your canine companion, we’re going to highlight and review some of the best vet-recommended dog chews.

Each dog chew we’ll go over is safe, healthy, and has approval from the appropriate institutions.

On top of reviewing our top picks, we’ll also explain why dog chews can be so beneficial. If you want to purchase safe dog chews for your puppy or dog, you’ve come to the right place!

Why Are Dog Chews Beneficial for Your Dog?

Dog chews are designed to clean a dog’s teeth as they’re chewed. This is why they’re often referred to as a dental dog treat or a dental chew.

They Reduce the Risk of Dental Disease

This can be incredibly beneficial, as dogs are susceptible to dental disease and periodontal disease.

Not only can dental disease lead to discomfort and pain for your furry friend, but severe dental issues can also pose a serious risk to your dog’s overall health.

The plaque and tartar that build on a dog’s teeth can almost act as a sort of scaffolding for bacteria to spread into the gums.

Once the surface bacteria has made its way into the gums, it can spread into the dog’s bloodstream, which, in serious cases, can cause your dog to slip into septic shock.

They’re an Effective and Affordable Addition to Your Dog’s Dental Health Routine

While dog chews aren’t meant to act as a replacement for professional dental cleanings with a veterinarian, or a daily brushing routine, they can offer some really important benefits for your dog’s oral health.

If your dog is chewing a high-quality, vet-recommended dental chew, it will help to scrape plaque, tartar, and bacteria from the surface of your dog’s teeth.

As an added bonus, the best dog chews also help prevent bad breath!

With that said, it’s important that you choose a high-quality chew that’s actually effective and safe for your dog to consume.

If you choose a lower-quality dog chew, it can lead to unhealthy weight gain, and poorly cleaned teeth, and it may even pose a potential choking hazard.

This is why we’re going to recommend some of the best options on the market today!

Speaking of unhealthy weight gain, we reviewed 14 awesome dog foods for weight loss! Check it out if you’re looking to keep your dog’s weight under control.

Watch this video to learn more about dental disease in dogs:

Our Top Picks

  Product Details    
01-GREENIES-–-Natural-Oral-Health-Dog-Chews Best Overall: GREENIES – Natural Oral Health Dog Chews • Unique texture cleans to the gumline
• Accepted by the Veterinary Oral Health Council
• Natural and highly digestible ingredients
Check Price
02-Pedigree-DentaStix-Triple-Action-Dental-Chews-for-Dogs Runner-up: Pedigree – DentaStix Triple Action Dental Chews for Dogs • Textured surface helps scrape away plaque and tartar buildup
• Effectively freshens breath
• Available in three appetizing flavors
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03-Thunder-Wunders-–-Hemp-Seed-Calming-Chews-for-Dogs Best Option for Anxious Dogs: Thunder Wunders – Hemp Seed Calming Chews for Dogs • Help dogs manage stress and anxiety
• Contains safe and effective ingredients
• Bite-sized shape and appetizing flavor
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04-Nutramax-Laboratories-–-Dasuquin-Soft-Joint-Health-Chews-for-Dogs Best for Joint Health: Nutramax Laboratories – Dasuquin Soft Joint Health Chews for Dogs • Recommended by veterinarians for joint health
• Contains avocado oil and green tea extract
• Rich in antioxidants
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05-Virbac-–-C.E.T.-VeggieDent-Flex-Tartar-Control-Joint-Health-Chews-for-Dogs Best Plant-based Dog Chew: Virbac – C.E.T. VeggieDent Flex Tartar Control + Joint Health Chews for Dogs • Cleans the teeth and freshens the breath
• Made from natural plant-based ingredients
• Added prebiotic fiber for a healthy digestive system
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06-OraVET-–-Dental-Hygiene-Chews-for-Large-Dogs Best for Large-Breed Dogs: OraVET – Dental Hygiene Chews for Large Dogs • Helps remove plaque, tartar from your dog’s teeth
• Creates a protective barrier to prevent bacteria
• Only dog chew containing delmopinol
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Best Vet-Recommended Dog Chews Review

1. The Best Overall: GREENIES – Natural Oral Health Dog Chews

Greenies Chew Treats Original

Greenies is the brand behind one of the world’s most popular best vet-recommended dog chews.

