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October 2nd, 2013     Volume 4, Issue 40 Follow Us   Facebook Twitter Youtube
 If Dogs Could Talk

Those Teeth Were Made For Chewing: Best Chews For Dogs

By Amber Keiper

Your dog’s mouth is her most utilized tool.  She uses it for eating, playing tug of war, grabbing her favorite plush toy, and to show her emotions.  So you can see that keeping your dog’s mouth healthy and clean is very important.

Chewing is a way for your dog to keep her teeth clean and her bite strong.  It also encourages mental stimulation as your dog “works” around a delicious raw bone or fun chew toy.  Providing your pooch with a healthy and safe chew will allow her to do all of this while hopefully keeping your favorite shoes from being ruined.

Best Chews For Dogs

Raw bones are what our dogs naturally seek out for their nutritional and recreational needs.  Bones provide a wonderful source of protein, essential fatty acids, fat-soluble vitamins, antioxidants, and enzymes for your pet.  When your dog chews on a raw bone, she also enjoys the benefit of having her gums massaged and her teeth scraped clean, preventing tartar buildup, gum disease, and tooth decay.  As Dr. Ian Billinghurst so aptly puts it, “Bones are Nature’s toothbrush for dogs.”

It’s important that we address the common misconception that most pet owners have about bones. Many people believe that bones are dangerous and should not be fed to our dogs. This misguided notion stems from the age-old practice of feeding dogs table-scraps:

In the old days, before the development of commercial pet food, families were accustomed to giving their dogs the leftovers from their meals. (Dogs fed this way, by the way, were much healthier than most of the pets we see today because their meals consisted of whole food ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, and animal carcasses.)  The problem however was when people gave cooked leftovers to their pets i.e. cooked bones, which were brittle and therefore splintered easily, causing injury to the animal.  Thus the stigma of bones being dangerous to feed began.

Fortunately, savvy pet parents that understand the value of bones in their pet’s diet know that bones are safe to feed as long as:
  1. They are fed raw (NOT cooked)
  2. They are large enough that your pet cannot swallow them whole
  3. They come from young animals so they’re not too hard on your pet’s teeth

Antler Chews
Another great chew for dogs are antlers. They’re not as messy as raw bones and tend to last longer too, especially with aggressive chewers.  Antlers contain marrow chock full of essential minerals like calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium and zinc.

However, not all antler chews are created equal. Some are sourced from antlers that are shed in the wild and can be contaminated with a variety of different impurities. The animal could have had a disease or the antlers could have been left out in the elements long enough to cause them to lose their nutritional value and moisture content, causing them to harden.  This is especially common with deer antler, which can have a “jawbreaker” effect on your pet’s teeth.

When looking for a good antler chew, opt for elk antler instead of deer antler. Make sure they are raised in a safe, controlled environment free of chemicals. Ranch-raised elk should be tested regularly for diseases such as Chronic Wasting Disease and tuberculosis in order to ensure a healthy and safe form of exercise for your dog.

For older dogs, puppies and those with bad teeth, it is recommended to feed them antlers that have been split in half so that it’s easier on their teeth.  This will minimize the risk of teeth becoming damaged or broken.

ggggAmber Keiper is the Marketing Coordinator and Raw Pet Food Specialist for BARF World Inc. She is “mom” to two animal rescues - a spoiled Havanese mix named Chewy and a sassy tabby mix named Chiquita. For more holistic pet health, nutrition and wellness tips, go to barfworld.com or sign up for the FREE weekly newsletter, The Intelligent Pet.

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 Hot Dog Products

Hard Elk Antler Dog Chews

Nutritious And Delicious Exercise For Your Dog's Gums And Jaw

Antler Chews are naturally-shed from ranch-raised elk. The edges are sanded to remove sharp edges for safety. These products typically last longer than rawhide and are great for healthy teeth and gums.

For large breed PUPPIES and SENIORS:

8" Split Elk Antler Chew    $25.97

For small breed PUPPIES & SENIORS:

4" Split Elk Antler Chew (2 Pack)   $29.97

For LARGE to GIANT sized breeds:

8" Whole Elk Antler Chew    $29.97

For SMALL to MEDIUM sized breeds:

4" Whole Elk Antler Chew (2 Pack)  $35.97


 Pet Alert!
Dogswell Recall 8/30/2013 - Joey's Jerky - voluntarily recalling Chicken Jerky due to Salmonella after 21 people identified with the same strain of the illness.
Dogswell Recall 8/30/2013 - Nestlé Purina PetCare Company - voluntarily recalling 3.5 pound bags of Purina One Beyond due to possible contamination with Salmonella bacteria.
Dogswell Recall 8/14/2013 - Iams - Procter & Gamble recall a limited quantity due to possible Salmonella contamination.
Dogswell Recall 7/26/2013 - Dogswell - Recalls Dog and Cat Jerky Treats for traces of antibiotic residue.
 Bark Out Loud

Instagram's Newest Rising Star - Yogurt the Pirate Dog

Working with what you have been given is the cornerstone of charisma - this is especially true if you are a one-eyed chihuahua named Yogurt. Symmetrical: no. Photogenic: yes!

CLICK HERE to see why Yogurt is quickly becoming the new Instagram obsession.

Wags of Wisdom

"Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace." - Milan Kundera
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