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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, first post here so be nice :)

We feed our pup a raw food diet and have been giving him bones as a supplement to his usual diet, primarily for teeth cleaning (he has a bad underbite).

We have given him two types of bone so far, femurs and knuckles.

I read knuckles are good for teeth cleaning so recently moved to them.

The problem we are facing is our pup usually loses interest in the bone pretty damn quickly! He will perhaps lick and chew at the meaty part of the bone for an hour or two tops (over a few sittings) but as soon as the meat is off the bone, he ignores it completely, even though it's still covered in juicy fat. He doesn't get his teeth stuck into it like we want him to (to grind away at any plaque on his teeth), he rather just licks and chews the meaty portion until it's gone. It's odd because he absolutely loves his chew sticks and can gnaw on them for weeks.

Is this normal? I was under the impression dogs basically licked a bone raw (and even ate the bone if they were allowed). Is this doing much in terms of cleaning his teeth? Is there anything else we can give him for his teeth or any types of bone that are meatier than others? We're not a big fan of teeth cleaning and since we feed a raw diet it would be nice for him to be able to self maintain his teeth.

We can't keep spending money on bones he gives up on after a couple of sittings (these are huge bones for him too)
 

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It's my understanding that weight bearing bones, like femurs and knuckle bones, are not all that good to feed since dogs can crack teeth on them.

If you are looking for bones to help with teeth stick with ones like turkey neck bones.

Here's a recent thread on which RMBs to feed http://www.dogforum.com/dog-food/these-rmbs-consumable-269514/
 

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Those bones can crack teeth, I'd be very careful with them. And large pieces of meaty bones are good, something he has to chew. Turkey and duck necks, turkey, duck and chicken carcasses, mostly the back sections. I like getting whole birds and cutting them up into portions for each dog. Pork ribs, really all bone in pork. A slab of beef rib bones is good for the front teeth, though my dogs have never been able to eat the whole bone, they love scraping all the meat off and nibbling on the ends. It's not something I do often, but it's a nice treat.
 

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I am assuming you are feeding a commercial pre made food? As far as bones go, you want to feed edible digestable bones, like turkey necks, chicken drumsticks, or pork ribs.

Feeding any weight bearing bones from large animals like cows, including knuckle bones and femurs are really bad about breaking and cracking teeth. Those need to be avoided.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes we are feeding a commercially made raw food diet, which hopefully means he doesn't get much plaque build up anyway.

I do keep reading of the risks of the weight bearing bones, which makes me wonder why they sell them at pet food stores if they're so dangerous. We were actually advised those bones were great by the owner of the store, hence we use them. George doesn't tend to bite down hard on the bones so I'm not too concerned with teeth cracking, he usually just chews the meat on it.

Maybe I'll look for some ribs or necks going forward.
 

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Yes we are feeding a commercially made raw food diet, which hopefully means he doesn't get much plaque build up anyway.

I do keep reading of the risks of the weight bearing bones, which makes me wonder why they sell them at pet food stores if they're so dangerous. We were actually advised those bones were great by the owner of the store, hence we use them. George doesn't tend to bite down hard on the bones so I'm not too concerned with teeth cracking, he usually just chews the meat on it.

Maybe I'll look for some ribs or necks going forward.

Most of the bones you find at pet food stores are bad since not only are they the weight bearing bones, but they are also cooked. ALL cooked bones should be avoided, it does not matter how they were cooked.
 
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Yes we are feeding a commercially made raw food diet, which hopefully means he doesn't get much plaque build up anyway.

I do keep reading of the risks of the weight bearing bones, which makes me wonder why they sell them at pet food stores if they're so dangerous. We were actually advised those bones were great by the owner of the store, hence we use them. George doesn't tend to bite down hard on the bones so I'm not too concerned with teeth cracking, he usually just chews the meat on it.

Maybe I'll look for some ribs or necks going forward.
You will need to feed whole bones for teeth cleaning. Commercial is just ground, and won't clean the teeth.
 

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Yes we are feeding a commercially made raw food diet, which hopefully means he doesn't get much plaque build up anyway.

I do keep reading of the risks of the weight bearing bones, which makes me wonder why they sell them at pet food stores if they're so dangerous. We were actually advised those bones were great by the owner of the store, hence we use them. George doesn't tend to bite down hard on the bones so I'm not too concerned with teeth cracking, he usually just chews the meat on it.

