Are dental treats, like Greenies, good for puppies?

Dental treats can be good for dogs, but be careful when giving them to a puppy. Remember, puppies have puppy teeth that are not as strong as dog adult teeth. Therefore, they may not be able to chew on something like a dental bone right away without causing them pain or breaking a tooth. Plus, some dental treats like Greenies can be tough on a puppy’s tummy. Puppy tummies are not as developed as an adult dog so it’s important to be mindful of what you give your puppy to eat. Below in this post, you will find the following information:

  • What are puppy and doggy dental treats?
  • Benefits of doggy & puppy dental treats
  • Choose the right doggy dental treat for your dog or puppy (Good and Bad Ingredients)

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What are puppy and doggy dental treats?

Dog teeth need to be taken care of just like human teeth in some ways. Pet owners should brush their dog’s teeth regularly to ensure their dog has clean teeth. Veterinarians should also provide a dental exam at a dog’s yearly check-up. It’s important to keep your dog’s dental health in mind so they don’t experience dental pain. I know with Wes, sometimes it was easier to give him a dental treat than brush his teeth.

A doggy dental treat can come in a few different forms:

*If you click on each type of dental treat below, it will direct you to Amazon to see an example of that dental treat.

  • Canine Greenies: Great for various dental issues such as bad breath and tartar build-up in your dog.
  • Rawhide Chews; Wes’s least favorite, could not digest them very well. They also get very smushy and gross. But, some dogs LOVE these chews.
  • Soft Dog Chews: Great for dogs with bad breath.
  • Dental Stick: Budget-friendly dental stick.
  • Dental Bones; These were Wes’s Favorite! They come in different sizes depending on the weight of your dog. They are also great to consider if your dog has allergies. 

Whether you choose dental sticks or chews for your dog, take a look at the different flavors as well. Wes was not a fan of chicken-flavored things. I know that is so strange, but it was true. Your dog might also enjoy the softer texture or chewy texture of a chew vs a bone or stick. Some dog owners and their pups enjoy bully sticks. Wes was a small dog (22lbs) and I found that bully sticks were not a great edible product for him. Bully sticks after a few chews would have sharp pieces that Wes had a hard time chewing. We decided that it was not a good idea to give him bully sticks anymore. If you have a large dog, bully sticks could be their favorite thing and that is great! As a dog owner, you may have to try a few different dental dog treats before you find the perfect one for your pup.

Basset hound puppy chewing a dental treat

Benefits of doggy & puppy dental treats

Giving your dog dental treats can have many benefits. Dogs can suffer from dental issues such as bad breath, gum disease, and plaque/tartar buildup.

Bad Breath

Most dog owners can admit to their dog having some very bad breath at times. Bad breath can be pretty unpleasant if your dog’s face is often in their dog owner’s face waiting for their next meal or walk. Bad breath in dogs is often from a bacteria build-up in the mouth. If your dog’s teeth are not being brushed regularly or dental treatment is not helping to reduce the plaque buildup, then they might have bad breath that worsens. 

If your dog’s breath is worse than normal, discuss it with your vet to ensure it’s not from an underlying disease. And of course, the best dog treat to help with your dog’s bad breath are the dog chews here.

Gum Disease (Tartar and Plaque Build Up)

Caring for your dog’s gums is important to prevent gum disease. Gum disease can cause your dog pain and also make their breath pretty bad. Giving them a dog bone can help take away a lot of the plaque and tartar that causes gum disease. As your dog chews the bone, it pushes the tartar away and off their teeth.

The best dog dental treat for reducing tartar and plaque buildup are these here.

Choose the right doggy dental treat for your dog (good and bad ingredients)

As a dog owner, you should be mindful of all dog treats you provide to your beloved dog. Not all treats are good for your dog. It’s important to think about the ingredients, the size of the dog treat, and what your dog is able to digest without issues. When possible, try to stick to all-natural ingredients in your dental dog treat.

Ingredients that are good in dog and puppy dental treats:

  • Folic Acid: Helps your dog’s metabolism.
  • Vitamin B: Helps with your dog’s skin and coat.
  • Potassium Iodide: Helps with thyroid hormones.
  • Whole Wheat Flour: Provides protein to help your pup grow.

Ingredients to avoid in dog and puppy dental treats:

  • Corn syrup: Not toxic for dogs but has a high amount of sugar which can lead to obesity and diabetes in dogs.
  • Artificial colors: No nutritional value and can possibly cause allergies in dogs.
  • Xylitol or any other sugar alcohols: Highly toxic, avoid this ingredient in all dog foods and treats as well as any human foods you give your dog such as peanut butter. Check out the post on giving your dog peanut butter here.
  • Propylene glycol: Highly toxic, avoid in all dog foods and treats.
  • Vegetable oil: This can trigger allergies in dogs.
multiple dogs looking up with a bowl of dog food in the middle

Size and form of dog and puppy dental treat

For a puppy, choosing the right size dental treat or any treat is important. Most dental and regular treats have a variety of sizes and formulas, specially made for puppies. Be sure to check that the packaging says the treat is for puppies. A great, small treat for a puppy is here. Also, many dog dental treats and bones will have a recommended weight on them for giving to your dog. Pet owners with smaller dogs should avoid very large bones and treats. If the treat or bone is too big for your dog’s mouth, best to avoid it as it could become a choking hazard.

As a dog owner, you’ll want to also watch your dog after they eat a dental treat to see how they digest it. Although greenies are considered a safe and tasty treat for most dogs, Wes didn’t handle them so well. Wes would have an upset stomach and digestive issues after eating dog greenies.

This is not to say that Dog Greenies affect all dogs this way, each dog will prefer different things. Remember, puppies should wait to have Greenies or other dental treats until they are at least six months old. Always check with your vet if you have any concerns about giving your dog or puppy a new type of treat or food. 

Summary

So are Greenies good for puppies? Or any other doggy dental treat?

They are not if the puppy is younger than 6 months old.

There are other soft chews and easier-to-digest puppy treats you can provide your dog such as the ones here. Always be sure to check the ingredients of a doggy dental treat to avoid toxic ingredients that could cause more harm than good for your furry friend. Watch how your dog digests and acts after having a new treat to be sure it’s not too hard on their tummies. Giving your dog a dental treat is a great way to reduce its risk of gum disease or periodontal disease. Dental dog treats can also ensure your dog has fresh breath vs stinky doggy breath.

Another way to be sure the dental treat is good for your dog is to check the packaging to be approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council. This council reviews various products to ensure they benefit dogs and their safety. Of course, your dog should also have regular dental cleanings but giving a dental treat occasionally, can help ensure they have healthy teeth for years to come.

Leave a comment below on your dog’s favorite dental dog treat!