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Neo's Treat Dispenser

Do you brush your dog's teeth daily? weekly? never?

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I have a BC puppy who's getting his new teeth now.  Want to do it right from the beginning, and wondering what people do out there...

My vet recommends every day and it seems excessive as Neo's diet is almost completely sugar free and consists mostly of plain good quality dog food.

Would love to hear what you do!

 

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Agreeing to respectfully disagree with Smalahunder....I brush all three dogs' teeth every day.  Every. Single. Day.  It is a total PITA.  Don't use human toothpaste (though I have used children's toothbrushes....).

The idea that kibble is crunchy and will automatically clean dogs' teeth is bunk.  Plaque can still form.  Much depends on genetics.  I've had dogs who rarely needed any professional teeth cleaning, and some who needed it almost every other year - and that's with brushing.  Some people use raw meaty bones as part of dog's diet, and swear that keeps their teeth clean.  I can't get good bones, and have one who swallows any huge chunks he can break off - so I just don't do that (though they do eat raw homemade - basically mush!).

I am a FIRM believer that healthy teeth = healthy dogs.  I had one who came to be (age 4) with pretty bad teeth. I brushed, but she continued to develop calculus.   Had them cleaned.  Then at age 8, her incontinence was getting bad.  I had her teeth x-rayed and cleaned by a vet who does ONLY dental work.  After a couple of incisor extractions, her incontinence went away!  (My assessment:  low grade infection circulating in her body all the time affected her bladder.) 

My two cents' worth....

diane

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If the "plain good quality dog food" is kibble then the belief that your dog's diet is "almost completely sugar free" is poppycock.

Almost all commercial kibbles are 50% or more starches and carbohydrates convert to sugar. Therefore you'll get tartar buildup unless you do something to prevent it.

My last three dogs have been completely raw fed. None have ever had nor needed to have their teeth brushed or scaled. One was 6 years old when she came to me and her teeth were atrocious. When the vet told me she needed her teeth cleaned I told her I wanted to wait to see what the diet change would do. She so was amazed at the difference a year later that she's made a point of telling vet students about it and even now 16 years later (and 10 years after she'd moved her practice away from where I live) she still remarks about it when I occasionally see her.

My other dogs, now 13+ (~about 1 1/2 when I adopted him) and 7+ (adopted at 6 months) have never had their perfect teeth cleaned. I swear the vets are disappointed when they see how lovely they are and can't recommend a cleaning to me. :rolleyes:

Some of my friends' kibble fed dogs teeth get brushed, some don't. The only difference is the ones whose teeth get brushed can go longer between cleanings.

If you're going to feed kibble, better than brushing would be to give your dog raw meaty bones a couple times a week. RMBs are bones that are completely edible that have a bit if meat on them, such as turkey necks, deer, lamb or goat ribs, pork feet, etc. Avoid the weight bearing bones (e.g. marrow bones) of large ungulates at all costs unless you want to have to pay for tooth extractions.

 

 

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Nine year old Buddy's teeth have never been brushed, and according to our last vet visit, "His teeth are really clean and don't need any attention."  He eats kibble, and gets Dentastix almost every day.  He also has hard chew toys which I stuff (sometimes with Dentastix) to encourage vigorous chewing.

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My dogs eat kibble, never had any problems with tartar buildup. I think generally the raw feeder's anecdotal narrative is "poppycock" (what a lovely word btw). 

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4 hours ago, Smalahundur said:

I think generally the raw feeder's anecdotal narrative is "poppycock"

Having seen the difference between my dogs' teeth before I started feeding raw and now, I can see a big difference, regardless of your disparagement. As I said in my earlier post, the difference it made in a dog with heavy tartar buildup was significant, and remarked on not only by myself but also my vet.

Scoff all you like, but it's been published that most dogs in the US have gum disease by the time they're 3 years old. At 7 and 13 mine still don't.

 

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1 hour ago, Neo's Treat Dispenser said:

...where does one get good/safe raw meaty bones?...

I get most of mine in case lots from meat wholesalers. Check online or in the Yellow pages under meat - wholesale.

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5 hours ago, GentleLake said:

Having seen the difference between my dogs' teeth before I started feeding raw and now, I can see a big difference, regardless of your disparagement. As I said in my earlier post, the difference it made in a dog with heavy tartar buildup was significant, and remarked on not only by myself but also my vet.

Scoff all you like, but it's been published that most dogs in the US have gum disease by the time they're 3 years old. At 7 and 13 mine still don't.

 

"Most dogs in the US" lead lifestyles very different from mine ( and most likely yours). Most pet dogs for instance are also obese. This makes both our statements about the state of our dog's teeth just anecdotes. Most if not all the claims that raw feeding has beneficial effects compared to kibble (healther, longer lifespan better teeth etc) is just that, anecdotal. Nothing against raw feeding if you prefer it (and know what you are doing) but there is no single shred of evidence it has a significant effect on the health of dogs compared to normal good quality kibble.

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Replying to the OP, i just go to the butcher's where I buy my own meat. My dogs eat kibble but often have a raw meal. I give them half a chicken, chicken and duck frames, turquey necks and wings, cow ribs (I ask for a whole rib, have half the meat trimmed and minced for me to make burgers, and the rest of the meat on the bone is a meal for a dog), etc. But I get the feeling there aren't butchers in the USA, as so many americans seem to have trouble buying raw for their dogs. Do you people buy all your meat in the supermarket, prepacked?

