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For certain dog breeds, gnarly teeth often come with the territory — a fact that didn’t quite dawn on me when I was 23 years old and scooping up the jankiest-looking pup in the shelter. My beloved Chihuahua mix, Maeby, is now 15 years old, and over the last decade and a half she’s weathered some pretty intense teeth issues. A lot of it is par for the course with Chihuahuas, who are extremely prone to periodontal disease even with interventions like regular teeth brushing, professional cleanings and special teeth treats.
My sweet little Mae has undergone several extractions over the years, which were traumatizing for both mother and child. And despite attempts to give her popular dental chews like Greenies, she never took to them and they never seemed to do much for her teeth. So despite regular cleanings, it’s been difficult to stay on top of her oral health.
After she had a health scare a few months ago, I switched her to a new vet who immediately recommended OraVet dental chews. I’ll be honest, I was skeptical, because past chews haven’t really made a difference. I was also apprehensive, because she has a sensitive stomach and has had bouts of pancreatitis in the past, making it imperative that her diet remain gentle and low-fat. Mae’s vet assured me that these chews are not just good for oral health, but are made with ingredients that are easy on pets’ internal systems.
Where to buy them: $27.54 on Amazon
Much to my surprise, my picky pup took to these chews right away. She begs for them first thing in the morning, and I have to trick her to get medication and breakfast down the hatch first. I was worried that she’d have trouble chewing them given the dwindling number of teeth that remain in her skull, but she enjoys going to town on these fresh, simple green chews. She absolutely thinks they are a treat, and I love using them as a reward or a distraction when I’m working from home and need a moment of silence without her little claws tap dancing on my apartment floors for hours at a time.
I love seeing her enjoying something new in her twilight years, but best of all, the OraVet dental chews have done wonders for her teeth and breath. (I never had a problem with her breath, though many others have rudely pointed it out in the past.) She used to get horrible plaque build-up on her teeth and along her gum line, and these chews have not only stopped the progression of tartar but have helped to reduce existing build-up as well. It’s a huge relief from both a financial and emotional perspective, as it saves me the money from getting constant professional cleanings and the danger of putting a senior dog under anesthesia for the procedure. Her teeth are in pretty great shape for her age, and I finally have peace of mind.
OraVet chews work to reduce existing plaque and prevent future build-up. The act of chewing loosens and dislodges plaque, helping it break away from teeth. These chews are also the first and so far only dental hygiene product for dogs made with delmopinol, a plaque-fighting compound that creates a barrier to help prevent bacteria from attaching to a pup’s teeth. If your dog is over six months old, then the OraVet chews may be a must for your daily routine.
These popular chews have 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon and 7,633 five-star reviews. Check out other pet parents’ thoughts on these game-changing dental chews below.
“I love these!! I’m a veterinary dental technician and pet teeth/health are my jam. I’ve gone to many dental conferences and always visit the sites and have used these for my own dogs and recommend them to ALL my clients for prevention and aftercare once I do a full anesthetic dental. Don’t use any other product! The company has such great testing and quality. Easily palatable and digestible for canine GI systems. Again – it’s the ONLY thing I recommend other than daily brushing if owners are up for that task. I’d be a hypocrite if I said I brushed my dogs’ teeth. I have 2 young kids, a full-time job, run a home – I don’t have time or the stress level for daily brushing. I can’t sing enough praises for this product! You will not be let down. But – your dog can’t have a giant amount of tarter. Start young while there’s minimal tarter or start after a proper full cleaning by a professional.” — Rae
″Doggy dentist in a wrapper. My dogs LOOOOOOOOVE these!
They beg for them like they are regular ol’ treats. My vet recommended them for nights when I don’t have time to actually brush their teeth (which, let’s be honest, is most nights) and he mentioned that he uses them with his own dog. These work so well that my 11 yr old chihuahua’s most recent dental cleaning was postponed because the vet didn’t feel it was even necessary (happy dog + money saved = very happy me). A word to the wise: if you give them at night, expect your pups’ morning poops to be the exact green color of the OraVet chew. No big deal, definitely recommend these!” — brittany w.
“I bought these because I was looking for a better product than Greenies. They weren’t really working like they did when I first started using them. So I decided to try these and I am really happy I did. My dog has a serious halitosis problem even with regular brushing. I used to get them cleaned at the vet, but the price went from 350 to 1000, which I cannot afford. I’ve been looking for an alternative and these are great. They freshen breath as well as help repair damage and protect the teeth. I could smell the difference after only giving him one. It’s nice to get a breath of fresh mint instead of doggie breath!” — Wylendia R Eastman
“5 stars is not enough. These were recommended by our vet. We adopted our dog in August and she is young, clean teeth, but her breath was so bad. It literally smelled like hot garbage. We brought her to the vet to get her teeth cleaned but she said her teeth were perfect she just needed something to kill the bacteria. We had already tried 3 or 4 different treats marketed to clean teeth/help breath with no luck. We give our dog one of these per day at bed time and in around 3 weeks her breath was completely neutralized. It smelled better (less stinky) after a few days but now she has been taking them over a month and her breath doesn’t smell at all good or bad. These really work, but make sure you give them time to do their work. All that bacteria takes time to be neutralized but it really works. We are very very happy with the product.” — SDubGold
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.