There’s nothing like a big, smelly dog-breath mouth in your face after a long day of work. On the one hand, you love the snuggles and love your furry friend bestows with so much enthusiasm. On the other hand, the fishy, stinky breath in your face is…less pleasant. You’ve tried brushing your dog’s teeth, but she seems to understand that toothbrushes were made with human mouths and hands in mind. When she sees you coming at her with a toothbrush, even if it’s got the tastiest glob of beef-flavored toothpaste on it, she runs.
What do you do? I might be able to help. Why? Because my own sweet Alaskan shepherd, Eira, has recently decided she hates getting her teeth brushed. Because I would rather not smell a stinky dog breath in my face — but also don’t want to spurn Eira cuddles — I did some investigating into fun ways to brush your dog’s teeth without, well, actually brushing them.
The Benebone Eira recently got definitely helps keep her teeth clean, but it doesn’t do much for her breath. And she does still chew it every day, but I wanted to find a treat that she’d reliably eat twice a day, and that would clean her teeth, and give her a fresh breath.
So I decided to buy her a pack of Dentastix and a pack of Greenies — both well-received dental treats in the dog-loving world.
What Are Greenies?
Greenies Breath Buster bites are smaller versions of the regular Greenies dental treats.
Greenies are dental treats that come in a regular size, shaped like a human toothbrush, or a small size — shaped like a mini toothbrush. They’ve got a gummy, chewy texture that helps to clean your dog’s teeth as your dog chews. Their minty flavor freshens your dog’s breath — and is part of why they’re called Greenies! They also clean your dog’s gums, are made from natural ingredients with added, teeth-supporting vitamins and minerals, and are easy for your dog to digest.
You can get Greenies in many flavors. Because autumn is upon us now, you can even get pumpkin spice-flavored Greenies for your dog.
They even come in a cute plaid-edged package. Too cute!
What Are Dentastix?
Dentastix come in a completely different shape than Greenies, and they come in all sorts of flavors. You can get a standard, breath-freshening mint flavor, or a dog-pleasing bacon flavor. Dentastix are long and X-shaped, and they have a similar texture to Greenies. The gumminess really gets in and around your dog’s teeth and helps to scrub them clean so you don’t have to go in there with a toothbrush as often. Dentastix help remove plaque and tartar, and even the bacon- and beef-flavored Dentastix freshen your dog’s breath.
Eira suspiciously eyes the box of Dentastix. (A few moments after this photo was taken, she was happily chewing one!)
Greenies vs. Dentastix: Eira Tests Them Out
I decided to test the Greenies first. I got a smaller size with no special flavor and a ‘fresh’ scent, ensuring that Eira’s breath would get a nice, pepperminty refreshment upon eating one. My toddler was able to easily grab a little Greenie and feed it to Eira.
My toddler feeds Eira a Greenie. Look at those sparkly teeth!
She chewed it quickly, licking her gums for more. I leaned in close and sniffed her breath. (Yep, I did that! Dog mom life, right?) Sure enough, it smelled like mint. Woo-hoo! For several minutes after she finished the Greenie, she kept working bits of the treat through her mouth. The gummy texture made little pieces stick around to clean Eira’s gums and teeth while also freshening her breath.
Just make sure you have water on hand when you’re giving your dog a Greenie. Eira drank a good amount of water when she was done “brushing her teeth.”
And my son had an absolute blast feeding the Greenie to her. I’m guessing this is a little chore he won’t mind doing every day!
Now, on to the Dentastix. They came in a much larger box, and strangely, some of them were stuck together.
Hmm…do I feed Eira this whole chunk? Or am I supposed to rip the sticks apart?? (Hint: don’t give your dog the whole chunk if this happens to you!)
As you can see in the photo above, some of the Dentastix were clumped together. I was actually unsure whether I was supposed to give Eira the whole block or break them apart. The block seemed pretty solid! I checked the front of the box. Nope, only one stick. So I snapped the block into four separate sticks. Make sure you do the same with your dog if your Dentastix come clumped together — you don’t want to overfeed these treats.
My son, once again, gladly fed Eira her Dentastix.
Yum, a dental treat! And this one tastes like my favorite: bacon!
And Eira, once again, gladly ate it. Chewing the Dentastix took longer than chewing the Greenie, and after a while it splintered into tons of gummy pieces perfect for scrubbing Eira’s tooth surfaces and even “flossing” the areas between her teeth. She adored the bacon flavor of the Dentastix, licking each piece off the ground and working it through her mouth. The unique X shape meant she had to work the thing in circles in her mouth, adding to its cleaning benefits. It took a while for it to break down, so she got lots of cleaning time before it broke into those smaller pieces.
Again (of course) I had to do a breath check. I was dubious that the bacon-flavored Dentastix would make Eira’s breath smell as nice as the minty Greenies. And I was right. Eira’s breath smelled meaty. But I decided that was probably partly because she was still working on eating a Dentastix. So I decided to give her another breath check an hour or so later.
That time, her breath smelled like nothing. Which, as you know, is a wonderful smell for dog breath to have! And you can get Dentastix in a minty flavor, if you want. I won’t guarantee that your dog will love them as much as a bacon or beef-flavored Dentastix…although they certainly might. It all depends on the pooch.
What’s the Consensus?
So which one won? Which dental treat cleaned Eira’s teeth the best? Which one did she like the best? Which made her breath the freshest?
In some ways, they both won — but for different things. But in my opinion, Dentastix win overall because:
- They’re more affordable.
- They last longer.
- They taste delicious (if you get the bacon flavor).
- Their patented X shape really helps to get in between your dog’s teeth and clean those gaps.
Greenies, on the other hand, are adorably shaped like toothbrushes. Which is cute, but not necessarily the best shape for cleaning your dog’s teeth. Dogs, after all, have different jaw and tooth structure than humans and the X shape of the Dentastix works wonders at getting between dog teeth.
Don’t give up on Greenies, though: they are wonderful breath-fresheners, and they do an excellent job of cleaning your dog’s tooth surfaces. Either way, if you get Dentastix or Greenies for your dog, the treats will go a long way toward helping maintain excellent dental health.
If your dog is like Eira and hates getting her teeth brushed, try mixing in a few days of treats instead of tooth-brushing. Or even better, offer a dental treat after a shortened tooth-brushing session. Your dog will start to see her teeth-cleaning time in a more positive light!
Have you ever tried Dentastix or Greenies? If so, which one did your dog love the most — and was it the same as the one you loved the most? Let us know in the comments!