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Poor Teeth, Bad Breath & Vomiting: Inappropriate Diets: Part 3

stone-plaque-on-the-teeth-of-a-dog


5. Poor Teeth, Gums & Bad Breath

Poor teeth and gums is a massive health issue in pets. Those pet parents that have raised/feed their animals on raw very rarely experience these issues and their pets tend to have great teeth, gums and breath.

It's such a huge problem amoungst pets not fed a BARF diet, that the President of the American Veterinary Medical Association back in 2012 said that at least 80% of cats and dogs, by the time they are two years, old have some form of periodontal disease. That's the equivalent of most teenagers having bad teeth. Imagine by the time they hit adulthood!

It's standard practice to recommend that for example in the UK, every 1 to 3 years your pet has some sort of dental treatment and in the USA every 6 to 12 months. If you're leaving it every three years that means your pet has suffered two and a half years with significant periodontal disease and what a waste of time to be treating the disease nearly three years later, also it's extremely unhealthy for your pet.

Teeth and gums are the first signs of things going wrong in the body. Evidence in humans shows that periodontal disease is associated with renal, cardiac, high blood pressure, alzheimers, obesity and cancer in humans. The same applies to pets.

Your pet suffering from bad teeth and unhealthy gums is NOT normal. You've been hoodwinked into believing it's normal because it so prevalent, not because it's naturally occurring. If in doubt, check out any animal on raw food compared to kibble feed pets of the same age, and there is where you'll find the real evidence.

The marketing trend nowadays is to be brushing your pet's teeth but this is generally a waste of time as you're only brushing the outer edges of the teeth and it's more to appeal to owners than actually helping the teeth and gum hygiene of your pet. There are few dogs and fewer cats who will allow brushing on the inside of the tooth, bringing the validity of the entire exercise into question.

The answer to your dog or cat having naturally healthy gums, teeth and breathe - RAW BONES. These are the key or the secret.

Don't underestimate the importance of raw bones. They are one of the fundamental elements in your pet's diet and should be given at least two to three times a week. 

Raw bones are mother nature's tooth brush. These are what you should be giving your pet for healthy teeth and gums, not teeth brushing and not teeth cleaning appointments. Raw bones are one of the cheapest ways to help your pet and long term you'll save not only the money for expensive medical treatment associated with bad teeth and gums but the stress and upset it causes your lovely dog or cat.

Bones provide oral stimulation and teeth cleaning (both things stimulating better oral microbiome). They exercise the jaw, neck and shoulder muscles - vital for young puppies. And of course, they are a valuable source of minerals, cartilage and 'fibre' (gritty bony material), scouring the lumen of the gut, stimulating enterocyte re-generation, gut blood and lymph circulation and firmness to the stool, vital for anal gland health.

Tinned and kibbled pet foods do none of these things; they do provide micronutrients, but not necessarily in a bioavailable format.

Check out which raw bones to feed your cat or dog and how to feed them raw bone.

After the perceived risk of bacteria in raw food, chewing bones is the subject that worries most people, novice raw feeders and tends to the the thing raw food critics latch onto most. 

The unwarranted fear that their pet dog or cat could choke or get boney lumps stuck is ingrained in most people. Until they actually try it!  Almost sixty years of tv adverts and veterinary advice implying that bones can kill takes a lot of thinking through for the average man/woman in the street.

However, if you apply real logic and fact rather than scare tactics, just look at any wild dog or cat.  They catch their prey and eat it. They don't cook it or make it into a kibble. They eat it raw, bones and all, and thrive.

In fact when you actually start to look at the detail, there isn't much data out there to support the critics, there's just a lot of opinion. 

Thompson et al.(2019), in his soon to be published pilot study of the experiences of 79 vets across the world, involving 247,761 raw fed patients, 196,135 dogs and 51,626 cats suggests that 'dental problems' occur in only 0.28%. 28 cases in every 10,000 raw fed animals seen. Compared with the AVMA's findings of, 80% occurrence of periodontal disease in kibble fed pets. 

The research suggests dental disease in mostly kibble fed animals is over 7 in 10. In raw fed pets it as low as 28 per 10,000. Huge difference!



