I feed my 4-year old female Rottweiler dog raw bones: chicken drumsticks, chicken breast bones and pork neck bones for her nutritional needs and the safe tooth cleaning benefit. I avoid feeding my dog cooked bones (easy to splinter) or the hard weight bearing bones like shane bones (could crack teeth). However, I do continue to observe my dog’s tooth health, and to avoid causes of dental fractures.
I continue to learn how to safely feed raw bones to my dog. I find the article “The Right Raw Bones Can Sae Your Dog’s Teeth and Thousands in dental Care.” by Dr. Peter Tobias, DVM informative to me. I quote the entire article in the following. The original web page is on http://peterdobias.com/blogs/blog/11626453-the-right-raw-bones-can-save-your-dogs-teeth-and-thousands-in-dental-care.
FIFTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS! “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!”
This is one of the most common replies when my clients see a quote for a broken tooth repair from a dog dentist. Yes, repairing a dental fracture can be very expensive. That is why reading this blog post may save you lots of money.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO REDUCE THE RISK:
Avoid feeding beef, buffalo or bison shank bones. They are often harder than dog teeth. Most dogs will get simply carried away chewing on a large bone and may crack one of their teeth. This is how a 2 dollar marrow bone can turn into a painful and very expensive adventure.
I already hear some of you protesting: “But my dog loves big bones!! He likes to work at the bone marrow!”
SOLVING THE DILEMMA
In reality, nature intended canines to hunt for birds, rodents , rabbits, goats and perhaps deer. Most dogs would simply not dare to come even close to a buffalo or a cow. With the exception of a pack of hungry Chihuahuas, most dogs simply do not like hanging on the ankle of a angry bull.
THE RIGHT SIZED BONES CAN BE VERY BENEFICIAL
However, if you want to avoid regular dental cleaning under anesthesia, the right sized bones can save Fido a lot of dental trouble and save you tons of money. I usually recommend feeding lamb or goat bones twice a week. The abrasive action of these hard but not too thick bones is perfect for keeping your dogs teeth shiny without the risk of dental fractures.
WHY I DO NOT RECOMMEND JUNKY DENTAL BONES?
Many companies have come up with alternatives to dental bones. However most of them are ineffective and loaded with artificial preservatives, wheat, starches and ingredients of questionable origin.
Real bones are the best option!
WHAT TO DO IF YOU DISCOVER A FRACTURED TOOTH?
Since my clients have learned about feeding the right bones, the number of fractured teeth has dropped sharply. However, no matter what you do, your dog can crack a tooth by munching on a rock or having an accident of some sort.
I remember Roz, a German Shepherd that chased a ball and tried to catch it mid air. Unfortunately, she missed the ball and bit a big cement block instead. She fracture several teeth and needed a medical attention.
The rule of thumb is if you can you should repair it. If a veterinary dentist is available in your area, he will give you the right suggestion. Many general practitioners have also suitable dental equipment however, some over-prescribe extractions because they are not trained to do root canals.
Also, if a tooth is removed, the opposing one is usually affected by increased tartar build up and gum disease. It will frequently be lost a few months or year later.
TIMELY RESPONSE IS IMPORTANT
The sooner you can get the fractured tooth examined the better because because a freshly fractured tooth can regenerate and stay alive by applying a cemment cap. In most fractures older than a few days, a root canal is most likely needed and sometimes, an extraction may be the only solution.
RAW BONES ARE SAFE TO FEED.
NEVER FEED COOKED OR SMOKED BONES – THEY ARE HARD AND INDIGESTIBLE
Feed the bones of medium sized animals for optimal and safe cleaning effect
Large beef, buffalo and other large bones are too hard and can cause dental fractures.
RAW chicken bones are safe to eat but too soft to clean teeth
It is ok for a dog to eat bone fragments. The stomach acids disolve them and aid complete disolution and digestion.
Fractured teeth should be restored if possible.
Raw dental bones should fed 1 – 2 a week