11 Alternatives to Greenies: All the Best Dental Treats

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Greenies are fantastic dental treats for our furry friends, but sometimes we need a little variety to keep our pups excited.

As a devoted dog parent myself, I’ve embarked on a mission to discover the best alternatives to Greenies out there.

In this post, I will show you a bunch of the best options in the market as well as give you some tips on choosing and using dental chews for dogs.

So, if you’re ready to spice up your pup’s treat game and keep those pearly whites shining, stick around because we’re about to explore some tail-wagging alternatives that will leave your dog begging for more!

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Dear Dog Owner

What Are Dental Treats and Chews for Dogs?

What Are Dental Treats and Chews for Dogs

Dental treats and chews are awesome snacks for your dog that make their teeth super healthy! 

They clean your dog’s teeth, make their breath smell great, and stop plaque and tartar from building up.

When dogs munch on these treats, the texture and shape work like magic to brush away the nasty stuff from their teeth. 

Some treats have bumpy parts or cool designs that reach all the nooks and crannies in your dog’s mouth, making their teeth super-duper clean!

And not just that, but they also contain safe ingredients that dogs can eat and digest easily.

Some treats even have amazing stuff that makes your dog’s breath smell extra nice, so their kisses are super sweet!

These treats work great with regular teeth brushing and visits to the doggy dentist.

Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: Are bamboo chews safe for dogs?

What are Greenies Dental Treats?

GREENIES Original Natural Dog Dental Care Chews

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Greenies are a popular brand of dental treats for dogs that are specifically designed to promote oral health by reducing plaque and tartar buildup, freshening breath, and providing a tasty treat all in one.

These treats are typically shaped like a bone or stick, with a textured surface that performs a scrubbing task for your dog, taking away debris.

You can find them in various sizes to accommodate different dog breeds and are widely recognized for their role in supporting canine dental hygiene.

Doggy says, consider reading this too: Dog whimpering after dental cleaning

How do Greenies dental treats work?

Greenies control plaque and tartar buildup through something known as mechanical abrasion.

When your dog chews on these treats, their chewy texture allows for optimal tooth contact, resulting in a thorough scraping and scrubbing of the tooth surface.

Unlike other products, Greenies do not rely on chemicals to reduce plaque and tartar.

According to their website, they are backed by evidence for their breath-freshening properties and ability to promote healthier gums.

Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: Gaviscon for dogs

When Should You Use Dental Chews for Dogs?

When it comes to dental chews, timing is everything.

Wait until your puppy reaches 6 months, and then you can introduce the chewy goodness.

You see, puppies’ teeth are delicate and they need time to develop before being strong enough to chew on dental treats.

Giving them too soon can hurt their gums or even damage their teeth.

Fun Fact: Did you know that your doggies lose their baby teeth just like you lose them? It’s true!

Around 12 weeks old, those baby teeth start to fall out, making way for something new.

And guess what?

By the time your doggie is around 6 months old, all the new, strong, and permanent teeth will come in, and the baby teeth will be long gone.

So it is necessary to wait until your doggie is about 6 months old before you start giving them dental chews.

This way, the permanent teeth can grow properly to handle chewing on crunchy goodness!

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How We Picked These Alternatives to Greenies

Caring for your dog’s teeth is super important for keeping them clean and breathing fresh.

If you want something other than Greenies, you need to find the right chew that your dog will love. 

The following shows you how we picked the perfect alternatives:

Choices galore

There are so many options when it comes to dental chews and treats where you can choose from different sizes, shapes, and flavors. 

Something that stands out for me is the ability to pick between hard and soft chews as it affects how long it takes to eat.

Wallet-friendly

Dental chews and treats don’t have to be expensive and you can totally find some that are affordable and still good for your dog’s teeth. 

This way, you can save some money while taking care of your fur friend.

Watch the ingredients

If you want to avoid certain ingredients, like wheat or corn, don’t worry, there are alternatives out there that fit your preferences.

