I’ve tackled & busted 3 myths associated with the raw feeding diet for dogs over the course of the last few months. Missed my mini-series? You can catch up here:
I’ve come to find this particular myth of raw feeding to be especially interesting because now that I feed Missy and Buzz a raw diet, their breath is the contrary of smelly – it’s odorless and doesn’t cause me to look the other way when either of them breathes into my face (which happens quite a bit!).
So how is this possible and what exactly causes bad breath, also known as halitosis? Let’s take a closer look.
What Causes Bad Breath (Halitosis)?
Every veterinarian will tell you that tartar buildup, plaque, and gum disease are the culprits of bad breath in our four legged besties.
The next question that arises as a logical consequence is what causes the tartar buildup, plaque, and gum disease in the first place?
The answer to that question is carbs in commercial dog food, such as corn, wheat, rice, barley, and potatoes. Carbohydrates are very starchy and are found in abundance in dry dog food – which is why dogs fed a dry food diet will inevitably end up with brown teeth (unless they get brushed every single day, which is what traditional veterinarians recommend in order to prevent tartar).
Compared to just about 14% of carbohydrate content in the ancestral raw diet (what wolves & wild dogs have historically eaten), today’s dry diets consist of a 46-74% carbohydrate average (source: Dog Food Advisor).
Side note: Interestingly enough, some dry food brands confidently market their food as helping with dental hygiene because of the supposed scraping effect of larger size kibble on a dog’s (or cat’s!) teeth, when in reality, it’s the kibble that causes poor dental hygiene!
It’ll say something along the lines of “reduces plaque and tartar build-up” on the bag of dry food (I’ll be glad to share which brand I’m referring to should you be interested – just let me know in the comment section).
How Can Bad Doggie Breath Be Avoided Naturally?
One of the many benefits of feeding a raw diet with meaty bones is excellent dental health. A meaty bone, such as a duck neck or a chicken leg quarter, serves as a natural toothbrush, so to speak, and eliminates the need for actual K9 tooth brushing – I completely stopped brushing Missy’s & Buzz’s teeth since putting together my own raw meals.
Side note: Pre-made raw meals are available for sale from several online raw food retailers, such as Raw Paws Pet Food (Affiliate Link) & Darwin’s Pet. Since the bone content is included in ground form, those meals lack the natural tooth brushing function. If you decide to feed pre-made raw, offer a raw meaty bone once per week so that your pup still gets the benefit of clean pearlies!
Check out my post about how to safely feed your dog raw meaty bones if you’re new to that part of raw feeding! Just click on the image below:
Dental Benefits Of Feeding A Raw Diet
One of the many benefits of feeding a raw diet is a clean dental health bill:
- No tooth decay
- No periodontal disease
- Fresh, sweet breath!
One of the benefits for the dog’s owner is a fuller wallet! You won’t have to spend any money on tooth brushes & pastes, dental chews, sprays, and mouth rinses, nor will your dog need to receive anesthesia in order to get an expensive tooth cleaning done.
Back in our kibble feeding days, I made the major & costly mistake to let Buzz chew on a recreational, hard beef bone (which was also way too big/long for him – the rule of thumb is that the bone should not exceed the size of the dog’s head).
As a consequence, he managed to break one of his upper molars which needed to be extracted in its entirety. Talk about a hefty vet bill ($557). While he was under, he also received his first dental cleaning. The 3 years of kibble eating had left their marks because I did not brush his teeth on a daily basis (I brushed once to twice per week). #MeaCulpa
You can read more about Buzz’s dental dilemma in this post:
Since I’m feeding the pups a raw diet with raw meaty bones, their diet a) no longer consists of above mentioned 46-74% carbohydrates causing tartar buildup which b) eliminates the need for me to brush their teeth because that job has been “outsourced” to the raw meaty bones.
I am consequently rewarded with odorless puppy kisses (yet another benefit for the dog owner)! Everyone who’d like to check for themselves is cordially invited to visit us & get their share of sweet doggie kisses 🙂
P.S. Are you interested in raw dog food recipes?
Introducing “20 Raw Meals for Dogs“, the raw dog food ebook for dog parents who want their pups to thrive and be the healthiest version of themselves!
Use discount code BLOG for $3 off at checkout.
Have you heard of this myth? How do you tackle bad doggie breath? As always, we’d love to hear from you in our comment section!