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    PeterDobias.com / Blog / Health Knowledge

    The right raw bones can save your dog's teeth and thousands in dental care

    By Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM

    Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM has 30 years of experience as a veterinarian. His love of dogs and passion for natural healing and nutrition led him to writing, teaching and helping people create health naturally, without drugs, chemicals and processed food.

    Why big bones aren't best

    FIFTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS! “Are you kidding me?!” 

    This is one of the most common replies when my clients see a quote for a broken tooth repair from a dog dentist. Yes, repairing a dental fracture can be very expensive. That is why reading this blog post may save you lots of money.

    What  you need to know to reduce the risk

    Avoid feeding beef, buffalo or bison shank bones. They are often harder than dog's teeth. Most dogs will simply get carried away chewing on a large bone and may crack one of their teeth. This is how a two dollar marrow bone can turn into a painful and very expensive adventure.

    I already hear some of you protesting: “But my dog loves big bones!! He likes to work at the bone marrow!”

    Solving the dilemma

    In reality, nature intended canines to hunt for birds, rodents, rabbits, goats and perhaps deer. Most dogs simply would not dare to come even close to a buffalo or a cow. With the exception of a pack of hungry Chihuahuas, most dogs simply do not like hanging on to the ankle of an angry bull.

    The right sized bones can be very beneficial

    However, if you want to avoid regular dental cleaning under anesthesia, the right sized  bones can save Fido a lot of dental trouble and save you tons of money. I usually  recommend feeding lamb or goat bones twice a week. The abrasive action of these hard, but not too thick, bones is perfect for keeping your dog's teeth shiny without the risk of dental fractures.

    Why I do not recommend junky dental bones

    Many companies  have come up with alternatives to dental bones. However, most of them are ineffective and loaded with artificial preservatives, wheat, starches and ingredients of questionable origin.

    Real bones are the best option!

    What to do if you discover a fractured tooth?

    Since my clients have learned about feeding the right bones, the number of fractured teeth has dropped sharply. However, no matter what you do, your dog can crack a tooth by munching on a rock or having an accident of some sort.

    I remember Roz, a German Shepherd that chased a ball and tried to catch it mid-air. Unfortunately, she missed the ball and bit a big cement block instead. She fractured several teeth and needed a medical attention.

    The rule of thumb is if you can, you should repair it. If a veterinary dentist is available in your area, he will give you the right suggestion. Many general practitioners have also suitable dental equipment, however, some over-prescribe extractions because they are not trained to do root canals.

    Also, if a tooth is removed, the opposing one is usually affected by increased tartar build-up and gum disease. It will frequently be lost a few months or a year later.

    Timely response is important

    The sooner you can get the fractured tooth examined the better because a freshly fractured tooth can regenerate and stay alive by applying a cement cap. In most fractures, older than a few  days, a root canal is most likely needed and sometimes an extraction may be the only solution.

    Summary
    1. Raw bones are safe to feed.
    2. Never feed cooked or smoked bones because they are hard and indigestible. 
    3. Feed the bones of medium-sized animals for optimal and safe cleaning effect.
    4. Large beef, buffalo and other large bones are too hard and can cause dental fractures.
    5. Raw chicken bones are safe to eat but, too soft to clean teeth.
    6. It is ok for a dog to eat bone fragments. The stomach acids dissolve them and aid complete dissolution and digestion.
    7. Fractured teeth should be restored if possible.
    8. Raw dental bones should be fed one to two times a week.

    Product Reference

    Items referenced in this article.

    Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM has 30 years of experience as a veterinarian. He graduated as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1988 in the Czech Republic and obtained the Canadian Certificate of Qualification in 1995. He is currently licensed in the European Union, and his unique approach to healing and nutrition helps holistically minded dog lovers worldwide.

    Dr. Dobias strongly believes that disease prevention, natural nutrition and supplements, the right exercise and a drug free approach to medicine can add years to your dog's life.

    As a formulator of his all-natural vitamin and supplement line and co-inventor of natural, chemical free flea and tick control, FleaHex® and TickHex® his unique healing system and products currently hold the highest independent five star customer rating. For more information click here.

    Any general recommendations that Dr. Dobias makes are not a substitute for the appropriate veterinary care and are for informational and educational purposes only.

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