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5 Best Dog Toys for Dental Care (2021 Review)

Dental care is just as important for dogs as it is for us, but sometimes cleaning your dog’s teeth can feel like a chore. By adding the right dental toy to your dog’s oral care routine, you can make teeth cleaning much more enjoyable for both you and your pup. Your dog won’t even know they’re cleaning their own teeth as they chew.

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What is the Best Dog Toy for Dental Care?

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Comparing the Best Dog Toy for Dental Care

IMAGE RECOMMENDED PRODUCTSPRODUCT FEATURES


  • Best for tough chewers
  • Strong nylon material
  • Designed to be long lasting


  • Best for small breeds
  • Soft yet strong for small mouths
  • Great shape and size for small breeds


  • Best for big and giant breeds
  • Comes in two large sizes
  • Durable for average chewers


  • Best for puppies
  • Great for gentle teeth and gum cleaning
  • Perfect for teething


  • Best budget option
  • Low cost but high quality
  • Great for most breeds

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More Detailed Dental Dog Toy Reviews

Nylabone DuraChew Double Bone Bacon Flavored Dog Chew Toy review

Features

  • Best for tough chewers
  • Strong nylon material
  • Designed to be long lasting

The Nylabone DuraChew Double Bone Bacon Flavored Dog Chew Toy is one of the best teeth cleaning toys for dogs. The unique shape, combined with ridges and nubs on its surface, helps to clean your dog’s teeth as they chew. Perhaps best of all for your dog, the toy is bacon flavored, keeping your dog coming back for more chewing action.

This toy is made of durable nylon, making it great for tough chewers and safe for your dog. My Springer Spaniel loves this toy, it kept her entertained for hours after she was spayed.

A variety of sizes are available to suit most breeds. This dental toy is a very reasonable price.

Pros

  • Many owners said it was suitable for aggressive chewers, particularly when they supervised their dog during play
  • Some owners said the toy was long-lasting which they feel makes it great value for money
  • Shape and raised nubs are great for cleaning teeth
  • Bacon flavor keeps dogs coming back, with some owners saying it was their dog’s go-to toy
  • Helps to redirect destructive chewing, especially for dogs who are still in training

Cons

  • Once the ends are chewed, this toy can become sharp which is tough on gums, so owners may need to take this toy away from their dog once it’s been chewed for a while.
  • Some owners found this toy too hard for their dogs teeth
  • Some owners found the white nubs broke off easily, which they felt was a safety hazard so they had to supervise their dog during play
  • Red middle section is weaker than the white ends, making it more prone to breakage

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Hartz Chew ‘n Clean Tuff Bone Tough Dog Chew Toy review

Features

  • Best for small breeds
  • Soft yet strong for small mouths
  • Great shape and size for small breeds

The Hartz Chew ‘n Clean Tuff Bone Tough Dog Chew Toy is a fantastic choice for teeth cleaning. Although it comes in a range of sizes, I found that the toy is particularly suitable for small and toy breeds, as it worked really well for my 2 small breed dogs. It has a suitable shape for little mouths and has sizes specifically designed for the smallest of dogs.

The toy is made of soft yet strong nylon, with small, raised bumps to gently massage and clean your dog’s teeth and gums while they chew. It’s a durable toy for feisty, small dogs with a tough bite. The toy is even bacon flavored to keep your dog entertained.

As an added bonus for humans, it comes in a range of fun colors and is low cost.

Pros

  • Owners stated this toy was good for most aggressive chewers when supervised
  • Raised nubs help to clean teeth and massage gums
  • Lots of owners felt it was perfect for small mouths (small breeds and puppies)
  • Very durable particularly for smaller breeds, which some owners felt made it great value because their dog could continue playing with it for long periods
  • Can be made more exciting by adding spreadable treats along the textured nubs

Cons

  • Some owners felt their dog lost interest in this chew toy quickly
  • Some bigger, aggressive chewers destroyed this toy easily, which owners felt was a safety concern
  • Some owners found the toy a bit heavy for particularly small dogs to carry around
  • Not suitable for throwing and tossing around during play, given its shape and hard texture

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KONG Dental Dog Toy review

Features

  • Best for big and giant breeds
  • Comes in two large sizes
  • Durable for average chewers

The KONG Dental Dog Toy is one of the best dog toys for dental care. It has Denta-Ridges around each end of the toy’s unique shape, designed to gently clean your precious pup’s teeth and keep their gums healthy. Made from the classic KONG rubber, which in my experience makes the toy durable and enables it to stand up to average chewers.

