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The 7 Best Dog Foods For Teeth & Dental Health

Numerous senior dogs have damaged or missing teeth due to dental difficulties, which are one of the most prevalent health concerns dogs experience.

If this is the case, it may be time to switch to a kibble formulated to fight common dental hygiene problems. The meals highlighted in the following reviews have all been formulated for dogs with dental issues and can help clean your pet's teeth and gums while he or she eats.

The kibbles listed by BestForPets (bestforpets.org) are the best dog foods for teeth & dental health and will help maintain your dog's pearly whites.


Dental Care Hill’s Prescription Diet Dry Dog Food

We’ve discovered that Hill’s Prescription Diet Dental Care is the greatest food for maintaining your dog’s oral health, but you’ll need a prescription to obtain it.

This meal employs a patented fiber-matrix technology to clean your dog’s teeth and gums. It can decrease plaque and tartar, as well as eliminate stains.

Additionally, the form of the kibble helps to clean your dog’s teeth. The more people consume it, their teeth should be in better condition since it reduces plaque accumulation as it is chewed (be sure to watch their waistline, though).

The list of components is also rich in antioxidants, due to foods such as soybean oil, hog fat, and the numerous vitamins utilized to enhance it. As brewer’s rice is the first component, it should also be easy on your dog’s stomach.

The remaining items on the list do not inspire much confidence. They consist of items of concern such as maize, poultry by-product meal, and artificial flavors. This is by no means the healthiest diet you can give your dog, but it is likely the finest meal for teeth and dental health, the emphasis of this list.

If your dog has dental concerns, there is no better food than Hill’s Prescription Diet Dental Care, hence it wins the #1 rank on this list.


  • Utilizes a unique fiber-matrix cleaning system
  • Unique form sweeps away trash
  • Several antioxidants listed in the components
  • Excellent for delicate stomachs


  • Utilizes inferior components such as animal by-products.


Hill’s Science Diet Adult Oral Care Dry Dog Food

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Oral Care is essentially a non-prescription version of our top pick, so while it is not nearly as effective, it is significantly less expensive. We would go so far as to declare it the most cost-effective dog food for teeth and dental health.

It utilizes the same fiber-matrix technology to clean your dog’s mouth, clean their teeth and freshen their breath. However, it has a somewhat superior ingredient list, as chicken rather than rice is the first component.

You will also discover an abundance of omega fatty acids owing to meals such as fish oil, soybean oil, and hog fat. This will improve your dog’s immune system, cognitive health, and dental hygiene.

However, it still contains several problematic substances, more than the prescribed medication. This food contains wheat, maize, and gluten, therefore it may not be perfect for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Additionally, it has more salt than we want.

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Oral Care is a wonderful option if you’re on a budget and want the best dental care for your dog from his diet. It’s not quite as good as our #1 pick, but it’s a fantastic deal nevertheless.


  • Excellent value for the cost
  • Utilizes fiber-matrix technology for teeth cleaning
  • Rich in omega fatty acids
  • Chicken is the primary element


  • Containing problematic substances.
  • High in sodium


Merrick Lil’ Plates Dry Dog Food Grain-Free

Merrick Lil’ Plates is the finest overall meal on our list, but it isn’t nearly as effective at recovering terrible oral problems as some of the other foods, which is why it wins the bronze medal.

This recipe has no grains, making it an ideal option for dogs with food allergies. It contains 38% protein, however, some of it comes from plant sources, which are more difficult for your dog to manufacture than animal proteins.

Nonetheless, this product contains a substantial amount of meat due to the presence of chicken, chicken meal, and turkey meal. They have also included nutritious fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries, apples, and sweet potatoes.

The kibble is tiny and crunchy, so any dog should be able to chew it. As soon as they do so, their gums and teeth will be thoroughly cleaned.

However, it is pricey and has very little fiber (3.5%).

Merrick Lil’ Plates is a terrific diet for any dog if you can afford it, but the form and texture of the kibble make it a particularly ideal choice for animals that need a little help with dental hygiene.


  • The grain-free formulation is suitable for dogs with food sensitivities
  • High in protein content
  • Utilizes premium fruits and vegetables
  • Small and crispy dog food


  • On the expensive side
  • Does not clean teeth as effectively as our preferred products.


Royal Canin Animal Diet Dental Dry Dog Food

Similar to our top option, Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Dental requires a prescription from a veterinarian. However, it lacks the specific structure of Hill’s Prescription Diet and cannot match Merrick Lil’ Plates’ component list.

However, chewing has a mild abrasive impact on teeth, which can assist remove plaque, tartar, and other deposits. It also contains antibacterial substances such as tea and marigold extract.

In addition to being rich in omega fatty acids, the diet contains fish oil, chicken fat, and vegetable oil. We also enjoy that it has 6.5% fiber.

This food contains excessive amounts of salt and inexpensive fillers such as wheat, maize, and animal byproducts.

The protein content is below average at 23%, which is not unexpected given that the ingredient list contains more grains than meat.

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Dental is a decent alternative for dogs with dental concerns, but we cannot endorse it for other canines.


  • Tea and marigold extracts are antibacterial
  • Contains omega-3 fatty acids
  • Abundant in fiber


  • High in sodium
  • Utilizes inexpensive fillers
  • Protein levels below the median


Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Dry Dog Food with Dental Health

Another prescription-only meal, Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Dental Health is less expensive than the other two on our list.

The list of ingredients begins with chicken and chicken meal, but then it takes a bit of a nosedive. The majority of the following substances are maize, wheat, or gluten, which all provide empty calories to your dog’s diet.

It is recommended by the Veterinary Oral Health Council, which indicates that it has been demonstrated to decrease tartar. Due to its spherical form, it may not be as efficient in removing plaque, as it is less likely to penetrate crevices around the gums.

