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Healthy Pets - Healthy Teeth and Gums

To avoid build up of tartar on your animals teeth, nothing beats a raw meaty bone - natures toothbrush.

Regular chewing, particularly after eating mushy food helps to clean your pet's teeth and gums and prevent periodontal disease. Chicken wings are ideal for cats and smaller dogs while the larger breeds love to chew on larger raw bones or whole chicken carcasses. Raw meaty bones, necks, marrow bones, chuck bones from the spine, softer brisket bones with cartilage, shanks, carcasses, tails from chicken, lamb, beef, rabbit and pork give variety. A large bone can keep your pet occupied for hours and the vigorous chewing, ripping and tearing will exercise the dog's whole body - it's jaw, neck, shoulders, legs etc.

Bones contain almost all the essential nutrients your dog or puppy requires. Marrow bones are great just be sure NOT to get the butcher to cut them lengthways as they are sharp and can cut your pets mouths as well as get wedged in their teeth.

Cooked bones should NEVER be fed to your pet as they are harder, more brittle and more splintery than raw bones. Cooked bones are more likely to be caught in the mouth, to pierce the intestines, to set like concrete in the large bowel, or stick like fish hooks into the rectum. Cooked bones from barbeques or Christmas cause many visits to vets and are unnatural and a danger to dogs. Buried raw bones are quite healthy for your dog to eat but bones left out in the sun become cooked and should be put in the garbage.

A dog's bad breath is not normal and it may be a sign of dental problems. Healthy teeth and gums are vital to a happy, healthy pet, because dental disease can lead to severe health problems.

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