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Leah's Clean Teeth Experiment

Last time I wrote about using fresh, meaty beef ribs from Paul Grimley at Bourbeau's Market in Leominster, a very enjoyable and economical way to clean our dog's teeth, and that it worked really well, but I had forgotten to take photos.

It's important to note that most of our dogs have perfectly clean teeth, especially the ones who have never been fed kibble. A good example is Rosie, who is one of our senior girls, age ten plus, raised on Napa Fresh. She loves to chew her Yakity Yaks too, which helps keep her teeth and gums in good shape.

Rosie's teeth, ten plus years old, clean and healthy.

Then we have a few, who, in spite of chewing on Yakity Yaks and being fed Napa Fresh, have varying levels of tartar buildup, mostly on molars.

To show you the amazing results of using meaty beef rib bones after reading Dr. Conor Brady's article, we took photos of Leah's molars "before", which were embarrassingly bad, even though she does love to chew her Yaks!

Leah is also one of our senior dogs, age 10. Her canines were clean, but for some reason she wasn't using her back teeth to chew, and they showed it.

Enter these big, yummy, meaty beef ribs.

Raw, meaty beef ribs. A dog's delight! These ribs are about two inches wide by four inches long.

Over the past two weeks, she has been given a total of 4 meaty rib bones to enjoy. We allowed her to chew them for several hours, and even to gnaw on the rib itself (this is perfectly safe - the bone is soft enough to chew, and to digest) until it got to a size that we considered too small, then we took it. She was in heaven!

Leah's Molar, Before

Leah's Molar, After

As you can see, all of the built up tartar is gone! She will not require anesthesia or a dental, saving us hundreds of dollars and her, the risk of anesthesia. For Borzoi, especially a senior, this is an added risk that we do not take lightly. She still has inflamed gums (gingivitis) as you can see but we are hoping that with regular use of her now-favorite meaty rib bones, her gums will heal. If not, we'll check in with Dr. Norelli at the Shirley Animal Clinic. He was very impressed with Leah's photos!

We all know that a dog's mouth and teeth were designed by nature to tear apart and chew raw meat and bones. Living naturally keeps their teeth and gums healthy, for example, coyotes, wolves, and wild cats have clean teeth. This experiment with Leah is a great illustration of the reason.

Over the past month, we have given several of our dogs at least one of these ribs to enjoy, the ones who are not using all of their teeth to chew their Yakity Yaks, and in each case, whatever tartar had accumulated, especially on the molars, is gone, or almost gone. Continued use will eliminate the tartar completely.

We have seen one exception: Ellis has a buildup on his canines (he was fed kibble as a young dog) that hasn't improved very much, so I will scrape his canines if he lets me. We are also giving him a powder by PetLabCo called "ProBright", which has worked, albeit slowly, on Chloe, before we started giving her ribs to chew. We did try a container of Dr. Brady's "Canident" with no results on Chloe.

If ProBright doesn't work for Ellis, we'll try Leba lll again (he didn't like the spray last time we tried it).

It is interesting to note that giving Chloe just one rib to chew, has removed the remaining tartar in one fell swoop. Some of it had been removed with ProBright, but it took many weeks and one entire jar of ProBright.

We are making arrangements with Bourbeau's for a large order of RIBS and will have them available in the store very soon.

Clean beef rib bones, after hours of chewing pleasure.

Check your dog's teeth. If they aren't completely clean by using our Yakity Yaks, try a package of RIBS.

We can't wait to see how your dog does with them. Remember to take before and after photos, and to supervise. These ribs can also be used safely on some small-to-medium sized dogs, who will take longer to chew them. For smaller dogs, we suggest short chewing sessions, placing them in the refrigerator in between sessions, since these are raw and bacteria growth is a concern if they are left just laying around with meat on them.

Dr. Brady's article will give owners of tiny dogs other ideas for safe chewing, like raw chicken wings, readily available here in the US. Michael, our chihuahua owner, gives chicken wings to his two little lovelies.

The danger is offering bones that are too small to a larger dog, that's why RIBS are a great choice - they are too large for most dogs to swallow, and soft enough not to break teeth.

We do not recommend turkey necks. Turkey necks are very rubbery and difficult for a dog to tear apart. If they manage to tear them apart, they can become a choking threat.

The caution for using RIBS would be large dogs with equally large, wide mouths (bulldog, pit bull) that might swallow big pieces if the bone isn't taken when clean. It's a risk that should be taken into consideration. Managed closely, RIBS are a safe option for teeth cleaning for many dogs.

We hope your dogs enjoy these ribs as much as ours have, even to enjoy simply as a treat!

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