Many dogs have a problem with plaque and tartar build up on their teeth. The sight of dogs with plaque or tartar build up has long been seen as normal and some food companies offer food that claims to scrub your dog’s teeth clean. What is overlooked, however, is that a dog’s oral health is indicative of their overall health. Plaque, tartar, and bad breath can point to an imbalanced diet, poor nutrition, bacterial imbalances, and in some cases even disease.
A number of dogs that are age three and over have dental disease. Most of these dogs are eating kibble, even though the kibble claims to clean the dog’s teeth. The reality is, this kibble based diet could be doing more harm than good, no matter what claims the packaging makes.
The Problem With Kibble
The biggest problem with feeding your dog a kibble diet is that it is full of sugars and simple carbohydrates. We’ve blogged before on how dangerous these can be for your dog’s health, but many people don’t consider how troublesome they can be for your dog’s oral health. The high sugar content creates the perfect environment for dangerous bacteria to grow and fester, causing a number of dental issues.
High sugar content kibble being used to “clean your dog’s teeth” is similar to the thought of people brushing their teeth with sugar on the toothbrush - the brushing process may get some of the sugar out, but overall it’s not going to be an effective method of cleaning your teeth. This is why many dogs who eat kibble suffer from tooth decay.
In addition the nature of kibble itself actually sticks to your dog’s teeth. Much like potato chips stick to our teeth. Have you ever looked at your dog’s teeth after eating kibble? There is likely a build up of food left over on their back teeth. This leftover food allows plaque to build up causing harmful oral infections. These infections not only cause terrible breath and gum disease but oral infections can quickly spread into the bloodstream causing organ and brain infections too.
Can Raw Food Help?
Switching to a balanced raw food diet for dogs with raw meaty bones can help promote oral health, or keep your dog’s mouth clean. Raw dog foods contain enzymes which are naturally occurring that can help protect animal’s teeth and gums. These enzymes, combined with a lack of synthetic filler ingredients, sugars, or starches work to help prevent tooth decay or other oral diseases. As well, even pre-ground raw food diets are less likely to stick to teeth than processed kibble and canned food. The food is more likely to slip off the teeth preventing tartar and plaque build up.
Including raw meaty bones in your dog’s food can also help keep your dog’s teeth in top condition. Chewing the raw meaty bones actually provides a better abrasive action then kibble to scrape away build up on dog’s teeth without harming tooth enamel.
For more information on how feeding your dog a natural, species appropriate raw pet food diet can help contribute to their overall health, click here. If you have any questions about raw feeding, and how to begin the process of giving your dog a healthier diet, connect with the Iron Will Raw team.