Features April 2012 Issue

Could a Raw Dog Food Diet Replace the Need to Brush?

Many raw diet proponents claim that the nutrients and/or chemical composition of a raw diet keeps dogs from developing gingivitis or periodontitis. We’re not aware of any studies that have proven these claims, but the persistence of the anecdotal evidence of this phenomenon (to say nothing of its evolutionary success) suggest that there are dental benefits to a diet that includes raw, meaty bones.

Interestingly, it’s not just the physical action of the chewing; many owners, who fear the potential for bone fragments to impact or perforate their dog’s intestines, use commercial food grinders to grind raw meaty bones into a fine paste before feeding them to their dogs. Many of them report the same dental advantages as those who feed whole raw meaty bones to their dogs.

Again, there are likely to be outliers – dogs whose teeth and gums develop disease even when fed a supremely healthy raw diet.

However, it’s been our experience that people are either open to the idea of feeding a raw diet (whether commercial or home-prepared) or not; the condition of their dog’s teeth may be a contributing motivation, but not the sole factor guiding the decision.

Comments (1)

There are studies related to dental health and the various forms of pet food. Here are some links for you (from CatCentric.org's Scientific Studies page):



Quote: "What is also very well known but not widely accepted is that: 1. The consistency and / or texture of food has a direct affect upon the composition of, and the rate of formation of dental plaque. 2. Soft diets tend to produce more bacterial plaque than do firm diets. 3. Excessively course, granular diets can produce periodontal disease through the action of abrasive overuse of, and by direct traumatic injury to the supporting tissues of the oral cavity. 4. Foods of firm consistency will increase the number, distribution, and tone of the capillaries in the gingival tissue; which improves the metabolism and vitality of all of the supporting and surrounding structures of the oral cavity."

Best regards!

Posted by: Unknown | September 12, 2012 12:49 AM    Report this comment

New to Whole Dog Journal? Register for Free!

Already Registered?
Log In