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Hear are the answers to your dog's diet problems

Your dog's diet - raw versus dried food

Your dog's diet is the most important part of its home dental care.

When I was growing up in country New Zealand, my Mum always feed our cats and dogs the way Mother Nature intended, with raw meat and raw bones. All had pearly white teeth and none had problems with bad breath and gum disease.

Listen to what Dr. Becker has to say about feeding your pets raw food


Nowadays, many people think that by feeding their pet dry food it will clean their teeth.

It doesn't, nothing could be further from the truth. Dry foods will only clean the tip of your dog's teeth but not up to the gingival margins, which is where the problems associated with plaque begin.

If you must feed canned or dried food, find yourself a genuine supplier which specialises in organic or natural kibble which you can be confident doesn't contain allergenic ingredients, e.g. grains or imports from China. This can be a bit like searching for a needle in a haystack, however we can recommend Only Natural Pet foods as a safe bet with. You can find a range of what they offer in our segment on dog dental care products.

Remember, if you don't have time to brush, natural "hide" chews, e.g. pig's ears, or dental chews made from organic/natural ingredients and raw bones are all alternative options to follow-up after a meal of organic/natural canned or dry foods.

Listen to Dr. Becker explain the importance of brushing your dog's teeth and the importance of choosing organic and allergery free bone chews, or dental chews for your pets to chew on.


It is solely your responsibility as your pet's owner to keep your dog's teeth clean and healthy after it has eaten.

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Your dog's diet - raw bones

Failure to feed raw bones regularly to dogs is one of the main reasons why calculus and dental disease is so common in pets. Dental disease affects 80% of all dogs over three years of age. But it doesn't have to be this way!

Feeding your dog raw bones at least 2-3 times each week is perhaps the most important and rewarding thing you can do to keep its gums in tip top condition.

Tearing meat off the bone and chewing through bone and cartilage mimics the call of the wild when dogs had to make a kill to survive. Tearing and chewing exercises the jaws and cleans the dog's entire dentition, right from the tips of their teeth down to the gingival margins or gum lines.

Depending on the size of your dog, larger soft bones such as lamb or veal are by far the most preferable for big breeds, followed by chicken wings for smaller breeds. Many butchers will sell bags of raw bones for a reasonable cost, some will even sell raw bones with some raw meat and fat, which is a bonus.

Avoid feeding large hard bones like beef leg bones and any long split bones; these can cause a dog's teeth to fracture and then extraction is the only remedy.

Keep to soft bones and don't be afraid to feed your pet raw bones on the premise that it is possible for them to become lodged in its mouth; this is extremely rare and easily fixed if it should happen.

Some dogs are reluctant to eat bones. This is usually because they weren't offered bones as a puppy or they have been spoiled with off the shelf commercial pet foods, and have become fussy eaters.

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Your dog's diet - cooked Bones

Never feed your dog cooked bones, unless you can trust it to simply gnaw off the meat and leave the bone. Cooked bones are of less benefit to the teeth and gums and can create horrible and painful intestinal problems, e.g. piercing of the intestinal walls, obstructions of the bowel and/or constipation.

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Your dog's diet - tips you can try to encourage Fideo to eat raw bones

  • Let your pet skip a meal and hope it will show more interest next time around.
  • Warm the bones with some gravy in the microwave, but don't cook them right through.
  • Flavour the bones by mixing them with some of your pet's favourite canned food.
  • Brown them in a pan with gravy or juices from your own cooking.
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