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2 hours ago, teresaserrano said:

...Do you people buy all your meat in the supermarket, prepacked?

For the vast majority of people, pretty much. :(

If the OP is in a larger city, or conversely in a farming community, there might be more butchers to be found. Or smaller suppliers at farmers markets.

Supermarkets may sometimes cut up turkeys to sell in parts, so that wings would be available.

My dogs down chicken legs and backs in about a minute, so not exactly a long lasting chew. :lol:

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35 minutes ago, GentleLake said:

For the vast majority of people, pretty much. :(

That must be so incredibly boring... just the other day I asked my butcher to mince together a pound of liver, two pork hearts and a pound of beef, to make dog treats. I can ask for an organic chicken or a duck and have him  cut off legs, wings and breasts for me and the carcass is for the dogs. There are so many more options at a butcher.

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13 hours ago, teresaserrano said:

Replying to the OP, i just go to the butcher's where I buy my own meat. My dogs eat kibble but often have a raw meal. I give them half a chicken, chicken and duck frames, turquey necks and wings, cow ribs (I ask for a whole rib, have half the meat trimmed and minced for me to make burgers, and the rest of the meat on the bone is a meal for a dog), etc. But I get the feeling there aren't butchers in the USA, as so many americans seem to have trouble buying raw for their dogs. Do you people buy all your meat in the supermarket, prepacked?

The answer is yes, there are no butchers here that I know of... oops, I think that got answered already..

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OP, I'm not far from you, in WA. Are you on FB? There are some good local raw dog food groups, that have some companies and butchers they recommend, as well as just folks who are needing to get rid of freezer burnt meat, etc. 

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Raw bones are digestible. Cooked ones are not.

Most, if not all, of the type you're referring to are the already too dense weight bearing bones I mentioned above, only now the heating has made them even harder and more likely to cause tooth breakage.

I'd also worry about what preservatives they may have used to make them shelf stable for 18 months.

I wouldn't offer them to my dogs if they were given to me free. And chances are they're ridiculously more expensive than the raw ones anyway. :wacko:

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people are probably going to hate on me but i've never ever brushed any of my dogs teeth in my life and i've never ever had any troubles with their teeth

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I have  3 BCs: 13 yo, 10 yo, and 6 yo.  I had a berner who lived almost 10 y and and mutt that lived about 12y.  I never brushed their teeth and they all have/had very good teeth. the seniors 13 and 10 yo, have much better teeth than vets expect.  Perhaps some dogs need  brushing, I don't know.

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My personal dental experience is that my folks never took me to a dentist. No tooth aches, no dentist. I took myself when I was in my mid-thirties, I think. I had 2 cavities and a lot of tartar build-up. The cavities were very, very small. And I've only produced one more in the ensuing years.

When I asked the dentist about it, he said that dental health, like many other things, is vastly influenced by genetics. Somehow, I got the 'healthy dentition' genes. And my 2 siblings got the other kind. Our nutrition was typical 1950s and 60s middle class America .

With no information to back up my opinion, that opinion is that it's quite possible that the dogs who've never had their teeth cleaned and have no dental problems are lucky genetically for that particular trait.

Ruth & Gibbs

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Veterinarian here.

Dental health and the rate of tartar buildup in dogs are largely influenced by genetic factors such as the amount of saliva they produce, enamel strength and how the teeth line up.

Brushing daily with an enzymatic toothpaste absolutely does help.

Raw fed dogs do not magically have perfect teeth.  I see plenty with bad periodontal disease that is invisible unless you take dental X-rays.

Crunchy kibble does not clean your dog's teeth.  If that were true, I could eat lots of ginger snaps and have a perfect mouth.  Not going to happen.

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If that were true, I could eat lots of ginger snaps and have a perfect mouth.  Not going to happen.

Well, I propose we actually test that hypothesis.  I volunteer to be in the "eat lots of ginger snaps" treatment. 

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1 hour ago, Liz P said:

Raw fed dogs do not magically have perfect teeth.  I see plenty with bad periodontal disease that is invisible unless you take dental X-rays.

How do you decide that X-rays are necessary? Are there clinical signs that point to doing that?

Maybe I've just been lucky, but in 20 years of feeding raw my dogs' teeth and gums have appeared to be awesome. None of my vets in that time have ever suggested an X-ray or mentioned anything amiss. I'd like to know how to determine if I'm missing something.

I'm always open to learning all I can. Thanks.

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I did dental radiographs on my own dog because her breath was a bit stinky, plus we were one of the hospitals selected to try out some new test strips that detect periodontal disease in dogs.  Her test strip showed high grade disease despite nearly pristine looking teeth (virtually no tartar and her gums looked pretty normal too).  I was skeptical, but sure enough, when we took pictures, she had bone loss.  She had her teeth cleaned plus had an antibiotic gel injected along her gums.  Since then I've kept up with regular cleaning and antibiotic treatments.

I tell my clients all the time that a visual inspection of the mouth can only go so far.  Too often I've found teeth that looked great were in fact badly infected below the gum line.

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