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Thread: Are rawhides a good chew? Other ideas for dental health?

  1. #1
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    Question Are rawhides a good chew? Other ideas for dental health?

    I just got back from the vet and I'm a little frazzled. I love my vet don't get me wrong- she's a really great, caring and smart woman. BUT she has warned me against feeding raw bones for risk of chipping teeth. I knew this would happen and I know how vets in general feel about raw diets but I do also take her concerns seriously.

    Anyway, this was the first time Gracie has been to my vet since I got her in August and her teeth are pretty bad. They were scaled last summer but apparently many have already been extracted and she has some bad build up again as well as some fractures/chips. I really need to start brushing their teeth every single day.

    She gave me a website with a list of products that have been approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) to consider in place of raw bones. The list is really small and it mostly filled with big name brands like Purina and Iams, and really only lists rawhides for chew options. I was under the impression rawhide isn't good for their stomachs. I used to feed bully sticks but since feeding raw bones have stopped. Are they a better option than rawhide?

    What is a good, healthy chew option? I feed GetNaked dental sticks but am looking for more ideas. Preferably low calorie as well since Gracie is a pound overweight. Or if you want to refute my vet's argument against raw bones I'm open to that as well .
    Courtney
    Lady (1.5 year old tricolour) & Gracie (4 year old blenheim)
    "Happiness is a warm puppy" - Charles M. Schulz

  2. #2
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    Well, since she already has some fractures/chips AND the raw bones are doing nothing for keeping her teeth clean I think might be right in looking for new dental produces. Brian has posted a great post once with pictures of the produce he uses for his 4 ladies. I'm sure you can search it. I myself brush Fletcher's teeth everyday, I use the finger brushes and Petzlife gel and so far so good. Personally I just don't think the chews can do as well as a good brushing. Bully sticks and antlers are the only chews I give Fletcher.
    Melissa
    "If you don't own a dog, at least one, there is not necessarily anything wrong with you, but there may be something wrong with your life."
    -Roger Caras

  3. #3
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    Generally I've been brushing their teeth once a week but I definitely have to up it to every day and work at getting to the back molars. I have seen Brian's posts and have no doubt that is the main hurdle I have to overcome! The girls do love chewing though, Lady especially is a heavy chewer, so I am just seeing what other options are out there to replace the raw bones.
    Courtney
    Lady (1.5 year old tricolour) & Gracie (4 year old blenheim)
    "Happiness is a warm puppy" - Charles M. Schulz

  4. #4
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    My vet recommended Chlorhexidine chews for dental health. My little guy LOVED chewing them (he right now has an unrelated jaw issue, so we are holding off for now on all chews). They can stain white surfaces, so we would have him chew on his little crate pad or blanket. Here is a link to the ones we used. We would cut them in half, as even the mediums are pretty large

    http://www.amazon.com/C-E-T-HEXtra-P.../dp/B001P3NU44
    Mommy to Butters (06/18/2011-4/20/2013) and Sawyer (6/08/2013)
    http://lsidari.blogspot.com

  5. #5
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    We've had a huge problems with Leo's teeth recently.
    he had 15 removed 2 weeks ago. I obviouly dont want him to go through again. Ive been adding "plaque off" to his food and using a enzyme toothpaste which the vet recommended.
    Ive also decided to give him dentastix 3 times a week as they're high calorie.

    The vet did give me a BIG bag of Royal Canin dental food as a freebe but warned its high calorie so I havent given him that. I feed him a dry food anyway.
    Mel
    Momma to Leonardo (Leo to his friends)

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    I used to feed rawhide chews, but after Misty started choking I don't feed them anymore. I had my fingers down her throat, but couldn't reach the piece, Misty was gagging but couldn't get it up, thankfully after what seemed like ages she coughed and it popped up a bit more and I caught the end and pulled it out. I've never given rawhide or tripe sticks since.

    I bought deer antlers for my two, they are still on their first one, and they are still enjoying them.
    Paula - mum to Murphy(6) & Misty(7), and Jerry our cat.

  7. #7
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    Thanks all for your input! I have split deer antlers but the girls aren't all that interested in them unfortunately. Choking definitely worries me and seems to be the biggest risk associated with rawhide. I am going to try the Chlorhexidine CET veggident chews and continue giving the GetNaked low calorie chews. I think I may still give the rabbit spines or chicken necks once a week though since they are a softer raw bone.

    We're also getting into a routine of daily teeth brushing - wish me luck
    Courtney
    Lady (1.5 year old tricolour) & Gracie (4 year old blenheim)
    "Happiness is a warm puppy" - Charles M. Schulz

  8. #8
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    I give Sophie rawhide chews, but only ones marked as made in U.S.A. or Canada. (No offense to UK & Europe, but we just never see those over here). Anything made in an Asian country is best to be avoided. I learned that the hard way, too, when Sophie got quite sick from a rawhide 'twist' chew I naively bought from Whole Foods, that was made in Taiwan or somesuch. She has never had a problem with North American made rawhide or bully sticks.

    The website DrsFoster&Smith has some rawhide that is made in the U.S.A. and Sophie has done well on it. Surely they ship to Canada. Sophie tackles these easily: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...831&pcatid=831 Merrick brand is another one made in U.S.A. that are safe and never caused a problem for Sophie. Again, I have never seen any marked made in Canada, but I would not hesitate to buy if I did.

    She likes antlers, but I was cautioned by a local shop owner to monitor the amount of time spent chewing on those, as they will wear down the teeth. I take the antler away when the nub is around 3 inches long, for fear of swallowing or choking.
    Last edited by waldor; 21st March 2013 at 08:05 PM.

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