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Discussion Starter #1
Would like to add raw bones to help keep teeth cleaner for my girls but not sure which bones are best. I do not want to feed raw, just add bones instead of using Nylabones. I don't really want them to be able to eat them as much as chew on them. I am really not sure how well one of my girls would do with bones they could chew up and eat as she has a more sensitive system. So which bones are best?
 

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Soup/marrow bones. My local grocery store sells them in ~6" and ~12" lengths, frozen.
 

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Standard disclaimer: any time you give a dog something hard to chew on, they could break a tooth or something.

I like beef ribs for teeth cleaning and recreational chewing. They do get eaten after a week or so, but you can avoid that if you take them away after they've started to wear down the edges.
 

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Yeah, I should add that my dogs don't show any interest in trying to bite through the bone or chip pieces off. They just try to get at the meat on the outside and the marrow on the inside.

I've fed other types of raw (mostly chicken parts) but they just kind of crunch-crunch-swallow and it doesn't do much to clean teeth. I got some pork necks ones (basically the big vertebrae all separate in a big) and those took a decent amount of time to work through.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Soup/marrow bones. My local grocery store sells them in ~6" and ~12" lengths, frozen.
I was just told to stay away from marrow type soup bones as they can cause slab fractures. Belle is a very hard chewer so it might be a problem with her.
 

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I was just told to stay away from marrow type soup bones as they can cause slab fractures. Belle is a very hard chewer so it might be a problem with her.
Yeah, for a really tough chewer I would stay away from weight bearing bones. Pork necks or beef/pork ribs would be a good option.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Standard disclaimer: any time you give a dog something hard to chew on, they could break a tooth or something.

I like beef ribs for teeth cleaning and recreational chewing. They do get eaten after a week or so, but you can avoid that if you take them away after they've started to wear down the edges.
So they (beef ribs) are hard enough to not get eaten in a day? The only dog I would worry about fracturing a tooth because she is a hard chewer is Belle. The other two don't chew that hard, not that it couldn't happen and hopefully it doesn't but I am thinking it would probably be better for their teeth than the Nylabones they have been using.
 

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My dogs munch pork ribs like chicken bones. I thought they'd be like beef ribs and last awhile but nope!

I haven't been able to find any necks except sometimes turkey necks around the holidays.

Yeah, beef ribs last my dogs a good long time. My dogs are all big so I would think most dogs wouldn't be able to eat them quickly but maybe a super determined smaller dog could, idk.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah, I should add that my dogs don't show any interest in trying to bite through the bone or chip pieces off. They just try to get at the meat on the outside and the marrow on the inside.

I've fed other types of raw (mostly chicken parts) but they just kind of crunch-crunch-swallow and it doesn't do much to clean teeth. I got some pork necks ones (basically the big vertebrae all separate in a big) and those took a decent amount of time to work through.
Do you think turkey necks would be any better than chicken necks as far as how quickly they can be eaten?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So maybe a dumb question but do you just buy some fresh beef ribs and take out the bones or can you get just beef rib bones from the butcher?
 

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I give my dogs the whole rib, meat and all (actually, I give them 3 ribs each to make it a full meal.Then it looks like the Serengeti, with a bunch of animals chewing on a rack of ribs. . .:p). I don't think the meat from one rib would be enough to bother them unless they have super tender tummies. But you could slice most of the meat off and use it for stew meat if you wanted.

I get ribs in a shrink-wrapped pack at Walmart. That's the only place that seems to have steady availability.
 

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LOL. I always have considered Toby to be an intense chewer but even he can get 3-4 days out of a beef rib, with him going at it every time he's not doing something else. I guess he's got sissy jaws compared to some dogs! Moose and Penny have never been huge on chewing so they abandon the ribs as soon as the meat is off. Suri will chew occasionally but not as much as Toby.
 