Maybe I'll look for some ribs or necks going forward.
He will still get build up on his teeth from commercial raw. The teeth cleaning benefits come from crunching whole bones.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sorry I'm not sure if I was so clear. The raw food we feed isn't for cleaning his teeth, but I know a raw food diet in general doesn't result in much plaque build up as there is no starchy kibble in his diet. It just meat, ground bones, vegetables, tripe etc., which doesn't tend to stick to teeth like kibble does.. So hopefully he won't get much plaque build up in general.

The bones are not cooked bones, the store is a raw food specialist store and sells a huge variety of frozen raw bones. I just never know what to pick and the owner suggested the weight bearing bones, which is surprising if there is such a risk to the dogs teeth in terms of cracking.
 

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Sorry I'm not sure if I was so clear. The raw food we feed isn't for cleaning his teeth, but I know a raw food diet in general doesn't result in much plaque build up as there is no starchy kibble in his diet. It just meat, ground bones, vegetables, tripe etc., which doesn't tend to stick to teeth like kibble does.. So hopefully he won't get much plaque build up in general.

The bones are not cooked bones, the store is a raw food specialist store and sells a huge variety of frozen raw bones. I just never know what to pick and the owner suggested the weight bearing bones, which is surprising if there is such a risk to the dogs teeth in terms of cracking.
A good balanced raw food diet does not result in much plaque, but a raw diet must include RMB (raw meaty bones). The crunching of bones is what cleans teeth, not the meat/raw aspect. If I fed my dog just raw chicken breast, he probably would have teeth a little better than a kibble-fed dog, but no where near as clean as a dog that gets bones.
 

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I give Molly raw chicken legs,wings and frames 3x a week and brush her teeth every other day day and at 4 years old she has white teeth with no plaque at all.......since she is a very small dog and mostly poodle, (they have notoriously bad teeth) so far we've dodged the bullet with having to have a dental done!
 

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If your goal is significantly reducing plaque, wouldn't daily brushing with a canine toothpaste containing anti-plaque enzymes work best. I can tell you its working for Samantha, its been 4 years, since the Vet cleaned her teeth, and there is no sign of plaque, or discoloration. Vet says they look good and need no intervention.
 

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If your goal is significantly reducing plaque, wouldn't daily brushing with a canine toothpaste containing anti-plaque enzymes work best. I can tell you its working for Samantha, its been 4 years, since the Vet cleaned her teeth, and there is no sign of plaque, or discoloration. Vet says they look good and need no intervention.
Edible raw bones are amazing. I have never brushed my dogs teeth, ever, and none I have had in the last ten years have needed a dental. Bone literally doesn't allow plaque to build in the first place.
 

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I have also been curious about this topic. I hope it's okay to add this on to this thread, instead of starting a new one.

I don't feed my two mini schnauzers raw mostly because their beards will get super messy with raw meat and bacteria and I will have to wash their faces with soap and water twice a day. Also, since schnauzers are highly susceptible to pancreatitis, I worry about not properly controlling the fat content in a raw diet to keep them safe. Were it not for these reasons, I'd be very tempted to try raw.

FYI- I feed honest kitchen for breakfast and a high quality grain-free kibble for dinner (I rotate between Fromm, Orijen, Wellness, Halo, Acana). I supplement with yogurt, pumpkin, baby carrots, and other veggies.

But I am VERY concerned about dental health. I brush daily with virbac CET enzymatic toothpaste, I use a dental additive in their drinking water, and I give them dental chews and other stuff to chew (like bully sticks).

Even still, my 4 year old boy just had a full dental, which included a few extractions. As for my 8 month old boy, every tooth in his mouth is white and clean EXCEPT his upper molars. Even brushing twice a day has not cleaned up his molars.

In light of that, I'm reconsidering raw. My husband is strongly against it for the reasons mentioned above and would never agree to a completely raw diet, but I could possibly talk him into letting them have a meal of RMB once a week. I'm wondering if this would be enough to clean up their teeth? Thoughts? Suggestions? Thanks!
 

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I've fed my Scottie growing up raw, and my mom feeds her Scotties raw as a treat. It's not messy and there is no need to clean their faces after they eat. I know there was also a few schnauzer owners on the raw feeding group I use to be part of.
 

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Turkey and chicken necks are great. We have also done lamb ribs. This may not be the norm ( I haven't met other pet owners in person that feed raw) but my 11 yr old was seen at the vet for wellness and she said his teeth had some buildup/calculus (light/mod on back teeth). I was advised to have him in for a dental within next year. But two weeks after that vet appt. (late sept) I started them on raw and his teeth are looking great! He may have some plaque but no more calculus, that's the stuff that is hard if not impossible to get off without scraping ( typical dental cleaning). I was feeding mostly ground at the time throwing in bone in pieces every so often. Now I feed mostly whole/chunk pieces ( more freezer space, yay!) bone in and boneless. Hoping his teeth get even better! JME Good luck!!
 

