Dental Chews

Dentastix: Are They Good or Bad for My Dog?

Are Dentastix good or bad? It’s a question asked by so many proud pawrents. After all, we all want what is best for our pup. Alongside showers of daily affection and long walks in the countryside, dental care is vital for your furry friend.

Brushing your pooch’s teeth is just as important as brushing your own, and should be part of every pet parent’s daily routine. While there is no substitute to an old-fashioned toothbrush and paste (dog specific toothpaste not human toothpaste!), a lot of people use oral care chews and sticks like Dentastix, which claim to keep your pup’s teeth clean and healthy.

Read on as we discuss whether or not these chews and sticks are beneficial for your dog’s teeth.

What is in Dentastix?

We wouldn’t eat or chew on something if we had no idea what was it in, right? So, why expect your pup to do just that? Here 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 to give you a clearer idea of what nutrients your pooch is getting.


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.

Derivatives of vegetable origin

The vagueness of this term means you simply do not know what you’re getting in each chew. One batch could be different to another depending on the vegetable products that are available at the pad.

Meat & animal derivatives

Meat and animal derivatives could be any part of any animal, from heads and brains to hair and feathers. This means manufacturers could change the recipe of their chews depending on the animal products that are available or cheapest at any given time.


While ‘minerals’ is used as an attractive selling point, it’s actually impossible to know what they are. It can include Sodium Tripolyphosphate (E451) – an artificial preservative that is a common component of detergents, antifreeze and flame retardants.

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.

Dog chewing on a stick

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?

Yes, Dentastix do contain specific ingredients designed to clean your pooch’s teeth. The question is whether or not you think feeding these dental chews are good for your dog’s health overall.

Active 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 2.3% of each Dentastix stick, so you want to be comfortable that the other 97.7% is good for your dog…

Hidden ingredients

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!

Only the best for man’s best friend

We believe clean ingredients are best for your pooch’s health, making Dentastix a no no. But at the same time, no pawrent wants to be dealing with smelly breath and poor dental health. While it can be tricky to maintain a healthy companion while navigating the pet food market, there are a few simple things to look out for to ensure your beloved pup is full of the good stuff.

Named ingredients

First things first, when choosing the perfect 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.

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.

Dog with a brush in its mouth

Tough chews

If you’re in the market for a dental chew 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.

Keep in touch

Exciting news! Scrumbles have our own healthy alternative to Dentastix with ingredients that are designed to keep those gnashers clean and benefit your dogs overall well being. Hand baked here in the UK, our dental chews are super yummy and perfect for keeping your beloved pooch’s teeth clean. Follow us on our Instagram and Twitter pages for more pupdates.

Be sure to comment below with your handy tricks for keeping your dog’s teeth clean and healthy. And stay up to date with our blog to learn new things about our favourite topic – pets!

About Scrumbles


We’re an independent British business serving cats and dogs with gut-friendly food, that’s responsibly made and comes with the approval of our family pets Smudge (our daring dog) and Boo (our cool cat).

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