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I threw away pig feet after 4 days. Dogs got tired and never even ate half of them. I gave them to the dogs until they were done chewing, rinsed them off and put back into the refrigerator uncovered. Pig feet are lean and mostly super tough skin and various tendons and ligaments with a lot of small easy to chomp bones and cheap. I gave up, my dogs thought they were not worth the effort but for the price try them.

If I gave a rack of beef ribs to Max for a really big meal there would be meat on the bone for another day but otherwise they are one hour treats. I don't want my dogs gnawing on bare bone, I want them pulling off stuff.

If beef or pork neck is in big pieces they make wonderful food puzzles. Get them from the counter before the counter person cuts them small enough to fit in a pot, you don't want dogs to be able to fit bones into their mouths.

The knuckle/soup bones around here are awful. Completely stripped of meat and expensive. Add to that the super hard bone can break teeth and I pass.

If you eat meat buy those enormous cheap pork shoulder or fresh ham roasts and cut the meat off, there are 2 big safe bones inside them. Works really well for lamb roasts too.

If there is a delicate tummy in your group then ribs are fatty, feet and roast bones leaner. Estimate the size offered, if it is mostly gone and 8 ounces or so then that counts as a meal for a 50 pound dog, reduce or eliminate the following meal if you think that might help the sensitive tummy.
 

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Alice gets knuckle bones as needed (usually when her stool needs firming up), but I always worry there's going to be damage to her teeth. With that said, she doesn't try to chomp down on them. She sort of grinds them down. There's always a pile of what looks like wet bone dust around her when she's eating one. I've been giving them to her for over 3 years, and no tooth damage so far, thank goodness!
 

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Snowball doesn't get raw bones anymore (dental reasons), but in the past I've given pork, lamb, and beef ribs. Pork ribs were too rich for Snowball - they're quite soft so he is able to eat the whole thing and get all the marrow (which is quite fatty). Lamb ribs aren't quite as soft as pork ribs, but are still pretty soft. He chews on beef ribs for a while, but can finish one in about 2 chewing sessions. Bison vertebrae last him a long time because they're challenging to get all the meat off of because of all the nooks and crannies. If you call ahead, any decent butcher shop should be able to get vertebrae. I guess you could also use oxtail, but that's expensive around here, and to be honest, too tasty to give to the dogs. ;)
 

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I have a 90-pound GSD mix (the biggest chewer), a 110-pound Rott, and 2 50-ish-pound lady mutts. Not small! I guess either the ribs I buy are tougher or my dogs aren't as strong of chewers as I thought :p.
 

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If you are worried about the teeth and the need to keep them clean, I will say to brush your dogs teeth. That is the best way to do it.

Now if it is because you want to give them something to munch on, I would say a rib bone is the best bet. I don't give pork to my dogs unless I freeze it first. Weird about giving raw pork to my dogs. Chicken is just gone in 60 seconds. I NEVER, EVER give my dogs those smoked bones sold in pet stores. Nope, not to my dogs. Plus, it all depends on the type of chewer you have. My Dobe is a big chewer and for that reason, I do not give him bones. During his dental, you can see all the tiny hairline fractures just waiting to become a slab fracture. Nope, he is not getting bones to hurry up that process.
 

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I always use to give my 60-lb Lab raw beef rib bones which she would chew up relatively quickly. At her last vet appointment I had a discussion with one of several vets at the practice about safe chews and after sharing incidents of cracks, breaks and slab fractures, she does not recommend anything other than firm rubber bones/toys that are soft enough to slightly depress with your nail (not the hard plastic nylabones). She'd rather I not even offer bully sticks because she has found "strings" of such thing left between teeth on dentals she has done on other dogs. I will stay away from Kayla's beloved rib bones so as not to take the chance with fractures but I did give her a bully stick this afternoon, which she loved.

And as Luv mi pets shared, if its clean teeth you are after, brush them! :D I brush 3-year old K's teeth with an ezymatic paste every night and her teeth basically only needed polishing with just the slightest bit of scraping at her dental, to where I was only charged 50% for the cleaning.
 
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