Tell me about raw, meaty bones

After writing some about those dental chews, I got lots of great comments from people who said that they used raw, meaty bones as their dental regimen of choice. Because, let’s be real: (1) Those dental chews aren’t really doing that much for them, even though the dogs enjoy them, and (2) I am not very faithful about brushing their teeth; I do it like, once every two weeks.

I know this isn't a raw bone, but, you get the idea... Creative Commons license.
I know this isn’t a raw bone, but, you get the idea… Creative Commons license.

I know that raw bones are the best (and most natural) way to keep a dog’s teeth clean. The only thing is… I’ve never tried it before, and I feel kind of intimidated! We don’t eat much meat ourselves, and so I’m rather inexperienced at the butcher’s counter.

So, here are some questions for you, if you give your dogs raw, meaty bones:

  1. Where do you get your raw, meaty bones?
  2. What kind of bone should I ask for? Like, from which animal? From which part of the animal?
  3. How do you give these to your dogs? (Outside, in a dish, etc.?)
  4. How long does it take your dog to get through a particular of bone?
  5. For multi-dog households: Eden has some resource guarding issues. I think it’d be best to separate them while they’re working on their bones. Do you separate your dogs when such high-value items as raw bones are being consumed?

You guys are the best source of information! Thanks for sharing your wisdom. Looking forward to exploring this new territory.

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Do you brush your dog’s teeth?

So, last month was Train Your Dog month, and now we’re looking at February, which is Pet Dental Health month!

Source: Wikimedia Commons.

I’ve found that the hardest part of brushing is just making myself do it! The dogs don’t exactly love it, but they do love the taste of canine toothpaste, so that acts as a reward in itself. I’ve made myself a weekly reminder on my Google Calendar to brush the dogs’ teeth, but I confess that it doesn’t always happen. I know I should be brushing them 2 or 3 times a week, but let’s make that a 2014 goal for myself. (I also know that I could switch them to a raw diet and greatly reduce the need for teeth cleaning; we’re still contemplating this…)

That said, in honor of Pet Dental Health month, we got the chance to review Greenies! Perhaps surprisingly, Pyrrha has never had Greenies before, so we were happy to try them.

Greenies

Bag of Greenies with our dog teeth-cleaning supplies.
Bag of Greenies with our dog teeth-cleaning supplies.

Greenies are a fairly well-known brand, produced through The Nutro Company. They have a wide variety of oral health treats and products. We received a bag of 12 chews in the regular size (advertised for dogs who are 25-50 lbs.), which are on sale for $11.21 at Chewy.

Eden and Pyrrha | Doggerel

The girls, as you can see, were very eager to try them!

Greenies review | Doggerel

I gave them each one chew as a reward for politely entering their crates (we’re still teaching Eden the command “go to your house,” which is a traditional command from Guion’s family for dogs to go to their beds). They got through them pretty quickly, but that’s standard for these shepherd gnawers.

As far as effectiveness, it’s hard to tell after just a few uses. According to the Greenies brand website:

In an independent 28-day feeding study, dogs receiving one GREENIES® Dental Chew per day averaged 60% less tartar accumulation, 33% less plaque accumulation, 80% healthier gums and 45% improvement in oral malodor (halitosis) compared to dogs who only received dry dog food.

I’m interested to see how these chews help the dog’s teeth, particularly in conjunction with our regular brushing.

Do you brush your dog’s teeth? Or do you give them Greenies or other dental chews? If so, what tips and tricks have you learned along the way?

Disclaimer: We were provided with a bag of Greenies from Chewy.com in exchange for our honest review.