This toy is available in two large sizes, perfect for big and giant breeds. You can fill the inside with treats or spread dog-safe peanut butter along the ridges to make it more exciting for your pooch. It’s even fantastic for games of fetch!

Although this is a higher-priced toy, its unique design makes it well worth the splurge for big dogs.

Pros

  • Many owners found their dogs really loved this toy and kept coming back for more
  • Stands up to most average chewers, with some owners saying they supervised more powerful chewers
  • Can be filled with treats or used with spreadable treats, making it multi-purpose and value for money
  • Ridges help to clean dog’s teeth and stimulate gums which owners find beneficial
  • Some owners found the chew kept their dog calm and occupied when they were anxious

Cons

  • Some owners found the toy was too big and heavy, even for their big dog which made it hard to play with
  • Some owners stated their dog didn’t find the toy interesting, which was disappointing
  • Strong chewers may destroy the toy easily, meaning owners need to supervise their dog for safety
  • Despite the toy being dishwasher safe, the toy’s unique shape can make it hard to clean

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Nylabone Teething Pacifier Puppy Chew Toy review

Features

  • Best for puppies
  • Great for gentle teeth and gum cleaning
  • Perfect for teething

The Nylabone Teething Pacifier Puppy Chew Toy is a great toy for your puppy’s dental health. The toy is specifically designed for puppies only, with two small chews attached to a ring. Each chew has small, raised nubs to gently clean and stimulate teeth and gums.

If your beloved pup is teething, this toy will soothe their pain and provide comfort (I speak from experience). It will also help to redirect unwanted chewing, saving your home from puppy destruction! This toy is a fantastic low-cost option.

Pros

  • Owners found the toy really helped with teething, soothing their puppy’s sore mouth
  • Stands up to puppies chewing a lot during teething, particularly smaller breed puppies
  • Redirects destructive chewing and biting during puppy training
  • Owners stated it was easy to clean which was handy
  • Nubs help to keep puppy’s teeth clean, which owners found useful when puppy’s would struggle to sit still to get their teeth brushed
  • Owners found the toy kept their puppy busy, which gave them a break during those tiring puppy months

Cons

  • Not suitable once your dog gets its adult teeth as it will be easily destroyed
  • Some owners found stronger, bigger puppies destroyed the toy quickly, which they felt was a safety hazard
  • Supervision needed as when smaller parts are broken off, the toy needs to be removed from the puppy
  • Some owners found the toy was bigger than expected, which was hard for their puppy’s little mouth
  • Some owners felt the toys texture was too hard for their puppy’s teeth
  • Some stated that the shape of the toy makes it prone to getting stuck around their puppy’s jaw

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Nylabone DuraChew Dental Chew Chicken Flavored Dinosaur Dog Chew Toy review

Features

  • Best budget option
  • Low cost but high quality
  • Great for most breeds

The Nylabone DuraChew Dental Chew Chicken Flavored Dinosaur Dog Chew Toy is a wonderful all-rounder for most dog breeds. The chew has rounded nubs all over which I find gently clean your dog’s teeth, no matter which part of the toy they chew. With 3 fun dinosaur shapes available and a chicken flavor, this toy will keep your pup interested.

The toy is made with strong nylon material, designed to hold up to the toughest of chewers. It’s low in price and makes a fantastic budget option.

Pros

  • Many owners stated that the toy was durable enough for tough chewers
  • Raised nubs and unique shape help to clean teeth and are good for gum stimulation
  • Some owners found this toy helped their puppy during teething, bringing them some much needed relief
  • Long-lasting and the chicken flavor keeps dogs entertained and coming back for more
  • Many owners said this was their dog’s favorite toy and that they would definitely buy it again

Cons

  • Some owners found this toy too hard for their dog’s mouth
  • Some said that they toy became sharp after being chewed, so they had to take it away from their dog
  • Older dogs or those with tooth problems may find this chew too tough
  • Requires supervision during chewing, as if parts detach they can pose a choking hazard
  • Some owners found the chew was smaller than expected, which they found disappointing

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Things to Look for in a Dog Toy for Dental Care

Let’s cover some basic things you should look for when you’re choosing a dog toy for dental care:

Correct Size and Strength for Your Dog

It’s vital you choose a toy that is the right size for your dog. This ensures they can fit it in their mouth and chew it comfortably.

