Your Pet’s Teeth – Strong, But Fragile

Toys and treats that are harmful on teeth:

Tennis Balls

Tennis ball toys are harmful for teeth because their abrasive surfaces wear teeth down like sandpaper. Dogs who play with tennis balls have flattened smooth tops on their teeth from wear. Eventually the wear can dig down into living tooth and lead to the same problems that occur with tooth fractures.

Bones and Sticks

Avoid the temptation of giving your dog bones, hard Nylabone type toys, antlers, pigs ears, or cow hooves. These are harder than your pet’s teeth. Additionally, they can splinter into sharp pieces and stab into the soft palate of their mouths. Ouch!

Frayed Rope

Aside from the potential intestinal damage that is possible if strings are swallowed, toys with strings and frayed rope ends are also a hazard for teeth. If the material wraps around teeth, the teeth can be pulled on and broken. Also, the material can separate, be lodged between teeth, and can act as a foreign body leading to severe periodontal disease.

Dog Toys and Treats Part 1: Tough on Teeth

Toys and treats that are easy on teeth:

C.E.T. dental chews

Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews contain no artificial coloring and are made from carefully selected hides. These chews also include a powerful and beneficial enzyme called glucose oxidase, which helps protect your dog’s teeth by breaking down the sugars that disease-causing bacteria feed on.


We are big fans of Greenies treats, because they clean teeth and many dogs adore them. See what GREENIES™ has to offer. Do check on your pet to make sure they are not attempting to swallow large chunks of their treat that could choke them.

Plush toys without strings

KONG toys

We have found that KONG toys tend to be safe for teeth, so that is why we recommend them. Visit their site to read about the company and see toy options.

Hallow rubberized toys

More specifically, rubberized toys that can be filled with treats will not harm your pets’ teeth. As with any treat or toy you always must be vigilant of your pet tearing pieces from the toy and swallowing it.

Smooth surfaced balls

Just check to make sure they cannot be easily punctured and that they are large enough so they cannot be swallowed

Dog Toys and Treats Part 2: Tooth Friendly

When choosing toys and treats to your dog, make sure they are tooth friendly with these two simple tests:

1. Bend the item or dig your fingernail into it. If the chew toy is too hard for your fingernail to make a temporary dent or you cannot bend the item, then it is likely too hard for the tooth.

2. Imagine if you were to bite down very hard on the toy you have picked out. Do you think it would break your teeth?