Dogs not only need, but deserve a variety of foods.
Choosing things to chomp on for dental health
The right fresh raw bones or raw fruits & vegetables are essential for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. It's not just about helping keep teeth clean, dogs need to exercise their teeth and gums to keep them in good health. It is important to have fresh bones to grind and chomp on. If they don’t use them, they risk losing them.
Like human teeth, it is important to not allow plaque build up. Although bones, fruit & vegetables help with the actual cleaning of teeth by rubbing plaque away, the best way to clean canine teeth is brushing, just like we do. I can appreciate that it is near impossible for most people to brush their dog’s teeth, so I recommend the next best thing - give them fresh bones and /or certain fruits (apple) & vegetables (carrot) and even rubber bones for dogs that cannot tolerate meat proteins. It is the rubbing action that helps remove plaque.
The hidden repercussions of dental diseases can include liver and kidney disease, heart and lung issues, and upset stomachs, not to mention terrible breathe.
To quote Doctor Tom Lonsdale from his book, ‘Raw Meaty Bones’…
“Nowadays periodontal disease fascinates me but I must admit that until I was twenty years of age I remained oblivious to the existence of the condition. My first introduction occurred during a lecture at the Royal Veterinary College, London. Robert Churchill-Frost, the lecturer, had an easy manner, a sense of irony and an ability to make things seem simple. And in the case of this student he certainly did impart a simple understanding. I don’t believe the words ‘periodontal disease’ were employed. As I recall, Churchill-Frost set the scene and described the origin, diagnosis and treatment in a single sentence. ‘Once poodles reach about six years of age it is necessary to perform dental treatments, and thereafter every six months.’ Even to me with my minimalist approach this seemed a brief description, but there was no pressure to enquire further.”
Different bones suit different dogs so be sure to do your research. Look for bones that are soft enough to be broken down and eventually swallowed. Giving dogs big unbreakable bones can wear down their teeth early and cause problems. I recommend giving your dog something to grind on every 1-2 days. You can even insert Augustine’s SuperFood into bones or toys and keep your dog busy for hours.
There is a myth that raw bones are bad for dogs. Rawhide and things alike are much more dangerous. Not only can dogs choke on the pieces, they can get sick because the stuff is indigestible. Bones, on the other hand, get softened up fairly quickly in a dog’s stomach because they have strong digestive enzymes made for the purpose. There is always a possibility that a dog will choke on a piece of bone, especially if it’s small and they try to swallow it whole. But they can choke on anything. We just need to keep an eye on our dogs to make sure they’re safe. Canines have teeth made for ripping raw meat and jaws made for crunching raw bones. It’s natural for them.
It is also a myth that dogs will get salmonella from fresh raw meat and don’t worry about raw eggs. In fact, raw eggs are great for dogs. Eggs provide great nutrients, including Omega 3 & 6.
Generally dogs that consume raw bones or fruit & vegetetables do not need to have their anal glands expressed. The bone component of the diet firms feces, which naturally squeezes the anal glands with every bowel movement. With a cooked, processed, grain based diet, the feces remains soft, allowing anal secretions to build up. This condition can result in unnecessary, painful compaction and possible rupture of the glands.