Raw Food And Dental Health | Dogs Naturally Magazine
Yesterday, a blog post appeared in the Kansas Daily Mail about Hills pet food. The reporter was given a tour of the Hills veterinary facility where a large pack of mostly beagles was a part of the Hills feeding trials. Here is an interesting excerpt from the piece:
“The dogs have yearly dental cleanings and any other vet care that’s needed.”
Hills manufactures a prescription diet called t/d Oral Health Canine which is purported to scrub away plaque. Were these dogs being fed the t/d diet? If this diet is so effetive and the dogs eating other Hills diets need yearly dental cleanings, then why not add the magic properties in the t/d food to all of their foods to prevent dogs from having to undergo yearly surgery to have their teeth cleaned?
It’s nice to know the dogs are being looked after, but if the dogs require yearly dental cleanings, isn’t Hills overlooking the fact that their feeding trials might not be all that successful? Can a diet be called 100% nutritionally adequate if the dogs consuming this diet are suffering from tooth decay and dental disease?
The fact is that all kibbles, regardless of advertised benefits to the contrary, cause dental disease in dogs. Plaques, stained teeth and tartar buildup have been accepted as normal for most dogs when this is a very unnatural sign of improper diet, bacterial imbalance and chronic disease.
“Poor foods contribute to gum and tooth disease by several means” says homeopathic veterinarian Dr Don Hamilton. “First, and most obvious, high levels of sugars and simple carbohydrates provide rapidly available nutrition for oral bacteria. Secondly, poor nutrient quality simply does not support the immune system. Third, and probably most important, though commonly overlooked, rancid foods contribute greatly to degeneration of all body tissues. The gums are either particularly sensitive or are just easily visible, but I commonly see inflamed gums in an otherwise apparently healthy animal. In either case, this provides an early warning sign for the beginning of chronic disease.”
Dental disease is indeed a visible sign of impending chronic disease that should be taken seriously. Removing plaque buildup surgically removes the plaque but does nothing to address the cause. In fact, the yearly surgery to remove plaque and tartar buildup will only contribute to the decline in health as the toxic chemicals in the anaesthetic will stress the liver and immune system.
The reason the Hills dogs pass their feeding trials, despite the food causing persistent, chronic disease, is that vets accept dental disease as a natural occurrence in dogs when it isn’t. Unnatural foods lead to unnatural outcomes. Feeding dogs the diet they were designed to eat – a raw diet complete with raw meaty bones – is enough to prevent and even treat dental disease. Raw foods contain naturally occurring enzymes that help protect the teeth and gums. They don’t contain unnatural and damaging starches and sugars that promote unhealthy bacterial growth in the mouth. Finally, raw foods don’t contain synthetic ingredients, harmful aflatoxins or other chemical compounds that stress the dog’s immune system.
As the old adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When it comes to dental disease, this is certainly true. Feeding your dog a raw diet can save him from both dental disease and the yearly surgery necessary to remove tartar and plaque caused by processed foods.