Stop Killing Your Pet: The Top 5 Ways — #5 Feed ‘Em Raw Bones!
You remember those gleaming white teeth your kitten or pup came into the world with? The ones that almost glowed, they were so clean and bright?
Take a good look at those adult cat or dog teeth today. Go ahead, raise the lip and pull it back on both sides. What do you see?
If they still look that white, you are doing something right! And if they don’t, you need not necessarily head for the dentistry that’s so widely recommended by Dr. WhiteCoat. There is a natural method you can use to turn this around. Dogs (and cats) can get their teeth cleaning at home, on the cheap. With a whole host of side benefits.
Vital Animal, Healthy Teeth
February is National Pet Dental Health Month. You can imagine the focus of that, right?
“Get your pet in for a full dental exam!” and “Your dog needs regular teeth cleaning for best health,” “Brush Your Pet’s Teeth!” blah blah blah.
I’ve noticed Dr. WhiteCoat’s push into dentistry paralleling your awareness that yearly vaccinations are not a good thing. Coincidence? Loss of income propelling this? I often get to offer second opinions on teeth cleanings in new patients, and they come in looking pretty clean. I usually advise raw bones and waiting on these guys.
I also see amazing teeth coming into my clinic, and the owners of these animals usually have one common reason:
“We feed raw bones. Regularly.”
Wag. Purrrrr. Smile.
Any Examples to Follow?
As usual, we need to look to the ancestors of our dogs and cats to learn what works for healthy teeth. Wolves and lynx live with strong, white teeth, free of tartar, bad breath, or tooth decay.
Their “wild tooth brush?” Raw bones in their prey. Daily “brushing,” with a substance very similar to the substance of their teeth.
While you’re prompted by Dr. WhiteCoat to get the toothbrush out regularly, I submit you’ll do far better following the wild ancestors’ example and providing raw bones, at least 3 days a week.
Hard Food Important?
Ever hear this logic? That dental disease is due to feeding soft foods, so there’s nothing polishing up those pearly whites? So, kibble is really the best food after all?
As you found out in No Kibble for Kitty!, kibble is stuck together with starch, the simple carbohydrates that feed mouth bacteria, big players in tooth and gum disease. “Grain free” fads aside, kibble won’t be kibble without some kind of carbs gluing the meat into chunky pieces.
Check your labels. Potato, tapioca, sweet potato, and pea are all common carbs in grain free fad foods. And they all contribute to dental disease.
Q: How much carb does a wolf eat? Or a lynx? (That’s who we’re feeding, right?)
A: Little to none.
The best hard food is the natural raw bone. No downsides to it. Oh, the myth of splinters and perforated intestines? I don’t buy it.
Raw Bones, The Why
- Best dog and cat “toothbrush,” ever.
- Anesthetic-free dentals for pets
- Source of available, digestible calcium for strong bones and teeth.
- Calcium and phosphorus ratios are perfect.
- Great pacifiers, gives your dog “a job.”
Raw Bone Benefits:
- Clean teeth, healthy gums.
- Bad breath is unheard of with regular raw bone feeding.
- Lower cost and safer than Dr. WhiteCoat’s anesthetic cleaning.
- Strong teeth, strong bones. Fractures of either less likely.
- Balanced nutrition, especially if meat is prominent in your dog’s diet.
- Gives Fido something to do beside worry or bug you.
I’ve written more on the subject, including how you can transition to feeding raw bones safely, on this page.
Finding Raw Bones
It’s more difficult to find raw bones than it used to be. Butchers don’t work in grocery stores any more. But check for deer processing places (in Winter, especially) and small, local butchers. If they haven’t been “discovered” yet by other pet owners seeking natural cat or dog teeth cleaning, you’ve scored. They may give them to you if you tell them what you’re up to.
You can do so much good for your pets’ health by regularly feeding raw bones. And for such a small investment of time and money. Don’t wait. Get started today!
Let us know if you’ve found a good source or had any trouble feeding bones in the comments. Admittedly, getting cats interested is harder. Let us know if you’ve found tricks that work for your pride. One I know for certain: feed them at room temp, not chilled. More smell = more acceptance, especially by your cat.