It’s also essential to choose a toy that’s the right strength. This ensures the toy is safe and can stand up to their chewing. With a dental toy, it also ensures it’s not too harsh on their delicate teeth and gums.

Good Quality Materials

Picking a toy made from high-quality materials helps to ensure your dog’s safety and means it’s likely to last longer.

Easy Cleaning

When dogs are chewing away, they’re likely to make a lot of mess and even drool. While that’s all part of having a dog, choosing a toy that can be easily cleaned can be beneficial.

Teeth Cleaning Potential

Teeth cleaning toys may vary in their shape and design. Choosing a toy with ridges, raised nubs, small bumps, or a generally uneven texture, means it’s more likely to do a good job of cleaning your dog’s teeth.

Dental Toy Safety Advice

While no toy is guaranteed to be unbreakable, there are a few steps you can take to keep your dog safe while using a dental toy. Choosing the right size and strength of toy for your dog increases safety, as does quality materials.

Ideally, your dog should be supervised while they’re playing with the toy. If any parts become detached, you should stop playtime and remove the toy. This prevents choking and stops any sharp pieces hurting your dog’s mouth.

Why It’s Vital to Keep Your Dog’s Teeth Clean

Just like humans, a dog’s teeth require regular cleaning. Since they can’t do it themselves, it’s their owner’s job to keep their mouth healthy and implement a good oral hygiene routine.

Plaque can build up on your dog’s teeth just like it can on yours. If it isn’t regularly removed, this plaque can turn into tartar, which is much harder to tackle. This can lead to dental and gum disease. In fact, up to 80% of dogs experience oral diseases.

Unfortunately, these diseases are more than just smelly breath. They can lead to all sorts of complications, such as tooth loss, heart disease, kidney damage, and liver problems. This all sounds a bit worrying, but don’t panic: it’s all easily prevented.

How Dog Toys Can Be Useful for Dental Health

The right dental toy can help to clean your dog’s teeth, actively removing plaque and preventing tartar build-up. The unique shapes can clean hard to reach areas of your dog’s mouth. The dog’s chewing action does the cleaning, making it stress-free and fun for you and your pet.

This article from the Stewart Animal Clinic explains that the chewing action also helps by “stimulating their body to produce additional saliva which will rinse away food debris and bacteria.”

Dental toys can also help to stimulate and soothe the gums, keeping them in tip-top shape. Often the toys are entertaining for your dog, providing extra enrichment. Overall, the right toy can be beneficial and enjoyable for your dog.

Other Ways to Clean Your Dog’s Teeth

While dental toys are a helpful addition to your doggie’s oral health routine, they shouldn’t be the only factor. Ideally, you should be regularly brushing your dog’s teeth with a doggy toothbrush and toothpaste. However, brushing can often be stressful for both dog and owner. Thankfully, several other options are available:

  • Dental wipes: You simply rub them along your dog’s teeth. You can also get finger-shaped wipes for easy application.
  • Dental sprays: A range of sprays are available, which you spray onto your dog’s gums and teeth: no rinsing required!
  • Water additives: You simply add a small amount to your dog’s water, and each time they drink, they’re helping to clean their own teeth.
  • Dental treats: There are so many dental treats on the market that act similarly to dental toys, except they can be eaten! These are often a favourite among canine companions.
  • Dental powders: By adding a small amount of dental powder to your dog’s meal, the ingredients make their way through their bloodstream and into their saliva. Over time this softens any plaque or tartar and makes it easier to remove.

FAQ

Do Dog Teeth Cleaning Toys Work?

Yes, the right toy can be very useful in helping to clean your dog’s teeth.

Will Dental Toys Help You Clean Your Dog’s Teeth Without Brushing?

Dental toys should be a part of a regular teeth cleaning routine, combined with other methods.

Conclusion

Keeping up with your pup’s dental hygiene is a crucial part of taking care of them. Introducing a dental toy can make things more fun and enjoyable for you and your dog!

References

Stewart Animal Clinic, (2021), “What are the best dental toys for pets?”
Miriam W-Njoroge, (2019), “The Complete Guide to Chews for Cleaning Dogs’ Teeth”. Pet Comments.

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