Some people believe that keeping dogs teeth clean without dentistry…well this is simply not true! Not only can it be dangerous to keep putting your dog under sedation to get the teeth scaled but your dog’s teeth are a another story on what bigger health issues are actually happening. When a dog isn’t getting their nutritional needs met or absorption of nutrients like Calcium and Magnesium aren’t good the dog will pull these minerals out of their OWN bones and teeth in desperation. Over time this weakens the teeth and they start to have issues.
The other problem is proper bacterial balance within the mouth…feeding kibble and high carb (grains) or starch diets (even peas/potatoes/sweet potatoes) can disturb the balance in the mouth and cause tartar build up.
So what can be done? Well firstly diet is VERY important..if we don’t have the right diet – we’ll still have dental issues. An organic (preferred) raw meat/bone/organ meat/healthy fats/some veggies/fruits is ideal in my opinion. Small amounts of starchy veggies like peas/squashes are fine but should not be over done. BONES are key…we want bones that the dog can eat to get the calcium and magnesium from – meat is high in phosphorus so that in itself can cause leaching from bones and teeth to bring the ratio to good standing within the body for the calcium, magnesium, phosphorus ratio.
You can either feed meaty bones like chicken wings, legs, turkey legs, necks, beef necks, chicken backs, lamb/goat ribs there are many examples. You always want to feed a meat + bone (ex. turkey leg) in size that is bigger than the dog’s head or ability to swallow whole to prevent chocking. Always supervise your dog while they eat their bones! And never feed bones cooked…cooked bones shard and splinter causing tearing of the intestines – raw bones do not do this.
Secondly, give raw beef marrow bones (soup bones) few times a week…these bones can’t be chewed (weight bearing hard bones) for eating…but they can be used to help clean the teeth! They are an excellent way for the tartar to be removed.
Next you can try a raw full carrot or broccoli stem – some dogs love to chew on these and they are good at cleaning the teeth as well.
Antlers and cow hooves can be good too but make sure it is from a good source – nothing that has been treated with chemicals.
Also allowing your dog to play with sticks and removing bark from wood (most (untreated) fire logs are fine just be careful of any with Cherry wood which can be toxic) is a good way to clean the teeth.
There are many dog chews on the market but I don’t believe in most of them as they are treated with chemicals or are a choking hazard or both. Raw hide are a good example on both of these issues – something I never give my dogs. I also don’t like Dentabones or Dental cookies for cleaning teeth…those and kibble in general do not help clean the teeth – this is a myth!
If your dog can’t chew bones you can try to help ‘brush’ your dog’s teeth by simply wrapping your index finger with gauze and dipping into coconut oil mixed with 1 capsule of probiotic. You can also add a bit of wheatgrass juice to the coconut oil – the chlorophyll has some gum healing properties as well as kills bad bacteria.
Adding Vitamin C to your dog’s diet is also important. Vitamin C deficiency can often show up as bleeding gums and poor teeth.
Adding Apple Cider Vinegar to their food is also very helpful for making those teeth white again.
The way to keep your dog’s teeth clean is to make sure you give the right diet and to give things that will help physically descale the tartar off as they chew. It isn’t hard actually and it is very doable. Going to the Vet to have the teeth scraped is only a band-aid to a bigger health issue that will come up later on and will be more serious than tooth loss.
No body system functions by itself everything is interconnected and plays a role. Each symptoms is telling us a story of something not being quite right and gives us an opportunity to fix things – only getting the teeth forcefully cleaned without fixing the underlying cause will not help your dog in the long run.