Dry Dog Food and the Myth of Cleaner Teeth


Imagine going to your dentist and being told to forget using your toothbrush — because all you really need for good dental health is to simply eat a few crunchy tortilla chips every day.

The Truth About Dry Dog Food and Dental HealthAnd like magic, your teeth will be sparkling clean.

Sound absurd?

Well, that’s what most of us have been told about the nearly magical tooth-cleaning power of dry dog food.

Is this true? Or not?

To answer that question, let’s take a quick look at the facts.

Why Tooth Debris
Is So Difficult to Remove

There are three kinds of dental debris…

  • Food particles
  • Plaque
  • Calculus (tartar)

Food particles are easy to remove. However, plaque and tartar are different.

Plaque is the sticky biofilm that adheres tightly to every tooth surface. It requires physical scrubbing to remove.

And once cleaned away, plaque can quickly return in just 24 hours.

Left along the gumline long enough, plaque slowly turns into a rock-hard, barnacle-like crust referred to as calculus — also know as tartar.

Plaque is what you remove with your toothbrush. Tartar is the hard stuff your dentist scrapes away when you get your teeth cleaned.

Dry Dog Food Could Contribute to Dental Problems

Sure, crunchy kibble can remove some of the plaque near the tops of a dog’s teeth. But it can also be ineffective within the critical zone near the gumline.

And that’s where plaque and tartar cause their most harm — decay (cavities) and gum disease.

Even industry regulators look the other way when products claim to cleanse or whiten teeth. They simply avoid the issue altogether by labeling these marketing claims as “not objectionable”1.

In fact, since most kibbles contain a higher percentage of refined carbohydrates, dry dog foods could ultimately increase plaque and tartar levels — and thus cause more dental problems than they supposedly prevent.

In a nutshell…

Dry dog foods do not necessarily produce healthier teeth and gums

So, when choosing between canned or dry dog food, it’s OK to choose kibble. However, don’t choose it based solely on the assumption it’s better for your dog’s teeth.

A Much Better Way
to Clean Your Dog’s Teeth

Although it’s not perfect, there’s a simple and more natural way to improve a dog’s dental health without resorting to less effective kibble.

And that’s using raw meaty bones.

Because of their mildly abrasive texture and their ability to flex around the teeth, raw meaty bones can help remove dental plaque.

These bones (typically from poultry) are generally considered safe and digestible for most dogs.

However, because they can splinter, never use cooked bones of any kind. And for the same reasons, avoid weight bearing leg bones from larger animals.

In addition, although the risk is small, uncooked meat can carry bacteria that can be hazardous to both pets and humans. So, use caution and common sense when handling these natural tooth-cleaning treats.

The Most Reliable Way
to Prevent Dental Disease in Dogs

The only scientifically proven way to decrease plaque and tartar is the same for dogs as it is for humans — daily brushing combined with routine tartar removal by a health professional.

Brushing Dogs TeethOf course, anyone who has tried it already knows: brushing a dog’s teeth can be one of the most challenging tasks of pet ownership you can undertake.

Unfortunately, without daily home care and professional cleanings, canine dental disease could be a real possibility.

So, if you decide to give it a try, use a baby-soft toothbrush. And maybe one of those food-flavored canine toothpastes. You could be adding years of better health to your dog’s life.


  1. Official Publication 2008 Edition, Association of American Feed Control Officials, p. 128
  • anon101

    http://skeptvet.com/Blog/2011/10/dry-pet-food-and-dental-disease-in-dogs-and-cats/ (excerpt below, click on link for full article and comments)
    In addition to brushing, and especially for those pets that do not tolerate it, there are innumerable products marketed for preventing periodontal disease. Most of these have little to no supporting evidence for their claims. Whenever considering using one of these products, it is useful to look for the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) seal of approval. The VOHC is an independent organization which requires reasonably rigorous, scientific evidence demonstrating efficacy in preventing plaque (which is most important) and calculus accumulation (which is somewhat less useful in preventing periodontal disease) in order to obtain their seal. Such products, including oral rinses and gels, treats, and chews, are not a substitute for brushing or regular veterinary prevention and treatment measures. But there is good reason to believe that if they have obtained VOHC approval then they have some value.

  • S.C.

    I have been using a product called Plaque Off. This stuff is great! I found it on Amazon. It really helped their teeth (small breeds age 3 and 6). The plaque is way less. It’s a little powder like substance (some kind of seaweed derivative?) that you mix in their food once a day. The only caution is don’t use with an animal having thyroid issues.
    You can also rub dog toothpaste on a braided rope or some kind of rubbery toy/bone that they chew on.

  • s.black

    kibble is the worst thing to feed a dog or a cat….wish that I had know these facts many years ago…http://www.littlebigcat.com/nutrition/why-dry-food-is-bad-for-cats-and-dogs/

  • Juan

    I do it while sleeping. After exercise is best. I started putting the toothpaste in my finger and using it as toothbrush.

  • Amateria

    Probably the only time that wouldn’t work is when your dog hates having your hands near her face and would prefer to shred your hand with her teeth instead :p

  • Jeffrey Blattman

    Buy some flavored dog toothpaste. Your dog will look forward to the brushings.

  • Elaina Eakle

    You could also try putting something on you fingers that tastes good to her, and let her get used to you putting your fingers in her mouth. After she’s tolerant of that, put toothpaste on your fingers, giving her a treat after, gradually working your way up to using the toothbrush, followed by treats immediately after each brushing. Good luck 🙂

  • Cannoli

    Tire your dog out first. Go play hard or jog or fetch with your dog until their tongue is sticking out and they want to lay down. A tired dog is a submissive dog.

    I have brush my dog’s teeth starting at the age of 8 weeks but there are times he doesn’t want me to do it. So I take him out for exercise. Once my pup is tired he easily lets me open his mouth and brush his teeth.

  • Azul

    Get some of her favorite small treats. Let smell/see that you have them. Brush for a few seconds, and give her a treat. Once she makes the positive association between brushing and treats, you should be able to get her used to it.

  • mahoraner niall

    how do i brush my big dogs teeth without her turning her head, running away, hiding, or biting?
    i have tried when shes just sitting on her bed, awake and up, sleeping, etc
    also i have tried just simply holding her collar, not holding her, holding her between my legs gently, sitting next to her.

    I really am lost

    i also have tried a regular and finger brush

  • tinyhawks

    As a trainer, I suggest getting puppies used to tooth brushing very early using classical conditioning. You can use a finger brush at first. A few strokes of the brush followed by a tasty treat. Do it randomly at different times and different locations. (You want tooth brushing to predict the treat, not the other way around.)

  • Linda G.

    The pH argument is only true if the kibble contains high amounts of grain which requires an alkaline environment to be digested while meat requires an acidic environment. If you feed a high-quality grain-free kibble based on meat protein and not plant protein, this is not an issue.

  • Deb Boswell

    I give my dogs trachea chews on a daily basis. http://www.bestbullysticks.com sells bags of trachea chips that I think may be a good option for smaller dogs.

  • aimee

    Too funny right! As soon as I hit post it hit me “Drat I forgot to attach the picture!” and edit doesn’t allow you to add a pic after posting.. at least not that I saw.

  • Shawna

    Didn’t read through all of this but — I never said it didn’t also inhibit pH. In fact, my very FIRST post states this very same thing – when the pH gets too acidic there is a “negative feedback loop”.

  • Hi aimee

    “This will be my final post on the subject.”


  • aimee

    forgot the pic..

  • aimee

    Hi Shawna,
    As el doctor already posted, the protein in the meal as it is being digested buffers the stomach acid as it is being secreted.

    Take a look at the diagram that I’ll attach. It starts with a picture of food in the stomach and the caption is : “Ingested food buffers stomach acid” the next step is “elevated pH stimulates G cells” followed by “G cells secrete gastrin” then “gastrin stimulates chief cells and parietal cells” ; “chief cells secrete pepsinogen and “parietal cells secrete HCL”

    Next the HCl converts pepsinogen to pepsin and pepsin digests dietary protein. Then there is a picture of partially digested proteins and two leads away from it.1. oligopeptides stimulate G cells and 2 oligopeptides and amino acids buffer stomach acid which leads back to elevated pH stimulates G cells.

    Hopefully you can finally see that protein buffers the secreted stomach acid.

    You continue to post information that protein stimulates gastric secretions in a dose related effect but the story doesn’t end there because the acid that is secreted is also buffered in a dose related effect.and there are other factors that influence gastric secretions.

    Ok so now lets look at some actual pH measurements. in response to protein meals.

    I’m not understanding this comment “The chart you provided demonstrates the same thing as it shows levels
    throughout the entire day (14 hours actually) not for the individual
    meal -”

    The chart posts pH’s through the consumption of 4 individual meals over a 14 hour period.

    Let’s start with the high protein group. The gastric pH before eating was about 1.9 for the high protein group. Note the little shaded square at the top of the chart that denotes the intake of a high protein meal. The first meal was consumed from 8:00-8:30. Note the immediate elevation of pH to ~2.7. This is the buffering effect of the ingested food on the pH. Now we start the positive feed back loop for gastric secretion as in the diagram. As the stomach acid is released the pH gradually lowers and by about 11 o clock the pH is about 1.5. We are now roughly 3 hours post meal. At about noon the next high protein meal is ingested.and the pH suddenly increases to over 3 due to the buffering effect of the food. The pH then gradually decreases again to about 1.59 at 3pm. At 3 pm another meal is consumed.. but this meal is smaller denoted by the smaller square. The pH again raises but not as high as there is less food taken in to buffer the acid. So the pH raises to about 2.1 and the lowest pH of 1.49 is recorded sooner than the other meals because there was less food to buffer the secreted acid. The next meal is consumed at about 6pm and once again the pH suddenly raises as the ingested food buffers the stomach acid followed once again by a gradual decrease in pH to a low of 1.58 about 3 hours after eating.

    Now let’s look at the high carbohydrate meal data. Starting pH at first meal ~1.68 and increases to ~2.4 after meal consumption then pH decreases throughout digestion to about 1.55 when the next meal is consumed. pH suddenly raises with meal ingestion to ~2.5 then decreases over the next 3 hours to about 1.53 when the smaller of the four meals was ingested. The pH raises to about 1.9 and then decrease to about 1.54 when the final meal was consumed. The pH suddenly raises to about 2.1 then falls to about 1.6..

    Taken all together after each high protein meal the immediate gastric pH was always higher with the high protein meal. This likely reflects the greater buffering effect of protein.

    The lowest pH’s for the protein meals were ~ 1.5, 1.59, 1.49 and 1.58. And the lowest pH’s for the high carb meals were ~ 1.55, 1.53, 1.54 and 1.6.

    As these are averages there may not be a significant difference between the high protein meals and the high carb meals in regards to pH’s

    If your statement was true than the pH’s of the group eating the high carb meal should all be significantly higher than the high protein meals but that isn’t what is seen.

    Going back to the earlier posted data. The lowest pH after eating 9 grams of protein was 1.35. Double the protein meal to 18 grams protein and the lowest pH was higher at 1.55. Tripling the protein content to 27 grams and the pH was the same as it was when 9 grams protein was consumed..1.35

    Looking at both groups of data there is no correlation between amounts of protein ingested and subsequent pH’s. The data doesn’t support your statement that “The ph of the stomach is directly related to the amount of protein (as well as moisture and certain other nutrients) in the diet.” and I’ve yet to see such a statement ever printed in a physiology discussion of gastric pH.

    This will be my final post on the subject.

  • theBCnut

    You rock!!!

  • el doctor

    Hi Shawna

    You said;

    “I would agree that protein also has a buffering affect. Note “following meals” not during digestion.”

    The below quote shows that protein buffers the pH of the stomach, as it enters.

    “as protein enters the stomach, it binds to hydrogen ions, which raises the pH of the stomach from around pH 2.0-3.5 to pH 4.0 or higher. (Note: acids are defined by the number of H+ ions they hold in a solution. Thus, binding H+ ions makes a solution more alkaline.) As the pH climbs, inhibition of gastrin and HCl secretion is lifted. This triggers G cells to release more gastrin, which in turn stimulates parietal cells to secrete more HCl.”


