75 years ago the pet food industry made it's debut. Whether this is a good thing or not is up for debate. Regardless it is important to fully understand the industry to recognize why Prey Model Raw feeding is so important.
Does your pet have horrible breath and teeth covered in dark brown plaque and tartar? Dental Disease is one of the most common diseases afflicting our companion pets today with 68% of cats and 76% of dogs in 2015 diagnosed according to Banfield Hospital. Unfortunately, this diagnosis has only continued to increase every year. By the age of 3 most pets require a dentistry at the veterinarian which involves putting them under anesthesia and sometimes getting teeth pulled. Not surprisingly dental disease came on the scene about 80 years ago. Why is this not surprising? Because around 80 years ago was when commercial manufactured pet food became a staple in pet owning homes.
Many veterinarians and thus modern pet owners have been told and believe that hard kibble diets prevent dental disease especially compared to wet canned foods. Although through studies this has been proven the difference is minimal and companion animals still develop health concerns related to dental disease around the age of 3 years. Unless on a raw diet including raw meaty bones, one should not rely on their pet’s diet for oral hygiene. Try this, eat a cup of pretzels for breakfast and dinner and a cookie or two for a snack throughout your day. When it’s time for bed, run your tongue along your teeth. Feel the film and grit that has built up on them? Now go to bed without brushing your teeth. Observe in the morning not only the unpleasant taste in your mouth, but again the film that is still building up on your teeth. It’s only been one day, imagine your companion who goes years eating a hard kibble (like the pretzels) and some treats (like the cookies) without brushing their teeth or have other dental care practices in place. I think you get the point.
Carbohydrates are another important consideration when it comes to dental disease. Cats, dogs and ferrets do not have enzymes in the mouth that break down carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables and grains. Due to this missing factor, these ingredients which make up a large portion of most commercial pet foods, are left to sit in-between teeth and along the gum line rotting away. Even in short periods breath becomes rancid, tartar and plaque build up, teeth decay and gums weaken and bleed. How unpleasant!
The pet food industry and lack of education being replaced by profit is responsible for this drastic increase in dental disease. The pet product industry thus took advantage of this disease by producing artificial bones, dental chews, recreational bones, water additives, tooth brushes and paste and even dental diets. So what is the problem with these products if they are designed to aid in dental hygiene practices.
We already know why dental diets don’t work. CARBOHYRDATES! Here is an example of a formulated dental diet for dogs on the market.
Chicken, Whole Grain Wheat, Powdered Cellulose, Brown Rice, Chicken Fat, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Corn, Corn Gluten Meal, Cracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken Liver Flavor, Whole Grain Oats, Wheat Gluten, Soybean Mill Run, Pork Flavor, Calcium Sulfate, Lactic Acid, Soybean Oil, Fish Oil, Potassium Chloride, Pork Fat, Iodized Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, L-Lysine, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Taurine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Dicalcium Phosphate, Oat Fiber, Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Natural Flavors, Beta-Carotene, Apples, Broccoli, Carrots, Cranberries, Green Peas
Anything highlighted in yellow is a carbohydrate that neither is broken down effectively by oral enzymes nor digested effectively later in the digestive tract. (The ingredients after pork flavor are added vitamin and mineral supplements)
This 4lb bag is $14.99.
Now compare the following diet
Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Corn, Whole Grain Sorghum, Cracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Oats, Pork Fat, Dried Beet Pulp, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken Liver Flavor, Soybean Oil, Lactic Acid, Pork Flavor, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Iodized Salt, Choline Chloride, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), L-Lysine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Taurine, Oat Fiber, L-Carnitine, Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Natural Flavors, Beta-Carotene, Apples, Broccoli, Carrots, Cranberries, Green Peas.
This 4 lb bag is $12.99
This diet is a non-dental adult diet available through the same company. Everything highlighted in green are the carbohydrates in this diet AND the carbohydrates that are ALSO in the previous diet. One carbohydrate extra is found in the first diet but not in the second. Everything highlighted in blue are the ingredients that differ from each other in the two diets.