80% of cats and dogs, by the time they are two years old have some form of periodontal disease, which is associated with renal, cardiac, high blood pressure, alzheimers, obesity and cancer. 

This is not normal for those pets raised or fed a raw diet with bone. 

Look at any wild dog or cat. They catch their prey and eat it. They don't cook it or make it into a kibble. They eat it raw, bones and all and thrive.

You want to help your pet, allow it to eat raw bone. Raw bones are mother nature's tooth brush.


6. Morning vomiting

Morning vomiting also called 'bilious vomiting syndrome', reflux gastritis syndrome or duodenal-gastric reflux, is more common in dogs than cats and is in response to bile-induced inflammation of the gut. 

Bilious vomiting syndrome is a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning that the dog is normal otherwise (the dog, stools and diet are fine) and no other causes of the vomiting have been found.

It occurs due to bile salts interfering with the gastric mucosal barrier, allowing acid to irritate the stomach lining and cause gastritis.

The stomach usually has 'caretaker contractions' to get rid of bile, but if these are not working then food in the stomach stimulates it to contract through the night, reducing bile build up. Dogs with this condition usually vomit in the morning after not eating all night.

The best treatment for your pet is to feed him late at night as this gives the stomach "something to do" at night to prevent the bile build up.

H2 blockers and antiemetics can also be used, but they are usually not necessary and although they may help reduce the acid they interfere with the first part of the Sequential digestive process, causing issues further down the digestive system mainly in your pet's stool or the micribiome in the colon gets affected. This need to be avoided. H2 Blockers and antiemetics are loved by vets when they can't think what do do with mild gut issues. If you're pet suffers with morning vomiting the best way to naturally help your pet is late night feeding. 


7. Inappetance

Inappetance or lack of appetite can present itself in many forms such as fussy eaters, disliking food or ingredients. If they're not eating, then first check they're not ill with a vet. Next change the food to fresh/raw. 

It will depend on your pet's particular dislike but it may come down to which meats, vegetables or fruits they like or dislike or whether they prefer sweeter or more savory flavours. Like humans, pet's need more variety of tastes so you'll need to change up the food and how it's given to them, to work out what is better for them.

In some instances it may be that your pet isn't eating due to health issues such as they are ill, have a fever, problems with their teeth or jaw or are in pain, all of these can put your dog or cat off food.

Bone broths are a great way to get your cat or dog re-engaged with food. Check out how to make your own raw bone broths here but you want to boil the bones for at least 8 hours to extract all their goodness and then mix it with some of the foods your pet likes with some of the foods they don't but a bias towards their favorites. 

Fussy eating may even be down to something simple like the temperature of the food, some pet's don't like their food straight from the fridge, whilst most don't care. Others are particular about the texture or consistency for example, whether it's solid food, wet for frozen.

Some dogs especially older dogs and cats don't cope so well with raw, so in this case you can quickly flash fry the food for just 1 to 2 minutes to release the flavours and take the edge of the rawness. Don't over-cook the food as you'll be cooking out the goodness. You want to flash fry the food in a good quality coconut oil, olive oil or a smidgen of real butter.

The inappetance may even be down to the bowl your pet is feeding from. One dog hated the clanging of his collar on his metal bowl so refused to eat. A cat refused to eat out of a bowl that hadn't been washed in between meals. Some cats and dogs are 'just not foody', but can become very jealous of their food and will eat it to deny it for any new house mates. Or they may have small requirements depending on whether they are fat or thin. Some dogs and cats can get by with little food so don't over feed and be guided by your pet's weight, condition and coat etc.

Meal times are generally an animals most vulnerable moment so it's important that your pet feels safe to eat. This may mean that they have privacy when eating i.e. you don't stand over them or their meals aren't given when the kitchen is buzzing with people. Or if you have multiple pets, separate out your fussy eater into a secure location so they feel comfortable enough to relax to eat.

If there is no underlying medical condition, you'll need to experiment a bit with what works but if you're pet is avoiding meal times it's time for you to look at what is happening that' so off-putting for them and change what needs changing.

Ultimately, if you want your pet to be healthy and live a long live, then feed a good raw diet with real consistent fat content and avoid massively fatty meals.


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Wednesday, October 05 2022

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