Monday, May 8, 2017

What is the Most Affordable Daily Dental Treat?

I recently posted about Bright Bites daily dental treats, which had me pondering the actual cost of feeding dental treats every day. Little things like that really add up! I love collecting data, so I took a tour of the major online retailers to see how much, or how little, it would cost to feed my dogs a daily dental treat every day.

The Criteria
Photo by Erin Koski

For the purpose of comparison, I chose to include only products that were both marketed and packaged for daily use. Though I can find many individually-wrapped dental treats at my local pet stores, I only included those that could also be purchased in a larger quantity. Few people are going to buy 30 individually-wrapped Bright Bites for the month, but plenty will buy four bags of 8. A company that sells a bunch of dental chews in one bag is definitely taking that "daily dental care" thing seriously.

I also chose to specifically compare products intended for a size range that included both of my girls. So most of these are labeled for medium or regular-sized dogs. Sisci Godzilla weighs 28 pounds, and Zip weighs 36 pounds.

The Results


The absolute cheapest dental chew marketed for daily use is Dingo Dental Sticks, at 17-cents each if you buy the bag of 48 sticks on Amazon. The next cheapest is Purina's DentaLife treats at 23-cents each if you buy the package of 40, followed by Pedigree DentaStix, Purina Beneful Healthy Smile Dental Twists, and Milkbone Brushing Chews, ranging from $0.33 to $0.41 per chew. Yes, these are all grocery-store brands, mostly made from by-products. I expected them to all be made in China, but surprisingly all but the Dingo treats are made in the USA.


Greenies makes the classic daily dental chew, before them I don't remember anything being marketed for daily use like that. Their price point is right in the middle of the pack at $0.81 per regular-sized chew in a package of 36. Bright Bites were slightly more expensive at #1 per chew, along with KaNoodles and Ilio TeethTreats.


Every time I see Cloud Star's Dynamo Dog dental chews I am horrified by the price. In the largest package sold, these things will set you back a whopping $2.31 per bone. Yes, they are grain-free and potato-free, but they would also cost $70 per month to feed on a daily basis. Yikes!


Pretty much all of the dental treats (with one freakishly expensive exception) are made from wheat, rice, potato, rawhide, or a combination of these. Many of the more affordable ones are made with chicken by-products as well. I decided beforehand that my personal standards for a dental chew product was that it had to be made in the USA without by-products. I expected the least expensive daily dental chew that met these standards to be somewhere in the middle of the price range. 

Nope! It's Pedigree DentaStix, the third from the bottom at $0.33 per chew. Made in the USA. No by-products. Crazy.

I was also very surprised to see Missing Link's Once Daily dental chew towards the cheap end of the spectrum. This product also contains a daily dose of Missing Link's skin and coat supplement, and somehow it's only $0.52 per chew. I had dismissed the idea of daily dental chews as being too expensive, but it looks like they can be surprisingly affordable!

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