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"We just seldom see the so called inevitable diseases in our patients, when we can get the owners to raise their pets on their natural foods."

Marty Goldstein, DVM;
Robert Goldstein, VMD;
H. Robertson, DVM;
Richard J. Kearns, DVM

Located in Calgary, AB
Proudly Canadian

Calgary Based Locally Owned and Operated Pet Stores

Raw Bones Promote Dental Health


The Truth About Pet FoodsThe old expression reigns true: "For goodness sake give your dog a bone!"

Studies have shown that 85% of dogs and 70% of cats over age three have gingivitis. [1]

The resulting infections from advancing periodontal disease can enter the blood stream and affect internal organs including the heart, liver and kidneys. What's more, just as it is with humans, poor dental hygiene and its consequences have significant effects on life quality and span. [2]

Recreational bone chewing provides a natural mechanism for cleaning teeth while satisfying the urge to chew. Raw bones, tendons and other raw meaty bones come in all shapes and sizes for all dogs in size ranging from miniature to giant breeds.

One important note to mention regarding raw bones is that they must be given raw! Boiling or broiling bones causes them to become dry and brittle, allowing them to splinter and increasing the risk of intestinal perforations or blockages.

Raw bones are alive with strong nutritional value that cooking would alter and destroy. Raw bones are loaded with natural vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids that contribute to good health.

The grinding action of bones provides a scraping action on teeth while tendons and cartilage act as a natural dental floss.

There is a misconception out there that dry kibble is effective at cleaning teeth. Certainly we can agree that dry kibble causes more abrasion than a canned food would, but think of it this way, would crunching on chips everyday keep your teeth clean? Certainly not!

What happens when we eat a cookie? When the starches present become wet, they become sticky and get trapped between your teeth and under your gumline. Gingivitis and periodontal disease begin under the gum line.

Some "oral care" dry foods add fillers like cellulose, decrease starches and add mineral analogues to help, but it is not enough. When wild canines and felines eat raw prey, they rip and tear at the flesh, grind bone, chew cartilage and tendons - these naturally provide a cleaning action.

More importantly, their natural diet contains no starches or sugar. Since the move away from a natural diet by the introduction of dry kibble and canned food 70 years ago, the incidence of general, and oral health problems have skyrocketed.

If you are new to raw meaty bones, now is a great time to try! You will be surprised at how much poochy enjoys them! In addition to being extremely healthy, they are critical to replace nutrients destroyed and otherwise not present in dried processed foods.

Drop by our pet store to find out more on how to get started and see our other dental products. We have an extensive selection of raw bones, tendons and natural chews in our freezer!

Some general guidelines to follow include:

- Choose appropriate sized pieces according to your dogs size.

- Avoid chicken necks if your dog has a tendency to swallow pieces whole.

- Weight bearing bones such as femurs or knuckles can be very hard and dense with marrow. Alternatives to these include ribs, necks, tendons, chicken wings and backs.

- And as with any chew just be sure to keep a supervised eye on poochy. Likewise take away any that become small enough to swallow or break apart.

An exerpt from Veterinarian Tom Lonsdale's website, on a comment by Dr. Tom Hungerford:

'Rightly or wrongly, I regard the feeding of raw bones daily as being one critical factor in the health of dogs. Why is this? The crunching of the bones may clean the teeth. The enormous dental pressures of crunching bones may cause great circulatory changes in the jaws and gums.

The primitive euphoria generated by the crunching of bones is obvious. To tease my dogs and take away their food is nothing, but to tease them and take away the bones causes a very definite reaction. The canine joy of crunching up bones is a daily feature of exhilaration and well-being which may have a bearing upon their immuno-competence and their immune system.' [2]

Next Article: The Best and Worst Pet Foods: Ranked from Best to Disastrous

Previous Article: How to Figure Out Pet Food Labels




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