  • Shawna

    I would agree that protein also has a buffering affect. Note “following meals” not during digestion.
    “Protein stimulates gastric acid more than carbohydrates and fat, however, there is also evidence that high protein may result in lower gastric and duodenal acidity following meals.61 Whether this effect is due to satiety induced by the high protein is unknown.” Handbook of Nutrition and Food https://books.google.com/books?id=ysrzdCPc4dAC&pg=PA1176&lpg=PA1176&dq=stimulating+effects+of+various+foods+on+gastric-acid+secretion&source=bl&ots=NVI5EdlvnD&sig=lT-5HxtD4kZgEH5ldXAubrStFbg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi–rfuqIXKAhUM62MKHX0iB9Y4ChDoAQgbMAA#v=onepage&q=stimulating%20effects%20of%20various%20foods%20on%20gastric-acid%20secretion&f=false

    The chart you provided demonstrates the same thing as it shows levels throughout the entire day (14 hours actually) not for the individual meal – “Mean pH of gastric content after diets high in carbohydrate or protein at different times of day in 14 patients with duodenol ulcer”

    That very same article you clipped the chart from goes on to say this (bolded emphasis mine) “Increasing the weight of meat meals produced
    a dose-related increase in acid output from the
    pouch in three dogs as shown in Figure 13
    (12).” Page 1013

    The type of protein also plays a role — same article as your chart, page 1015 – “lean beef” created higher acid output than did gluten protein. FIG 15 http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/42/5/1006.long

    Also “Pepsin displays optimal activity at pH 2.0 maintained by gastric secretion of hydrochloric acid…. Because pepsin is most active when the cat or dog has ingested collogen, it’s activity is more important for initiating the digestion of meat rather than vegetable protein.”

    Please don’t assume or conclude that my lack of participation in these discussions is due to inadequate data to support my comments.

  • aimee

    I’m sorry that you took my reply to you as condescending. That wasn’t how it was meant for it to be. I meant to convey that I don’t want this discussion to monopolize your time.

    I don’t disagree that dietary protein stimulates gastric secretions or that gastric secretions alter pH. But based on that I can’t conclude that gastric pH is directly related to the amount of protein in the diet.

    I can’t conclude this because there are other factors besides dietary protein that influence gastric secretion and because protein is reported to be a strong buffer. When something buffers something you can add acid to it and still have the same pH. In other words pH doesn’t decrease simply because you added acid to something.

    And when I look at the numbers I don’t see a direct relationship.

    27 gram protein meal …. ~pH 1.35
    18 gram protein meal…..~pH1.55
    9 gram protein meal …….~pH 1.35

    I’ll attach another graph. The meals are simply labeled high protein and high carbohydrate. You can see that the pH’s are not directly related to the protein content

  • Shawna

    “Gastric secretion is influenced by the amount of protein in a meal….”

    Doesn’t gastric secretion, especially, HCI, alter the pH of the stomach?

    “Understanding Pathophysiology – ANZ adaptation”

    “A high concentration of hydrochloric acid allows the stomach pH to be as low as 2 or 3 (a low pH is due to a high amount of acid).” https://books.google.com/books?id=ahQzRTTc0lgC&pg=PT3176&lpg=PT3176&dq=gastric+secretion+alters+stomach+ph&source=bl&ots=uOSLm1okdh&sig=NRcZC_YUPzznl-_uvMUsZvG4rFY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjvtdHx14TKAhVO22MKHbipBb4Q6AEISTAG#v=onepage&q=gastric%20secretion%20alters%20stomach%20ph&f=false

    Hydrochloric acid is released not to digest the food but to activate pepsinogen into protein digesting enzyme pepsin. http://study.com/academy/lesson/physiology-of-the-stomach-and-gastric-juices.html

    You can be as condescending as you want but I stand by my statement.

  • aimee


    I never questioned that there is a positive feedback loop between peptides and acid secretion or that “Gastric secretion is influenced by the amount of protein in a meal”

    What I questioned and asked for conformation for and what you keep ignoring is support for this statement: “The ph of the stomach is directly related to the amount of protein (as
    well as moisture and certain other nutrients) in the diet.

    You a have not provided any pH data! There is no pH data in the Berkeley link or any other link you posted.

    The only pH data in this thread is the data I posted and that didn’t support your statement.

    Yes protein stimulates acid secretion, it also buffers acid and is only one factor in a complex system

    I think you just misspoke when you said “The pH of the stomach….” and you have no data to support the statement … and that’s fine.. just say so…. no biggie.

  • Shawna

    Since I had already linked the Berkeley data regarding the positive feedback loop between acid and protein I was left to conclude your question pertained more to this part of your statement “and “other nutrients” What are the other nutrients?”

    For the record though — National Research Council “Nutrient Requirements of Dog and Cat” page 7 — “Gastric secretion is influenced by the amount of protein in a meal….”

  • aimee


    You posted “The ph of the stomach is directly related to the amount of protein (as
    well as moisture and certain other nutrients) in the diet.”

    I asked for data to support that statement ,”a link in which gastric pH was measured and shown to be directly
    correlated to the amount of protein and moisture and “other nutrients””
    in the diet.”

    How that would look to me is x grams of protein were fed and the pH was a. When 2x grams protein were fed the pH was b when 3x grams protein was fed the pH was c. The data would then establish that a relationship exists between x and a, b and c.

    I read your post as saying that the gastric pH of a meal with x grams protein will be higher than the pH of a meal with 2x grams protein and a meal with 3x grams protein would be lower yet. I don’t think such a direct relationship exists.

  • Shawna

    Please spell out exactly what you are wanting.

  • aimee


    I never asked for information on “potassium’s role in hydrochloric acid production”

    I asked you for “a link in which gastric pH was measured and shown to be directly correlated to the amount of protein and moisture and “other nutrients”” in the diet.

    The reason I can not find the data in the locations you told me to look is because it isn’t there. You sent me to the wrong location

    The reason I verify before posting is that relying on memory of past conversations can be fraught with error. I believe that to be the case in this situation.

  • Shawna

    Okay, guess I best go find it then.. 🙂 Didn’t take that long thanks to Google. It usually doesn’t take me that long but I will choose when and if not be demanded of it (not talking about you).

    Here’s your comment

    “ETA: Oh and if the stomach isn’t producing enough HCl, it may be a potassium deficiency. Go figure!” http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/choosing-dog-food/canned-or-dry-dog-food/#comment-1787850152

  • theBCnut

    I don’t even remember, and alas, the computer I was using then is long gone. I do remember that I was actually looking for info on if/how the body knows how much of which pancreatic enzyme to secrete.

  • Shawna

    “BC actually found the data and posted it.”

    I’ll keep it in mind that I shouldn’t post information that others have found, and I read but didn’t bookmark, because I didn’t refind the original data. I told you where I found the original data, not really my problem that you can’t locate it. I actually find it very difficult based on the information I provided, potassium, that you can’t find the data yourself. A REALLY QUICK — when I had time, google search “potassium’s role in hydrochloric acid production” gave me adequate information to post here. I actually am quite certain you could have done that yourself which leads me to wonder why you insist I provide this data for you?

  • aimee


    I think where we differ is that before I post a statement I verify it. I do so because I desire to only post information that is accurate. In the event that someone then asks for conformation regarding something I post it is not an issue to provide it.

    If you post before verifying the information you are posting is accurate when someone asks for a reference it becomes problematic and time consuming as you now have to go looking for something that agrees with what you said. Doing it this away also risks that you post incorrect information.

  • LabsRawesome

    Definetly astroturfer. 🙂

  • Shawna

    It’s unfortunate that you don’t know me better than that after all these years. Oh well

    Later I did find information on potassium’s role in production of HCI but I’m not going to be goaded into these never ending, get nowhere discussions when I don’t have the time to do so (which is often now).
    I recently watched a TedTV talk about “astroturfers” and whether you are or not, you do act like one which makes me realize (and I should have LONG ago) that it is a losing battle for me so…

  • Storm’s Mom

    aimee, why do you keep twisting Shawna’s words?! She said she didn’t have the time or desire to track down the link, that’s all. You’re now assuming and inferring that she doesn’t have a general desire to make sure the information that she posts is correct?! Seems hugely unfair to her.

  • aimee

    Hi Shawna,
    How unfortunate that you don’t have a desire to make sure the information you post is correct.

    BCnut posts are private and I didn’t find anything in any of your posts to support that statement.

    I did however find data for subjects who were fed either every 2 hours or 4 hours while gastric pH was monitored.

    In the 4 hour group the protein content of the meals was 27grams, 26 grams, 9 grams and 25 grams.

    The lowest pH’s recorded post eating were ~1.37 in all cases. The pH when fed the low protein offering was achieved much quicker and was of longer duration than when more protein was fed.

    In the 2 hour fed group the protein contents were 18,10, 20, 7, 9,18 and 7. The ~lowest pH for the 18 and 20 gram meals was 1.6 while the ~lowest pH for each of the lower protein meals was 1.4-1.45.

    So for this study the lower protein meals had similar or lower pH than the higher protein meals.

    Now granted this study was in people but you didn’t specify that what you said was dog specific and since you are unable to post any data to support what you wrote I find it safe to say that the statement is incorrect.

  • aimee

    Hi el doctor,

    In regards to the protein levels in average kibble and average raw diet..If the the raw diet is commercial product there may not be as much difference as one would think.

    In regards to fat…fatty acids in the duodenum feed back negatively on gastric acid secretion. Not sure what the overall effect would be though. Just that it has been “tapped” in the checks and balances of acid secretion http://highered.mheducation.com/olcweb/cgi/pluginpop.cgi?it=swf::535::535::/sites/dl/free/0072437316/120105/anim0037.swf::Three%20Phases%20of%20Gastric%20Secretion

    Ok.. I should have seen that you were referring to buffering effects of food. I think this is what they are referring to as the microenvironment and the protective effect of food on enteric pathogens. Here’s a link to one such paper. http://aem.asm.org/content/64/10/3882.full

    Here is a link to Finley’s paper http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1716752/

    Totally agree with this “making it difficult, if not impossible to know what is exactly going on
    and to be able to see a complete and unified picture of the digestive
    process.” It is very complex which is why I cringe inwardly at statements of absolutes… far too many variables at work.

    I’ll post a reply to Shawna in the next day or two in regards to her comment that protein is directly related to pH with some pH measurements in people after eating various diets.

  • Shawna

    Nope, don’t have the time nor desire to do that but BCnut and I had discussed this awhile back. BC actually found the data and posted it. Maybe you can search back through my or BC’s posts.

  • el doctor

    Hi aimee

    Thanks for all that info!

    “It isn’t clear to me if you are assuming that a raw diet is a high protein diet in comparison to a kibble diet.”

    I was assuming that the average raw diet has a higher protein content than the average kibble. What are your thoughts on this?

    “Something that hasn’t been mentioned is that fat has a negative feedback on stomach acid production. If we look at fat levels for the same diets.”

    I have read that fat (and carbohydrates) have no effect on stomach acid production.

    “In regards to bacteria though I’d see the overall pH being of more importance than the amount of acid secreted. I do not understand what you mean by the acid binding to amino acids.”

    This is what I meant;

    “as protein enters the stomach, it binds to hydrogen ions, which raises the pH of the stomach from around pH 2.0-3.5 to pH 4.0 or higher. (Note: acids are defined by the number of H+ ions they hold in a solution. Thus, binding H+ ions makes a solution more alkaline.) As the pH climbs, inhibition of gastrin and HCl secretion is lifted. This triggers G cells to release more gastrin, which in turn stimulates parietal cells to secrete more HCl.”


    “Interestingly, I read a paper in which protein and fat are protective in regards to kill rate. It has to do with the micro environment present. In the presence of low pH the bacteria survive. Apparently if you eat a contaminated meal you may be more likely to get ill than if you were exposed to the same number of bacteria “straight up””

    That is interesting ;), can you please provide a link?

    “When Finley et el fed dogs a single raw meal which was contaminated with Salmonella nearly 1/2 shed Salmonella. So I don’t see that feeding a meal as a sole raw meal is protective for food borne pathogens.”

    I would like to look at that study also, before I can come to any conclusions or opinions.

    “You said ” I would NOT recommend that you mix kibble and raw in the same meal.”

    But if you are basing this on the premise of protein and acid secretion than wouldn’t you have to conclude that sometimes mixing raw with kibble would be advantageous since the protein contents on some kibbles are much higher than some raw diets and by mixing the two you’d have more protein intake?”

    Protein content is one of the factors of my recommendation, I believe (though I may be wrong) that the avg raw meal has more protein than the avg kibble meal.

    I also worry that the texture and hardness of the kibble, even if higher protein, could affect the neutralization of bacteria in the raw, but I do assume a higher protein content for the raw.

    I also factor in the unknown. We both read studies and see data that shows conflicting results or compares different aspects of the digestive process in people and in dogs, making it difficult, if not impossible to know what is exactly going on and to be able to see a complete and unified picture of the digestive process.

    Finally, I look at worst case scenarios and I come to the conclusion that there is more of a possibility of harm from mixing raw and kibble in the same meal than there is from feeding raw and kibble separately.

    Oh yeah, there is my personal bias that one should probably not feed kibble at all 😉

    aimee, than you for your input, you and Shawna have sparked my interest in this subject, which provides another piece in the puzzle towards my quest to figure out “what is the best diet” for our canine companions.

  • theBCnut

    My laptop hard drive crashed and I lost all my bookmarked stuff and the stuff the guy that worked on my computer loaded won’t let me mark more than about 5 things. It’s driving me crazy to have to do a search for everything.

