Even easier are treats made specifically for cleaning your pet’s teeth, and these can be effective on both dogs and cats. The chewing of these specially formulated treats can help reduce the buildup of saliva, bacteria and food on the teeth. They are also great for reducing plaque and tartar. They’re even helpful for dogs and cats that have swollen, bleeding, or irritated gums, and, like the other products mentioned, another byproduct is fresher breath. Most dental chews are made of harder material than typical dog treats, since they work by scraping tartar and plaque off teeth when the dog or cat is chewing on them. Like most dog and cat treats, too much of a good thing can lead to an overweight pet, so don’t exceed the manufacturer’s recommendation. While dental chews are quite effective, they aren’t a substitute for regular dental cleaning. Consult your veterinarian for more information.