I had Ellie at the veterinarian's office yesterday and, at the end of the appointment, I asked the vet about what I can use to help with teeth cleaning.  Ellie likes to chew on her antler and her teeth look great, but Yuki has given up on antlers, it seems, and his teeth and breath are less than pleasant.  I do brush his teeth, but it doesn't seem to be quite enough for him.

Anyway, I asked about using raw bone as a chew to aid in cleaning his teeth because he needs something that he is motivated to chew on.  The vet, of course, told me that all bones are "bad" and I shouldn't feed any to the dogs.  It was a bit disappointing, as I had been hoping she would say ribs or other non-weight-bearing bones would be worth a try.  She did, however, recommend bully sticks, greenies and soft nylabones.  I don't like the idea of feeding my dogs plastic (no matter how safe they say the plastic is...) and I've known too many dogs who have had problems digesting greenies.  I also refuse to feed my dogs rawhide, as a personal choice, so she didn't bother to add that to the list.

So...has anyone ever tried using bully sticks to help with cleaning teeth?  I know Melissa feeds bully sticks to Franklin and so far his teeth have stayed great.  How about cleaning teeth that are already getting some plaque on them, though?  Has anyone seen bully sticks make an improvement?  Yuki isn't at the point where he needs a professional cleaning, yet, and I'd like to try to keep it that way.  Also, what sort of bully sticks do people recommend?  I've seen all sorts of them (braided, straight, knotted, etc.)

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Greenies are full of potato starch (fattening) & messy!!

I give mine bullies - they're cheapest at costco.

I also give my boys raw bones; each vet has their opinion on that issue. My rescued dog had grungy teeth when I 1st got him, but I had his mouth full of pearly whites in a cpl weeks. I get the knuckle soup bones that are cut in half so they can get all the good stuff from the middle. I also feed them raw beef ribs - they get the meat & the bone. No bad breath ever. They eat kibble too, I just never mix raw with cooked...

My first order from best bully sticks arrived today. Bogart was VERY impressed!

I had my spaniel to the vet today for some lumps, fortunately they are just fatty tumors, no worries. But the vet commented that his teeth looked good and I said that he had been chewing on antlers lately. I also commented on how I wish I could keep the dogs interested in them all the time. He said, well you could brush their teeth- has your dentist ever suggested YOU chew on an antler instead of brushing? Ah, with unlimited time and different priorities, I would certainly brush their teefs daily like a good doggie momma- but it ain't happenin', so chew little doggies, chew!  (the vet said he gives his dog the plastic chew toys because they are not as hard as teeth and are less likely to break teeth.)

Have you ever tried brushing your dog's teeth?   I actually try to do it once or twice a week but it's a bit of  a joke..   For Chewey it's more about eating that yummy poultry or beef-flavored toothpaste then actually getting his teeth cleaned. 

The way I keep the boy's interest in chew toys that have lost their novelty is I dip my finger in the bacon-fat jar (yes i have one. I live in the south) just enough that only the pad of your finger has grease on it. You don't want to use a lot because you'll give them diarrhea. Rub that all over the toy so there's just the thinnest layer of grease on it. You have now made that their favorite chew.

I put bacon grease on their chews, too. Definitely the Texan in me, lol. I smear on peanut butter and cheese, too, from time to time I use bully sticks, tracheas, rib bones, antlers and cow ears as their regular chews, and they seem to be doing a great job of keeping my doggles' teeth in great shape. I just wish I could get some elk antlers for cheap :/

Oh, peanut butter!  I wonder why it has never occurred to me to smear a super-thin layer of peanut butter on the end of their antler.  I bet that would get Yuki interested for awhile.  Thanks!  :)

Franklin has never had interest in his antlers and the lady at the pet store suggested I soak it in chicken broth. I tried that and he seemed interested in it for a little bit so that may help too.

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