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Discussion Starter #1
This has been asked many times but I've never gotten a satisfactory answer. I want to start feeding raw meaty bones for dental care. She already gets about 1/3 raw 2/3 kibble, but I want to focus on things that will keep her teeth in good shape. She particularly has some build-up on her very last two teeth. Brushing keeps it in check but I want it gone, lol. What type of bones with help with this area? If it makes a difference, Sydney weighs 20 pounds and is a fairly light chewer.
 

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I give Buffy frozen raw beef ribs (started with trimming off most the meat/fat) and her teeth look great. She gets one every week or two. She's only ~2 1/2 though, so her still-nice-teeth may be from her young age too. She's about 28 lbs. but is a strong chewer.
 

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You could also try chicken wings or backs for a small dog as one of her raw meals a couple times a week. You're feeding the raw and kibble at different meals, right? They digest at different rates and should be fed separately.
 

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I know a lot of people don't like giving marrow bones, but that's what I usually give. I just get them cut into chunks at the butcher, or there's a raw pet food store here that has beef marrow bones and lamb femurs cut in half. I find I have to be more careful with the lamb femurs, they gnaw the ends off and I often have to take the shaft away as it's just the right size for them to swallow whole at a certain point, although since Sydney is smaller you might not need to worry so much about that.

And btw feeding the raw and kibble at the same time is fine, IMO. IF it's true that they digest at different rates, I don't think it matters at all.
 

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The best options are to replace a meal with chicken backs. Wings are usually much more expensive. Beef/pork/lamb neck bones are also great, the beef neck bones I get are pointy with ridges and it takes them some work to get the meat off and in the process the teeth get cleaned. The pork necks are usually completely eaten and do a good job too of both keeping them amused and fed. Where I get the pork necks they will cut them up if you don't tell them not to, but they are about a pound or so each, so you might want them cut into four at first and build up, or do as we do and plan for pork bone day to be one where they expell the toxic farts outside.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'll try out the beef ribs. It's a little expensive for me now, but in August I'm going to have a massive reduction in bills so it should be no problem then. Would chicken wings possibly be too small and/or dangerous as far as possibly being swallowed whole? And where do you buy chicken backs? I assume ribs and marrow bones cannot be eaten but wings and backs can, correct?

I've fed marrow bones before...the ones made for soup that are cut into small chunks, but she had difficulty chewing those without my help, which of course gets a little old. ;p You can see at 2:12 in the video I put it down and she's just like, "Well I'm not even going to bother now."


And yeah, I feed them in separate meals, but mainly just because that's convenient. She doesn't really have any digestive issues so it probably wouldn't matter, but considering something as small as an egg is basically a whole meal for her, I've never had occasion to mix the two.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The best options are to replace a meal with chicken backs. Wings are usually much more expensive. Beef/pork/lamb neck bones are also great, the beef neck bones I get are pointy with ridges and it takes them some work to get the meat off and in the process the teeth get cleaned. The pork necks are usually completely eaten and do a good job too of both keeping them amused and fed. Where I get the pork necks they will cut them up if you don't tell them not to, but they are about a pound or so each, so you might want them cut into four at first and build up, or do as we do and plan for pork bone day to be one where they expell the toxic farts outside.
I'll have to see if I can find necks and backs around here somewhere. I'll probably end up giving a variety of things just to be sure. It would be lovely if I could stop brushing her teeth.
 

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I found that these rib bones I buy from a pet store work wonders for cleaning teeth.. I'm not sure what kind of rib bones they are, mayble lamb or something.. they are very flat and in their entire length, they're sharp and pointy and fairly jagged with pretty much no meat on them. They come in a bag and I'd say each bone varies between a half a foot to a foot long, they last quite a while, they get a lot of chewing out of them and I they really use thier back teeth to gnaw on them. Once they've broken them down to a smaller peice I take them away. The actual bag itself is even labelled Best Doggie Toothbrush or something. Cost me $10 for a bag that lasts me a month.

I use marrow bones too, Cash has cracked and broke a tooth on one but ohwell..he still gets them anyway occasionally, the partially missing tooth does not seem to affect him but I do not give him marrow bones as often as other raw meaty bones or bully sticks, etc.

And on the raw and kibble thing, it totally depends on the dog. I have never mixed the two together in past, which may be completely different and may not affect a dog what so ever if eaten, chewed and digested at the same time, but I have experienced first hand a very sick pooch who managed to get into some kibble about a half hour before he ate a raw meal, and let me tell ya.. that is not something you woudl ever want to have happen to your dog again. I was cleaning explosive diarrhea off my walls, stair case, carpet, bathrooms.. it was EVERYWHERE.

On the other hand, we also had this scenario reversed, with the same dog. Ate some kibble shortly after a raw meal.. slightly mushy poop afterwards but no ill affects otherwise.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I found that these rib bones I buy from a pet store work wonders for cleaning teeth.. I'm not sure what kind of rib bones they are, mayble lamb or something.. they are very flat and in their entire length, they're sharp and pointy and fairly jagged with pretty much no meat on them. They come in a bag and I'd say each bone varies between a half a foot to a foot long, they last quite a while, they get a lot of chewing out of them and I they really use thier back teeth to gnaw on them. Once they've broken them down to a smaller peice I take them away. The actual bag itself is even labelled Best Doggie Toothbrush or something. Cost me $10 for a bag that lasts me a month.
Where do you buy those? Was it a chain store? I assume these are raw so they were in a refrigerator area?
 