Not only are they recommended by veterinarians around the world, but they also have a textured surface, which helps fight plaque and tartar.

Unlike lower-quality dental chews, they clean the teeth right down to the gum line, which helps prevent periodontal disease.

Not only are these dental dog chews made with natural ingredients that are easy for dogs to fully digest, but they also contain added vitamins and minerals to improve the quality of your dog’s diet.

The natural ingredients also help to freshen your dog’s breath.

You only need to offer one Greenies Dental Chew per day to see noticeable results in the health of your dog’s teeth.

Best of all, dogs find the taste and smell of these unique, toothbrush-shaped chews absolutely irresistible, so they can double as rewarding treats you can use for training purposes.

By the way, we did a full review of Greenies Dental Treats that you should definitely check out. We take a deep dive into these best vet-recommended dog chews.

What We Liked

  • Helps freshen breath
  • Safe and nutritious ingredients
  • Cleans down to the gum line

What We Didn’t Like

  • Somewhat expensive

2. The Runner-up: Pedigree – DentaStix Triple Action Dental Chews for Dogs

 Pedigree - DentaStix Triple Action Dental Chews for Dogs

Pedigree’s popular DentaStix Dog Chews are another excellent choice if you’re looking for a safe and healthy chew treat for your pooch.

They have backing from veterinarians all over the world and are clinically proven to reduce the presence of plaque and tartar buildup on canine teeth.

Dogs find the unique flavor and scent of the chews incredibly appetizing, so they work really well as a tasty reward.

They’re also available in a variety of sizes, so you can find the perfect dental chew for your dog no matter what type of breed you have.

These unique, X-shaped best vet-recommended dog chews really scrape the surface of the teeth as your dog chews.

Best of all, they leave your dog with freshly scented breath, so you’ll no longer have to worry about stinky dog breath when you’re snuggling with your pet.

What We Liked

  • Affordable price
  • Variety of flavors that dogs love
  • Unique shape helps clean the hard to reach spots

What We Didn’t Like

  • Packaging isn’t resealable, so they can go a bit stale

3. The Best Option For Anxious Dogs: Thunder Wunders – Hemp Seed Calming Chews for Dogs

 Thunder Wunders – Hemp Seed Calming Chews for Dogs

These calming dog chews are offered by Thunder Wunders, which is the brand behind the incredibly popular ThunderShirt for dogs.

Not only do dogs love the flavor, scent, and texture of these little chews, but they offer a safe and affordable way to help manage your dog’s stress and situational anxiety.

If you find that your dog’s anxiety flares up in certain situations, like thunderstorms or when guests visit your home, you can offer your stressed dog a calming chew.

They’re made from natural and safe ingredients that offer plenty of calming benefits.

Ingredients like melatonin, chamomile, ginger root, passionflower extract, and rosemary extract help keep your dog relaxed, while a combination of Thiamine and L-Tryptophan can alleviate environmentally-induced stress and tension.

Best of all, they’re trusted by veterinarians, so you can remain confident that you’re offering your pooch a safe and trustworthy dog chew that they’ll love.

The fact that dogs love the taste of these chews means they’re much easier to administer than oral medications that help reduce stress.

Keeping some of these best vet-recommended dog chews on you can be really helpful for otherwise stressful situations, such as trips to the groomer, kennel, or long periods in the car.

What We Liked

  • One of the easiest ways to calm a dog down
  • Natural ingredients that are safe and vet-recommended
  • Dogs love the taste

What We Didn’t Like

  • Less effective with certain dogs, but they do offer a 100% moneyback guarantee if they don’t help 

4. Best For Joint Health: Nutramax Laboratories – Dasuquin Soft Joint Health Chews for Dogs

Nutramax Laboratories – Dasuquin Soft Joint Health Chews for Dogs

As dogs age, their cartilage can begin to deteriorate, which is part of the reason they tend to become less mobile during their senior years.

