Health

Popular Dog Dental Chews: BARK Bright vs. Greenies vs. Dentastix vs. Whimzees

Written by: Elise Remp

February 10, 2022

You know you’re supposed to be brushing your dogs teeth daily (though only 2% of pup parents do!), but your dog has been fighting you tooth and nail just to get a toothbrush anywhere near their mouth. And you wonder, with your fingers covered in canine saliva and the emotional state of a soldier defeated in battle, whether perhaps dental chews are enough.

Thing is, there are a ridiculous number of dental chews to choose from, no matter where you search. So which ones work best?

We broke down the major differences between some of the most popular big brand dental chews, Greenies, Pedigree Dentastix, and Whimzees, alongside BARK Bright’s own toothbrush-free dental system.

a variety of dog dental chew pet owners can choose from

What Are Dental Chews?

Dental chews are the ideal solution for a lot of dog parents who just can’t seem to win the battle when it comes to brushing their dog’s teeth. Giving your pup routine dental chew treats can help control plaque build up and prevent gingivitis, inflammation, bad breath, tooth decay, and even heart disease that can result from oral health neglect.

But all dental chews are not created equal. Below we’ll break down the key differences between some of the most popular dog dental chews out there: BARK Bright, Greenies, Dentastix and Whimzees.

a dog nuzzling its owners face

Dental Chew Contenders

Understanding what dental chews can and can’t do for your dog’s teeth and breath is important when deciding how to choose the best option for their overall health.

1. BARK Bright Dental Kit

BARK Bright is the first and only daily dual toothpaste and dental chew system that helps remove plaque and debris buildup, as well as keep your pup’s breath fresh for all the kisses you can handle! The secret is in the triple-enzymatic toothpaste you put IN the chew itself—it has 3 enzymes that work to break down plaque and nasty bad breath-causing bacteria. (More about this below!)

Dental chews alone can aid in scrubbing away food debris that forms plaque, but giving your dog dental chews alone is like brushing your teeth with a toothbrush but no toothpaste. It’s a start, but you can do better! A dental chew is a great first step, but the BARK Bright system helps your pup level up.

BARK Bright dental chews and toothpaste are available as a subscription (so you never run out!), or individually at several retail locations like Target, Petco, PetSmart, and CVS. Each dental kit includes a month’s supply of daily dental chews and a tube of triple-enzymatic toothpaste.

A dog about to eat a bark bright dental chew

2. Greenies Original

Greenies’ soft and flexible texture allows dogs to chew and sink their teeth in. This helps scrape away the smelly debris (like leftover food) and plaque, similar to the scrubby action of a toothbrush. But to your dog, they’re just a tasty, easily digestible treat with natural ingredients that help freshen their breath. Greenies also offers a grain-free option.

Greenies offers a monthly subscription service for their dental chews as well as one-time purchase packs, and they even help you find the right chews for your pup by answering a few quick questions about their health. Other variations in their dental treat line include chews for weight management, aging care, and puppies.

Note: Not suitable for dogs younger than 6 months or under 5lbs, due to texture.

3. Dentastix Original

Dentastix chewy texture helps reduce plaque buildup to freshen breath, and their X-shaped chews claim to clean down to the gumline, where bacteria thrive. Dentastix do not contain any added sugars or fillers.

Note: Not suitable for dogs under 22lbs, due to texture.

4. Whimzees

Whimzees are that they are grain-free, vegetarian, gluten-free and offer a few different fun shapes (like an alligator or hedgehog, among others). Similarly to the other brands discussed, these chews help improve your dog’s dental health by scraping away plaque and leftover food debris as your pup chews, but Whimzees also claims to last 3 times longer than leading brands.

Manufactured in the Netherlands, Whimzees also strives for sustainability by reusing energy during the manufacturing process, sourcing ingredients locally, reducing their carbon footprint with zero water waste, and composting other waste from manufacturing. You can read more about their efforts here.

Note: Not suitable for dogs younger than 9 months or weighing fewer than 5lbs due to firm texture.

Dental Chew Effectiveness (How They Work)

Prepare for incoming kisses! See how these dental chews really get down to business.

