How To Choose The Right Dental Treats For Your Puppy

How To Choose The Right Dental Treats For Your Puppy


A puppy’s dental health impacts their overall well-being. Starting proper oral care early is essential to set them up for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. With so many types of treats out there, it can get confusing to pick the best ones.

Follow these tips to find great-tasting puppy treats that promote dental health through plaque removal and gum care. Taking care of your puppy’s oral health starts now!

Consult With Your Veterinarian

Before selecting any dental treats for your puppy, it’s essential to consult with your veterinarian. Your vet can assess your puppy’s oral health needs and provide recommendations based on their age, breed, and dental issues. They can also advise you on veterinary-approved types and brands of treats that they can chew on for extended periods, such as bully sticks.

Verify Treats With The VOHC Stamp Of Effectiveness

When selecting dental treats, check that they bear the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) seal of approval. The VOHC is an impartial, non-profit organization that rigorously tests canine oral care products based on clinical trials and evidence-based research.

They award their prestigious seal only to treats and chews that demonstrate significant plaque-fighting and tartar-reducing capabilities.

Consider Your Puppy’s Preferences

Puppies have different tastes and preferences. Some may prefer softer treats, while others enjoy crunchy ones. Finding treats that align with your unique puppy’s tastes will make their chewing sessions more engaging and effective. A treat your puppy enjoys is more likely to be effective since they’ll be more eager to chew on it.

Look For Natural Ingredients

When reviewing dental treatment options, look for products with all-natural ingredients. Treats with synthetic additives can irritate your puppy’s stomach. Natural treats derived from turmeric, yucca, parsley, mint, coconut oil, and cinnamon promote healthy teeth and gums without upsetting their tummy. Avoid those with artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

Consider Texture And Crunch

The texture of the treat matters. Treats should be crunchy to gently scrape plaque and tartar off puppy teeth but not too hard to avoid breaking teeth. Look for treats with some flexibility, too, so they bend rather than shatter for safe chewing.

Mind The Allergens

You want tasty treats puppy love so they’ll chew sufficiently to gain dental benefits. When selecting flavors, be aware of ingredients that may cause allergic reactions in your unique puppy.

You may be tempted by treats touting enticing flavors derived from beef, chicken, wheat, soy, and dairy. However, these are common allergens for some puppies. Stick to simple single-ingredient treats at first to identify any sensitivities. Once you know your puppy’s allergies, offer flavors using non-allergenic ingredients.

Pick Appropriate Sizes

Size the treats for your puppy’s tiny mouth and throat. Most puppy dental treats come mini-sized. Pick a size they can nibble on without choking. Treats shouldn’t be so large your puppy tries swallowing it whole. Get treats small enough for puppy teeth but large enough to provide chewing time.

Track Chewing Progress

Pay attention while your puppy chews to ensure the treats are cleaning their teeth but are soft enough not to damage teeth. Provide praise and pats to reinforce chewing. Adjust treats as needed based on how well your particular pup handles them.

Benefits Of Dental Treats

Benefits Of Dental Treats

Dental treats for your puppy offer several benefits for puppies, and here are some of them:

Healthy gums

The chewing action increases blood circulation, delivering nutrients for building healthy gum tissue as adult teeth develop underneath. Massaging gums with treats also removes bacteria buildup that can lead to infection between teeth and gums if left unchecked.

Fresh breath

Dental treats can help combat bad breath in puppies by reducing the bacteria responsible for causing unpleasant odors in their mouths.

Chewing satisfaction

Chewing is instinctive to puppies. Providing them with dental treats can positively satisfy this urge. Chewing on appropriate treats can also help soothe teething discomfort in puppies.

Mental stimulation

Chewing on dental treats can provide mental stimulation for puppies, which can be particularly helpful for keeping them engaged and preventing boredom.

Nutritional benefits

Some dental treats are formulated with added vitamins and minerals to provide nutritional benefits and promote oral health. Be sure to choose treats appropriate for a puppy’s age and dietary needs.

Training tool

Dental treats can serve as practical training rewards for puppies, making reinforcing good behavior and teaching them new commands easier.


Dental treats are a convenient way to incorporate oral care into a puppy’s daily routine. They are often easier to administer than brushing a puppy’s teeth, which can be challenging for some pet owners.

Tips For Introducing Dental Treats

Before introducing dental treats to your puppies, it’s good to know these tips to maximize their benefits:

Start with small amounts

When first giving dental treats, give your puppy a small amount, like half or one full treat, to avoid overconsumption.

Offer treats after eating

Give your puppy a dental treat after mealtimes to reinforce that chewing is part of the feeding routine. This mimics natural chewing behavior in the wild after eating and establishes an oral care habit.

Make chewing a fun bonding activity

Turn treat time into a positive experience by actively playing with your puppy as they chew. Offer praise and pets while they chew to associate human interaction with the treats. This motivates chewing behavior.

Try different flavors to find preferences

Puppy tastes evolve. Try treats in different shapes, textures, and flavors to pinpoint which ones your puppy prefers best. Catering to their likes keeps them interested in chewing the treats.

Set a chewing routine for consistency

Establish a schedule for when treats are offered, such as after meals or before bedtime. A predictable routine will get your puppy into the chewing habit and remind them that it’s time to chew.

Use treats to aid training

Incorporate appropriate-sized treats into training sessions. The extra motivation helps reinforce desired behaviors. Only reward with treats after they exhibit correct behavior so that they view chewing as a prize.

Provide supervision

Always monitor your puppy when first chewing any new object to ensure they ingest an appropriate amount. Adjust the quantity given based on their chewing habits.

Wrapping It Up

Choosing the best dental treats for your new puppy requires care and close observation. Seek out all-natural ingredients free of additives. Find treats of appropriate size and texture. Test different flavors to identify treats your puppy loves chewing.

You can establish healthy dental hygiene early in your puppy’s life with suitable treats tailored to them. Be attentive to adjust treats to suit your dog as they grow perfectly.

Marie Kron
Marie was born into a family which included a few dogs and by a few, we mean 10-15 at a time. Since growing up in a foster home for dogs in Minnesota, Marie has become a clinical psychologist, but her passion for our furry friends is still at an all-time high.

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