  • aimee

    This statement “The ph of the stomach is directly related to the amount of protein (as well as moisture and certain other nutrients) in the diet.” seems much too simplistic.

    Can you provide a link in which gastric pH was measured and shown to be directly correlated to the amount of protein and moisture and “other nutrients” What are the other nutrients?

  • aimee

    Hi el doctor,

    It isn’t clear to me if you are assuming that a raw diet is a high protein diet in comparison to a kibble diet. It may or may not be.

    The protein content in grams/100 kcals for the kibble I have fed are : 7.8 grams, 10.4 grams 9.3 grams, 10.1 grams and 8.6 grams.

    And here are some raw chicken based protein levels/100 kcals. I used Northwest Naturals. Natures Variety, Primal, Darwins and Answers.

    6.2 grams, 6.7 grams, 8.6 grams 8.9 grams and 8.6 grams

    Average protein from kibble 9.24 grams/100 kcals and average from raw 7.8 grams/100 kcals.

    Now granted that I do try to choose kibble with a higher protein/100 kcals for Brooke so to put it in perspective Beneful is 7.05 grams/100kcals. You can see that some of the raw diets have less protein than Beneful.

    Something that hasn’t been mentioned is that fat has a negative feedback on stomach acid production. If we look at fat levels for the same diets.

    Kibble: 2.4 grams, 2.7 grams, 2.5 grams 3.4 grams and 3.4 grams/100kcals

    Raw: 7.2 grams. 6.2 grams, 5.1 grams, 7.5 grams and 6.2 grams /100kcals

    Avg fat kibble 2.9 grams/100 kcals
    Avg fat raw 6.4 grams/100kcals

    How all of this plays out in a biological system is anyone’s guess.

    In regards to bacteria though I’d see the overall pH being of more importance than the amount of acid secreted. I do not understand what you mean by the acid binding to amino acids.

    Interestingly, I read a paper in which protein and fat are protective in regards to kill rate. It has to do with the micro environment present. In the presence of low pH the bacteria survive. Apparently if you eat a contaminated meal you may be more likely to get ill than if you were exposed to the same number of bacteria “straight up”

    When Finley et el fed dogs a single raw meal which was contaminated with Salmonella nearly 1/2 shed Salmonella. So I don’t see that feeding a meal as a sole raw meal is protective for food borne pathogens.

    You said ” I would NOT recommend that you mix kibble and raw in the same meal.”

    But if you are basing this on the premise of protein and acid secretion than wouldn’t you have to conclude that sometimes mixing raw with kibble would be advantageous since the protein contents on some kibbles are much higher than some raw diets and by mixing the two you’d have more protein intake?

  • aimee

    I probably have hundreds of “bookmarks” the problem is that the browser they are in doesn’t always open!

  • Shawna

    I’m kinda late to the party. The ph of the stomach is directly related to the amount of protein (as well as moisture and certain other nutrients) in the diet.

    “Chemical digestion of protein begins in the stomach. The lining of the stomach produces a mixture of fluids called gastric juice in response to neural stimulation (induced by smell, site and taste of food), by distension of the stomach as food enters, and by pH changes induced as the more neutral pH food enters the acidic stomach. Gastric juice contains a number of substances, but the two most important for initiating protein digestion are hydrochoric acid (HCl) and the protease pepsin. HCl is secreted by parietal cells in the gastric mucosa. The low pH (~2) of the gastric juice aids protein digestion in a couple of ways. First, the low pH denatures the tertiary structures of ingested protein, making them easier to digest enzymatically. Secondly, the low pH is required for the activation of pepsin. Pepsin is produced by chief cells of the gastric mucosa in an inactive (zymogenic) form called pepsinogen. Pepsinogen is inactive when released in the gastric pits, but once it diffuses into the lumen of the stomach the acidic conditions enable it to have a weak proteolytic activity (Fig 11.3). Pepsinogen can digest some ingested protein, but more importantly pepsinogen molecules will partially digest one another, removing inhibitory segments of the polypeptide chain and thus converting each other into the fully active enzyme pepsin. Pepsin breaks peptide bonds between amino acids with hydrophobic side chains in the middle of polypeptides, thus it cleaves long polypeptides into shorter polypeptides.” http://www.indiana.edu/~nimsmsf/P215/p215notes/LabManual/Lab12.pdf

    The more protein in the food, the more HCl and the more pepsin. Although it does make perfect sense to not add kibble to a raw diet, it also makes perfect sense to add raw to a kibble fed diet.

  • Melissa Ross

    I brush my dogs teeth a few times a week and give her a dental treat every day but i recently noticed one of her teeth has started to go brown near the gum. What more can i do. I do feed her kibble. The horizon pulsar fish formula. And she gets only natural organic vegan treats. Any advice would be helpful!

  • el doctor

    Hi Zoe Claire

    The pH of a dog’s stomach may not vary much between a kibble meal or a raw meal, but that’s only part of the picture.

    The protein content of a meal will affect how much stomach acid is secreted, the more protein there is, the more stomach acid that’s released. Carbohydrates and fat have less of an effect on the AMOUNT of stomach acid released.

    Once that stomach acid is released, protein, especially amino acids will bind to the acid faster than either carbohydrate or fat (very simplified explanation of what’s actually going on).

    So even though the overall pH may not vary that much between a kibble meal and a high protein raw meal, there is MORE acid being secreted in the high protein meal.

    What concerns me about mixing kibble and high protein raw in the same meal is the effect this will have on the bacteria that is present in the raw meal. Will it be as completely destroyed in a meal mixed with kibble as in a meal that is primarily raw meat.

    I’m not aware of any studies that address these questions and to be honest, I don’t want to see these types of studies done on dogs. The reason being, the dogs used in these studies are usually killed at the conclusion.

    So based on the data I have seen and my concerns over the bacteria issue, I would NOT recommend that you mix kibble and raw in the same meal.

    Here’s a link to the book “Handbook of Nutrition and Food, Third Edition”, chapter 62, “Nutrition and the Gastrointestinal Tract”.


  • theBCnut

    Thanks aimee! I just don’t have the time that I used to, to find things and I never was that good about saving links. My current computer can only handle about 5 favorites, pitiful, and I have no desire to start creating documents just to save the hundreds of links I read. I really appreciate it.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi Zoe Claire,

    I feed raw & kibble/canned, but I feed them in 2 separate meals. I do this due to my schedule and the fact that I have large & multiple dogs. However, here’s some interesting information regarding raw and kibble digestion from a raw feeding group that seems to support feeding the 2 together:


  • aimee

    Hi Zoe Claire,

    So that you don’t have to look through my older posts to find information on Gastric pH I’ll repost some of it here.

    There is a lot of variation in the literature in regards to pH. This can be due to variations between dogs, testing methods and meal composition. Another factor is that often only the average pH are reported and this may not reflect actual pH’s of the subjects tested.

    In the past when people have posted that the pH is different in kibble fed vs raw fed dogs they have said that the gastric pH when fed kibble is higher on the pH scale then when fed raw.

    In this study the dogs were fed kibble and the pH recorded was quite low ~1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19177514

    I haven’t found a study comparing kibble to raw, nor do I think this is a valid comparison as it presumes that all kibble and all raw are the same when they can be very different.

    I did find a study comparing cereal based dry diet to a meat based canned. Gastric pH between the two groups doesn’t look to be that different.


  • theBCnut

    You would have to search through aimee’s previous posts to find the links regarding pH. I don’t feed some kibble because I think it’s better, no way!! I would completely agree with you about wanting to get rid of kibble brands. About 90% of them are on my “I wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole” list. So if you are happy with your raw diet, please, please, please stick to it. I feed some kibble because I live with very squeamish family members who will not feed raw and sometimes they have to feed the dogs, so to avoid stomach upset and refusal to eat, I have kept my dogs on partial kibble. I wish I could go to full raw, but I can’t, and there are a surprising number of people like me, who find a LOT of benefit in feeding raw, but must continue to feed kibble, that shouldn’t be discouraged from feeding at least partial raw. if their dog can handle it. I’ve only ever know one dog(out of hundreds) who couldn’t handle a mix of both, and that dog had so many other issue… Personally, I think adding raw to kibble helps them digest kibble better.

    I personally have no problems digesting bread, cooked meat, and raw lettuce at the same time. It’s fairly regularly that I find myself eating a sandwich. It doesn’t upset my stomach at all that the bread turns to mush faster than the other things. Or than I got the sugar out of it before the first bit of protein was used. My stomach doesn’t mind working on lettuce longer than meat. How about you?

    This site’s posting rules ask you to use your real name, if you are going to make claims of being a veterinary professional. While I am not a vet, I took that to mean me, since I was a professional, and I used to post under my real name, but it became undesirable due to slimy people, so I quit posting my background and quit using my real name, a bit late. But considering your background, you may be able to figure out mine, though I would have a different title here.

  • theBCnut

    Now that I agree with, but alas, life doesn’t go as I would have it and I live with a bunch of ridiculously squeamish people who can’t stand to feed raw, but sometimes have to feed the dogs, so I made sure the dogs stayed used to some kibble in their diets.

  • Zoe Claire

    Hello and thank you for the warm welcome! I absolutely agree, why would you, El Doctor? It’s been a very informative journey since switching my 3 Springers to Raw prey model and they have been thriving on it. One of them had severe allergies and that was when I leapt down the Rabbit hole of new info so to speak. I joined an advice group that has given me a lot of sourced information which makes me feel guilty about all of the dogs I had before the enlightenment.
    TheBCnut, I would appreciate if you could link me to these studies if you wouldn’t mind as I raised a question in my group regarding Ph of stomach acid and if anyone could provide links to studies done and as of yet I haven’t had much luck. I have seen a few with varying subject matter within the right ballpark but nothing that has switched my opinion from that of differing Ph for Raw vs Kibble. I just want my dogs to have as close to their natural diet as I can provide. Quite honestly, there are a lot of Kibble brands I’d like to see taken off the shelves! Also things like roasted bones and dangerous toys having been a vet nurse in my younger years. I’m an admin for a Spaniel advice group with around 5k members and I regularly promote raw and suggest it as a dietary improvement. Also when I have group members asking for advice on possible allergies I always ask “what do you feed your dog”. Also theBCnut may I ask what your background is in? 4 years experience and a few inconclusive studies aren’t going to cut the mustard I need to complete the picture of my delicious raw meat sandwich of current knowledge on the subject. (without bread because dog sandwiches don’t need carbs) I have seen a few studies but my sources are limited in a raw feeding group who only try to promote the prey model diet. TIA
    PS; the person asking what types of bones to feed. A good rule of thumb to follow is avoid weight bearing bones of large animals as they’re too hard and could break or chip teeth (unless it has a nice amount of meat on it to rasp and gnaw at then remove the clean bone)

  • el doctor

    Hi Zoe Claire, welcome to DFA!

    I agree that “It’s not recommended to feed Raw and Kibble together”, but I think the overriding reason is, why would you add an ultra-processed dry food of “Dubious” ingredients and health benefits, to a health promoting, species appropriate, fresh, whole food diet like raw?

  • theBCnut

    I didn’t say anything was dubious. I have a dog that needed teeth cleanings every year until I started feeding her raw. I know it works to clean the teeth. And I have read studies that claimed that the pH was different for different types of food. I have also read studies that said the difference in pH was so small as to be non existent. I have not seen ANY study that proved that one type of food was not digested at the other type of food’s pH. People have the exact same pH issues as dogs and no one is claiming that people can’t digest their food due to pH. Dogs have the same pH issues with kibble versus canned and no one is suggesting that they can’t have those together. I have been feeding both to all of my dogs for 4 years and I know many people who have been feeding both for much longer than that WITH NO ISSUES. In fact, one of my dogs was having severe digestive issues when he was getting just kibble, before I started feeding raw, but when I started feeding him some raw and got him on a better kibble, his issues went away, only to be seen again when he gets too much kibble or a kibble with an ingredient that he is intolerant of. Sorry, but it’s a myth.

  • Zoe Claire

    It’s not recommended to feed Raw and Kibble together as they break down at different PH levels. Please read some studies about this. PH level of stomach acid on kibble is weaker than when they digest raw which means only one type of food will be digested properly. I’m in a raw feeding advice group and have seen how quickly a dogs teeth change on a raw prey model diet so it’s far from “Dubious”.

  • Paul

    Hi, Glad to see you mentioning the problem of dog teeth cleaning as it is often overlooked by owners.

  • I use Himalayan chews, beef ribs, skinless duck necks, cow hooves, and tendon twists. I have small dogs.

  • KJSunshine

    Any recommendations for dental chews for my 14 lb Papillon?

