Well do you? I must admit that it’s often hard enough to care for my own teeth as much as I should, let alone my 4 legger’s. But I hope to get better about both this year. I have owned a toothbrushing outfit (no no, I mean toothbrush and paste) for over a year, but I must admit I have maybe used it once on her. So now I am making the effort to condition her to this task the right way.. By taking my time, and trying to make it fun. I plan to do the same with Wyatt.
Where does this all come from you might ask? Well as I said I have had the outfit for over a year, and a recent video I saw on a friend’s blog gave me a little more motivation. But it’s not like I have not done anything to help her out with her teeth. I am a firm believer in feeding a good food, providing plenty of chews, as well as feeding RAW goodies when I can too. Yes, raw. I went through an entire 40lb box of chicken backs over the course of Luna’s puppyhood. I don’t know if I ever will do it again, but she enjoyed it and I do think that the chews and raw goodies I gave her (and continue to) is part of the reason she has always gotten compliments on her white teeth. It wasn’t until this year that I noticed any sort of build up on her canines, and it’s still very minimal. I think the raw treats has contributed to her coat as well over the years.
Especially when I was able to feed the frozen “Meatloaf Dinner” from Wolfies. Shortly after we ran out, I managed to get some in the wind dried version but it never did make her coat look as good as the frozen. I am on the hunt to get more of this, now that they seem to be able to be producing it again.
Here is a little write up a fellow Vizsla owner wrote about feeding raw treats/chews:
“Hi there –
I’m definitely talking about RAW chicken wings and lamb ribs (about raw bones in general). Here in the UK I can buy wings from my local supermarket but can also source all raw bones directly from butchers, butchers wholesalers and abbatoirs.
Cooked or baked bones must NEVER be given as they can splinter cause perforation of the GI tract.
Chicken wings are a brilliant source of fat, protein and minerals. The chewiness of the wings helps keep teeth clean without brushing.
Raw meaty bones (including meaty lamb ribs) help to scrub the teeth clean and the gristly stringy bits floss the teeth. It’s very important to remember that it’s not crunching the bone that does the work (even though they will eat EVERYTHING (!)…it’s gnawing off the meat and cartilage that does the trick.
My two also get raw recreational bones (these are non-edible bones like big knuckles) – these are also valuable tooth-cleaners plus are good mind soothers and muscle exercisers.
Raw meat is also good because it does not stick to the teeth to start with and therefore, does not encourage the formation of bacterial plaque on the teeth.
Feeding dogs a raw diet including the raw meaty bones means (imho) that they are healthier and suffer less from common modern diseases such as chronic colitis, atropy and periodontal disease. They are also less likely to suffer from blocked anal glands (a very common condition in dogs fed wet food or poor quality kibble).
Here are a few of the other benefits of feeding raw and raw meaty bones (RBM): Reduced doggy odour and “dog breath”; chewing RMBs cleans teeth and supplies minerals, but, most important, dogs love it…it gets their endorphins going; the time it takes for a dog to chew RMB gives their stomach time to get the acids moving; produces firmer, more “pick-upable”, less smelly, smaller stools.
As you can tell, I’m a real advocate of the Barf diet…in my opinion, dogs have evolved to eat this diet, so why feed them anything else?!”
And after reading the following article I think I will try some other types of bones and raw treats for the pups. I bought some beef neck bones at the store the other day and they got to try them last night, and did well with them. And after reading this I am so glad I kept the leg bones from the deer hams we butchered this year as they are perfect. And I am still in search of an easy way to feed green beef tripe… it’s hard to find, let alone figure out how to portion it out. There is a store in DC that might carry some options.
So since we’re talking chews and treats.. here are a couple links I have gathered over the years
Elk Antlers: lots of options no matter how heavy of a chewer you have, elk antler has more pith (crunchy porous stuff in middle) than others so dogs love them more
White Dog Bone: one of my FAV vendors.. I have personally talked to several representatives at dog shows, and they know their stuff… and really pay attention to getting their things from quality sources. check out the Made in USA section, more specifically the Merrick brand. And did I mention their prices are fantastic!? I should really get a commission off of how many I have told about them.
And for those who are looking to take matters into their own hands. I plan to start a page on here for dog treat recipes, so keep an eye out.
Alright, if you made it to the end of this post, thank you for reading.. I hope it wasn’t too boring. Now it is time to brush my own teeth and get to sleep
(PS. I pretty much LOVE that the above photo is straight out of camera.. sure it may be a bit hot in places, but I love the shot. even cooler, it was shot in my living room)