Look for natural ingredients to avoid chemicals and fake preservatives, and I personally avoid chews that are made of rawhide.

There are many reports of it being bad for dogs, so I would definitely stay out of this way.

Choose the right size

Every dog is different, and their jaws come in different sizes too so you gotta make sure to pick dental chews just right for your dog’s size. 

You don’t wanna end up with issues such as indigestion or worse, a choking hazard!

Yummy flavors

Dogs have their own unique taste preferences and some dental chews have flavors that your dog might find extra tasty. 

If your dog is picky, look for different flavors or natural ingredient options.

Different textures

Dental chews come in all sorts of textures and for sure, your dog might like some textures more than others. 

If your dog doesn’t like soft treats, try finding something crunchy instead.

Avoid allergies

If your dog has allergies, you need to be extra careful about the ingredients in the dental chews you choose.

Stay away from ingredients that might trigger allergies, like dairy or wheat.

Availability

Some dental chews are easier to find, depending on where you live.

There will be brands that are available in most pet stores, while others are available online.

11 Best Alternatives to Greenies for Dogs

If Greenies aren’t the right fit for your dog, there are lots of incredible options out there.

Choose the one that suits your pup and keep their dental health in check.

Here are some fantastic choices:

1. Whimzees Dental Dog Treats Variety Pack

Whimzees Natural Grain Free Dental Dog Treats

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These dog dental treats clean teeth, freshen breath, and reduce tartar and plaque for dogs weighing 5-15 lbs.

Plus, these treats last 3 times longer than other brands, giving you and your dog more cleaning time with each treat. Isn’t that amazing?

Make sure to feed your dog one WHIMZEES dental chew every day as it’s the most effective and fun way to keep their teeth clean.

And the best part? 

These treats do not contain artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, gluten, or meat. Perfect for dogs with food allergies or sensitivities.

2. Blue Buffalo Grain-Free Dog Dental Chews

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Wild Bones Grain Free Dental Chews

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These dental chews clean your dog’s teeth and freshen their breath. Say goodbye to stinky dog breath!

The wholesome ingredients in these chews include tapioca starch, dried whey, and vegetables. They do not contain any chicken by-product meals, corn, wheat, or soy.

These dental chews are for dogs weighing 25-50 lbs. Just the right size for your doggie friend!

And guess what? These treats are grain-free, so they don’t have any of the glutens that some pet parents choose to avoid.

One bag of BLUE Wilderness Wild Bones Grain Free Dental Chews contains 10 ounces of medium-sized treats.

That’s plenty to keep your dog happy and their teeth clean!

3. Virbac C.E.T. Veggiedent Dog Dental Chews

Virbac CET VEGGIEDENT FR3SH Tartar Control Chews for Dogs

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When your doggie chews on these treats, they’re not only enjoying the taste but also working to keep their teeth clean.

It’s like having a toothbrush that tastes yummy!

Give them at least once daily, and you’ll see a difference in their teeth.

These chews help reduce plaque, like sticky dirt on teeth, and fight against tartar.

The unique Z shape of these chews makes them easy to hold.

They also reach all the nooks and crannies in your dog’s mouth, thoroughly cleaning the interior.

4. Oxyfresh Additive

Oxyfresh Premium Pet Dental Care Solution Pet Water Additive

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Rather than being a chew treat, Oxyfresh is actually a water-soluble additive that helps clean up your dog’s mouth.

Their unique dental products freshen your pup’s breath, help prevent gum disease, and keep their teeth clean.

The cool thing is that you no longer need to struggle with toothpaste and toothbrushes anymore.

With Oxyfresh, you just need to add a capful of their dental care liquid to your pet’s water bowl daily. It’s simple!

The water additive is odorless and tasteless, so your paw friend won’t even know it’s there.

