Dog Dental Health – Bones
We’re tackling the big one today – dog dental health and bones. There are several schools of thought concerning dog dental health. One, the school of thought I follow, is all for bones and sturdy meat chews for a dog’s gum and tooth health. We’ll talk more about that in a minute. Another is brushing a dog’s teeth every day. Some people do this. More power to ’em. I’m lazy. Not gonna happen. Some people buy Greenies or other dog dental health aids which a dog consumes. They’re sometimes shaped like toothbrushes. Some are made with mint, for fresh breath. Okay. That’s a fine option. But we’re going to talk, today, about my favorite dog dental health option – bones.
Why Not Brush a Dog’s Teeth?
I’ve already mentioned one reason I give my dogs bones – I’m too lazy to brush their teeth. Especially after recovering from chemo. For many months I barely had the strength to brush my own teeth. AND I have four dogs. No way. I admire people who will spend time doing such a great thing for their dogs. And why can I say, confidently, that I’m okay with giving my dogs bones instead of brushing their teeth? My dogs get a clean bill of dog dental health from the vet every time we go. Flash, at 14, had a tooth extracted. One. In 14 years. That’s it. Their teeth look good.
I’m not saying, by any stretch, not to brush your dog’s teeth, if that’s what you’re inclined to do. By all means, do what you feel is right for your dog. I’m just saying that there are other ways to maintain good dental health. Natural ways. Ways a dog will enjoy, rather than fight with you to do.
Why Are Bones Good for a Dog’s Teeth and Gums?
Doing a little research for this, I came across polar opposite reactions to real bones. I even came across people recommending rawhides for dental health (NO NO NO!!! DON’T DO IT!!! Rawhides cause all kinds of digestive issues for dogs!). So I’m going to tell you what I know, from five years in the field, talking to Jones Natural Chews, talking to raw feeders, reading extensively, listening to people’s stories.
- The gnawing action has the bone rubbing up and down the surface of the teeth, scrubbing them. Because bones are nonconsumable, they are simply for enjoyment, and teeth and gum cleaning. Chewing on them scrubs plaque, whitens teeth, keeps gums healthy.
- The saliva created in the chewing action has enzymes which are good for a dog’s dental health.
- Bones come in different shapes and sizes. Choose smaller sizes for smaller dogs. And some larger dogs can’t handle very large or hard bones, cracking teeth. Know your dog.
- Sometimes a super tough consumable chew is a better route – our new Bully Bone combines a natural Center Bone and Bully Stick for the ultimate pleasurable dog dental health experience.
- DO NOT give dogs smoked bones. Jones Natural Chews has perfected the moisture controlled bake for their bones. Smoking bones makes them brittle, which is bad. Jones bones are the closest thing to raw, but without the hazards of bacteria that raw brings.
But What About Tooth Brushing Chews?
I can’t speak to all tooth brushing chews for dogs. I don’t know all of them. They’re super cute. They appeal to us because they do a couple of things:
- They look like toothbrushes, which are great for human dental health
- They often have a mint smell, which we associate with clean teeth and breath
Those are fun qualities. Qualities which appeal to humans. They don’t necessarily make them the best things for dog dental hygiene. I’m not saying they’re bad, but I’m not saying I’d choose them, either, other than for the above factors. In fact, I’ve looked at the ingredients in some of the major tooth brushing chews on the market. Let’s compare. Here are the ingredients in the top selling dental health chew on the market:
Wheat flour, wheat protein isolate, glycerin, gelatin, oat fiber, water, lecithin, natural poultry flavor, minerals (dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, magnesium amino acid chelate, zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, potassium iodide), choline chloride, dried apple pomace, fruit juice color, vitamins ( dl-alpha tocopherol acetate [source of vitamin E], vitamin B12 supplement, d-calcium pantothenate [vitamin B5], niacin supplement, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement [vitamin B2], vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, pyridoxine hydrochloride [vitamin B6], thiamine mononitrate [vitamin B1], folic acid), turmeric color.
First, the two main ingredients are wheat and wheat protein. That’s okay for some dogs. My own dogs are sensitive to grains and only eat a grain free diet. Unless, you know, they’re in the back yard eating chicken poo. Bad dogs. Now lets’ look at what’s in most of Jones Natural Chews dental chews:
- Beef Bone
- Lamb Bone
- Pork Femur
- Beef Hoof
- Beef Bone and Bully Stick
- Plenty more where that came from
Do you see what I’m seeing? Single or two ingredient chews. They do what they’re designed to do. They clean teeth and gums, and dogs enjoy gnawing on them.
Now that I’ve buttered you up, convincing you that bones are the way to go for dog dental health, let me tell you about our current giveaway. The bones you’ve seen in most of the photos in this post are our Bully Bones. It’s a 4″ Natural Center Bone, with a natural Bully Stick wrapped through and tied off before baking. Little meaty bits are still clinging to the bone, and the Bully is delicious. Your dog wants one. And the bone, once the Bully is eaten, is great for stuffing with peanut butter, or pumpkin and yogurt. Or just lying around for long term gnawing. We’re just great that way. To enter to win one for your dog, simply click this sentence, leave a comment in the new post which will open, then click the box and click I Commented! Easy peasy. You’ve got this. Your dog will smile. And thanks for entering!
Spreading the good chews …