Dog teeth

Keeping Dog’s teeth Strong and Healthy

Are Raw Meat and Bones

Beneficial to Your Dog’s Dental Care?


Author,   Professional Pet Sitting Etc.


There are many pet parents who regularly feed their canine companions raw diets of meat and bones with the belief it will save their pet from bad teeth and stinky breath. But does this method really work? Or, on the contrary, does it cause more problems in the long run?


It is well know that good dental health is one key way to ensure your pooch has a happy and healthy life. Dental disease can actually lead to serious problems with your pet’s organs, such as the heart, and pets who don’t receive good dental care can lose their teeth painfully, causing further health problems.


There are several dog foods available that assist in teeth cleaning and dental health, but what about raw meat and bones?


Raw Bones


Raw Diets that include raw bones, unfortunately, raw bones can cause problems for your pooch, from fractured teeth, gastroenteritis, digestive obstructions, constipation and pancreatitis. Most issues tend to arise with large beef bones. Think about it – a bone that is strong enough to hold the weight of a cow is tough. If your pooch is a determined chewer, he could easily break a tooth before the bone gives way. Worse yet, if you have a dog who likes to hide his bones, or simply save them for later, the bones then have the opportunity to reach room temperature and harbor bacteria.


Okay, so if you monitor your dog’s chew time, and keep a close eye on the temperature and condition of the raw bone, all is well, right? Not really! Periodontal disease begins with bacterial growth in the mouth that can result in tooth loss due to destruction of the tissue that surrounds the teeth. And, in order to lessen this bacterial growth, the prevention of plaque and tartar build-up along the gum line is a must. Raw bones typically shatter or break as your dog’s molars penetrate the bone, meaning they never reach the gum line. The lack of dental assistance raw bones provide, combined with the possible dangers they present your beloved pooch, make them a questionable choice.


Raw Meat


Meat is obviously softer and chewier than bones, but does that make it a good option for cleaning your dog’s teeth? Consider this – would you eat a steak rather than brush your teeth? Hopefully your answer is a resounding “no!” In order for raw meat to “brush” your dog’s teeth, he would have to sink his teeth into the meat, right up to the gumline, repeatedly on each and every tooth. Now, if your dog is anything like mine, he sucks his food up like a vacuum, barely chewing at all! So, when it comes to dental care, raw meat is not ideal.


As for raw meat in terms of overall health, raw food diets for pets are a controversial topic. If you do opt for a raw meat diet for your pooch, just keep in mind his dental care will still need tending to.


Keep Your Pet’s Teeth Healthy


When it comes to doggie dental health, it’s pretty simple. You have teeth, and you need regular brushing, flossing and professional dental care in order to keep your mouth healthy, so why wouldn’t your dog need the same? Answer – he does! And here’s how you can provide him with what he needs:


  1. Brush his teeth with toothpaste made specifically for dogs; daily is preferred, though not always possible, so brush as often as you can.
  2. Visit your vet for regular doggie dental check-ups.
  3. Make an annual appointment for your pooch to receive a scale and polish (scaling removes the plaque and tartar build-up around the gumline, and polishing makes the teeth sparkling clean).
  4. Feed your dog a good dental diet. The Veterinary Oral Health Council published a list of the foods they recommend ~
  5. Consider using a water additive such as Healthymouth.


Our dogs are our family, and we want to do what’s best for them in all regards. When it comes to dental care, you may want to consider other options besides raw meat and bones.




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