1. BARK Bright Dental Kit

  • The chews’ chewy texture and unique star shape help remove plaque down to the gumline as your dog chews.
  • Toothpaste enzyme #1 (Amyloglucosidase, or AMG) breaks down starches and complex sugars from food debris into glucose.
  • Toothpaste enzyme #2 (Glucose oxidase, or GOX) turns that glucose into a safe and effective natural cleaning agent to scrub away bacteria.
  • Toothpaste enzyme #3 (Lactoperoxidase) helps boost the performance of bacteria removal to give your pup fresher breath. (Note: These enzymes continue to work even after your dog has scarfed down the dental chew.)

2. Greenies Original

  • Flexible, chewy texture and toothbrush bristle-shaped grooves help reduce plaque buildup down to the gumline as your dog chews.

3. Dentastix Original

  • Chewy texture and X-shaped chews help remove plaque buildup from teeth and gumline as your dog chews.

4. Whimzees

  • Unique shapes and firm texture mechanically remove plaque buildup as your dog chews for an extended time.
dogs teeth up close

Dental Chew Sizes

Aside from calorie count, always choose appropriately-sized chews and treats for your dog to avoid choking or intestinal blockages as a result of swallowing large chunks whole.

1. BARK Bright Dental Kit Sizes

  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large
Bark Bright size comparison

2. Greenies Original Sizes

  • Teenie
  • Petite
  • Regular
  • Large

3. Dentastix Original Sizes

  • Toy/Small
  • Small/Medium
  • Large

4. Whimzees Sizes

  • Extra Small
  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large
  • Extra large
  • Additional shapes
whimzees size comparison

Dental Chew Pricing

*Prices may vary; all prices are accurate at the time this article was written.

1. BARK Bright Dental Kit Price

  • Add-on with BarkBox or Super Chewer subscription (add to box via account dashboard): $25/month
  • Bright Dental Kit monthly subscription: $30/month
  • PetSmart: $27.99–$32.99/30-day supply(chews and toothpaste also available individually)
  • Petco: $27.99–$37.99/30-day supply (chews and toothpaste also available individually)

2. Greenies Original Price

  • Value Packs: Teenie $30.99/130 chews | Petite $33.98/60 chews | Regular $33.98/36 chews | Large $33.98/24 chews

3. Dentastix Original Price

Chewy: Toy/Small $3.47–$14.03/24–108 chews | Small/Medium$3.47–$14.03/10–45 chews | Large $3.47–$15.99/7–40 chews

4. Whimzees Price

Variety Pack: Small/Medium/Large $32.99/56/28/14 chews, respectively (additional sizes available in smaller single-shape packs)

dog with a pile of money

Dental Chew Calorie Count

Dental care is an essential component of dogs’ overall wellbeing, but daily chews shouldn’t be given at the expense of their ideal weight. Your vet can give you an idea of your dog’s current body condition, and how many calories they should be able to consume in treats on a daily basis (treats shouldn’t make up more than around 10% of dogs’ overall daily calorie intake).

1. BARK Bright Dental Kit Calories

Each dental chew contains:

  • 14 kcal/small
  • 41 kcal/medium
  • 63 kcal/large

2. Greenies Original Calories

Each dental chew contains:

  • 26 kcal/teenie (24 kcal in Weight Management formula)
  • 55 kcal/petite (51 kcal in Weight Management formula)
  • 90 kcal/regular (83 kcal in Weight Management formula)
  • 145 kcal/ large (134 kcal in Weight Management formula)

3. Dentastix Original Calories

Each dental chew contains:

  • 25 kcal/small
  • 58 kcal/medium
  • 84 kcal/large

4. Whimzees Calories

Each dental chew contains:

  • 22 kcal/x-small
  • 45 kcal/small
  • 89 kcal/medium
  • 178 kcal/large
  • 356 kcal/x-large
dog being weighed on a scale

Dental Chew Flavors

1. BARK Bright Dental Kit Flavors

  • 100% real chicken

2. Greenies Original Flavors

  • Natural poultry flavor
  • Blueberry
  • Seasonal flavors

3. Dentastix Original Flavors

  • Natural poultry flavor
  • T-bone steak flavor
  • Bacon flavor
  • Peppermint flavor

4. Whimzees Flavors

  • All-natural, made from potato starch. No added flavoring.
dog with a sign around its neck

Dental Chew Manufacturing & Sourcing Locations

Nowadays we all want to know where our food is being sources and manufactured, our dog’s food and treats included.

1. BARK Bright Dental Kit

Manufactured in USA, ingredients sourced from USA and Denmark (enzymatic toothpaste developed by scientists at Novozymes).

