Chewing on the right things -- in particular, hard ones -- helps clean your dog's teeth and gums, and it reduces plaque buildup. WebMD says some dog dental chews can reduce plaque by up to 70 percent but doesn't specify what those are. The Veterinary Oral Health Council evaluates pet products to determine whether they meet standards for reducing plaque and tartar. Products that earn the VOHC's seal of approval must reduce tartar by at least 10 percent; products with anti-plaque agents must reduce plaque by at least 20 percent.
The VOHC has approved several dog dental chews that meet the organization's dental health standards. Canine Greenies, Purina dental Chewz, Tartar Shield soft rawhide chews and HealthiDent Bright Bites are four edible chews with VOHC approval. Many dog dental chews are effective at reducing plaque and tartar buildup, but they don't all meet the VOHC's criteria.
Traditional rawhide chews aren't safe for your dog and can potentially cause a choking hazard, blockage and digestive irritation.
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