5. Minties Dog Dental Treats

Minties VetIQ Dog Dental Bone Treats

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Fresh breath is essential for your paw friend, and Minties dental treats are available to help. 

These treats contain no wheat, corn, or soy but include five breath fresheners like alfalfa, parsley, fennel, dill, and peppermint.

Vets recommend it because they provide daily dental care that dogs love as they will enjoy the tasty chew while taking care of their teeth.

Minties have a unique shape and texture that help clean teeth as your dog chews which allows it to reach different parts of the mouth effectively.

6. Pedigree Dentastix

PEDIGREE DENTASTIX Dental Care Treats

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Imagine a treat that works like a toothbrush for your dog! That’s Dentastix! 

These particular sticks have a shape that helps clean your dog’s teeth well. They are like superheroes fighting plaque and tartar to keep your fur’s mouth healthy.

Dentastix is for big dogs weighing over 30 pounds. Give your dog one Dentastix treat daily, and you’ll see how it helps their teeth stay strong and their breath fresh.

These treats come in different flavors: original with real chicken, fresh mint, and beef. Your dog will love them all! 

A yummy snack while taking care of their teeth.

7. Milk-Bone Original Brushing Chews

Milk-Bone Original Brushing Chews Daily Dental Dog Treats

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Think of your dog brushing their teeth! With Milk-Bone Original Brushing Chews, it’s almost like that. 

These treats have special bumps and ridges that clean your dog’s teeth in those tricky spots.

When your dog chews on these tasty treats, they remove plaque and tartar. A mini toothbrushing session for them.

These chews also have calcium, which is great for your dog’s teeth and bones.

I should also mention that they have a special seal from the Veterinary Oral Health Council, a significant trust symbol.

8. ORAVET Hygiene Dental Chews

ORAVET Dental Chews for Dogs

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If you have a small dog, OraVet Hygiene Dental Chews are just for them. These chews are like superheroes for your dog’s teeth.

The unique formula in these chews helps fight against plaque and tartar, which are like troublemakers in your dog’s mouth. They freshen your dog’s breath, making it smell nice and clean.

Consider giving your little pup a treat that tastes good and helps keep their teeth healthy. I’m sure your furry friend will love every bite!

OraVet chews have pork protein, wheat, and soy. Keep it simple and focus on good ingredients.

To use these chews, give your pet one chew every day. It’s an easy way to keep their teeth cleaner and their breath fresher.

OraVet Hygiene Dental Chews are for six months pups or older. It’s never too early to care for your dog’s dental health.

9. Purina DentaLife Chews

Purina DentaLife Daily Oral Care

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Purina DentaLife Chews is like a cute toothbrush.

These chews contain rice, wheat flour, and chicken by-products. They’re chewy and have a texture that helps clean hard-to-reach teeth.

As your dog chews on these treats, the ridges and porous texture work like magic. They clean all the spots, even the ones that are hard to get to.

These chews have proven to reduce tartar buildup by 57%. A superhero fighting against bad breath!

Purina DentaLife Chews are ideal for adult dogs weighing 20-40 pounds. They’re just the right size for your furry friend.

You can trust these chews because they’re accepted by the VOHC (Veterinary Oral Health Council), meaning vets approve their dental benefits.

So give your dog at least one chew daily, and watch their teeth stay strong and clean.

10. Ark Naturals Brushless Toothpaste Dog Dental Chews

Ark Naturals Extreme Clean Brushless Dog Toothpaste

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Prepare for a robust dental chew that will leave your puppy’s teeth sparkling!

Ark Naturals Brushless Toothpaste Dog Dental Chews is a 4-in-1 natural chew for your dog’s oral health.

With its mighty design, these chews are like a toothbrush, toothpaste, and breath freshener all in one! The outer ridges work like a brush, tirelessly scrubbing away plaque and tartar buildup. 

They even help reduce stains and give those pearly whites a dazzling polish. Its center is with natural ingredients like alfalfa, cinnamon, vanilla, and clove, ready to battle the embarrassing breath-causing bacteria.

