What’s In Pedigree Dentastix?

Pedigree claim that ‘Dentastix is recommended by vets…’ but if vets really knew what’s actually in Dentastix would they recommend them?  And if you knew, would you feed them to your dog?

Hidden ingredients…

In the UK dog treat and dog food manufacturers don’t have to list the individual ingredients and can list them by category e.g. ‘meat and animal derivatives’, ‘oils and fats’ and ‘cereals’.  This means that lots of ingredients are hidden and often dog owners don’t actually know what they’re feeding their dog. 

The categories of ingredients in Dentastix…

Cereals: A blanket term for different types of grains.  It’s impossible to know what types of grains are in Dentastix or the quality of those grains.

Derivatives of vegetable origin: there’s no way of knowing what the ingredients are.  The vagueness of this term also allows Pedigree to change the Dentastix formula from one batch to another depending on what vegetable products are available at the time.

Meat and animal derivatives: these could be anything from any animal including heads, feet, guts, lungs, hair, and feathers.  Pedigree can change the Dentastix recipe depending on what’s available or cheapest.   

Minerals (including 2.3% sodium tripolyphosphate): Sodium Tripolyphosphate (E451) is an artificial preservative which, according to Wikipedia, is a component of commercial detergents, antifreeze and flame retardants. 

Oils and fats: this broad term covers all fats and oils from plants and animals.  It could refer to beneficial oils or high-quality animal fats, or it could refer to low grade, potentially harmful or highly processed oils.  Because it’s impossible to know what oils or fats are included in Dentastix, it’s best to assume the worst. 

We don’t know how many ingredients are in Dentastix, there could be hundreds! And we don’t know exactly what’s in the sticks, there could be numerous dangerous and unhealthy ingredients in them.  It’s impossible to say just by looking at the packet.

Dentastix could be adding to your dog’s dental problems!

The biggest category of ingredients in Dentastix is ‘cereals’ which is likely to include simple carbohydrates such as corn or wheat.  Did you know that carbohydrates are turned into sugar by a dog’s body which can cause cavities and bad breath?  These are the very things that Dentastix are supposed to prevent…

How do Dentastix clean your dog’s teeth?

The active ingredient, the chemical ingredient which cleans your dog’s teeth, is sodium tripolyphosphate.  Each Dentastix only contains  2.3% sodium tripolyphosphate which means 97.7% of the ingredients aren’t actually helping to clean your dog’s teeth and some of the ingredients e.g. cereals might be causing more harm than good.  

The majority of the tooth and gum cleaning action is down to the shape, not the ingredients.

So, every time your dog chews on a Dentastix she’s ingesting at least one chemical ingredient and loads of unknown ingredients that are either causing dental problems such as bad breath or doing nothing at all to help…

Look for simple, natural ingredients

Now that you’ve read the above info, I’m hoping that you’ll never feed another Dentastix to your dog ever again.  The next step is to determine what a high-quality dental chew should be made of.  The answer is easy – it should contain simple, wholesome, natural ingredients and have some texture that contacts with the teeth.

Here are my recommendations:

1. Choose chews where you know all the ingredients i.e. avoid those that only provide categories of ingredients

2. Avoid chews containing additives, preservatives and artificial colours and flavours

3. Choose chews made with few ingredients

4. Choose chews that are hard so that your dog has to really chew to eat them. The chewing and scraping motion cleans the teeth

5. Choose chews made from an animal part such as bone, tendon or antler

6. Grass-fed meat and raw bones are great choices!

7. Always supervise your dog’s chewing

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