Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Product Review: Purina Dentastix

Normally, I steer clear of the "grocery store brand" dog foods and treats.  However, I don't exactly brush Elka's teeth, and I've noticed in some pictures, and in person, that she's got some tartar buildup on her molars.  I've heard about how expensive vet dentistry could be, so I went to the pet aisle at Wal Mart.

I've heard that enzymatic chews can be a good way to go, because you aren't necessarily relying upon "chew action" to remove the buildup, but rather a combination of the enzymes and the chewing.  The Pedigree ones don't appear to be enzymatic (none of them did, actually. I'll have to look online for that, if the problem persists).  The Dentastix were cheap enough, though, and are 7 to a package, so even if they didn't really "work", Elka was almost sure to enjoy the treats anyway, and my money wouldn't be totally wasted.

As anticipated, Elka took a Dentastix (Dentastick?) readily enough and made off with it.  In not much time at all, it was entirely gone, she was licking her chops, and looking around to see if she'd dropped any pieces.  Well, I thought.  This isn't going to do anything at all, is it?

I've given her one once a day anyway, for the sake of it.  It occupies her for that little while, anyway, and she sure loves getting treats!

It looks as though they might actually work.  Also, perusal of the ingredients list shows that they aren't as full of junk as I thought they might be.  Towards the end, they contain "smoke flavor", which I suspect might be unnecessary, and "Green Tea Extract", which I don't know what has to do with clean teeth, but there isn't any sugar, isn't any by-product. Many of the ingredients are, in fact, vitamins.  So, though many Pedigree treats are sugary junk, and while the food almost certainly is, I'm willing to give the Dentastix a hesitant thumbs-up.  I'm not a nutritionist, after all, doggie or otherwise.  Also, as it turns out, it's surprisingly difficult to take a picture of your dog's teeth.  I would prop Elka's gums open with one hand, get the camera aimed with the other, and the delay on the digital camera would get me nearly every time!


  1. Jen, I'm so glad that you posted about this! I've noticed a similar problem with Claire - and I can't figure out why she's all of a sudden having plaque build-up, since she doesn't eat any sugar or ingredients that are bad for her! But anyway, someone recommended Greenies, but when I checked out their ingredients, there's corn and by-products, and... lots of crap. I'll have to check out DentaStix now though! Thank you!!

  2. Granted, the first two Dentastix ingredients are Rice Flour and Wheat Starch, but no corn (unless I missed it) no sugar. The "no sugar" is a big deal for me, I really don't need to sugar up my Doberman.

    Happy to be helpful!

  3. Thanks for trying this. I never tried more than one stick as I expected they would need to chew on it some more. But I will give it a try and give my dogs one or two a day and see if it helps.

  4. Elka has completed the bad by this point (7 stix, at 1 a day or so. We skipped a day for a buffalo part), and I'm reasonably happy with the effects they've had on her molars. Depending on where you get them, they price might not be worth it, and it would just be better to get something like bully sticks or raw bones for dental health, as the chewing process it more intense and it keeps them busy longer!

  5. Leila is quite young and does not have a problem with tartar build up yet, but these sticks are amazing! Every time we go to the Vet they comment on home beautiful her teeth look. I was even accused of whitening her teeth! I have been giving her these sticks pretty much daily for the past few months and have been pretty impressed with them.

  6. I used up the bag and haven't bought another one yet (and have those Canine Caviar buffalo sticks still), but I'm definitely thinking about it. I was very pleased with the effects just the one bag had!

    Doggie Tooth Whitener, that'll be the next thing Crest comes out with ;)

  7. Does anyone know where Dentastix are manufactured? The package does not say made in USA and only lists it's USA distributor. I don't give our dog anything made in China or outside the US, but I can't seem to get a straight answer.