When it comes to taking care of our pets, dental hygiene should always be on your list to tackle, but did you know that most dental sticks on the market for dogs could actually be doing more harm than good? Read on to see the warnings and side effects they could be causing.


Bacon causes cancer, cow’s milk causes acne and gluten causes IBS. Our Facebook feeds constantly plug us with information on which foods we should avoid. The same is true for dogs, yet they remain hidden in one of the UK’s most popular products. Here’s #TheDentastixTruth

No Meat Derivatives

We believe in transparency with all our ingredient labels. Our Dental Sticks contain tasty chicken liver packed with nutrients. You won't find any meat derivatives (which can vary from batch to batch) in our treats or food.

Natural Ingredients

Our Dental Sticks contain natural functional ingredients including hemp, sage, mint and superfood spirulina to provide additional health benefits, alongside keeping your pooch's dental needs in check.

Recipe Transparency

We don't use terms like 'cereal' which doesn't explain the type or quality of grain used, and can cause problems for dogs with sensitive digestion or food intolerances. Our Dental Sticks contain high quality wholewheat rice and oats so you know exactly what your dog is eating.

No artificial flavours, colours or preservatives

We rely on the knowledge of top nutritionists to create a tasty product made with healthy quality ingredients that your pooch loves, no junk or nasties.


When we investigated Dentastix and their ingredients, we noticed there was a massive difference between the UK label and the US label systems. US Food & Drug Administration (FDA), who governs US pet food labelling advises "proper listing of all the ingredients in the product in order from most to least, based on weight”.

However, the regulations in the UK are unfortunately much less restrictive. In the UK, pet food manufacturers don't have to list specific ingredients which leaves a lot of 'hidden' ingredients. According to the Food Safety Agency (FSA) this practice "allows for fluctuations in the supply of the raw materials used and provides flexibility for labelling ingredients”. This makes life very easy for the big corporate pet food manufacturer, but leaves consumers confused and in the dark.

Not Just A Dental Stick

Vet-approved these tasty Dental Sticks are not only shaped to clean deep between teeth preventing plaque from building up, they're also supplemented with SHMP (sodium hexametaphosphate) which is used by human dentists to prevent tartar formation and staining.

A convenient way to clean your dog's teeth daily, available in 2 flavours to boost their diet with natural functional ingredients and help maintain optimal health:

Hemp & Sage for calming utilises the power of natural stress relieving ingredient hemp to help calm anxious or excitable pooches

Spirulina & Mint for optimal health contains a superfood complex with powerful phytonutrients and antioxidants to aid immunity and support overall wellness

Potassium Sorbate used as preservative

E202 Potassium Sorbate’s primary function in the pet food world is as a preservative, its chemical name is more commonly known as E202. It works to reduce the growth of bacteria but is also a damaging skin, eye and respiratory tract irritant in dogs (18). Studies have shown that this E-number causes irreversible damage to blood cells, has a negative effect on immunity and has genotoxic (cancer-causing) characteristics (19,20) in humans alone.
Sodium Tripolyphopshate (STPP) or E451 as it is more commonly known is the ingredient in Dentastix that carries out all of the teeth cleaning action. However, it is well known as an offender in the ‘hidden ingredients’ tactics used by big food companies. STPP is used in dog food products as an artificial preservative, known chemically to help thicken mixtures (15). In studies on dogs, E451 caused a decrease in iron content in the bone, liver and spleen plus emesis (vomiting) [16].
STPP can also be found in household detergents, water softeners and tanning agents (17).
This flavouring is made from spraying smoke fire with water, and turning this into a liquid (5,6). What’s frightening for pet owners are the links between this ingredient and cancer risk. Of the further testing on Smoke Flavorings by the EFSA in 2011, 73% were given “safety concerns” (7,8,9). In particular for the flavouring named AM01, “genotoxicity could not be ruled out” (7,8) by the scientific study panel. By definition, genotoxic is “a substance known to cause mutations which can result in cancer” (10).
Mars, the confectionery company who also in charge of Pedigree Oral Care do rule out the exclusion of the mutagenic additive AM01 in their Dentastix ingredients list (see below), yet they recommend that we feed this to our family pets every day. Furthermore, Smoke Flavour does not give any nutritional value to a product (7). Why do we need to use additives known to cause pain and suffering in what are meant to be ‘treats’ for our family pets?
Iron Oxide is a known skin and eye irritant that causes lung inflammation (11). This red food colouring is very cleverly hidden on Dentastix labels as a ‘mineral supplement’. In addition to Smoke Flavor, there are now recent concerns about the genotoxicity (cancer) risk posed by Iron Oxide (12). Dentastix makers at Pedigree state ingredients are “included for a specific purpose and provide a benefit to the dog”(13). However, there are contradictory studies that show Iron Oxide has no nutritional benefit in a dog’s digestive system (12).
Natural Poultry Flavor is made from animal digest that has not yet undergone decomposition or rotting. The ‘digest’ is chemically treated with heat, acids and enzymes to produce the final concentrated flavour found in Dentastix. When you read between the lines on your current pet food labels, you may find that the end product does not contain any real or fresh meat at all. This clever trick used by big pet food manufacturers means that only a small amount of ‘chicken digest’ is needed to make a ‘chicken flavoured dog treat’ (14). As a ‘complementary’ product for your dog, pet food manufacturers do not have to ensure that Dental Chews contain any minimum percentage of real meat.
According to the Pet Food Manufacturing Association, ‘Meat and Animal Derivatives’ can come from leftover meat cuts such as lungs, claws, and heads (1) that aren’t sold in UK supermarkets. Controlled by EU law, the label on your pet food can still be confusing. This allows suppliers to change what meat types (beef, pork, shellfish, rabbit [2] etc.) goes into your dog’s treats – without telling you. This can create a whole range problems for owners that have a dog with allergies.
Beef is one of the UK’s most common allergies in dogs (3). Yet the current pet food labelling legislation allows this important information to be hidden from owners.
How can you know if your dog’s runny poo’s or itchy paws are related to their daily dental sticks when you don’t know what’s in them in the first place? Instead, most of the big-name brands like Mars (Pedigree) can only guarantee up to 4% meat in their dental sticks (4). This type of behaviour from companies that call themselves nutritionists would not be acceptable for your children, and we don’t think this is acceptable for our pets either.

Protects Teeth & Gums

with natural functional ingredients like mint & sage


to give you peace of mind that you're doing right by your pooch

Anti Plaque & Tartar

supplemented with SHMP for effective results


Keep your dog's teeth clean and overall health in shape with a vet-approved Dental Stick

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