Give your pup two of these incredible chews every day for optimal results. A tooth-brushing regimen that will make your dog’s dentist proud! 

Combine these chews with Ark Naturals Brushless Plaque-Zapper for even greater dental power.

Your trusted vets recommended these dental chews for small-breed dogs weighing 8-20 pounds. They know what’s best for your little hero’s teeth!

Rest assured. They crafted these chews with care right here in the USA. They use the finest natural ingredients. No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Also free from corn, soy, and wheat.

So, gear up your pup with Ark Naturals Brushless Toothpaste Dog Dental Chews, and let them conquer dental woes with every bite.

11. Zesty Paws Dental Bones

Zesty Paws All-in-One Functional Dental Bones

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These bad boys are not your average dental chews; they’re like a gourmet feast for your pup’s mouth.

Imagine this: your furry friend sinks their teeth into one of these delicious dental bones, and suddenly their taste buds go wild with excitement.

That’s how my dogs react when I give them this.

I like that these bones are carefully crafted with premium ingredients, and have a nice cinnamon flavor, which works together to freshen breath and help maintain healthy gums.

Plus, they’re free from artificial flavors and colors, so you can feel good about treating your pup.

But wait, there’s more!

Zesty Paws Dental Bones also feature a unique textured surface that helps scrub away plaque and tartar buildup, giving your dog a thorough teeth-cleaning experience.

12. Spot Bambones Dental Chew Toys

Spot Bambones is an innovative solution for pet parents looking for eco-friendly dental chews.

Crafted from sustainable bamboo fiber, these chews are not only tough and durable, making them ideal for aggressive chewers, but they also offer an environmentally-conscious alternative to traditional chews.

Their unique design ensures easy gripping, allowing dogs to chew comfortably.

Infused with a delectable beef (or chicken) flavor, Spot Bambones promises hours of satisfying chew time while promoting dental health.

A top pick for those seeking both sustainability and quality in pet products.

Read our full Spot Bambones review.

Best Monthly Dental Kit: Bark Bright

Introducing the power of a shining smile with Bark Bright, the ultimate monthly dental kit that will transform your dog’s dental health.

With its mouthwatering real chicken flavor, Bark Bright will make your adult paw’s dental routine a delightful experience. 

Inside this kit are 3 active enzymes, dynamic ingredients that work like defenders, fighting plaque, and tartar to keep your dog’s teeth clean and fresh. 

They’re so amazing that even Time Magazine recognized them as one of the Best Inventions 2019.

But that’s not all! It is proudly made in the USA, using top-quality ingredients from the USA and Finland. You can trust that your dog’s teeth are getting the best care.

And here’s an awesome fact: these dental sticks are grain, corn, and soy-free to avoid fur allergies.

Why is Dental Hygiene Important for Dogs?

Taking care of your dog’s teeth isn’t just for their smile. More importantly, it’s for their health, happiness, and a wonderful life altogether.

Here are some strong reasons why it matters:

  • Healthy teeth and gums: Healthy teeth and gums make your dog feel good. It stops problems like bad teeth, gum sickness, and painful infections.
  • Fresh breath: Picture hugging your dog, and their breath smells bad. Gross! Taking care of their teeth helps make their breath fresh, so hugging is much nicer for both of you.
  • Overall well-being: Dental issues can affect your dog’s whole body. If germs from their mouth get into their blood, it can cause health issues.
  • Longer life: When your paw’s teeth are in good shape, they’re more likely to live a long and healthy life. Stopping dental problems means avoiding future complications.

How Often Do I Have to Give My Dog Dental Chews?

Make it a habit to give your dog dental chews once a day. It’s like a daily task to keep their teeth in good shape.

But here’s the thing: the frequency depends on oral health, chewing habits, and the type of dental chew you’re buying.

