Every year, thousands of cats and dogs undergo a dangerous and expensive procedure. A procedure that not only results in unnecessary death but is in some cases completely superfluous.
What is this risky practice?
It’s going under anesthesia in order to get their teeth cleaned.
Each year approximately one in 1,000 otherwise healthy cats and one in 2,000 otherwise healthy dogs die under anesthesia. That is a low number. A relatively safe ratio or odds for such an intense procedure. But if the reason for undergoing medical anesthesia is as simple as a dental cleaning, it is too ridiculously high.
Anesthesia is a wonder of modern science. It makes so many medical procedures possible for humans and animals. I have nothing against it when it’s needed.
But is it really needed to clean teeth? Is it worth the risk?
In addition to the safety issue, it usually costs between $500 to $1,200 to have this procedure done. Which is no small dent to anyone’s pocketbook. Especially since it is not needed.
The least expensive method of maintaining your pet’s oral health is prevention. And – as they say - an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. But it’s also safer.
There is a natural almost fool-proof alternative that is less risky and less expensive.
Veterinarians have even started to slowly come around to this natural preventative. I imagine it’s difficult for some since teeth cleanings are such a great profit center for their practice, but many are starting to recommend it. Likely because it is simply better for the animal.
Have you ever heard of or seen a wild canine or feline with a tartar problem? It really does not happen. Wolves in the Northwest or big cats in the preserves aren’t found with tooth issues.
It’s simple. Wild canines and felines eat raw meat and bones.
As they eat raw meat and bones, saliva with specific enzymes are created in the mouth that inhibit tartar growth. And, more importantly, any tartar that may form is scraped off the teeth by the bones and cartilage making for pearly white teeth and great breath.
In the pet industry the raw diet has become very popular over the last 10 years. There are many companies that manufacture this raw frozen diet which consist of raw meat, ground up bones, and vegetables with supplements.
Some of these companies sell raw turkey and chicken necks as well. And these are what I really like and recommend.
I have had many clients over the years who have shown me their dogs’ mouths and they’re filled with disgusting yellow tartar and seriously bad breath. These are sign of a mouth not in balance.
I recommend a program of 3 turkey and/or chicken necks a week for a six- to eight-week period.
These turkey and chicken necks consist of raw meat and cartilage. When the dogs chew on these necks enzymes are released and the cartilage naturally scrapes the tartar off of the teeth.
After 6 weeks, the dog’s teeth look white and beautiful and their breath is wonderfully fresh.
You can usually buy the necks frozen. I like to start out giving the dog a frozen neck right out of the freezer.
Never give your dog cooked bones or necks as the bones become brittle and can splinter and possibly choke the dog. Raw bones bend and do not splinter, so in general choking is usually not a problem. However, always monitor your dog when they are chewing on these necks or bones.
I give small dogs either a couple of the chicken necks or a turkey hen neck. Large dogs get Cobb necks. When you give your dog these necks, I would consider it one of the dog’s meals for the day.
At first the dog may not know what to do with this frozen neck. That is normal. After a few times of having them their natural appetites kick in and they end of loving this new treat.
Continue to give your dog a regiment of raw necks a few times a week and your dog’s teeth should continue to stay clean and their breath will remain fresh. Naturally.
Annual teeth cleaning with the risk and expense of anesthesia will be a thing of the past.