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How To Clean Your Dog's Teeth The Easiest Way? - Have Them Do It Themselves by Chewing!

Updated on September 21, 2012
Teeth of a 10 year old dog fed exclusively raw meaty bones to clean their teeth.
Teeth of a 10 year old dog fed exclusively raw meaty bones to clean their teeth.

Healthy Teeth = Healthy Body

Healthy teeth are the foundation to excellent health both in ourselves and in our canine friends.

Brushing your dogs teeth is a true act of love, and I commend you for putting in time with the toothbrush and beef flavor toothpaste. However, in most cases this act of love is not necessary.

Having worked in a doggy daycare for many years, as you can imagine I have seen my fair share of pearly and not so pearly whites, and I have noticed a very distinct trend. All the dogs with the cleanest teeth are all given fresh raw meaty bones to chew on a regular basis.

As the owner of a 10 year old dog myself I can confirm that this to be true. I have never gone down the beef toothpaste route but I have always given her raw meaty bones to chew on and to this date she doesn't have a scrap of tartar on her teeth.

Where to start you ask yourself? Well its easy, just follow a few easy pointers.

It is always best to give your dog non-weight bearing bones to chew on. Weight bearing bones are the strongest bones of an animal (think how strong a cow's legs must be to hold up its body weight) so remember your dog is going to have to chew extra hard to get through them.

Marrow bones, whilst cheap and tempting to buy with all their oozy goodness inside are weight bearing bones. My dog cracked her carnassial tooth on one of these, that was a painful and expensive lesson learnt. Always choose non weight bearing bones.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to bones, try out a few and see what your dog likes most. Start with something simple and with a protein that your dog has had before such as beef neck bones. If that digests well try something else such as lamb tail, turkey, chicken (just makes sure these smaller bones are chewed well and not swallowed whole) goat, kangaroo tail, venison, rabbit and the list goes on.

Top Tips For Feeding Meaty Bones.

  • Start slowly, you don't want to overwhelm your dog's system with a new food, the results will not be pretty
  • It is best to feed bones outside when possible, however, if you are not able to do this don't give up, just lay down a towel or blanket inside and have your dog eat the bone on that instead. Throw the towel into the washer for easy clean up.
  • Don't give a too small bone to a too big dog! You want to make sure all bones are chewed thoroughly before being swallowed.
  • Always feed meaty bones raw, never cooked. Cooking will soften the bone making them liable to splinter causing potentially serious internal injury. If your dog is a gulper try holding the bones whilst your dog chews them to teach them what to do.
  • Practice good hygiene, especially if you have children. It's a good idea to give your dog's paws and even mouth a wipe after a bone chewing session, especially if they have a tendency to give you kisses or if they hold the bone between their paws whilst chewing it.
  • The more meat, muscle and tendon a bone has on it the better. All these things act like toothbrush bristles and dental floss making your dogs teeth nice and clean, the natural way.

If you are still wary to give your dog raw meaty bones then there are other natural chews available that will help keep the teeth clean. Just make sure that the chews you give your dog are as natural as possible and don't contain yucky stuff like corn syrup and sugars. These things are just going to sit on your dogs teeth creating tartar build-up. Some good products are linked on the right.


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    • Willow the Wisp profile image

      Willow the Wisp 5 years ago

      Thanks Maria.

      Its never to late to start trying to improve the health of your dogs teeth. Even if you only give a couple of raw bones a week you will probably notice quite a positive difference in their overall oral cleanliness. Built up plaque will start to come off.

    • Maria Cecilia profile image

      Maria Cecilia 5 years ago from Philippines

      Good hub, I should have started giving my dogs raw bones when they were younger, but still hesitated on feeding them raw...but I really would like to clean my dog's teeth regularly.... voted up...