To get it right, follow the instructions or talk to your vet as they’ll guide you on the best schedule for your furry friend.

Some chews are for daily use, while others are more like special treats for once in a while.

Fun Fact: In 1860, James Spratt did something incredible. He invented the first dog treat, a biscuit-like delicacy made from a magical blend of meat, vegetables, and grains. Now, dogs everywhere wagged their tails when they tasted this delightful snack!

How to Choose Dental Chews for Your Pup

Every pup is special, so finding the perfect dental chew may take some time.

Remember these three things when choosing a chew:

Size

Pick a dental chew that fits your pup just right.

Too big or too small can present problems, so be sure to look for chews made for your pup’s size or weight.

Consistency

The way the chew feels matters too. Some dogs like it soft, while others prefer it harder. 

Think about how your pup chews. Soft chews suit sensitive teeth, and harder chews can clean better. 

Find what works for your puppy’s teeth.

Calories

Dental chews are yummy, but watch out for calories.

You want to keep your pup healthy and not give them too many treats. 

Choose chews with the right portion size and consider their overall diet.

Are Dental Chews Worth It?

Absolutely, dental chews are worth it for your dog’s oral health.

Here’s why:

  • Clean teeth: It prevents dental issues like tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Fresh breath: Chews with breath-freshening ingredients can make your dog’s breath smell better.
  • Fun: Dental chews provide your dog with mental stimulation and entertainment, keeping them occupied and satisfied.
  • Easy: A simple way to promote their oral hygiene. 
  • Supplement to brushing: While dental chews can’t replace regular tooth brushing, they complement your dog’s oral care routine.
  • Preventive measure: Using dental chews regularly is a proactive approach to preventing dental issues, saving you from costly vet treatments.

Risks of Using Dog Dental Chews

Dental chews for dogs can be great, but you need to know about the risks too.

Here’s why:

  • Choking hazard: Some chews can be too small and risky if swallowed whole. Pick the right size and watch your dog closely while chewing.
  • Digestive issues: Certain dogs might have tummy issues with chews, especially if they have sensitive bellies or don’t like the ingredients. Check how your dog feels and stop if there are problems.
  • Tooth fractures: Hard chews can hurt teeth. Find chews that match your dog’s teeth strength.
  • Allergic reactions: Some dogs are sensitive to certain chew ingredients. Watch for itching, swelling, or upset tummy, and stop if needed.
  • Overconsumption: Chews are treats, not meals! Eating too many treats can make your dog gain weight. Follow serving guidelines and think about calories.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I give my dog a dental chew instead of brushing their teeth?

No substitute for the real thing. Dental chews are like helpers for your dog’s teeth but they can’t replace brushing. You still need to brush them regularly and visit the dentist. Chews can be an extra tool but not a substitute.

Are dental sticks or Greenies better?

The choice between dental sticks and Greenies depends on your dog’s preferences and needs. Dental sticks offer a textured surface for chewing, while Greenies provide a unique blend of ingredients. I recommend that you consult your vet for personalized advice and choose based on what works best for your furry friend’s oral health.

Do vets recommend Greenies?

Yes, many veterinarians do recommend Greenies as a dental treat for dogs. Greenies have been formulated to help reduce plaque and tartar buildup, promote fresh breath, and support overall dental health.

Do Greenies actually clean teeth?

Yes, Greenies are designed to help clean teeth. They have a unique texture and shape that aids in reducing plaque and tartar buildup as dogs chew on them. The chewing action helps to mechanically scrape away debris and promotes healthier teeth and gums. However, be sure to use it as part of a dental routine, and not exclusively.

In Conclusion: Alternatives to Greenies

As you can see, when it comes to exploring Greenies substitutes, there are a fair amount of options.

What’s most important though is that we can keep our furry friends’ teeth and gums in top shape.

So let’s embrace the quest for fresh breath, healthy smiles, and happy wagging tails!

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

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