Many manufacturers and retailers of dental chews for dogs and cats claim it will help reduce plaque and/or tartar.

For example:

  • Greenies Dental Chews:

    Unique texture fights plaque and tartar

  • Pedigree DentaStix:

    These treats are clinically proven to promote oral health by reducing plaque and tartar buildup.

  • The Kirkland Signature:

    The chews are two-sided, with a groove and multiple levels of ridges and nubs to help clean teeth and reduce plaque and tartar from a variety of angles

Similar claims are made by other products such as:

  • Milk Bone Brushing Chews make the bold claim that it's "as effective as brushing*" (with an asterisk)

  • The Feline Greenies brand claims to clean teeth

  • Emerald Pet Feline Dental Treats claim to support clean teeth
  • Purina Dentalife (for cats) makes a few claims:
    • Allows tooth to penetrate for an effective clean
    • Scientifically tested to reduce tartar buildup
    • Seal of approval from the Veterinary Oral Health Council (is this organization reputable?) with a claim that it helps control tartar.
  • Temptations cat treats claim to help control tartar

Are these claims true? Do dental chews reduce plaque and tartar in dogs and cats?


1 Answer 1



Yes, they help.

(Note: Calculus is another name for tartar.)



Note: C. Gorrel is also an author of one of the dog studies cited above.

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