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I'll try out the beef ribs. It's a little expensive for me now, but in August I'm going to have a massive reduction in bills so it should be no problem then. Would chicken wings possibly be too small and/or dangerous as far as possibly being swallowed whole? And where do you buy chicken backs? I assume ribs and marrow bones cannot be eaten but wings and backs can, correct?
I usually find the beef ribs in my local grocery store for about $3/lb. A $10-$12 package will last me about 2 months usually.

And, for the most part, Buffy doesn't eat the ribs. I bought ones that were too small once, and she did eat one of those (but I watched her and she chewed it up really well) but if I get the larger ones (probably about 6" long), she only chews a little off of each end. The real work/scraping comes from her trying to get all the meat, etc., off of it. I take them away after they start to get dry/brittle.

And, she was starting to get some yellow on her back teeth when I was only brushing them. That's completely gone now. I don't brush at all.
 

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I like beef knuckle bones. They are huge, so I have the butcher saw them into halves (for a large dog, quarters maybe for a small dog) and they have a great funky shape that gets the dogs really gnawing from different angles. They are more cartilage than bone so they seem less likely to crack a tooth if he bites straight down on it (esp compared to marrow bones) but still substantial enough to rub at the teeth. I just pop it back in the fridge to chew again the next day after a bit of a chewing session (unless its super hot outside)
 

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Where do you buy those? Was it a chain store? I assume these are raw so they were in a refrigerator area?
Yes I bought them at a store called 'Just Dogs'. Its a newer chain pet store up here. Yes they are raw and were in a freezer. I'm scrambling to think of what kind of ribs they are.. they're huge, like I said.. a foot or so long. They are edible and digestable like any other non-weight bearing bone, but it took Thumper, who's a heavy and aggressive chewer, 2 week to saw one down to the point I had to take it away. But wow, do they ever work. Come to think of it, I'm out, and I also need to go buy bully sticks from the same place so I'm going to pick some up tonight if they aren't sold out and I'll take pictures so you have an idea what they look like. They aren't anything i've ever seen at a grocery store or anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'll have to check that place out if I'm ever heading towards Cleveland. Apparently there is one about an hour and a half from here, but I can't see making that trip just for the bones. Thank you for the info, I'll keep my eye out for bones that look like what you've described.
 

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I'll have to check that place out if I'm ever heading towards Cleveland. Apparently there is one about an hour and a half from here, but I can't see making that trip just for the bones. Thank you for the info, I'll keep my eye out for bones that look like what you've described.
It is a great store, up here they sell a wide variety of kibble, canned food, toys, treats, commercial raw foods and RMB's for much better prices than I can find anywhere else for the same products. I don't purchase food there anymore since I stopped feeding kibble, but I do still buy everything else there like elk antlers, the rib bones, bully sticks or any other dog neccessities.
 

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I also vote for ribs. Pork, sheep, or goat ribs if you can as they are a little softer but beef ribs are ok. Mine are completely raw fed and when I give beef ribs I let them strip the meat off but then I take the bones to keep them from gnawing. In my opinion, any bone that requires gnawing is too hard and has the potential to break, crack, and damage their teeth. I don't worry about a little scraping and gnawing during the meat stripping process though. They usually chomp the ends of the ribs off and they do get a good scraping while getting the meat off.

I have a video of mine eating beef ribs, you can see how much they scrape their teeth (sorry for length of vid, I didn't realize it was going so long). Ribs are good toothbrushes! Kaytu, on the left, really goes to town on them.
 

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Ribs! I love using beef ribs that have a nice thick layer of meat and fat on them. Takes the dogs longer to chew, and all that meat means they have to work it around to get it all off. Turkey backs are okay for a good brushing, as are turkey necks and chicken backs, but my go-to tooth cleaning RMB is a beef rib. I sometimes use pork shoulder bones if I have those, or pork ribs, but pork ribs are kind of a rarity in my house.
I can get beef ribs for about $2 a pound, sometimes less if I look hard enough or grab them just before they go bad. They usually have a nice 30% off sticker on them around that time.

I do have two dogs who have busted teeth on things before. I think they broke them on rocks, as there were no leftover bones in the yard when they were broken, so I am really careful with that the two of them get. Once their ribs are cleaned, I take them away, since they'll just hammer down on them when there's no meat left and I don't want either of them to bust another tooth. That is why they don't get marrow bones. I will give them to the Shiba, since he does not chew hard-core on anything, but I'm not gonna risk it with the Girls.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks guys. I will definitely start with whatever type of ribs I can find. And thank you Sibe for posting the video. I was interested in seeing *how* they chew them, since I'm specifically interested in getting her to work on those back teeth.
 

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I think for a dog her size, duck or turkey necks would be good, turkey the best as it's nice and big. Feed it to her frozen and let her have a ball.

Vital Essentials sells boxes of beef ribs, I think you get like 10 ribs for $11.

Look up raw feeding co-ops in your area, or groups on Yahoo,a nd you should find some good deals.
 

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I bought a 10lb bag of the ribs I mentioned, I think they are assorted rib bones or something, cuz they are all shapes and sizes.. anyways they are by K-9 Choice which is a raw food company, and the 10lb bag cost me $16. They are able to gnaw and eat these bones but it does take them a while to get through some of them.
 

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You could also try chicken wings or backs for a small dog as one of her raw meals a couple times a week. You're feeding the raw and kibble at different meals, right? They digest at different rates and should be fed separately.
I'm starting with a pre made raw, should arrive tomorrow. The people I spoke to told me to make sure I fed kibble at least 8 hours before or after the raw, because of the digestion rates. I'm hoping if they do well on the pre made, I can do a mix of that, kibble with canned and The Honest Kitchen.
To answer the OP, we use whatever bones we find at the pet store.
 
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