There isn’t too much of a difference between these two foods, other than a few ingredients and the dental diet costing more money. Despite a few differences in ingredients, none of the ingredients added in the first diet that are not in the second aid dental hygiene.
We see the same problem in edible dental chews such as Greenies. They are all made primarily of carbohydrates:
Wheat Flour, Wheat Protein Isolate, Glycerin, Gelatin, Oat Fiber, Water, Lecithin, Natural Poultry Flavor, Minerals (Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Potassium Iodide), Choline Chloride, Dried Apple Pomace, Fruit Juice Color, Vitamins ( Dl-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate [Source of Vitamin E], Vitamin B12 Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate [Vitamin B5], Niacin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement [Vitamin B2], Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride [Vitamin B6], Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Folic Acid), Turmeric Color.
After natural poultry flavor, this product contains vitamins and minerals. Of the remaining ingredients 3 of the 8 ingredients is carbohydrates and the other 5 are not really quality ingredients or even those that would aid in dental hygiene. So how does this product help your companion’s oral hygiene?
You also can purchase artificial bones like Nyla bones. These are synthetic products made of plastics and other ingredients that often cannot be consumed. Similarly, with recreational bones such as those that are real bone, but smoked or filled with peanut butter, very little is achieved dental wise. If you observe your dog (they don’t really make bones for cats or ferrets) your dog scrapes the bone with its front teeth. They don’t typically put the whole bone in the mouth and chew on it and if they did they would probably break a tooth or worse their jaw. So again how is this aiding with dental hygiene?
Ok so dental foods are a no-no, and dental chews, don’t work. Recreational bones and artificial bones either can’t be consumed or aren’t chewy enough to make a difference. So what the heck do you do?! Most people brush their own teeth and are quite aware that brushing their companion’s teeth could greatly aid their companion, but how many pet owners are willing to or have a cooperative companion that allows them to brush their teeth? Not many considering the astronomical amount of companion pets that are suffering from dental disease.
This is where raw feeding comes in! In a prey model raw diet, 10% of the diet consists of raw meaty bones. These are bones that are completely consumable and soft enough to chew. Raw meaty bones like chicken necks, rabbit ribs and those in whole prey like mice are abrasive enough to scale teeth from tartar and plaque while the meat is similar to floss. Even companion animals that have years of buildup on their teeth and switch to a raw diet, are almost clean in just a few months! Companion animals on a raw diet with raw meaty bones even at 10 years old have NEVER had their teeth cleaned by a veterinarian, do not have rancid breath and have teeth that are pearly white.
Raw meaty bones are also made of…. well meat and bones. The enzymes in the mouth are designed to break down meats, fat and amino acids found in the protein. This means that your companion will not have food products rotting along the gum line or between teeth. It sounds like science fiction, but a healthy cat or dog will have a completely scentless breath and pearly white teeth!
The best part about raw meaty bones is that dogs, cats and ferrets love them! They are emotionally and mentally stimulating, true to their natural diet and only require you add a chicken neck or two to their meal and they do all the work themselves. That’s why they are truly nature’s toothbrush!
There is a lot of misinformation out there and marketing targeted towards “curing” dental disease. Unfortunately, dental disease is only increasing every year and our companions are suffering in more ways than one. With the deleterious effects of commercial kibble and wet food diets, it only makes sense to switch to a raw diet with the inclusion of raw meaty bones. In addition to all the positive results and health benefits it provides, raw meaty bones are a natural oral hygiene product, that is easy to use and has fantastic results. If you want to avoid spending money on products that don’t work, professional dentals that require anesthesia, avoid horrible breath and rotting teeth, and want to stop struggling to hold down your dog while you stick a tooth brush in their mouth, then please throw your dog (cat and ferret) a raw meaty bone!