  • Pat

    I have tried on several occasions, but she fights me her snout? Is not the full size of a regular poodle.. It is short, so she has really small mouth..having said that, I Know I need to try harder..not sure about the raw..have some samples of freezes dry raw..fresh is best would go that route. Some of the others are so high in fat..Thanks for your advice

  • Dori

    Do you brush your dog’s teeth? I have three toy breeds, one 16 year old and two 6 year olds. I brush their teeth twice daily. None have ever needed a dental cleaning by their vet nor has it even been suggested. Also, I feed all three commercial raw diets and all three are lap dogs and all three sleep in bed with us. I had more issues of vomitting and diarrhea with them when they were on kibble. Has never happened on raw. Of course, with that said, all dogs are different. But I would start brushing teeth in the a.m. and the p.m. just before bed. Your dog is way too young to be losing teeth. By the way, I forgot to mention that all my dogs have all their teeth.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi Pat,

    I feed raw food to my dogs almost daily and they all sleep with us @ some point during the night. We also have little kids in the house that are very interactive with the dogs and have had no problems. The other options are dental chews (they last about 1 minute), body parts (ears, bully sticks, etc) and brushing. I do a combination of these since I have dogs that have had dental issues.

  • Pat

    yea. I would like more info on that too..looking for a easy way out..lol!

  • Pat

    yes..she is only 3 and this is her second cleaning..now 2 teeth are gone..dont know what to do..I am little weary of raw for two reasons..if she gets mesy I will have to clean her up right away..also I am concerned for myself because I worry about myself maybe getting sick. she is a real lap dog and she sleeps with me

  • theBCnut

    I feed half kibble and half raw grinds. My dogs get meaty bones a couple times a week.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Yes, you can. but introduce them slowly. Did your dog have a dental to extract the teeth?

  • Pat

    I have a very small toy poodle that has already lost two teeth and is only 3 years old….looking for advice on her diet and can you feed a dog raw bones and still feed wet and dry kibble

  • Pat

    bc..do you feed a all raw diet or a combination of commercial food and bones?

  • theBCnut

    I use pork, goat, and sheep ribs, shoulder blades, and neck bones. Also, any turkey, chicken, and duck bones, especially turkey necks.

  • Nancy Calloway

    BC Nut – Would you kindly tell me exactly WHAT specific bones you feed? I started giving our GSD long beef rib bones. Later I noted that his four canines were all chipped! So then I moved to goat bones. It is very difficult to get goat bones that are more than 3 to 4 inches long. I order from Hare Today. Many of them come with shorter bones in there. Some are ball and socket. I took the ball out lately and it was the size exactly of a fire ball and perfect for getting stuck in the throat. With my fingers I separated it from the socket. The other goat bones from Hare have 3 to 4 inch bones that are probably softer than beef but soon after eating the meat off the bone was being tossed around his mouth by my dog! So I removed it! Back to WHAT BONES ARE YOU USING COMFORTABLY? I need to get him chewing on bones for his teeth. Thank you.
    Nancy Jane Calloway

  • Lin Brand

    My dog was getting raw chicken necks and backs but now she no longer tolerates them well (digestive issues with the fat). Not sure if there are any hard biscuits that would help clean her teeth, but she doesn’t chew those fake bones, rawhide, or greenies. Bummer because the chicken necks were keeping her teeth really clean. 🙁

  • barley

    Have raised and kept Labrador Retrievers since I was 12 (I’m now closing in on 50)… have always fed high quality dry food, and all my dogs have had great teeth all of their lives, with no dental check-ups, except for cursory glances by vet during visits… I always get told ” Great job taking care of your dog’s teeth”… They get plenty of chew toys, most of which are rope-based, as well as the occasional raw beef bone… my chocolate Lab once chipped a canine tooth (totally my fault), but other than that, my dogs have always had beautiful, healthy, white teeth… so tell me again what I’m doing wrong… currently have my 13 yo black Lab, Rubicon, who has great teeth…

  • Crazy4dogs

    I think the bone in the crate is a great idea BC!

  • theBCnut

    You could try giving her a bone in her crate over night. If she is a very tolerant dog, you can try scraping gunk off her teeth yourself. Most tartar will crack off with a strong fingernail.

  • Crazy4dogs

    The problem with letting a dog’s teeth get heavily tartared is that it leads to gingivitis and diseased, infected gums that travels through the entire body, causing other health problems.
    Have you tried the peanut butter or chicken flavored enzymatic toothpastes? Are you using a toothbrush? While the best would be to have her teeth cleaned professionally, you could try something like Proden Plaque Off. I bought it on Amazon. I have had good luck with it. Giving other chews like a bully stick, cow ear, etc. would help.

  • Michelle Joyce Alison

    I have a senior dog with bad tartar on her back molars. I cannot afford to have her teeth scaled by a vet at this time & no one else is willing to pay for it, or even split the cost (she’s a family dog). She is extremely resistant to having her teeth brushed… I’m a little afraid that one day I may lose the tip of a finger by accident! Right now I am using that Leba III spray… but I cannot do it daily as recommended, as she does not live w/ me. I would love to be able to give her raw bones, but I do not think this would be wise, as there is a 1 year old boy living with her & she often gives him kisses… so there’s a concern about the baby getting food poisoning…. I have tried to get her to drink green tea (great for oral health), but she would rather go thirsty… I am wary of those drinking water additives, as I believe many of them have undesirable/harmful ingredients…. does anyone have any recommendations or advice?? Thank you!

  • Kent Clark

    This is interesting. I never knew that brushing your dog’s teeth is a must. However, that makes sense. I brush and floss every day. It only makes sense that dogs need the same kind of care. http://www.kingstonanimalhospital.com.au/health-checks.aspx

  • Joey Constanza

    You would think that the makers of pet food would put some thought into it so it won’t harm your dog’s teeth. I have been giving my dog the same food for some time now and their teeth aren’t too bad looking. I think that I might go and change up the food and see how their teeth change. There is a place not too far from where I live. http://www.geelongfarmsupplies.com.au/pet-food

  • disqus user

    Tartar was scraped/scaled off through regular dental workouts provided by RMB’s. No I dont sell ‘prey food’ (?). I buy it from various pet outlets, butchers, farmers and hunters. The vet herself told me to book my dog in for dental under anesthesia. I took the same dog back a few months later to finalize it and the same vet told me herself “your dog doesnt require a dental cleaning anymore”. The vet was amazed, but not entirely surprised as I live rurally and 99% of dogs here are raw fed.

    I did not expect these dental results in the slightest – I started raw for other reasons completely. It is not some kind of miracle though, just common sense that using teeth daily in a biologically appropriate manner would have this effect, very common with PMR.

  • disqus user

    Another tip – always avoid bare bones. As with weight-bearing bones these crack teeth and can cause abscesses under the gum line. Bones should be very meaty; try large necks, whole prey, chicken frames etc.

  • disqus user

    The dog has a different digestive system to the human and salmonella isnt a concern. Even processed pet food harbors salmonella. The dog has a short gut designed for flesh material to pass through quickly (plant material often ferments and requires a longer GI tract). If meat were to sit for long periods then bacteria would multiply to harmful levels, hence the short GI tract. Dogs also have lysozyme in their saliva; this is an antimicrobial enzyme (useful for wound cleaning, managing bacteria in prey). They also have a highly acidic, low Ph gastric acid, when fed a biologically correct diet (human and dog studies show that processed plant based food increases Ph – v. bad). This naturally acidic environment neutralizes any harmful pathogens. Salmonella is shed in the stool and this is a normal process. Just use good hygiene and food handling practices.

  • disqus user

    Not the vet, I myself attempted to scrape it using dog dental products. Obviously had no effect though, the tartar was there for years. She never ended up requiring a vet dental, the vet checked her teeth again and told me it was no longer required (to the vets amazement).

  • disqus user

    Tartar and calculus removal was achieved through the scaling and scraping of regular raw meaty bones, fed correctly. All other remedies had failed. I wasnt overly concerned about her teeth but vets said she was due for her first dental cleaning. Took her back a few months later and the same vet was shocked to see she no longer needed a dental. She will never need one now, even as a senior her teeth are sparkling white. It was not an expected outcome to feeding raw; I had no idea as a beginner that PMR could improve dental health. Just glad I caught it in time.

  • theBCnut

    No apologies are necessary. It’s cool to learn something new, and nobody should just blindly accept what they read on the internet. Question are good.

  • Holly Quinn

    I stand corrected. I thought it was a product. My apologies to you.

  • theBCnut

    Prey model is not a product you can buy and it took my dog way less than a month for her teeth to come clean when I started feeding bones. And they’ve stayed clean for 8 years.
    Some vets will try to scrape teeth on some dogs, basically to show the owner it can’t be done and why they need to do it under anesthesia. It’s up to the owner whether or not they take that next step. Apparently, she didn’t. I’m sure the vet would have rather that she did.

  • Holly Quinn

    Well if you read all her posts they are promoting prey. Complete removal of tarter in such a short time is hmm ..doubtful. If this person is so concerned with her dog health why were the teeth in such bad shape? I am a advocate of raw food my self there are many benefits but I still think this is a ad. Research has revealed that we are lied to 200 times a day. Many advertisers have taken advantage of blogs such as these. I can’t imagine any vet not using
    anesthesia if a dog was that bad off.

  • theBCnut

    She didn’t say dissolved, she said it fell off. Prey model raw is feeding raw meat, organs, and bones, trying to represent the whole animal that a dog in the wild would naturally eat. It involves a lot of chewing and crunching of bones and it does a wonderful job of breaking the tartar loose. I did wonder about the claim that the vet couldn’t scrape the tartar loose, but I assumed they tried without the benefits of anesthesia, and failed, not the usual way.

  • Holly Quinn

    Your dog experienced a miracle. Tarter is not dissolved by food of any kind. You stated your vet couldn’t remove it? This is a dubious post in my opinion.

  • Magali

    That’s very kind! Thanks.

  • DogFoodie

    : )

    Just in case you hadn’t already found it, here’s a link to raw diets from the forum section of this site: http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/forum/raw-dog-food-forum/

  • Magali

    Thank you very much. My senior retriever is as wonderful as my former one and brings a unique happiness in my home.

  • theBCnut

    Any raw chicken, duck, or turkey parts, pork or lamb ribs, neck bones, tails. I get them at the butcher.

  • Cheryl

    the BC nut – could you tell me what these are and where to get them? I have only seen marrow bones. thanks

  • theBCnut

    Marrow bones, weight bearing bones from large animals, can break teeth. These bones are very dense and hard. Raw meaty bones are softer bones with the meat still on them.

  • Joy McQueen

    i clean my dog teeth with peroxide

  • Cheryl

    My dog had a few cracked teeth and my vet said it was probably from raw bones??? Does anyone have any knowledge on this

  • DogFoodie

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Magali.

    Congratulations on your new pup. How wonderful you’ve adopted a senior. : )

    You’ll find lots of information in the forums area of this site to help you get started on a raw diet.

  • Magali

    My perfectly healthy 13 years-old golden retriever died 4 months after her ‘surgery’ (anesthesia) to have her teeth clean, as the vet was highly recommanding. I just adopted an other old golden retriever (10 years-old), and I won’t make the same mistake, but try that raw food instead. Thank you for that tip!

  • theBCnut

    Freezing doesn’t kill salmonella, however healthy dogs should not have any problem dealing with salmonella. Their short digestive tract means that bacteria doesn’t have much opportunity to breed before it is expelled, though a huge dose of bacteria entering the dog may be enough to cause illness.
    I clean food surfaces the same way I do for handling raw meat for people. I do that for the health of the people in the house, not the dogs.
    Freezing does help to kill off parasites that can be in some meats though.

  • madcapzany

    Hi, its been a while since your post, and it may have been brought up here b4…but what abt the concern with salmonella, etc, feeding raw? We get raw bones, then freeze b4 we feed them as treats…any thoughts on these things, anyone? Thanks. 🙂

  • disqus user

    Look up Prey model raw. Its based on the current digestive system of the dog (and cat)

  • theBCnut

    It’s not a brand name. It is finding the meat, bones and organs to feed your dog that comes closest to what they would eat in the wild. Google Hare Today and My Pet Carnivore.

  • Trinity02

    Please tell me the brand name of the food. Thank you.

  • disqus_NsXk2VlHov

    My dogs teeth were absolutely covered in hard yellow tartar (very thick-no amount of scraping could remove) and all teeth also had yellow staining. Vets were worried. Switched to a raw diet (prey model) and it literally ALL fell off within 1 month. She is 10 now and has had pearly white teeth for 4 years despite being a small breed with overcrowded teeth. She doesnt have a single yellow tooth now. Goodbye dental surgery! I will never again in my life feed krapple to a dog.

  • Doug

    Science Diet is based in By-products and so will lack the protection of our food safety laws and contain dangerous chemicals. Better to use a brand based in USDA human-grade ingredients such as Breeder’s Choice, Honest Kitchen, Nature’s Variety, Stella & Chewy’s

  • Doug

    Science diet is based in by-products and so will have dangerous chemicals and lack the protection of our food safety laws.

