No one wants bad dog teeth but are Dentastix the answer? It's a question asked by many pet pawrents. After all, we all want what is best for our dogs and puppies. Alongside showers of daily affection and long walks in the countryside, keeping those dog teeth in tip top shape is vital for your pet's wellbeing.
Brushing your dog’s teeth daily is just as important as brushing your own but currently less than 1% of pet parents brush their cat or dog's teeth. While there is no substitute to an old-fashioned toothbrush and paste (dog specific toothpaste not human toothpaste!), for convenience, a lot of people use oral care dog chews and dog dental sticks like Dentastix, which claim to keep your dog’s teeth clean and healthy.
Read on as we discuss whether or not these chews and sticks are beneficial for your dog's teeth. And find out about our dog dental sticks for a low fat, tasty option to keep bad breath and plaque at bay.
What is in Dentastix dental sticks?
Have you ever looked at the ingredient list to see what makes up a dentastix?
In the UK, pet food and treat companies aren’t legally obliged to list individual ingredients in their product. Instead, they can simply list them by category. As a result, a lot of ingredients may be hidden, and you may not be fully aware of what you’re giving to your beloved dog. Fortunately, we’ve broken down the categories below to give you a clearer idea of what's what.
Some dog food companies use the term ‘cereals’ to describe all different types of grains. With this blanket term, it is impossible to know what type of grains are in Dentastix or the quality of the grains. If you have a dog who has a sensitive stomach or any food intolerances, not knowing what's in the food can make it hard to identify the problem ingredient so we recommend sticking to products that clearly highlight exact ingredients.
Derivatives of vegetable origin
Again the vagueness of this term means you simply do not know what you’re getting in each dog chew. One batch could be different to another depending on the vegetable products that are most cost-effective at the time.
Meat & animal derivatives
Meat and animal derivatives doesn't clearly state what part or indeed which animal is being used. It could be any part of any animal, from heads and brains to hair and feathers. The issue with vague terms is that you can't be sure if the quality is good or bad and once again the meat sources in the recipe could change batch to batch so steer clear if your pooch has any food intolerances.
Minerals including Sodium Tripolyphosphate
Sodium Tripolyphosphate is the active ingredients in a Dentastix that helps keep your dogs teeth clean. Clinical studies show that they can prevent tartar build up by up to 80%.
Oils & fats
This refers to all fats and oils from plants or animals, whether that’s beneficial oils and high-quality animal fats or potentially harmful, highly processed oils. It’s impossible to know just by looking at the label.
Do Dentastix clean your dog’s teeth?
Despite the confusion when it comes to the Dentastix recipe, they are used around the world to keep dogs’ teeth clean and healthy. According to their advertisements, they are even recommended by vets. So, they mustn’t be all bad, right?
Dentastix claim their unique shape helps keep teeth clean but depending on the dog, the soft chew doesn't do much to naturally rub away at plaque. That's why our dog dental chews are designed to have a crunch.
Yes, Dentastix do contain specific ingredients designed to clean your pooch’s teeth but the question is whether or not you think feeding these dental chews are good for your dog’s health overall. We'd argue there are healthier alternatives that aren't as fatty and have natural clean ingredients.
The main Dentastix ingredient that cleans your dog’s teeth is Sodium Tripolyphosphate, a chemical which can break down plaque and tartar. However, the chemical only accounts for around 2.6% of each Dentastix stick, so you want to be comfortable that the other 97.4% is good for your dog...
Hidden ingredients in dental sticks
The majority of the ingredients in a Dentastix stick are not actually doing much by way of teeth cleaning. Extra additives are used to improve flavour, add texture and to appeal to the mass market. However, these additional ingredients could actually be doing more harm than good. Cereals, for instance, are turned into sugars when ingested, which can actually lead to cavities and bad breath – the very things you’re trying to prevent!
Our healthy dental stick alternative
Tough on plaque and kind to the planet, our Gnashers dental sticks are a guilt-free dog treat that promote great oral health.
We believe clean ingredients are best for your pooch’s health, making Dentastix a no no. So we've developed our healthy alternative to tackle bad breath and plaque. With the same active ingredients as a dentastix but minus the junk, our dental bones are baked with natural ingredients that are kind to tums and packed in eco packaging to tread lightly on the planet.
When choosing a dog chew for your pooch, named sources are best. Look for simple, natural ingredients that you recognise. That way, you know what you’re giving to your dog (and what you're not giving to your dog) so are at less risk of any harmful additives making their way into your pup’s system. All of the ingredients used in Scrumbles' recipes are there for you to see on our website!
No substitute for the real thing
Of course, dental chews are a great way to keep on top of your dog’s hygiene and health. But there’s simply no substitute for good old-fashioned tooth brushing. Getting a hyper, excited dog to sit still for a few minutes every day for a tooth clean can be difficult – we get it, we’ve been through it with Smudge! – but its definitely worth it in the long run. And don't forget human toothpaste is a no no for dogs (and cats!). Choose a toothpaste formulated for dogs.
If you’re in the market for a dental chew or dental stick for your dog, look for something hard so they have to work really hard to eat them. The chewing and scraping motions are what does the trick when it comes to cleaning, so a soft or flimsy chew simply won’t cut it.
Supervise your pup
Once you’ve found the perfect chew for your pooch, it’s important to always keep an eye on them when they’ve got it. Even with the hardest of chews, your dog could break them apart and may choke on smaller pieces without proper supervision.
And if you're looking for more teeth-cleaning tips, make sure to check out our vet's top 10 tips.