This vet-recommended dog chew can help stimulate the production of some cartilage components, which can improve joint health.

These healthy chews contain glucosamine and chondroitin, which are also known to improve mobility by keeping joints healthy and well-lubricated.

Other ingredients, like antioxidant-rich green tea extract and avocado oil, can improve the effectiveness of the glucosamine in the treats.

Not only are these best vet-recommended dog chews great for senior dogs that are struggling with joint issues, but they can also be given to younger dogs to prevent future joint issues from emerging.

What We Liked

  • Glucosamine and chondroitin help with joint health
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Far more appetizing for dogs than traditional, powdered joint supplements

What We Didn’t Like

  • They become hard and stale much faster than other types of dog chews

5. Best Plant-based Dog Chew: Virbac – C.E.T. VeggieDent Flex Tartar Control + Joint Health Chews for Dogs

Virbac – C.E.T. VeggieDent Flex Tartar Control + Joint Health Chews for Dogs

These unique, plant-based dog chews offer a variety of benefits for your furry friend, which explains why so many veterinarians recommend them for their patients.

The unique Z-shape and textured surface of the chews help to scrape plaque and tartar from even the most hard-to-reach teeth.

These best vet-recommended dog chews are completely plant-based, meaning they contain no animal-derived proteins.

Plus, they’re gluten-free, so they’re easy for your dog to digest.

Added prebiotic fiber helps support the growth of probiotic bacteria within the gut, which is incredibly beneficial for the overall health of your dog’s digestive system.

The chews also help freshen your dog’s breath, and they’re formulated with BiovaFlex, which is a patented ingredient that’s derived from eggshell membranes.

This beneficial ingredient helps support joint health, which is really important as your dog ages.

The fact dogs also find the smell and flavor really appealing means you’ll have no problem offering your dog these healthy, plant-based dog chews.

What We Liked

  • Dogs love the scent and flavor
  • Packed with prebiotic fiber and other nutrients that help support digestive health
  • Effectively cleans the teeth and freshens breath

What We Didn’t Like

  • Much more expensive than other types of dental dog treats

6. Best For Large-Breed Dogs: OraVET – Dental Hygiene Chews for Large Dogs

OraVET – Dental Hygiene Chews for Large Dogs

These dental chews from OraVET were specifically designed to remove plaque and calculus from the surface of your dog’s teeth.

As an added bonus, delmopinol helps control the spread of harmful bacteria by creating a protective barrier on the surface of the teeth.

This means the chews continue to work, even after they’ve been fully chewed and swallowed.

The combination of bacteria reduction and tartar removal also helps to improve your dog’s breath, which can be really helpful if you’ve noticed that your dog’s breath often has a fishy odor.

The fact that dogs love the taste means these best vet-recommended dog chews are much easier to use than a dog-friendly toothbrush.

If you’re looking for a dog chew that has serious backing from veterinarians, you can’t go wrong with these unique dental dog chews from OraVet.

While these best vet-recommended dog chews are better suited for larger dogs, they can be broken into smaller and more manageable pieces if you have a small dog.

What We Liked

  • Forms a protective barrier on the exterior of the teeth to freshen the breath
  • Specifically designed for larger dogs
  • Dogs really enjoy the taste and smell

What We Didn’t Like

  • Dogs with sensitive stomachs might experience diarrhea when they first try them

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Jesse Hopping, CCDT

Jesse is a natural-born dog-lover certified dog trainer (CCDT), dog foster, and former volunteer at Richmond SPCA and surrounding dog shelters for over 10 years. Her pack includes a Bernedoodle and 3 Boston Terriers. She’s sipping caramel coffee and watching her pack play in the sun when she’s not writing blogs. Jesse has her Certified Dog Trainer designation from CATCH Canine Trainers Academy since 2018 and and majored in English from the University of Virginia.

You can read more about me in our about us page

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