  • Doug

    Canned light food is best because you can give large portions that will make them happy but the calorie intake can be cut in half. You can usually hit their target weight in 30 days then go back to proper portions of much less expensive dry kibble.

  • Doug

    Soft kibble foods, are risky because propylene glycol is what is used and even if they use glycerin, it is a sign of a by-product based food that is regulated by the FDA as Diverted Unfit Food for Animal Use so, like most pet diets, contain dangerous chemicals and are not protected by our food safety law. The best for teeth is a soft kibble and that is the Nature’s Variety Raw kibble. This is a sterile raw frozen food that does not have bacteria and is best for kidney health because the portions are much smaller than canned food. Raw helps support the intestinal fauna that helps clean teeth and provide protection.

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Manny Vazquez, I would definitely feed canned over kibble, canned is more species appropriate. And it shouldn’t be too expensive, since you have a small dog. No matter what food you feed, you need to keep teeth clean, I use beef bones.

  • Manny Vazquez

    what would be the best dog food for my small shizu. I keep her on an all natural diet and I use the simply nourish brand. she doesn’t seem to like the bits though, unless I wet them and make them softer for her. I try to avoid the wet food, but I think her teeth are sensative or she just doesn’t like the bits. her gums aren’t a swollen, her teeth are in good condition and they aren’t dirty. I believe that she just prefers softer pebbles so I was wondering if there are any dog food brands that are natural and maybe the dog food pieces are more soft? or should I just give her wet food.

  • Copper

    Thanks 🙂

  • Copper

    Thank you so much 🙂

  • neezerfan

    Are all of your dogs overweight? Then you need to cut back on the amounts you’re feeding them. Feed them each the amount of food recommended for the weight they SHOULD be. IE. if your yorkie/poo is 12 pounds and should be 10, feed her the amount recommended for a 10 lb. dog. I would also choose the option for less active dogs. A special food is not necessary. Your dogs will be healthier and you’ll save money.

  • Thomas

    I feed a male Airedale terrier. Airedales are the largest of the terriers, and he is a larger than average Airedale. He weighs about 85 lbs. and I feed him 1.5 to 2 lbs. per day. I feed him a couple large thighs (or equivalent amount of pork) with some heart and tripe one day and some cheap tuna or sardines the next. If you have a small(er) dog you can scale down from there. Even a very small dog could take on a chicken leg with a little of the other stuff and not be overfed. Any time your dog is very active, more food won’t hurt.

    To start, I would recommend once a day at the same time each day. There is no need to cook anything, especially bones. In fact, dogs can eat meat that has gone bad by human standards. Their digestive system is short, so they expel pathogens quickly that would make us sick. I never feed my dog fruits or vegetables unless they are leftovers, which is exceedingly rare. If the dog has a bit of diarrhea at first, don’t give up. The stool will become firmer and smaller. Sometimes a couple days will go by between poops; the dog is using almost everything it eats. Sometimes the stool will be almost white in color. This is because only unusable bone will be expelled. Regarding bones, chicken and pork are great; they are soft and easily breakable. Avoid beef bones; they’re too hard and break teeth.

    Let me point out the issues of cost. I happen to be fortunate in that I live near a Shop Rite that has a complete butcher shop. Thus, I have access to things like tripe, beef heart, and pig feet. Also, I pay between .79 and $1.49/lb. (around summer holidays) for the chicken and between $1.04 and $1.29/lb. for the pork. Heart is $1.99/lb. and tripe $2.99/lb., but a pound of these should last you a week. Tuna and sardines from a Walmart area about .75 per can. Hopefully, you have access to something similar. So, if you feed your dog inexpensive dry food (Dog Chow), your costs will definitely go up. If you feed your dog higher end dry food (Blue Buffalo), your costs will definitely go down. Finally, make sure you have some sharp knives (especially a boning knife), some freezer space, and a little time to do play some butcher. Hope this helps.

  • Don Dressel

    Does anybody have advice for what is the best dog food for my dogs to lose weight on? We have 2 jack russells and a yorkie-poo and a collie.

  • Generally, you start at feeding 2% of your dog’s body weight and adjust according to activity level and age.



    I started my dogs on raw with commercial products like Instinct and Primal frozen patties and raw chicken wings (my dogs are small). I would give them a few bites a day and then increased from there. And then I would give them a raw meaty bone a couple times a week like the wings or chicken thigh/drumstick. Then I started using a recipe book to make complete meals.

  • Copper

    How do you decide the amount of raw food daily compared to the dog’s weight?
    And could you please tell me how to start to feed raw a 2,5 years old dog who’s never eaten raw before?

  • Guest

    How do you decide the amount of raw food daily compared to the dog’s weight?
    And could you please tell me how to start to feed raw a 2,5 years old dog who’s never eaten raw before?

  • Renee

    RMB- raw meaty bones

  • Rabbinator

    Quickly, I’d like to point out that there is not enough grain alcohol in the solution to cause any harm, especially if used as directed.

    Taken from Petzlife website:

    Grain Alcohol Concerns:

    It is second only to water in importance as a solvent in medicine and is used particularly to extract activeconstituents from inert parts of crude drugs. This concentrates the medicinally active compounds and makes the remedy easier to dispense and consume while also improving its absorption. Combined with water to make a hydroalcoholic solvent, it acts as a preservative by preventing hydrolysis and inhibiting fermentation that would occur if water was used alone in addition to its anti-bacterial qualities.

    We asked Dr. Maier if she could make a statement about the safety of our ingredients especially grain alcohol, long term use, and how important Clinical Studies are to her.

    Dr. Maier has been using PetzLife Oral Care for over 5 years in her clinic. “I’m not really one for research data, I depend more on experience. This product has been available for more than long enough to establish an incredible safety record. I have dispensed this product to patients with diabetes, heart disease, cushing’s disease, Inflammatory bowel disease, etc. I have yet to see a problem in any of my patients that have used any of the Petzlife Products. I have however in the majority of cases seen a remarkable improvement in their dental health.

    Dr Susan Maier (19 yrs Holistic Veterinarian)
    Horizon Veterinary Services”

  • Broome

    Yes Kathi we have tried Petzlife because of all the reviews. But if you read the incredients it contains grain alcohol which is no way good for pets, it could kill them. As soon as I read that we have stopped using it altogether.Alcohol is dangerious to animals. Please beware

  • angela flynn

    what kind of science diet food and what is RMB

  • Kathi Crawley

    Has anyone heard of Petzlife (dental spray or gel) – great reviews for removing tartar.

  • Thomas

    I feed my dog nothing but raw meat and bones. He gets chicken thighs (bone in), pork loins or shoulders, beef heart, tripe, sardines, and tuna. Treats are pig feet or pork bones, which provide calcium. Let’s remember that the marrow provides all kinds of healthy stuff, too. It takes some work (about 45 mins) butchering the pork parts, but it supplies a week worth of food and two weeks of treats. My per pound cost is about $1.50. He eats about two pounds per day. So for less than $100/month, he eats a balanced healthy diet. It takes a little more work than kibble, but your dog will appreciate you for it. By the way, his teeth are snowy white.

  • Shawna

    I have four under 10 pounds and had a little 3 pound Chi that passed two years ago. They all have eaten turkey necks but they have to be cut in smaller pieces or the pups overeat. Chicken and duck necks are more appropriate sized for them. But even they need to be portioned if on the larger side.

    When starting a dog not already used to eating them start off with larger ones and take them away after you feel they have had enough. This will prevent them from getting to swallow pieces that are too large for them.. Seven of my current eight toy breed digs do great with bones but the eighth will swallow items that are too large. She’s choked on chicken necks, chewies and even meatballs in the canned Merrick food.

  • PS

    Can these be fed to dogs under 10 lbs?

  • Cyndi

    Great article on cleaning dogs’ teeth. You’ll probably never have to have them cleaned again… It’s all common sense to me! 🙂


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  • Pattyvaughn

    As long as you are watching him while he has it, to make sure he doesn’t just try to swallow it whole.

  • Mich

    Hi I have a 3 pound , 9 month old bichon maltese. Is it safe to give him occasional RMB?

  • soles

    try to get away from the dry foods with by products they are really bad Iv done a lot of research when It comes to dog foods you want the first ingredient to say just the meat name ex. Chicken, beef, and so on. He will be a lot healthier with the rmds at night but u should do a little research to see how much

  • soles

    science diet is horrible, if your going to feed dry blue buffalo is a good brand….raw is the way to go (had problems convincing the wife to let me feed him RMB but I think shes coming around)

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  • Pattyvaughn

    LawofRaw is right, but in case you didn’t understand his explanation, I give my dogs chicken necks, turkey necks, beef or pork ribs, chicken backbones and wings, etc. It’s smaller bones with meat on them. Bones that are small enough that the dog can consume them entirely. Pulling the meat off the bones and then crunching them up is the best teethbrushing a dog can get, not to mention all the other health benefits.

  • LawofRaw

    RMB is an acronym for “Raw meaty bones”. Raw meaty bones besides being a major partial source of providing your dog with the prey model diet, providing it with it essential amino acids, fat, calcium, phosphorous and other trace minerals, the natural way as nature intended, it also naturally cleans your dog’s set of carnivorous choppers by way of the dog ripping, tearing, gnawing, and crushing RMB’s using all its teeth to do so.

    Read the following page of the following website for some profound enlightening information. rawfed dot com / myths / kibble. Also read the rest of the myth pages.

    For a great 3 page raw feeding diet guide and examples of raw meaty bones, check out Dr. Tom Lonsdale’s briefly summarised such guide at rawmeatybones dot com / diet / exp-diet-guide dot pdf

  • Toby S Knight-Meigs

    Pattyvaughn: I’m not familiar with RMB’s, what is that an abbreviation for?

  • InkedMarie

    That’s awesome!

  • Pattyvaughn

    We just had Angel in Friday and our vet is always astounded at her teeth. Our vet used to own her and she had to clean her teeth yearly, but she hasn’t had them done since we got her almost 7 years ago. She was on Science Diet before we got her, I really like the difference with RMBs.

  • InkedMarie

    This time last year, my Boone’s teeth were iffy for needing a dental. He is horrible for teeth brushing so we don’t bother very often. We started feeding ground & pre made raw and give them bones to chew on. This Tuesday he went for his yearly and his teeth are better!

  • Pattyvaughn

    My JRT has stank breath too, but I’ve noticed it is much better when she has had her raw meaty bones. She also thinks that any attempts to brush her teeth must be twarted.

  • ralphmclovin

    wow i just looked them up and itsa toothbrush/dental care company, for people, that has a pet division.

    They have all kinds of pet dental products!
    Hmm, never really gave it too much thought before….


  • ralphmclovin

    Wow lotsa great opinions on this subject.
    My dogs have never let me brush their teeth, so i use bones and bully sticks and such to help clean their teeth.

    Anyways, with all the talk about “ancestral diet” and such, i dont remember seeing a dentist in the smithsonian or at any zoo in the wolf exhibit….

    Recently i came across a product called “Plaque-Off” which is a liquid that you pour in their water.

    Ill say this stuff works as advertised.
    The dogs teeth are always bright white now, and that stuff even destroyed the bad breath(my JRTs mouth has always smelled like something crawled in their and died).

    I only got two bottles just to try it, and its been a awesome and yuckmouth/stankbreath-free month, but ran out 3 days ago and the breath is back, so Im going to get several bottles this weekend.
    It takes about a week or so before you notice its working, so dont give up, but just know that it stops working the minute you stop using it.

    So just some food for thought for those of us that dont have the option of brushing our dogs teeth, this stuff and some good chews/bones will work wonders.

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  • Pattyvaughn

    I don’t know how it compares now to when it first came out years ago. I used it for a while on one of my dogs, but quit when I realized it wasn’t doing her any good at all after about 3 months. She chewed a little but obviously not enough.

  • aimee

    Hi Amanda,

    Really there is no substitute for brushing. Chewing materials can result in cleaner crowns but clean crowns don’t always equate with a good oral health.

  • aimee

    Hi jellycat,

    Here a video demonstrating the difference in how the kibble crumbles. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0KBol084qw

    The food did pass the VOHC protocols demonstrating effectiveness. It is an adjunct, brushing is best. I brush my guys with a crest spin brush. What do you use for your dogs?

  • aimee

    Hi Kate,This video explains it and has pics.


    I also used to think that there was no benefit to kibble but I’ve been rethinking that ….”These results indicate that feeding a dry food diet has
    a positive influence on oral health, decreasing the
    occurrence of mandibular lymphadenopathy, dental deposits, and
    disease in cats and dogs.”


    I can’t say I agree with the perio statement as most perio isn’t seen and these were visual exams.

  • aimee

    Mine tend not to chew kibble either when I feed in a bowl.. it is grab and gobble. When fed as a “treat” though Brooke chews each piece on average 9 times and Jack 13 ! Really Jack! 13 chomps for 1 kibble LOL

    The kibbles are quite large to encourage chewing.

