Safe dental chews for teeth - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-13-2016, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
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Safe dental chews for teeth

Just thought this might be helpful information from the pet hospital I go to. My friends Westie just had his teeth cleaned. He had two cracked teeth that had to be extracted. I'm sorry I don't know how to rotate.
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-13-2016, 07:58 AM
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My dogs get the first four on the bad list, and none on the okay list.

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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-13-2016, 08:07 AM
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Greenies and other "consumable" dental chews are NOT safe options, although many vets still think so. They may not break teeth, but they have the potential for worse problems... And I know this from personal experience.

I had been told by two different local vets that "Greenies" had changed their formula, and were now safe. As a result, I started giving Koid a Greenie now and then. He ended up in Tufts Emergency hospital for three days with an impaction, to the tune of $1800. The ER docs there told me that their NUMBER ONE cause of surgical impactions was dental chews. PLEASE don't feed these to your dogs!!! And rawhide is no better, for the same reason. Both these items are not easily digested by stomach acids, so if the dog bites off a large piece and swallows it, it can pass out of the stomach, undigested, to clog up the works in the intestines.

I'm not sure I agree with other parts of this list, either. LOTS of people feed raw meaty bones as part of a healthy raw diet. And "antlers" covers too wide a range of products. I agree that deer and elk antlers are very hard. They are so hard that my dogs have no interest in them. But moose antlers, especially the blade slices, are MUCH softer, and provide satisfying chewing without danger to healthy teeth.

Milk bones have very little "chew factor" to them... Dogs just eat them, and they are extremely poor quality food. Tennis balls shouldn't be left around if you have a dog who actually CHEWS on them... But most dogs just enjoy a nice game of fetch.... And normal tennis balls are too big for the average Havanese anyway.

Kodi has consumed pieces of both the soft Nylabones and pieces of the hardest Kongs. So while those might be appropriate for some dogs, they aren't for all. I have little experience with hooves, because the smell was so bad I took it away!!!

With most of these items, I think you need to watch and see how your dog interacts with them. Are they aggressive chewers? Then they are more likely to crack teeth no matter what. Even if you only gave them things on this "safe" list, and even if they liked them enough to chew on them, they can still go outside and crack a tooth on a stick or a rock. It happens.
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-13-2016, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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Greenies are something I never buy because of Kodi. I mentioned that to my friend and she said the formula was changed too. Scout and Truffles never get antlers or bones to chew. If I don't chew on it they won't be chewing on it. Anything hard or slightly hard will eventually wear teeth down. No chew is perfect. This dental practice does see a lot of dogs and dental problems. I have the feeling that cracked teeth might be one they see often. When I take Scout and Truffles for their cleaning I will get more info.

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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-13-2016, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heather Glen View Post
Greenies are something I never buy because of Kodi. I mentioned that to my friend and she said the formula was changed too. Scout and Truffles never get antlers or bones to chew. If I don't chew on it they won't be chewing on it. Anything hard or slightly hard will eventually wear teeth down. No chew is perfect. This dental practice does see a lot of dogs and dental problems. I have the feeling that cracked teeth might be one they see often. When I take Scout and Truffles for their cleaning I will get more info.
They did change the Greenies formula, but not enough. Kodi's blockage was after the formula change.

The problem is, that dogs NEED to chew, and if you don't give them more appropriate items, they'll chew on things they shouldn't. So, I think ti's like a lot of dog management issues... It depends on the dog. ... But I still wouldn't give dental chews to ANY dog.


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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-13-2016, 12:08 PM
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Bully sticks? I see them on the bad list. I thought they were supposed to be ok!! I already knew greenies were bad and rawhide. Plus I have heard that bones and antlers are not good either. But, bully sticks?? I know she eats what little bits she gets off and I take them away from here when they get to be about 2 - 3 inches. What do you all think about bully sticks?



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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-13-2016, 12:42 PM
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Very interested in this thread, so I'm mostly posting so I get new replies emailed to me. However, I echo everyone's sentiments (or lack thereof, actually) when it comes to Greenies. We would buy the singly packaged ones for Mario every so often, and he loved them, so of course, I went out and dropped $20 on a big bag. We gave him two, and he started having a gurgly stomach. After just 5 minutes of reading horror stories, the Greenies were in the trash.

He's not much of a chewer (when we were moving this summer, there were some bully sticks that were half gone...we hadn't bought him any new ones since a few years prior), but he does love his mini Kong tennis balls that squeak. The covering began to fall off one day, and to remove the choking hazard, I took a knife to it and removed the whole thing. Mario's love for that ball multiplied as it got so much slimier and smellier than those with the covering. Of course, the squeaker didn't work anymore, but he didn't mind. Because I remembered hearing the coverings were abrasive to teeth, I removed all of them and continue to do so (he does occasionally get covered ones because he loves the squeak, but he's supervised more heavily with those to avoid chewing).

Looking at the photo, it really focuses on what's best for the dogs teeth than the dog's overall health. Raw hides make me nervous, even with Mario who, in his nine years, has actually ripped a chunk off one maybe 7 times, and so do soft nylabones. Kongs aren't deemed interesting enough by our toy snob (unless lathered in peanut butter or soaked in broth), and I would sooner cut off a pinkie than feed him Milkbones regularly.

Not attempting to hijack a thread, just curious: what would you guys recommend as far as safe chews for a teething puppy go (edible and non-edible). Some of the teething toys I've seen look ridiculously unsafe IMHO, and I can't for the life of me remember what Mario used.
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-13-2016, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackie from Concrete, WA View Post
Bully sticks? I see them on the bad list. I thought they were supposed to be ok!! I already knew greenies were bad and rawhide. Plus I have heard that bones and antlers are not good either. But, bully sticks?? I know she eats what little bits she gets off and I take them away from here when they get to be about 2 - 3 inches. What do you all think about bully sticks?
I was surprised bullysticks were on the list. Scout and Truffles love them. I'm going to ask the vet if they see many intestinal obstructions from dental chews. I feel routine dental cleanings are important. Without x-rays the cracks would have been missed.

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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-13-2016, 12:44 PM
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Thanks for posting that Heather! I wondered about the greenies being on the OK list too, I would never give them to a dog. Didn't know the story about Kodi how horrible.

I do give bully sticks and was really wanting to try the moose blades but I contacted them twice and they never responded so I forgot about it. Was waiting for the flavored ones. Jackie I do the same watch close and throw them out when they get 2-3 inches long (too bad we can't combine the end pieces a lot get thrown away). I think there is some danger in anything they chew, bully sticks have worked well for me and most other things scare me even more so I do give them to her. I agree with Karen dogs need to chew on something. My vacuum cleaner cord is proof LOL.
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-13-2016, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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My two have never been interested in chewing anything except bullysticks. I definitely will steer clear of anything hard. It was a very expensive appointment for my friend!
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