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!