  • JellyCat

    Sinking in in kibble is a joke! This kibble doesn’t even work for cats or ferrets. Besides it crumbles just like any kibble. Even if tooth sunk in a kibble it doesn’t remove plaque from gum line where it’s really important.

  • Kate

    What’s special about this kibble though? Their website only describes it as “unique”. Seems like a marketing scam since most seem to agree now that kibble does nothing to promote dental health.

  • Pattyvaughn

    That’s what I get for not double checking something I read. Thanks for the correction. Though I don’t think that method of plaque removal would work on any of my dogs, since not one of them actually chews kibble.

  • aimee

    Iams uses SHP in their diets. T/D’s mechanism of action is for the tooth to sink into the kibble and thus mechanically remove the plaque from the tooth.

  • Pattyvaughn

    The chemical in T/D that works on tartar SHP is not healthy. Companies that use this stuff in things that our dogs eat should be ashamed of themselves, but they have no shame.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    If you’re feeding a raw diet you shouldn’t feed only RMB’s, this would be deficient in many nutrients. Dogs eating a homemade raw diet need a combination of RMBs, muscle meat, organ meat and, ideally, they should also get omega fatty acids, whole food supplements, fruits & vegetables, dairy, nuts & seeds, etc. If you’re not balancing your raw diet and feeding just RMB’s, be sure that the RMB’s account for no more than 20% of your dog’s total food intake. It would be fine to feed RMB’s as a few meals a week as long as the dog is getting a balanced commercial food as the base of his diet.

  • Do you suggest feeding only RMBs? I fed my dog (Lab/Border Collie) RMBs and other natural dog food recipes when I first got him as a puppy and his teeth were a lot better. In the past two years, his teeth have had a lot of tartar on them when he goes in for his yearly. I’ve been feeding him dry food because it’s a lot easier. The vet suggested that I try the Hill’s t/d this pas month, but I really hate the smell of it and corn and chicken-by-product are two of the first ingredients! Yuck! Would it still be okay to let my Dad feed him dry dog food in the mornings and then me feed him RMBs at night?

  • Pattyvaughn

    It sounds like you are doing everything to promote good dental health. I used to give my dogs Greenies too, until I found out some of the ingredients are not so great and for some dogs downright unhealthy. Try cutting them out and see if you don’t get the same great results.

  • aslat

    I give smoked raw bones (human-grade – same butcher I use) about once or twice a week as a treat, plus i brush 3x a week with a finger brush and he gets Greenies (or similar) once a day. We also use healthy mouth natural water additive (no harsh chemicals) and all of that has worked really well. our previous dog had terrible dental disease issues and getting a cleaning at the vet is hard on your dog (put under anesthesia for the procedure) and costly, so we are more careful with our new dog! we did feed our old dog Hill’s t/d for awhile to help with the teeth issue, but as someone else mentioned, i didn’t like it as a quality food, so we tried other methods instead.

  • ValerieNoyes

    Thanks Patty and HDM. I’ll see about trying something large like a turkey neck. He has has large dried trachea and did fine with those. Also large marrow bones that obviously can’t be consumed. I know my other two will be fine but I couldn’t give to them and not the big guy.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Yes, there are some who just can’t be trusted with an RMB, but it is very rare. Like HDM said give him something that is just too big to swallow whole. I’ve heard of someone who was about to give up on RMBs because he had a determined gulper. Someone suggested firmly attaching vise grips. It worked, and after a while he was able to quit using the vise grips.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Have you ever tried giving him a RMB? My dogs are all gulpers when it comes to regular food but chew their RMBs. Give him something large enough that he has to chew it – a chicken leg quarter, pork neck, turkey neck, etc. I don’t trust my large dogs with smaller RMBs such as chicken wings or necks. Just give it to him and what he does. Some hold the bone at first, but I don’t feel that does any good – obviously a dog can’t gulp if you’re holding the bone. Also, don’t freak if he swallows some pieces – it’s normal, a dog isn’t going to chew everything up into a mush like a person would. It’s fine if they get to the end of a turkey neck or something when there’s just a little left and swallow it, it’ll digest.

  • ValerieNoyes

    Patty, I’ve got a 100lb Lab/Rott cross who is a “gulper”. I’d love to give him and the others RMBs but I’m scared to death he’ll instantly swallow it whole and choke. Any advise? Are there some dogs that just shouldn’t be trusted with such things? I’d never forgive myself if something happened to him. Thanks for any input from all.

  • My pugs can easily consume chicken parts, turkey necks, wings and backs, pork ribs, lamb ribs and whole sardines. For teeth cleaning I like beef ribs and marrow bones and roasted trachea. They haven’t had bully sticks in quite some time. I would like to try kneecaps next but I’m pretty stocked up right now.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Yes, hold the RMB the first time you give him one, to make sure he knows he has to gnaw it instead of swallow it whole. Stay away from weight bearing bones of larger animals as they can fracture teeth.

  • I have an 8 year pug. Would it be ok to give him the raw meaty bones?

  • Eggnoodle

    Just reading a few older comments I notice that people are concerned about feeding bones to their dogs re hygiene. Dogs have incredibly stronger stomach acid than us and can cope with goes that have become maggot ridden. I just pour boiling water over the bone, throw it in to the garden and let the dog have it again. In the wild much of their food would be off/ maggot ridden. I also used to give FROZEN cooked sausages to my dog, as a treat, when she was a puppy. They kept her occupied for ages. She still rushes to the freezer, 3 years on, whenever she hears the door.

  • Eggnoodle

    Many years ago (probably 2 or 3 years after complete dry dog food had become popular) I had a similar discussion with my vet. He maintained that the dry food became a thin paste, after the dog had chewed it up and mixed it with saliva, which then coated the teeth. 
    I have never had a dental problem with my dogs and have never fed complete dry food until now. I have 2 dogs, one young TT and an old lurcher which I recently inherited. She has been fed on complete dry food and I have continued this. Her teeth are not good. She won’t chew bones. I know her old groomer used to scrape her teeth every 8-12 weeks, which I am sure has not done her teeth any good either. Imagine a non stick pan being scraped with the wrong scourer – it would leave microscopic score marks all over the surface. These marks then fill with the food being cooked (or eaten, in the case of the dog). When you wash the pan next it needs to be scoured again to get rid of all the food trapped in the score marks – the same with the dogs teeth. My dogs have always had a variety of different textured toys. My younger dog (3) has beautiful teeth, has been fed canned food or raw food, a little biscuit, large bones and plenty of toys. She enjoys chewing hard plastic (eg her old puppy feed bowl), rope toys, tug of war with an old sock and chewing bones that are months old. She is convinced that one day the’ll reach that last bit of marrow. 

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  • Pattyvaughn

    No, just make sure it’s fresh human grade and give it to your dog somewhere where it won’t matter that raw meat touches or that is easily cleaned afterward.

  • minglers

    I love my dog…Paris,and I want
     to try the bones ,but should I remove the meat ?
    Paris’ mom

  • Great article, and I agree. Now, there are some kibbles that are specifically designed for this, such as the Hill’s t/d; which actually did work for our late rescue. His teeth looked horrible and it cleaned them right up. So while that is great, I think as a food the t/d is horrible.

    Chewing on meaty bones certainly helps, I’ve seen some of the dogs who are fed raw. One thing I noticed (and you mentioned that it is not a perfect method) is that some teeth end up perfectly clean and some don’t, depending on how the dog prefers to chew.

    Teeth brushing, together with meaty bones seems to work the best. Now, we brush Jasmine’s teeth twice a day. Her last dental cleaning was two years ago and her teeth are still “holding”.

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  • Christie

    Could you explain what being “more diligent” means for the dogs prone to tartar- when their dental care is a raw diet? Does that mean increasing bones? Could you share what sort of raw diet you use? I have a dog prone to tartar despite regular brushing, and many enzymatic “dental” chews, and am now looking to go to raw. I think it makes sense, as the plaque and tartar itself is produced due to nutritional imbalances. Thanks.

  • The pumpkin dog treats are real simple and easy to make and only 3 ingredients (unless you sprinkle in some cinnamon).  I used brown rice cereal when I made them.  They come out semi-soft.


  • My dog gets one treat in the morning and one at night.  They are soft to chew and are small.  She has a very sensitive stomach and can’t have most of the dogfood/treats out there.  So, she’s pretty healthy and happy with the lamb and rice food and treats we give her.  You can spoil your dog by not giving so many fatty things to eat and they will be perfectly content.  

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  • Bellaamena

    Certain breeds, especially smaller toy dogs are just prone to dental issues.  I own an Italian Greyhound and the breed is notorious for dental problems. I have to be vigilant about regular brushing and periodic vet cleanings. 

  • Ive been in dogs for 30 years and I have NEVER taken a dog to the vet for a dental and teeth are white and clean. Kibble like any carb food sticks to the teeth and creates tarter. Same is true for humans. Ive taken dogs from the shelter with teeth plagued with tarter, breath that could raise the dead and put them on raw. Within about 6 months, their teeth are clean (or much cleaner) and white. Oh I dont brush their teeth either. I will say that I do think good teeth is genetic as I have had dogs who just dont get tarter. Others had to be more diligent with their teeth to keep the nasties off.
    Dont forget that treats with alot of sugar dont help keep teeth clean. My dogs get few treats other than to kennel up when I leave. If I want to offer a snack, its human and healthy.

  • That makes perfect sense. I’m afraid I always thought I was helping my dog maintain great teeth by giving him those treats. Now I know better.

  • Doggonefedup

    I found that if I put beef and/or pork rib bones in a crockpot with water and 10% pineapple juice that after 8 hrs even I can bite into them without splintering the bone. I make these from time to time for my GSD dogs.  They enjoy them and it cleans their teeth at the same time. I save the both to moisten their dry foods.

  • dentists bloomington il

    Just like humans, dogs need to brush their teeth everyday. Aside from that, they need to eat the proper food that would prevent cavities and gum diseases.

  • very informative.

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  • I think greenes really helo

  • Silveraceblue

    Your a moron. Dog food just crumbles as your dog chews it. It does nothing to help get under the gumline which is why it does nothing to help prevent dental disease.

  • Mary Lou

    Thanks, Seals10 ~ we actually stopped them a couple of months ago.  I’m not sure why, but all of a sudden I was worried about him chipping a tooth!  Maybe it was a dream.  His teeth still look pretty good. : )

  • Seals10

    My dog chipped one canine tooth and split and broke off the other. Three years later, the broken tooth had to be removed. So please watch out for marrow bones which at one time I thought also were great too. I had no idea that this would happen.

  • Atiana2006

    try dental chews @ Banfield Pet Hospital. great!!!!

  • Francine

    Can you tell me what your raw carbohydrate-free diet consists.  My Poodle is 2 years and had bleeding gums and alot of tarter :(((

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  • Yes, a real raw bone with or without meat on it but pulling the meat off the bone also cleans the teeth.  They do have sprays and toothpastes (Plaque Attack or something like that) and enzymatic chew treats like CET Hextra chews by Virbac, but a natural way to go would be just a bone.  There’s also this from Garden of Life (posted by another poster):

    My dogs get raw chicken thighs/drumsticks, turkey necks, chicken feet, various rib bones, marrow bones/soup bones, antlers.

  • Jzellers

    I have heard that dogs lack the enzyme amylase in their saliva – amylase breaks down starches. So avoiding starches also helps keep a dog’s teeth clean. After seeing my previous dog suffer through having most of her teeth removed and with many health problems, I have been feeding my three little dogs a raw carbohydrate-free diet for over a year now. They have never been sick–I’ve heard that a healthy dog’s stomach is acidic enough to kill the bacteria that might be found in raw meat. I give them raw chicken bones (which even the 9 pounder can handle). I’ve heard you can give raw pork necks and ribs because they are also soft enough. But harder bones can chip teeth.

  • Sandrade13

    Do you mean that you literally just take a bone from a chicken? Or, is this a certain type of treat? Also, do you recommend a specific toothpaste for dogs?

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  • Nikki

    I will never understand why people always choose foods to compare dog food to that aren’t nearly as hard as the dog food itself. I know that dry dog food does NOT keep teeth as clean as they need to be, but it most certainly helps. You see, because biting into dog food is not the same as biting into a tortilla chip. No, it is more like biting into a peanut, which (if unsalted) people have been using as a good snack that helps with gums and teeth for a long time now.

    So hard foods DO help clean your teeth. That is why the bones work to help clean teeth on your dogs. And (depending on the brand, mind you) dry dog food does too. For example, I have a dog that just eats at a good pace and another that wolfs it down quick. My paced dog’s teeth are much better than the other one’s because he takes the time to chew his food.

    Get the bones if you want, feed them wet or whatever, or brush their teeth. Personally I’m a big fan of doing all three (if they would just hold still and let me scrub!)

