Feed your carnivore a raw meaty bone! For most of us, brushing our cats’ teeth is impossible–getting their claws clipped, bathing, etc. is already a nightmare. Some dog owners adopted their dogs late in life and may not want to start poking things into their pets’ mouths. So what now?
Here’s what you can do: FEED THEM RAW MEATY BONES. The rubbing, scrubbing and flossing action of chewing on something that doesn’t give easily (like canned food or kibble) helps to clean teeth and gums. You’ll also notice a reduction in that horrible fishy breath cats and dogs have!
Here’s a really good article about feeding your cats raw meaty bones. There are many good reasons to feed your pets raw meaty bones; for one, a raw meaty chicken wing (assuming your dog won’t just swallow it) is balanced in calcium-phosphorous levels.
Also, your pet will enjoy the mental stimulation of working around a raw meaty bone…how do I get this down? This way? Nope. That way? Nopeeee…maybe I’ll use my paws… Feeding raw meaty bones regularly (at least once a week) will keep your pet’s oral health in tip top shape. Travelling to the dentist to get your pet’s teeth scaled is no fun, and if your pet gets older, anesthetic will be out of the question…which means that your pet’s teeth has only one way to go: out.
So feed your carnivore a raw meaty bone!
There are two types of raw meaty bones: edible and for chewing. Edible bones should form part of your pet’s diet because they are calcium-phosphorous balanced. Since I have cats, I will speak mostly about edible bones…cats don’t chew. For dog owners, you may scroll down to the bottom!
These are softer bones that can be swallowed, such as:
Chicken wing, chicken/poultry/rabbit cartilage and ears, poultry necks. Turkey legs are too hard (and anyway you can’t get them in SG unless it’s Christmas)
For me, I prefer the mid-joint chicken wing and duck wings because they’re so easy to get in SG. So here goes…
Chopped up chicken wing and a duck wing. PLEASE DO NOT COOK YOUR MEATY BONES!
Cooked bones will splinter and may give your pets internal injuries. Actually, chopped raw bones also have the danger of cutting your pets’ gums/ mouth and even intestines (sorry, gotta give you the whole idea without sugar coating), so what I do is I bash the chicken wings really violently with the flat side of the blade (you can use a meat tenderizer) before feeding to the cats. If your cat will eat the chicken wing whole (like Max), then heavens be praised! That’s safer than chopped.
Yes you can still bash your whole chicken wing before using it.
Put fortiflora and crumbled Feline Natural on the smaller cats’ bowls just for illustration… they should be acclimatized to eating without any taste toppers. Here’s a video!
When I’m feeling evil I toss Max a huge fat drumstick and let him do the work all by himself. The result? Much cleaner teeth and a less hungry cat (all that work makes him think he’s really full). Here are some pictures of my other reluctant cats…
What is this…? I demand royal pate with caviar served on vintage porcelain! This is not food fit for me!
Faith has a chipped canine from crunching bones, and you must take that into consideration when you feed bones (remember it’s MEATY bones, not just bone). Pets may also accidentally cut their gums or throat when munching/swallowing bones.However I believe that the dental health benefits outweigh the possibility of chipped teeth, so the kitties still do get chicken wings. Do please weigh the pros and cons before you try it out. If in doubt, go for something soft, like chicken necks (for cats).
Oh yes, Faith likes to eat using only one side of her jaws–extremely frustrating for me because one side of her teeth looks great, and there’s tartar on the other side. Time to whip out that brush if your pet is like her!
But I’m hungry. Oh well…guess I have no choice. *noms*
Please also check the state of your pet’s oral health before giving it a chicken wing; it may already have gingivitis or periodontitis and no amount of raw feeding will help then–take it to the vet! Also, your pet may refuse anything but soft foods once it has gum disease, so do check for the reasons behind its refusal to eat.
Here’s another article about feeding your pets, both cats and dogs, raw meaty bones. This is the UK Raw Meaty Bone support group.
Dogs can go for bigger, recreational-chewing bones because chicken necks/chicken wings may be too small to help much with dental health. A bone that’s the size of your dog’s head will be nice because it can’t attempt to swallow it, as most dogs will.
Try other non-swallow-able, recreational-chewing (heh!) items such as:
- Pork/beef Knuckle
- Whole lamb legs (chopped weight-bearing bones have shards that may hurt your dog)
- Pig trotters/ Cow hooves (if you can find them!)
Non-weight bearing meaty bones:
- Prime ribs
- Ox tail
- Pig Tail
- Whole chicken thigh
As for edible bones, just as a side note: A chicken thigh will only last Jackie 5 minutes (he’s a 20kg dog).
As with everything you feed, please monitor your pet, especially if it has already gnawed away most of the meat on the bone. Time to take it away!
And remember… cats and dogs can choke on anything…bones, kibble…and even lego. 😛