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Hi everyone I was curious what is your preferred method of maintaining your dogs teeth? I’m hearing good things about coconut oil, but are all types of coconut oil safe and okay to use on dogs teeth? Or do you use dog toothpaste or just focus on raw bones? Maybe water additives? In reference to the raw bones it would be for a smaller dog like a Cavalier King Charles

Whatever you use can you please tell me the name of the brand of whatever you use. For example if you use raw bones what type of raw bone do you buy?
 

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My dogs get their dental care mainly from a (mostly) raw diet.

My small dog (17lbs) gets a variety of raw meaty bones and is probably similar in size to your dog. He gets chicken feet, chicken necks, chicken drumsticks, lamb femurs, pork necks, whole sardines, beef and pork ribs, among other things. Sometimes I feed these bones frozen, sometimes thawed. Some of these are too big to be consumed in one meal, however I give him the whole bone, allow him to chew down/eat an appropriate amount, and then take it from him (always trade, don't just take! Don't want to create resource guarding problems). I do this because it is less of a choking hazard if he eats a large bone in a few sittings versus cutting them into portions, but to each their own. I'm just paranoid.

Feeding raw bones is also great for enrichment and mental stimulation, on top of dental benefits. Chewing is a great way for dogs to destress and compress.

Another thing I've found good for my dog's teeth, his front teeth especially, is the Lickimat. They're on amazon for relatively cheap. I smear this with raw ground meat or sometimes mashed banana, greek yogurt, peanut butter, etc, and then freeze it. My dog chews mostly with his back teeth and doesn't really pick meat off of bones with his front teeth, and this has done a great job at removing tartar from his front teeth.

It should also be mentioned that dental issues can be genetic and are especially common in small breeds. My 9 year old rottie mix has immaculate teeth while my 3 year old small mutt has some tartar issues even though the rottie has only been eating raw for 2-3 years and my small dog has eaten raw his entire life. So it's never a bad idea to also implement regular brushing, on top of raw bones.
 

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I feed raw and their teeth stay clean. I do not give marrow bones (raw) because they are very hard and can break teeth. I do feed raw chicken thighs (can get 'em cheap) and a raw mix. The chicken thighs are fed frozen solid and I think gnawing those helps keep teeth clean. Recently I have also scored some Horse Mackerel and I feed the whole fish frozen with either the chicken thighs or the raw mix.

Chicken necks (not turkey as those bones sometimes get stuck on the way out.. ) and raw rib bones, knuckle bones also keep teeth clean.

Kibble sticks to teeth and causes trouble. I give the cats raw gizzards 2-3 times a week and they have clean teeth too!
 

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Ginger and Bucky are 13 pound mutts and fed raw. Their teeth stay clean unless a tooth has gone bad. Ginger has lost 2 of the carnassials on opposite sides of her mouth, I figured out the second had gone bad because that side of the mouth was getting buildup again.

For years I gave my medium sized dogs a raw beef BBQ style rib a week to clean up their teeth. Worked really well. Most of the cleaning happens when they pull off the meat and connective tissues, they ate very little of the actual and I threw them away once it was bare bone.

The littles don't need that because of the raw diet. Just feeding chicken necks and smaller bones won't clean teeth well because they don't last long enough. Other cuts you might try from the market would be pig feet and lamb, pork or beef neck bones. The piece needs to be large enough so dog cannot take into the mouth with joints so there's a safe end to chew. You have to choose neck bone from the butcher and not get it cut up.
 

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Raw bones all the way. Nothing else I've tried has kept teeth clean in the same way. And I've tried various nylabones, brushing every day, smoked bones, rawhide, pork skin rolls, denta-chew type things, edible chews, hooves, antlers, etc....
Sor lived 12.5 years and never had a dental. His teeth were more yellowed in his older years, but immaculate otherwise. My now 2yo dog has sparkling white teeth and he gets a raw bone (cut marrow bone or femur head) once every week or two.

The only thing I needed to keep track of is how both dogs chew. My older dog was actually more worrisome because he was food obsessed, and he actually did have two minor slab fractures his teeth on marrow bones (no extractions needed, lived to the end with all of his teeth in his mouth). However, he could get femur heads or entire femur bones because they were large/round enough he could not try to crack them. My younger dog I imagined would be a more powerful chewer but because he is not as food motivated, he actually takes his time with bones and I can give him more options than I did my older dog. Every dog is different.
 

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I found a video by the AKC that gave tips on brushing a dog's teeth. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6S50BZU1D0
In the video, the veterinarian also recommended raw lamb or goat bones but said that beef and marrow bones can fracture a dog's teeth. I'm not sure where one would find lamb or goat bones in my area. I would likely have to order online.

My eldest son gave me a few Whimzees chew sticks for my pup. Yesterday, thankfully before I gave her one, I went online to read about the ingredients. Along with potato starch and a couple other ingredients, it has glycerin (laxative properties) and cellulose (fiber). I also read that they are not recommended for pups younger than 9 months or for dogs weighing less than 5 pounds. I'm assuming the recommendation is due to the loose stools or stomach upset they may cause.

I've read rave reviews about water additives and think it might be a simple way to help control the growth of tarter. I'm not convinced that it would take the place of bones or brushing and I'm also not ready to give it to my pup, who still has her baby teeth. A Nylabone representative replied to a post (I think on Chewy.com) that said the dog version was not suitable for cats because of the citric acid in the product. I worry that acid might cause tummy upset. Many other brands do not have citric acid but include other ingredients that I am not familiar with. I guess some research is in order so I'm prepared to keep her next set of teeth in good condition.

My last pooch would have nothing to do with oral care and had some bad plaque build-up. When he injured a leg and needed to be sedated for x-rays, I had my vet go in and clean his teeth as well. I'd like to prevent build-up in my current pup. My little girl is pretty good about letting me give her gums a quick rub every few days. Next, I plan to pick up a finger brush and see how accepting she is of that.
 

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I actually brush Isobel's teeth every night. I did the same with my former dog. Neither of them have/had an issue, Izzy actually gets excited about it, lol. But if you do opt for brushing it's best to start when they're babies ❤
 

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I would just like to add that don't waste your money on Greenies. My mom's little malti/poo got one daily for teeth cleaning. Last spring the poor baby had to have 26 teeth extracted. I told the vet that we gave her Greenies every day. She said they were a waste of money.
 

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Our dogs are on a raw food diet so that helps keep their teeth clean. I never give raw bones, but they do get deer antlers to chew on and those do clean their teeth quite well. I know some people are against antlers, but they work for my dogs since they aren't actually trying to consume them, they just use them as a chew.

I also brush their teeth a couple of times a month (not as much as I should). Sometimes I buy dog toothpaste and sometimes I make my own using coconut oil: http://www.dognotebook.com/how-to-make-homemade-dog-toothpaste/

Occasionally I'll give them a Whimzie to eat, but it's more of a treat than a source of dental care.
 

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one of my dogs has a serious underbite...he eats mostly raw, but those front teeth that stick out get an awful lot of buildup...(lack of saliva?) anyways, I give him a marrow bone about once a week, and his breath is a million times better afterwards, and he scrapes all that buildup off. It comes right back unfortunately...but the rest of his teeth are sparkly white!! He's almost 6 and has been raw fed most of his life:) I'm amazed at how well raw bones work for teeth cleaning!
 
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