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  • TrainerTalk

    @Gordon: “Apparently, dog trainers don’t tell us this and it has something to do with the pup, becoming better adjusted psychologically and become more loyal to its owner if it only spends time with its owner for the first 6 months of its life.”

    This is actually completely oppositional to anything any trainer or behaviorist will ever tell you. If you want a healthy well adjusted and friendly dog the critical socialization period ends around 16 weeks (not saying that it is impossible to socialize an older pup or dog but it is not as easy as it is in this window). Your best bet is to take your young dog out to meet as many different people and vaccinated animals as possible to build his confidence. Your dog will bond to you- you feed them, love them, train them, etc… they will bond regardless of how many other nice people they meet. If you wait till 6 months you risk behavioral problems such as: aggression, fear, anxiety, low confidence, etc… Good luck.

  • Sharon

    Hi Gordon,
    I have been reading about RMB’s and it seems as if chicken bones are the best and most economical … however, I have run across a few “reads” where they have stated frozen neckbones and wings are good treats! Im confused – can bones be frozen when I give it to them. Also, as Im going out tomorrow, would it be better to go to a butcher and ask for RMB’s or could I go to a supermarket and buy a package of wings/legs and give them one a day? Im just concerned that a full chicken leg or wing (from a supermarket) might make them gain weight if Im giving it to them primarily as a snack/dental cleaning tool! Thanks, again, for your help! 🙂

  • Hi Bobby… Since I don’t currently evaluate dog treats, you may wish to use raw meaty bones to help clean your dog’s teeth. There are a number of DFA “regulars” here that use these natural tooth cleaning methods with excellent results.

    I’d suggest reading back through this thread of comments for a very good primer on how you can supply these nutritious treats to your own pet. Hope this helps.

  • Bobby

    What is a good treat for a Dog’s teeth that he’ll like and is good for his teeth?
    The Greenies treats I buy for him give him terrible Diarrhea and the others I’ve tried he won’t eat.
    The Hartz ones I’ve seen have Wheat in them and I’d like to avoid that so…

  • Gordon

    My pleasure, Sharon. Just remember that with the RMB’s, to place them in a freezer and only place what you intend to give your dog(s), in the fridge, to thaw for at least 12 to 16 hours before hand.

  • Sharon

    Thanks Gordon! I appreciate all the information! Im finding this site very helpful! Thanks again!

  • Gordon

    Sharon – Given a dog is healthy with a healthy appetite, there would be no “left overs”, so no concern over normal bacteria is warranted. The best area to feed them raw meaty bones (RMB’s) is outside, preferably on the grass, or a designated mat.

    Butchers, some supermarkets, some pet stores, and some particular farmers are places to get raw meaty bones.

    Ideal RMB’s are chicken frames, chicken wings, chicken necks, lamb briskets (ribs), beef briskets, soup bones, marrow bones, pork bones, lamb shanks, whole rabbit carcasses etc. And all of course raw and NOT COOKED.

    Ideal feeding frequency of RMB’s are a rotation of all the above, once a day.

    Hope this helps.

  • Sharon

    I have two bassett hounds (6 & 7) who just had a dental cleaning that left the poor things bleeding excessively. I never want to expose them to that again so I was happy to see the posts on raw bones. I have never heard of this before, obviously, and have questions about feeding them raw meat. Do I go to a butcher and ask for raw meat bones? Do they typically have a lot of raw meat on them and that, in turn, does not make them sick? After reading a few remarks, would I throw away any leftovers as to not expose my dogs to bacteria? Any help would be much appreciated!!!

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  • Aimee

    Really glad to have found this. My shihtzu just prefers wet food. I’ve tried all the kibbles almost. She’ll eat a couple brands for a week at a time and then starves herself. She likes the Avoderm Chicken and Rice and I’m trying the Natural Balance Bison, Chicken and Lamb. The only thing that turns me off concerning wet food is the smell and the price. I’ve got to figure how much more I would spend on wet, but then if I think about it with all the dry kibble I’ve been through in the past few months I could have fed her for a year on the wet. Oh well. Thanks though for the article as well about wet verses dry. P.S. Gordon, there are two Aimee’s posting…don’t get us mixed up..:)

  • Mary Lou

    Quick comment for Mike P., Shameless, Gordon and others ~ we had a house full of people over today, and someone commented on how white our pup’s teeth are. Haha ~ yea for marrow bones! I was proud! : )

  • Hi Aaron… Unfortunately, since I rate only dog food products on this website, I’ve had no experience with canine dental water additives. Wish I could be more help.

  • Aaron

    Mike S or anyone else,

    What has been your experience with dental rinses that you add to the dog’s water? They claim to alter the ph of the saliva to control tartar. I know nothing is better than daily brushing, but does this at least help a little? Or does it do more harm than good?


  • Gordon

    kathy – Generally there is no problem feeding a healthy dog with a full set of its teeth intact, chicken bones such as wings and necks. Make sure they are raw and not cooked, and supervise your Yorkie when feeding these to it for the first time. E.g. Is it a gulper or will it naturally crunch, chew and eat it? For a Yorkie, such raw chicken bones would be softer and more ideal than lamb chops.

    I hope this helps.

  • kathy

    I have always heard that chicken bones are bad for dogs – will our 5kg, 2yo Yorkie be okay with raw chicken wings or would a lamb chop bone be a better choice. I’m worried about bone splinters.

  • Jonathan

    This guy makes grass-fed beef dog and cat food… http://texasgrassfedbeef.com

  • Gordon

    J.J. – Yeah Acana Grain Free looks like a great formula. Can’t get it down under.

    If you have more puppy questions or any questions, don’t be afraid to ask them here or anywhere. I personally don’t mind answering or conveying my opinions if I am able to, otherwise I wouldn’t be on here in the first place. But like Shameless said, also do other on line searches to find numerous and numerous sources of great information. Unfortunately, “great information” is mixed with a lot of misinformation as well. So keep your wits about you and sift through the trash to get the right answers. Otherwise, the internet is the biggest virtual library on the planet.

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    You might find a ranch or farm near you that has grass-fed beef, lamb, goats, bison, poultry, pork. Find your state on this website – http://www.eatwild.com/products/index.html
    Most farms and ranches sell bones. Some even grind up their own raw dog food.

  • sandy

    Thanks for the info. Still looking for a butcher shop!

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Hi Sandy –
    LARGE animal weight-bearing bones are gnawed on by dogs. The large bone is rarely completely consumed (sometimes exceptions). The dog will rip and tear the meat off the bone until the bone is clean, then if it’s a marrow bone, the dog will lick all the marrow. Then the dog will gnaw, gnaw, gnaw on the bone.
    SMALL animal bones are generally crushed and chomped until completely consumed. Chicken necks are quickly devoured by most dogs. Chicken wings, backs and thighs would be the next easiest chicken parts for a dog’s typical crushing ability. The chicken legs are more dense (weight-bearing bone), so would take a bit more effort for the dog to crush and eat.
    It’s usually best to start out with smaller bones that will be completely consumed.
    But some people only provide gnawing bones. When first starting out with raw, it would probably work out best if you have leisure time and a confined area – so your dog can enjoy without you worrying about a little mess.
    My dog gets his raw bones outside and he always takes them to a grassy area. When he’s done, he licks the grass clean!

  • J.J.

    Thanks Gordon & Shameless, I just wanted to make sure a raw meaty bone once a day wasn’t too much for a puppy.

    Gordon –
    Of course, they are on high quality grain free. We feed Acana topped with one of the grain free varieties of Wellness Stew or Merrick canned, all of which ate 5 star grain free foods. We’re starting to incorporate raw foods and raw meaty bones. I have never raised a dog from puppyhood before, just adult dogs, which is why I have so many puppy related questions.

  • Mike P

    I give my dog meaty beef leg bones .She can chew for hours on one 6′” bone . Her teeth look amazing .

  • sandy

    I see that chicken necks/wings/backs are given alot through these posts. What about chicken drumsticks or thighs? I wanted to start my pugs on raw bones. Thanks.

  • Mike P

    As I justed started feeding raw meaty bones for the last two weeks , I learned a little something . Gordo is right , you have to adjust the main meals . My Boxer gained 5 lbs before I noticed . I cut her food back and increased her walks a bit and she is getting back to her weight . Now on bone night I feed her less . Crazy how fast a dog can put on and lose pounds so quickly .

  • Gordon

    J.J. – IMO, arising from that dog trainer’s advice to me re this question some time ago, and Dr.s Billinghurst’s and Lonsdale’s opinions, especially pups, should get such raw bones once a day. Too often would be more than once a day. Some people give these every second day, like my own Vet. Keep in mind that raw meaty bones are not served as a full meal, but as a healthy daily snack, providing Nature’s balance of calcium, phosphorous, taurine, glucosamine, and protein, with the added benefit of daily teeth cleaning.

    So one raw chicken wing, or 2 or 3 chicken necks, or a piece of lamb chop or brisket, is great to give a dog including your 15 week old pup of 13.5lbs, on a nightly or daily basis, in addition to (Not in place of) their normal meal of whatever you give, such as kibble (Hopefully good quality grain free one) or quality canned or commerical raw balanced meal serving, etc. Even when your Aussie becomes fully grown at which it would reach around a weight of 22lbs, the above would suffice. When your Aussie reaches adulthood, you will also probably be able to give it a small lamb shank from time to time.

    With my own 2 dogs, who are each around 8.5kgs (18lbs), they get their raw meaty bones around an hour to 2 hours after their main dinner (I slightly adjust their main dinner in decreasing a serve from the brand’s recommended, to compensate for the fact that they’ll be getting a raw meaty bone each, that 1 or 2 hours later).

    Hope this helps.

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    J.J. – For all your questions about puppy feeding, probably best to do some internet searches so you can figure out raw food variety for balanced diets, especially for calcium and phosphorus ratios. Raw fed puppies and dogs generally get raw meat and bones every day. Many also get a raw bone to gnaw on every day. Some people regularly alternate raw protein sources, including whole eggs and fish. For puppies, I’d probably not give a bone that was too dense until the teeth and mouth have matured. If I knew better when my dog was a puppy, he would sure get a raw meaty bone every day!
    Like Mike P says, teeth are whiter and cleaner and there is no mouth odor. Breath is fresh!

  • Mike P

    I just picked up 6 meaty raw leg bones 6 inches long from the meat locker . I got 2 a couple of weeks ago and let her go at it 3 times a week . I let her clean the bone then get rid of it . My 70 lb boxer has about 3 sessions with the bone before she cleans it . I can swear her teeth are so much whiter and no mouth odor . I just had to adjust her food intake as she gained a few pounds since I started her on the bones . I can’t wait until friday when she gets her new bone . Very cool to watch …

  • J.J.

    No problem Gordon, no offense taken. Thanks for asking the trainer. We are still working on it. I was able to give her some cooked lamb and some browned nature’s variety raw frozen medallions, which were clearly no longer raw at that point. But the point is to try to get her interested in the taste & texture of real meat, then I can hopefully give it to her more rare each time until we get to raw.

    The puppy on the other hand loves everything raw she’s tried, raw lamb, raw meaty lamb chop bone, nature’s variety raw frozen medallions, she can get enough. I’m hoping her enthusiasm will rub off on the 3.5 year old.

    Gordon & Shameless – How often is too often to give the puppy a raw meaty bone? Or, is there no such thing? I still have some lamb chop bones and also have some chicken wings in the freezer. Is once a day too much for her age or am I just paranoid. Also, how much is a good amount for her? She’s 15 weeks and about 13.5 lbs. So, would 1 chicken wing or one lamb chop bone be enough for her dinner or not enough? I know “it’s not rocket science”, but since I’m new to this I’m pretty clueless on the raw meaty bone feeding amounts. But she’s totally into it so, I’d really like to keep her on the right track from the beginning.

  • Gordon

    Oh yeah, my apologies to J.J. as I incorrectly referred to you as a he, and your dog as 4 years old in quoted question to that dog trainer. instead of 3 1/2, because at the time of writing that email to him (yesterday), I’d confused you with someone else in another forum. Too much brain overload and my memory’s starting to play up on me.

  • Gordon

    Just to clarify…re his answering my 2nd question, was in relation to me asking him about another source of mine who told me that dog trainers won’t tell the public that pups should not be exposed to others before the age of 6 months.

    Chris is way more reliable and pretty much has dismissed my misinformation as ridiculous myth. So pups should definitely be socialised as much as possible as soon as they’re weened off their mothers.

  • Gordon

    With regard to my recent questions via email to the dog trainer I often refer to, is as hereunder:-

    My question to him:
    “I wanted to ask, in all your years of dog training experience, have you ever seen an adult dog who had always had processed foods, and at the age of 4, the owner decided to present his dog with a raw meaty bone for the first time ever, but that the dog wasn’t interested? I’ve never seen
    or heard of this before, as most dogs as far as I understand it, will instinctively jump at the chance over a raw meaty bone despite never been given one before. But your day in day out experiences may have revealed such behaviour?”