Additionally, the kibble bits are unusually large, making them inappropriate for smaller breeds. Dogs with missing or damaged teeth may also have difficulties consuming the food.

Overall, Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Dental Health is one of the best feeds for dogs with dental concerns that can be purchased. However, when compared to the best of the best, its deficiencies become glaringly apparent.


  • Proven to control tartar
  • Chicken meal is the primary component.


  • Containing empty calories
  • Not ideal for preventing plaque buildup
  • Not suitable for smaller breeds
  • Large chunks may be difficult for dogs with missing or damaged teeth to chew.

Buyer's Guide

You may have never considered the need to purchase specific food for your dog’s oral health, so you may have more questions than answers when it’s time to go shopping.

This article explains all you need to know about canine dental health, so you can choose a diet that will maintain your dog’s teeth in excellent condition.

How will I know whether my dog’s teeth require a special diet?

Typically, your veterinarian will inform you. However, if you are concerned about your dog’s teeth, the following indicators may suggest a problem:

  • Broken, loose, or missing teeth
  • Poor breath
  • Bleeding gums
  • discolored teeth
  • Pain or swelling in the mouth region
  • Refuse to consume
  • Excessive salivation
  • Loss of appetite or trouble chewing
  • Clutching at the gums
  • Tumors within the mouth

Naturally, if you see any of these symptoms, you should consult your veterinarian before taking any action. They might be indications of something serious, and dog food cannot assist with these problems.

What Should I Consider When Purchasing a Dietary Supplement for My Dog’s Dental Health?

The first thing you should know is that kibble is the best option for cleaning teeth.

You may still feed your dog wet food, but the abrasiveness of kibble helps remove plaque, tartar, and other debris from their teeth as they chew. Obviously, you may need to offer them moist food if all of their teeth have been gone.

A good kibble is not, however, limited to what occurs in your dog’s mouth. Many are also rich in nutrients that strengthen your dog’s immune system, aiding in the battle against gum disease-causing bacteria.

Quality kibbles include a few additives that might cause dental issues. These include simple carbohydrates and sugars, both of which tend to leave a film on your dog’s teeth, so promoting the formation of plaque and tartar.

Additionally, pay attention to the size and form of the components. The kibble is useless if it is too large for your dog to chew, but you don’t want it to be so little that it poses a choking risk. Seek a compromise between the two extremes.

Is it the only thing I should seek?

No, you still need to purchase a balanced diet. Don’t disregard your dog’s diet in an effort to treat their dental issues. You will still need to compare ingredients and check labels.

Protein-, fat-, and fiber-rich kibbles are often recommended. Additionally, we try to avoid dubious substances such as maize, wheat, soy, and animal by-products, as these can all cause undesirable side effects.

In general, you should not give your dog any things that you would not consume yourself. Exceptions exist, but genuine chicken, blueberries, spinach, kale, or broccoli are always positive indicators.

Will I still need to brush my dog’s teeth if I feed him the proper food?

Yes. A decent kibble is a tool in your toolbox, but it is not sufficient to do the task.

Even the greatest dog food will only remove the superficial layer of plaque from your dog’s teeth. This is helpful for preventing future issues, but it has little effect on the tartar and germs surrounding the gum line, which are the true problem.

You will still need to brush your dog’s teeth regularly, ideally every day. In addition, arrange frequent cleanings with your veterinarian to ensure that everything continues to function properly.

A decent kibble is necessary, but it cannot do miracles.

Is There Anything Else That Will Assist in Cleaning My Dog’s Teeth?

Yes. Bones and chews are both excellent at removing tartar and plaque from a dog’s teeth. The longer your dog chews on them, the more beneficial they will be.

Look for meaty, raw bones. These are originally formed from cattle bones and are available in a variety of sizes and forms. Raw bones are vital because cooked bones are more prone to shatter, which can cause significant injury to your dog’s digestive tract if they are ingested.

You’ll need to keep an eye on your dog while he’s chewing on the bones and make sure he’s nibbling on them instead of attempting to crush them with his molars, which might cause them to crack and shatter.

Some of the Finest Foods Require a Prescription. Why Is This So?

The brief response is money. Numerous food producers invest a substantial amount of money in research and development because they must ensure that their recipes are acceptable for animals with whatever condition they are designed to treat.

To recover their substantial investment, manufacturers collaborate with veterinarians to persuade pet owners to purchase their specialized diets. Requiring a prescription is a fantastic method to compel owners to commit to the kibble, and it also adds prestige to the kibble.

There are no unique components in prescription pet diets that cannot be found in conventional kibble. The prescription packs include the same meats, cereals, and vegetables as the over-the-counter varieties.

In order for a corporation to claim that its product treats a certain ailment, the FDA needs them to present evidence. You may thus feel certain that there is at least some proof that prescription meals perform as advertised.

It is obviously simpler to simply get the prescribed food, but if you want a different approach, you might examine what makes that meal beneficial. It might be the kibble’s form, its components, or something totally else. Once discovered, it is only a matter of locating a kibble that can reproduce its effects.


Hill’s Prescription Diet Dental Care utilizes proprietary fiber-matrix technology to clean teeth, enabling it to remove more plaque and tartar than any other meal. It is unquestionably the greatest dog food for teeth and dental health.

Choose Hill’s Science Diet Adult Oral Care if you prefer a less expensive option. It is the non-prescription version of our winning product, and it provides the majority of the same advantages at a fraction of the cost.

Finding a decent kibble is key for preserving your dog’s mental health, and if your dog has experienced dental troubles, the selection becomes much more crucial. BestForPets (bestforpets.org) hope that our evaluations will make it easier for you to discover the best dog foods for teeth & dental health, so sparing you both unnecessary discomfort.

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Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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