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It’s natural (and healthy) for a dog to want to chew — it can alleviate boredom, clean their teeth and exercise their jaws. But if you’ve ever lost a shoe or table leg to a curious puppy, you know that it’s essential to provide your dog with the right chews to stimulate them and divert their attention away from your belongings.
While chew toys are also important, edible chews are a great way to give your dog a treat while also enticing him or her to chew. But not all chews are made the same way, and it’s necessary to give your dog a chew that is healthy, safe and appealing. Most vets no longer recommend rawhide as a chew due to choking hazards, so we’ve rounded up the best safe chews on the market. Whether you have an aggressive chewer or a senior who could use a little extra TLC, there’s a chew for every dog.
01 of 07
Best for Healthy Teeth: Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews
It’s recommended that dogs get their teeth cleaned at least once a year, but if your dog has a buildup of plaque or tartar, an oral hygiene chew can help keep those pup teeth clean and healthy between visits. Dog owners love the Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews for their ability to remove plaque and calculus. Made from beef hide, these oral hygiene chews can be used once a day to keep your dog’s teeth clean and shiny. They come in small, medium, large and extra large sizes, so you can buy the right ones for your pup. Each bag contains 30 treats.
Owners say each Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews provides around 10 minutes of chew time, but it’s highly dependent on your dog. Many dog owners rave about the visible transformation in their dog’s teeth after using these chews. While a chew is never a replacement for a vet visit, the Virbac C.E.T. chews can help keep your dog’s teeth clean and reduce buildup.
02 of 07
Best for Bad Breath: Milk-Bone Brushing Chews Daily Dental Dog Treats
When adorable puppy breath turns into “I can’t breathe when my dog opens his mouth” breath, it’s time to give him the doggy version of a breath mint. The Milk-Bone Brushing Chews Daily Dental Dog Treats aren’t as powerful in plaque reduction as the Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic chew, but they’re one of the best chews to freshen up smelly breath. They come in mini, small/medium and large breed sizes, and have formulated nubs and ridges to clean between teeth and keep your dog’s breath smelling good.
Dog owners say the Milk-Bone Brushing Chews make their four-legged friend’s breath smell great. Reviewers also say their dogs love them, so you don’t have to worry about Fido turning his nose up to these treats. If your dog has smelly breath, a box of Milk-Bone Brushing Chews can help make those moments of closeness even better.
03 of 07
Best for Strong Chewers: Pawstruck Monster Braided Bully Stick for Dogs
Bully sticks are a huge hit in the pet world because they’re safer than rawhide and provide long-lasting chewing, even for the most aggressive chewers. The Pawstruck Monster Braided Bully Stick is made from eight different bully sticks braided together to create the ultimate long-lasting chew. Made from beef pizzle, the Pawstruck stick comes in 4”, 7” and 9” sizes, so you can choose the right one for your pup. Each is high in protein and low in fat, and easy to digest.
Reviewers say each stick can last up to two hours — for some dogs, even longer. If your dog is an aggressive chewer who goes through other edible chews in mere minutes, the Monster Braided Bully Stick is a great choice to keep him or her occupied for hours.
04 of 07
Best for Sensitive Stomachs: Nylabone Healthy Edibles Dog Chews
Dogs with sensitive stomachs or allergies may have adverse reactions to some edible chews, but the Nylabone Healthy Edibles Dog Chew is designed to help reduce those side effects and give your pup a healthy treat without the unwanted downsides. Made with limited ingredients, the Nylabone comes in six flavors to entice and delight your pup. They’re also formulated without any added salt, sugar, corn, soy wheat or preservatives.
Most reviewers say the bone lasts about 15 to 20 minutes, so it’s a great treat if you need to distract your pup when company arrives or you want to reward him or her with a treat for good behavior. Like all chews, you should always monitor your dog when he has a Nylabone.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Best for Joints: SmartBones Hip and Joint Dog Chews
Glucosamine and chondroitin are two popular supplements given to dogs to help ward off arthritis and keep their joints healthy as they age. The SmartBones Hip and Joint Dog Chews are a smart choice for senior or soon-to-be senior pups because they’re formulated with both glucosamine and chondroitin, and they’re easy to digest. Made with chicken and vegetables, these packs of SmartBones chews come with 16 flavorful sticks. Each one lasts about 10 minutes, so it’s not incredibly long-lasting — but it’s a great treat for your dog and gives him or her a boost to keep their joints healthy.
Owners love that they’re rawhide-free, stating that their dogs don’t struggle to digest or chew SmartBones. If your dog is a breed that’s prone to hip and joint problems, these chews are a great pick.
06 of 07
Best for Puppies: BLUE Dental Bones Natural Puppy Chews
Puppies need stimulation and chew toys to keep them entertained and help develop strong teeth. The BLUE Dental Bones Natural Puppy Chews are our choice for puppies because they’re made with added vitamins and supplements to help with your puppy’s development. Each bone has added calcium and phosphorus to help with your pup’s teeth and bone development, and Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to keep his or her skin and coat healthy. They also help soothe sore and achy gums that occur while a puppy is teething.
Owners say their puppies love these chews, remarking that while they don’t last forever, they’re a great training aid as well as a treat.
07 of 07
Best No Calorie: Benebone Flavored Wishbone Chew Toy
Dogs who are overweight or on a calorie-restricted diet are usually advised to stick to non-edible chews instead of those that can add unnecessary calories. We love the Benebone Flavored Wishbone Chew Toy because it appeals to dogs like an edible chew, but without the added fat. It’s available in bacon, chicken or peanut butter flavors, as well as small, medium and large sizes. Made from strong nylon, the Benebone is recommended for dogs under 70 pounds.
Even dog owners with aggressive chewers say the Benebone is long-lasting and enticing. If your pup is a chewer on a diet, this chew is our pick to keep him healthy while giving him a chance to chew to his heart’s content.