    Hi answers:-

    Hi Gordon,

    Good to hear from you.

    In response to question one – seen it thousands of times. Commercial food, dopey rearing by breeders, then useless input from vets consigns these dogs to having no teeth and an early grave.

    In regards to the second, I don’t think he was pulling your leg, I think he is genuine in his stupidity!

    Sounds like most of the “dog experts” I’ve run around after cleaning up their mess.

    I think “bad” socialising is bad at any age – sounds like he was either just a wannabe or a in the security dog field.

    Ignore all dog “experts” (except me!).


  • Mike P

    Thanks J.J.

  • J.J.

    Nature’s Variety Instinct $3.00 off to try their product, then they will send you future coupons via email if you check the box.


  • Mike P

    J.J. who has the coupon ?? Which company ?

  • J.J.

    Mike P. –
    They have a 5 star canned food. You can choose which product you would like to try and they will send you the coupon for whatever product you’re interested in: kibble, raw frozen, dehydrated, or canned.

  • J.J.

    Aimee –
    Thanks for sharing your training technique for tooth brushing, I really appreciate it.

  • Gordon

    With regard to leads and collars, the 6 month stage and beyond is the safest period of handling pups and dogs on a leashed collar.

    The actual dog trainer I’ve spoken with (The one who’s worked as one for 15 years and 60,000 homes – probably an exaggeration) states that for training and walking purposes, a buckle type collar is what should be used and keep the harness ones for car traveling use only. He never spoke of the choke holder collar types, but my conclusion on these are to never use them unless they are intended for bigger breeds and when being further developed in guard dog training beyond 6 months of age. But a harness type collar/restraint should definitely be used for pups under 6 months of age and for any dog of any age when traveling in a vehicle.

    I use the buckle type collars on my dogs with out a problem, and the harness type when in the car. Although the latter is a problem because they can’t sit still enough for me to put the damn things on when they know they’re going somewhere, lol.

    With what aimee explained about the process in teaching dogs to accept their teeth being brushed, and what was stated is text book stuff, and I totally agree. Text book stuff, as in, when conducting training sessions keep them short and don’t over do it. Take it slow and be patient. The virtue of patience will pay off. In modern dog training techniques, the term “positive reinforcement” is often used to convey exactly that. Unlike the old days where it was incorrectly thought and adapted, that physical punishment went hand in hand with dog training. All this causes is for your dog to become less trusting of you, and more scared.

  • Gordon

    J.J. – Likewise. I mean it is also contrary to everything I’ve read about raising pups and general canine behaviour. When this person (Not a dog trainer himself but has worked with them), said this to me, I replied by asking something along the lines of, “You mean for pups that will be raised then trained as guard dogs?”, and he replied, no. He said this is the case for all pups no matter for what reason.

    I did some hard thinking about this, and analysed it with everything I’ve read and learned and I can possibly see some possible validity behind this theory for pups of the German Shepherd, Rottweiler, or Doberman variety, and similar that would be trained as commercial guard dogs. But I can’t see it having any benefit, psychologically or otherwise for pups who would be just a warm and loving additional member of a family.

    Meagan, if I lead you astray, forgive me, and disregard the nonsense about the ‘wait till 6 months of age to socialise your pup with others’ in my last post under this thread. It wouldn’t apply to your situation despite what the particular source told me. He’s usually reliable but even I have to question that theory. He’s not the dog trainer I’ve spoken to before that knows Dr. Billinghurst. He’s unrelated in anyway and used to work for a mob who specialised in commercial guard dog training.

    However, even if there was some truth to it (I’m skeptical), when a pup reaches 6 months of age, it is still a pup and can still be trained to be well adjusted via socialising.

    I’m also wondering if it is something that particular guard dog training centre experimented with, over the course of their very long history. Who knows?

  • Aimee – WOW! Very impressive training technique and I would imagine very successful as well. Well done for figuring that out on your own because I’ve yet to find a trainer who is that knowledgeable about successfully getting a dog to enjoy tooth brushing. Healthy teeth and gums are EXTREMELY important to overall health in my opinion – in dogs and humans…and I speak from painfully acquired experience as usual.

    Mike P – sorry about those Cubs. When I lived in Philadelphia, for 25 years we couldn’t get a winning team to save our lives. Then I moved to Florida and in 2010 they had all 4 teams in the finals together in one year plus the Phillies went on a total hot streak and I missed it all.

  • Mike P

    Thanks J.J. ,I like coupons . I try to get them for canned food . Richard , yes I root for the Cubs But that is very difficult these days . Have you looked at the standings ??

  • aimee

    Richard is on the right track when he said to use beef broth on the brush. I start off many steps removed from actually brushing the dog’s teeth. First I want to condition a positive emotional response to handling the mouth. You know how a dog responds with “yippee!!” when you handle the leash because that predicts a walk? THAT’S the response I’m after.

    The dog dictates the pace of training and is free to leave the training situation at any time. I never use any type of force when training my dogs. I do use high value food rewards when training which means boring dull food in the bowl. The dog decides what a high value treat is, not me. I have used liverwurst, chicken baby food, tiny pieces of hot dog, cooked chicken breast, blue cheese etc. I train when the dog is hungry.
    I start slow… then go slower. I watch the dog to know when to proceed. If I see any avoidance behaviors (turning head away, leaving, closing eyes, tensing face, dropping ears) I know I went too fast. All my dogs I started at the neck, pairing food reward with touch, only moving forward when I was consistently getting a “yippee” response. I gradually move forward to the lips. Laying a strong foundation is critical I can’t emphasize enough, go slow. Only when the dog comes running for lip touches do I lift lip and touch teeth. Lift lip, smear food from finger onto canine tooth, praise and repeat. Over time I work into the back of the mouth. When the dog is ready, I switch to using a gauze square wrapped on my finger and wetting it with water. Using baby food, liverwurst, peanut butter .. what ever the dog likes on the gauze I start rubbing the teeth in a circular pattern and getting the dog accustomed to having the gums touched. Be brief and “reload” the gauze after each touch. From the dogs point of view you are simply smearing yummy food in his mouth. Several short training sessions I found work better than one long one. End the session with the dog wanting more. Once I had a good conditioned response I added the spin brush. At first I got the dog use to the sound by pairing with food, than to the vibration touch starting at the neck and moving forward, and eventually into the mouth. I used the same steps with the brush as I did with my finger. Over time I added more behaviors to the sequence, laying on her side, flipping to the other side and belly up for molars.

    I don’t know of any good web resources for teaching teeth brushing but the principles used are the same for nail trimming so here are a few links for that. http://www.peaceablepaws.com/articles.php?subaction=showfull&id=1282180770&archive=&start_from=&ucat=1&type=Pat
    Good Luck

  • Mike P
    Got to agree with you 100% regarding the raw meaty bones being best for the teeth and guns.

    Do you live near Chicago – or do you root for the Cubs from far away?

  • J.J.

    Mike P. –
    I know you like coupons, just thought you might be interested, you can sign up for a $3.00 off coupon to try Nature’s Variety and future promotions by email as well.

  • Mike P

    Had my rescue’s teeth cleaned about 3 months ago by our vet . Prior to the cleaning we brushed her teeth every day and there was a whole lot of improvement . I have to say now with the raw bones , her teeth are so very bright white . I am a huge believer in the real bone thing .

  • JJ
    One of the ways I have used successfully is to make a beef broth from a beef bullion cube and keep the broth in the fridge. Keep dipping the toothbrush in the broth as you brush the dogs teeth because the dog will love the taste and be more inclined to let you brush. Be sure to brush the gums just as you do with yourself.

  • J.J.

    Aimee –
    Thanks for the link one of the articles I read in the puppy magazine I referred to was by Dr. Dunbar. I will definitely check out the site. How did you condition your dogs to love “tooth time” I could really use some tips with my 3.5 year old, she hates having her teeth brushed, which is one of the reasons I’m trying to get her to eat raw meaty bones.

    I will check out the harness situation tomorrow based on yours & Gordon’s comments.

  • aimee

    Hi J.J.
    Congrats on your baby. You might like this site http://www.dogstardaily.com. It is run by Dr Ian Dunbar who is known for making lure reward training for puppies mainstream. His motto for puppies is something like 100 people in the first 100 days!
    Top notch trainers, vets, and PhD’s blog there. The site is a wealth of information on raising and training dogs.

    Just to tie into this topic… using the training techniques of desensitization and counterconditioning all of my dogs are trained for teeth care. I use a crest spin brush. The dogs come running to me for “tooth time”. They lay on their sides and allow me full access to their mouth. My Lab will roll onto her back, belly up and mouth open so I can access the molars when I say “molars”

    I agree with Gordon no pulling on necks. My pups were always in harness and trained in harness using techniques as you’ll find on dog star. As adults they have continued in harness. I always keep pressure off of the neck

    Good Luck!

  • J.J.

    Gordon –
    As I believe you already know, we have a 14 week old Aussie, and as may be evidenced by my questions & comments on this site, I’m pretty anal about my dogs’ health and well being. So, when we got the puppy, I did a lot of research on raising a puppy, as I had never done so before. Everything I’ve read has been contrary to what you have heard regarding socializing puppies. My research has indicated that once they are weaned and have bonded with their owners, the more new experiences, people, places, and dogs that you can expose them to, the better. If they are too sheltered when they are young they can develop behavioral problems as a result (ie, fear of humans, fear of other dogs, other places, etc.) which can also lead to fear aggression. I have also read that you should spend as much time with your puppy as possible for the first several weeks to develop the bond, but that should include social and alone time to raise a well rounded dog.

    My research was neither clinical nor scientific, and I in no way claim to be an expert about dogs in any way, just a very caring owner whose tendency to be a perfectionist spills into all areas of her life. My research sources include “What Your Puppy Needs for a Healthy Start” published by Puppies USA & dogchannel.com, “Australian Shepherds” from the editors of Dog Fancy magazine, Australian Shepherd & Miniature Australian Shepherd forums on the internet, and several other similar internet sources. As well as the dog trainer we used for our malamute mix, who unfortunately I cannot refer you to because he died tragically last year of a brain tumor at 37.

    Based on your comments above, I thought you may be interested in another perspective.

  • J.J.

    Gordon & Shameless –
    As always, thanks for the tips. I seared a few chunks of the lamb meat this am to see if I could get the aroma to entice her, she tentatively ate a couple bites, but didn’t seem to love it. I also didn’t feed her dinner, so she would be extra hungry this morning.

    She’s a picky girl so I have had some challenges getting her to eat since we adopted her when she was 10 months old. Sometimes, she voluntarily skips meals on a regular basis. She’s not being over fed, as I am very vigilant about measurements and my dog’s weight/health. She has a deformed shoulder with no cartilage and we need to keep her lean, as extra weight will cause additional problems. So I’m pretty anal about her health and nutrition. Sometimes she just doesn’t eat.

    She’s already getting canned toppers at every meal at about 30-40% of her meals. She loves canned food (I’ve never met a dog who didn’t). So, I’m thinking maybe I should start integrating some cooked meats in the mix to see what she thinks and maybe I can gradually make them rarer and rarer to see if that works. I’ve tried giving her some Nature’s Variety frozen (beef, she’s partial to red meat) and she would only take a couple bites, then spit out the rest. Maybe it’s the texture of raw that she doesn’t like. She loves dehydrated liver training treats, so I’m also thinking about trying Stella & Chewy’s or ZiwiPeak to at least get some more real food in her. She does like raw eggs, so I try to give those to her on a regular basis. I’ll keep trying with the raw meat and bones. Thanks for your continued encouragement and advice.

  • Gordon

    You’re welcome Meagan. I hope you enjoy your 4th July holiday. That’s strange that your 3 month old pup slept through the fireworks. Pups, and small breeds in particular are notoriously startled by cracking sounds like fireworks and thunder.

    I don’t want to throw any spanner in the works figuratively speaking, but I heard, not read, from someone in the know, that pups should not be exposed to strangers until at least the age of 6 months. Apparently, dog trainers don’t tell us this and it has something to do with the pup, becoming better adjusted psychologically and become more loyal to its owner if it only spends time with its owner for the first 6 months of its life. Now I don’t know how much truth there is to that, but if there is, and if experienced dog trainers are keeping this a secret, than I’ll bet it would be because they want less well adjusted dogs around so their services could be employed. Means more money for them. Just a theory.

    Also be aware (apparently a fact), that your 3 month old pup’s neck has obviously not grown to full strength, and therefore when you might have a collared lead attached, to walk it or train to walk it and become used to leads, that you should never pull on your pup’s neck via the lead, to reprimand it, until at least the age of 6 months, when most dogs’ necks have become properly developed to full strength. After that, it is quite safe to pull on their lead.

  • Meagan

    Thanks Gordon! Today will be a great day to get our 3 month old puppy around some different people other than us and our families. She has been around fireworks once already and slept through them. She is so great!