2. Greenies Original

Made in Kansas City, USA, ingredients sourced from USA and some vitamins and minerals sourced globally.

3. Dentastix Original

Made in USA and Canada, ingredients source unknown.

4. Whimzees

Manufactured in the Netherlands with locally sourced, sustainable ingredients.

dog playing with a globe

Dental Chew Ingredients

As good pet parents, we should care about what goes into the things our dogs eat.

BARK Bright Dental Chews Ingredients

  • Potato Starch: A thickener that also adds moisture.
  • Gelatin: Used as a thickener.
  • Pea Protein: A high-quality protein derived from peas, and a great source of iron.
  • Chicken: 100% real, no nonsense.
  • Vegetable Glycerin: A simple compound used to to sweeten things up.
  • Lecithin: A fatty substance that occurs naturally in plant and animal tissues. It’s used here as a stabilizer.
  • Natural Smoke Flavor: This is exactly what it sounds like! Who doesn’t love that fresh-from-the-barbecue taste?
  • Citric Acid: Found in citrus fruits, it’s used as a natural preservative.
  • Mixed Tocopherols: A source of Vitamin E, and a preservative to keep your chews fresh all month long.

BARK Bright Toothpaste Ingredients

  • Water: You know the stuff. It forms the basis of the toothpaste.
  • Lactose-free skim milk powder: Rich in protein, this powder is gluten-and starch-free, with natural immune boosters that help the enzymes work even better.
  • Glycerol: Found in every living cell, it’s a natural substance that keeps the ingredients stable.
  • Sorbitol: A sugar alcohol that occurs naturally in some fruits, it’s used as a sweetener with fewer calories per gram than sugar.
  • Chicken powder: Made from real chicken.
  • Microcrystalline cellulose: Used as a thickening agent, this makes sure the toothpaste “sticks” to your dog’s teeth long enough to work its magic.
  • Alginate: A thickening agent extracted from seaweed.
  • Citric acid: Regulates pH and ensures that our enzymes are alive and kicking when they reach your pup’s mouth.
  • Enzymes: Three, to be exact. We add even more of the ones already in your dog’s saliva so they can work triple-duty.
  • Potassium sorbate: A must-have stabilizer that keeps the toothpaste fresh for longer.
  • Carboxymethyl cellulose: A helpful stabilizer that’s also found in yogurt. We use the minimum amount.

Greenies Original Chews Ingredients

Wheat flour, wheat gluten, glycerin, gelatin, oat fiber, water, lecithin, natural poultry flavor, minerals (dicalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, magnesium amino acid chelate, zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, selenium, potassium iodide), dried apple pomace, choline chloride, fruit juice color, vitamins ( dl-alpha tocopherol acetate [source of vitamin E], vitamin B12 supplement, d-calcium pantothenate [vitamin B5], niacin supplement, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement [vitamin B2], vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, pyridoxine hydrochloride [vitamin B6], thiamine mononitrate [vitamin B1], folic acid), turmeric color.

Dentastix Original

Rice Flour, Wheat Starch, Glycerin, Chicken, Gelatin, Gum Arabic, Calcium Carbonate, Cellulose Powder, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Vitamins (Choline Chloride, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin, [Vitamin B2], Pyridoxine Hydrochloride [Vitamin B6], Vitamin D3 Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Alpha Tocopherol Acetate [Vitamin E]), Potassium Sorbate (A Preservative), Zinc Sulfate, Smoke Flavor, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate [Source of Vitamin C], Turmeric, Iron Oxide, Green Tea Extract

Whimzees

Potato Starch, Glycerin, Powdered Cellulose, Lecithin, Dried Yeast, Malt Extract, Sweet Lupine Meal, Alfalfa Extract, Paprika Extract, Calcium Carbonate (*Only M-XL Chews)

Quick View Comparison

BARK BrightGreeniesDentastixWhimzees
Takes multi-step approach to freshen breath✅ 
Uses enzymes to help fight bacteria
Offers monthly subscription service
Offers multiple sizes
Costs as little as $1/day
Vegetarian
Grain-free options✅ (not original flavor)
Contains fewest calories per size
Multiple flavor options
Manufactured in USA
Written by: Elise Remp

February 10, 2022

Toothbrush-free dental care for dogs.

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INNOVATIVE DOG STUFF, EVERY MONTH.

A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.