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I have also been curious about this topic. I hope it's okay to add this on to this thread, instead of starting a new one.

I don't feed my two mini schnauzers raw mostly because their beards will get super messy with raw meat and bacteria and I will have to wash their faces with soap and water twice a day. Also, since schnauzers are highly susceptible to pancreatitis, I worry about not properly controlling the fat content in a raw diet to keep them safe. Were it not for these reasons, I'd be very tempted to try raw.

FYI- I feed honest kitchen for breakfast and a high quality grain-free kibble for dinner (I rotate between Fromm, Orijen, Wellness, Halo, Acana). I supplement with yogurt, pumpkin, baby carrots, and other veggies.

But I am VERY concerned about dental health. I brush daily with virbac CET enzymatic toothpaste, I use a dental additive in their drinking water, and I give them dental chews and other stuff to chew (like bully sticks).

Even still, my 4 year old boy just had a full dental, which included a few extractions. As for my 8 month old boy, every tooth in his mouth is white and clean EXCEPT his upper molars. Even brushing twice a day has not cleaned up his molars.

In light of that, I'm reconsidering raw. My husband is strongly against it for the reasons mentioned above and would never agree to a completely raw diet, but I could possibly talk him into letting them have a meal of RMB once a week. I'm wondering if this would be enough to clean up their teeth? Thoughts? Suggestions? Thanks!
Interesting, I have been using CET toothpaste, but have had trouble getting lately. Supposed to be available again sometime in March, I'm told. As I said, so far so good, but Samantha is a small breed female, which as I understand tend to have more dental problems.

As far as your question, I'm not sure once a week would be enough, maybe with supplemental brushing daily. Since what you are doing does not seem to be working, what could trying something different hurt. Question, when you started the brushing routine, were his teeth clean, or where you hoping to remove existing plaque and stains? I started the brushing routine with Samantha almost immediately after she had a full dental, after her mouth healed, so maybe its more preventative then restoration.
 

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Laco-

My older boy had a full dental and after he healed up I have brushed his teeth every day and they are completely plaque free.

My younger boy (8 mo) has plaque on the back two upper molars that I'm trying to remove. It started with him having some kind of sore or cut in his mouth which got infected. I discovered this when I was brushing his teeth and there was blood in his mouth. Also, his breath reeked. I took him to the vet and she said to temporarily stop brushing while we do a 10 day antibiotic. The sore/cut healed and bad breath went away in 2-3 days (and has not reoccurred). After the treatment period, we resumed brushing and it was at this time that I noticed a fair amount of plaque on the back molars. It seems that brushing has removed a little bit, but not nearly enough.
 

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I have also been curious about this topic. I hope it's okay to add this on to this thread, instead of starting a new one.

I don't feed my two mini schnauzers raw mostly because their beards will get super messy with raw meat and bacteria and I will have to wash their faces with soap and water twice a day. Also, since schnauzers are highly susceptible to pancreatitis, I worry about not properly controlling the fat content in a raw diet to keep them safe. Were it not for these reasons, I'd be very tempted to try raw.

FYI- I feed honest kitchen for breakfast and a high quality grain-free kibble for dinner (I rotate between Fromm, Orijen, Wellness, Halo, Acana). I supplement with yogurt, pumpkin, baby carrots, and other veggies.

But I am VERY concerned about dental health. I brush daily with virbac CET enzymatic toothpaste, I use a dental additive in their drinking water, and I give them dental chews and other stuff to chew (like bully sticks).

Even still, my 4 year old boy just had a full dental, which included a few extractions. As for my 8 month old boy, every tooth in his mouth is white and clean EXCEPT his upper molars. Even brushing twice a day has not cleaned up his molars.

In light of that, I'm reconsidering raw. My husband is strongly against it for the reasons mentioned above and would never agree to a completely raw diet, but I could possibly talk him into letting them have a meal of RMB once a week. I'm wondering if this would be enough to clean up their teeth? Thoughts? Suggestions? Thanks!
The fat content is much easier to control in raw than kibble. Kibble is is full of sugar, starch, carbs AND added fat as well. There is no fixed amount of fat in kibble. Kibblr fed dogs are much more likely to have to deal with pancreatic problems than rae Fed. With raw, you can 100% control the fat content.
 

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I switched my Airedale from shank bones to water buffloo horns , he was braking large pieces of bone off with sharp edges these where raw cow bones
the buffalo horns he knorrs on for hours at a time and only bracks off small digestible pieces
 
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