Did you know that dogs start their lives with 28 temporary teeth, and then at four months old, grow a set of 42 permanent teeth? With that amount of gnashers, its going to take some work to keep them healthy. Vets recommend brushing your dog’s teeth every day. A great additional resource in assisting with your dog’s oral hygiene are dental chew sticks. These can help bridge the gap between brushing and help prevent the build up of plaque and tartar. Poor oral hygiene can lead to a number of nasty outcomes, including potential organ failure. In this article we are going to have a look at the best dental chew sticks for staffies and why dental chew sticks are important.
We have highlighted why keeping your dog’s teeth and gums healthy is important, how dental chews can help and what to think about when purchasing dental chew sticks. In addition, we have come up with a list of recommended products that will help your dog keep his teeth healthy and pearly white!
Why Keeping Your Dog’s Teeth & Gums Healthy Is So Important
As a responsible Staffy owner, you will be wanting to keep your beloved friend in tip-top shape. It’s easy to forget about the parts of his body that you can’t see, and a dog’s oral hygiene often gets overlooked. It’s a running joke that dogs have ‘dog breath’ and that’s just how it is. It doesn’t have to be. That ‘dog breath’ is often the result of owners not looking after their dog’s teeth and gums.
Poor oral hygiene not only causes breath that can knock you out cold at five paces, but also a litany of different issues that could cause your Staffy pain, distress, and in extreme cases, death. Take a look at some of the things poor oral hygiene can lead to:
- Bad breath
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Organ damage due to blood infections
- Reduced longevity of life
Taking the time to brush your Stafford’s teeth daily and providing dental chews in addition to regular dental check ups by the vet is crucial to your dog’s ongoing health and quality of life.
How Do Dental Chews Help?
A dental chew stick isn’t a replacement for a regular oral hygiene and tooth brushing routine. However, they can help prevent the build up of tartar and plaque, and in turn prevent periodontal disease and painful gums.
Whilst dry food helps in stopping plaque build up, a dental chew has more ‘oomph’ in terms of promoting longer periods of chewing. Vets suggest that 30 minutes gnawing time a day will provide the greatest tooth scraping benefit. Having seen multiple Staffies chomp down their kibble in 10 seconds flat, it’s clear the kibble needs a helping hand in keeping teeth clean!
Dental chews come in many forms. There are durable hard rubber, nylon and rope based toys, whereby bristles that are raised during the chewing process helps scrape teeth clean, and food/treat based chews, which contain special ingredients designed to reduce the bacteria in the mouth. Both types have their positives and negatives. The right toy can be extremely beneficial for your Staff and provide long-lasting chewing action, but buying cheap toys that poses a choking hazard as parts fall off kind of defeats the object. Check out our article regarding the best dog toys for Staffies. Treat/food based dental chews have often been approved by professionals as containing ingredients that actually improve dental hygiene, but can lead to weight problems if your Staffy consumes too many of them, as they are often high in calories.
Things To Consider When Buying Dental Chews
Treat based dental chews can be a great way of helping you manage you Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s dental hygiene – but only if you buy the right sort. Purchasing what seems like a bargain can often be more expensive in the long run. A good quality dental chew that does the job it is meant to will be more expensive than a run of the mill product made from filler ingredients. Price, however, is not the only factor to consider when buy dental chews.
- Size – Dental chews come in all shapes and sizes. Feeding your Staffy puppy a dental treat meant for dogs the size of Chihuahuas or Great Danes could not only cause jaw problems, but could also lead to malnourishment
- Texture – Your Staffy has pretty strong jaws, so buying a soft chew probably won’t do much good. Look for hard, durable chews that will really get their mouths working. Also choose ridged or shaped dental chews; these will be better at reaching into the nooks and crannies of your Staff’s mouth
- Content – The cheaper the product, the more likely the dental chew is full of filler ingredients, that won’t do your dog’s health much good. Look at the ingredients label and choose a dental chew with a high level of vitamins and minerals and doesn’t contain a lot of fat
- Taste – Whilst some Staffies may love the taste of peppermint, it is more likely that they will enjoy dental chews that reflect their favourite treats. Dental chews come in lots of flavours, including beef, bacon, chicken and cheese. Try a few out on your Stafford to see which chew he prefers.
Best Dental Chew Sticks For Staffies
Whimzees Mixed Variety Dog Chews
Not only do Whimzees dog chews have an awesome name, but they are also a great choice of dental chew for your Staffy. Each multipack offers three differently shaped treats; a toothbrush, stick, and weirdly, an alligator. Differently sized, they will give your Stafford’s jaws a powerful workout with one and a gentle chew with another. The shaping on each treat ensures that your SBT’s teeth get a good scraping, meaning that tartar and plaque have a tougher time taking hold.
The Whimzees brand is manufactured using all natural ingredients, so you can rest easy in the knowledge that there is no filler or any chemical nasties doing any damage to your Staffy’s digestive system!
The Pedigree Dentastix range is hugely popular for a reason. They are sugar-free, low in fat and can reduce tartar by up to 80% thanks to its unique shape and active ingredients. Yes, you read that right, 80%! They contain no artificial flavourings or colourings and come in different sizes, meaning you can match up the right Dentastix to the size of your Staff.
Although the sticks are low in fat, they do contain cereals and oils which could, if fed in excess, cause some bloating or weight gain. They do a terrific job, but shouldn’t be used as a replacement for regular tooth-brushing!
Ceva Logic Orozyme Chews
These super dental chews are perfect for your Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s oral hygiene. Via scientific alchemy, the Ceva Logic Orozyme Chew actively prevents gum disease and removes plaque due to its multi-enzyme and antibacterial complex. Magic!
These dental chews are rawhide and collagen based, are low in calories and are flavoured to appeal to your dog’s carnivorous instincts. The chews are fairly small, so don’t pose to much of a risk in terms of weight gain for your Staff. The chews also have a complementary range of tooth gel and brush which we would also recommend for your SBT’s dental hygiene weekly routine.
Delights Twist Dental Sticks
Whilst these look like those little biscuits you get stuck in the top of an ice-cream sundae, the 8 in 1 Delights Twist Dental Stick is not only a thing of beauty, but of practical help too! They contain an anti-plaque formula within the rawhide wrapped with chicken chew and are only 2% fat.
The chews are free from artificial flavours and colours and will keep your Staffy entertained and happy with their texture and yummy chicken flavour! These delights will truly delight!
HiLife Special Daily Dental Original
If you want your Staffordshire Bull Terrier to have whiter teeth, healthier gums and fresher breath, then these are the dental chews for you.
These chews are designed to be provided on a daily basis to complement brushing your Stafford’s teeth. Made from 100% natural rawhide, you know that there are no dodgy ingredients that could play havoc with your dog’s weight or digestion – it’s pure, chewy goodness! Bursting with mint flavour, the HiLife Special Daily Dental Original chew will ensure your Staffie has fresh breath (well, for part of the day, at least!).
That’s our pick of the top dental chews for your Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Whilst they shouldn’t be used as a sole solution to your Staff’s dental and oral hygiene, they can help control the build up of tartar and reduce gum disease when used in conjunction with tooth brushing. These chews will allow your Stafford to get a workout on their jaw too, keeping them entertained as they gnaw their way through!
Remember to always supervise your Staffy when they are eating dental chews, just in case they splinter. Using dental chew sticks can significantly contribute to a happier, healthier and longer living SBT, so get buying today!