Dental Treats: Chew on This

Chew-treats marketed as ‘dental health’ products often get dogs and their owners into trouble, vets report. Rawhide chews, pigs ears, or hooves all make for great chewing fun for dogs, but can result in dental fractures, digestive-tract obstructions, and expensive trips to the vet, says Dr. Patty Khuly, a Miami vet and dog-health blogger. Watch how your dog handles a rawhide chew or pig’s ear to be sure he’s not swallowing it whole. And remember that digestible chew-treats can add significant calories to your dog’s daily intake.

If a dog chew-treat claims to have oral health properties, check for the Veterinary Oral Health Council’s seal of approval and visit their website,, for more information. The council does not test dental health products but endorses those they consider effective against periodontal disease in pets.