I have a bone to pick. Real bones are NOT a good idea for dogs and cats. I know there are alot of stories out there how “my dog does just fine with bones” but I have seen alot of major medical problems through the years caused by chewing on bones.
Avoid Real Bones
Many products such as knuckle bones, leg bones, antlers, and cow hooves are promoted in stores to keep your dogs’ teeth clean. Unfortunately, the manufacturing companies are not required to monitor the safety of these products. VOHC is a voluntary certification that products can achieve by proving efficacy with dental cleaning and low risk of health problems.
Healthy Teeth are Important for a Healthy Pet
Dental health is important to maintain in your pet. Good dental hygeine reduces the risk of premature heart disease, liver disease, and kidney disease. A healthy mouth is also much more comfortable. Dogs and cats tend to hide their dental pain. Many of our clients have told us they did not realize how much pain their companions were in, until AFTER they have a dental procedure performed. Of course, it also helps prevent the dreaded “doggy breath.”
The Importance of Brushing Daily (Even for our Pets)
Maintaining good dental hygeine is best achieved with DAILY tooth brushing, and full dental cleaning under anesthesia, as recommended by your veterinarian. Chewing on hard substances will help keep molars clean, but unfortunately will not help the other teeth in the mouth. When the substance is too hard, such as a real bone, we see fractured teeth that abscess, intestinal obstructions, constipation as they try to pass bone chips, upset stomach with vomiting, and other problems.
Good Dental Health starts with Wise Choices
Please choose wisely when giving your pet things to chew. Choose products with the VOHC approval and monitor when giving them new substances. If your pet will allow it, brush his/her teeth daily. Have a dental check up annually to detect problems early. Avoid real bone to avoid your pet from painful broken teeth and painful upset stomachs.
By Dr. Audrey Adkins, VMD