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How to prevent dog dental issues – prevention is cheaper, less painful and generally healthier.

Archie spoodle dog cleaning his teeth

A simple premise. If you want to prevent your dog’s tooth decay, the pain, cost, and lost teeth. THEN simply AVOID carbs and sugars, in general. We look at the facts on tooth decay, and why MEAT (that naturally has NO CARBS) could be a big part of the NATURAL PREVENTATIVE solution!

Most owners know that getting their dog’s teeth cleaned typically costs around $1000 minimum. It involves general anesthetic, a vet surgeon and a vet nurse. There are many things that can go wrong with anesthetics in humans and dogs, and if you need teeth pulled that adds cost and time of the operation.

In the ideal world, we would avoid all of that completely.

As humans that is quite difficult (to avoid tooth decay) – but with dogs there are many EASY ways to reduce the amount of tooth decay.  And understanding this can add healthy, happiness and years to your dog’s life.

My dog Archie is 15, and he is going in for his second major teeth clean and tooth removal (possibly) .. and potentially the pain from tooth or gum disease is part of the reason he pants at night and has anxiety meds to get some rest. We also found out that the latest thinking is to clean your dog’s teeth thoroughly with a dog tooth brush twice a day, as all good owners do.

But let’s face it – most owners cant get their kids to do this cleaning effort, so who will this regularly do their dog’s teeth cleaning?

What if you could PREVENT much of what causes tooth decay in the first place?

Lets look at the process of NATURALLY, significantly reducing dog tooth and gum decay.

What causes dog tooth decay?

My favourite dogs. “Tooth decay can occur when acid is produced from plaque, which builds up on a dog’s teeth.  If plaque is allowed to build up, it can lead to further problems, such as dental caries (holes in the teeth), gum disease or dental abscesses.”  Ref 1

So if the major cause of tooth decays is PLAQUE – why don’t we simply prevent plaque from occurring?

Plaque develops when foods containing carbohydrates (sugars and starches), such as milk, soft drinks, raisins, cakes, or candy are frequently left on the teeth. Bacteria that live in the mouth thrive on these foods, producing acids as a result. Over a period of time, these acids destroy tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay. Plaque can also develop on the tooth roots under the gum and cause breakdown of the bone supporting the tooth.” Ref 2

As you can see dog PLAQUE mostly is created on teeth by dogs eating carbs and starches.  This is one case where humans who eat meat (rather than only vegetables (the things that contain carbs and starches) – are found, might have a health benefit !


Firstly   your commercial dog food (wet and dry) containing around 60 to 70% vegetable matter. You might then think that Vegetables and carbs are necessary for your dog – why else would commercial dog food companies put so much in?

Vegetable matter is a great CHEAP BULKING AGENT.

Carbs are the basic sugars found in plants.

Sugars provide energy to your dog and little else.

Meanwhile the other major food type that a dog eats (the main thing they should eat) is protein.  ANIMAL PROTEIN from meat and offal, has a similar energy amount as carbs –  BUT they also provide the TEN ESSENTIAL AMINO acids, and the other 11 amino acids that PROTEIN I made up from, IN A BIO AVAILBLE FORM,

This means ANIMAL PROTEIN  (not plant) has a high conversion rate into the smaller building blocks required by the whole of the dog’s body to maintain muscles and brain function, AND to grow.

Back to the original question about avoiding carbs (and plants). Dogs ancestors were wolves, wolves and wild dogs don’t need plant matter either.  Unless absolutely desperate. Eating a whole animal provides all of the protein, the energy and the fibre dogs need for optimum health.

What do a small amount of plant matter provide that dogs ACTULLY NEED?

FIBRE.  The non digestible fibre that small dogs with the inability to rip and eat a lot of skin and fur and hooves etc, that are not protein or vegetable based,  provide.  The some fibre is used by bacteria in the gut to digest food, but other fibre just bulks up stools in the intestine, so that it is stretched out, and cleaned as the food (and fibre) moves through it.

Here are the other reasons you will want to avoid plaque on your dog’s teeth. “Plaque buildup can also lead to gum disease: first gingivitis, the tender and swollen gums that sometimes bleed. Over time, severe periodontal (gum) disease can develop. Gum tissue pulls away from the teeth, allowing the bacteria to destroy the underlying bone supporting the teeth.”  Ref 1

HOW DO MEAT BASED DOG TREATS HELP prevent tooth decay?

If your dog eats commercial dog food, with a high load of carbs (ie sugars), then the crumbly pieces on dog kibble, and the wet soy based fake meat in wet food, will stick to your dog’s teeth and lead to the creation of plaque.

MEAT and offal, on the other hand has ZERO carbs.  IT DOES NOT CREATE PLAQUE.

With zero carbs and zero sugars of any kind, plaque is a lot harder to deposit on your dogs teeth and gums.  The bacteria in your dog’s mouth are starved from lack of sugar. They cant create plaque in any significant amounts.

Not only does eating meat and offal and bones as a dogs main food help by NOT creating plaque on your dog’s teeth, but if your dog eats a commercial dog food diet (or a lot of veggies in your home made dog food), eating MEAT based treats afterwards) can help scrape off the crumbs and debris left behind on the teeth. 

AND the equally great value, is that the meat jerkies (100% meat types),  DO NOT add to your dog’s plaque.

Carbs can only add energy, they don’t add the ten essential amino acids dogs need in their diet. By adding carbs you cant add as much animal protein the dogs need. Dogs bodies decide what amino acids to use for energy, and what to use for body maintenenace functions. CARBS can only be used for energy.


Vets now recommend cleaning your dog’s teeth twice a day, after main meals.

Tooth decay and gum disease, even bone disease in your dog’s mouth can cause pain, tooth loss, and a large vet bill.

Removing a lot of teeth will impede the ability of your dog to rip and eat meat-based foods, reducing their enjoyment and limit the amount of full jerkies that they can eat without you cutting them down.

Most owners will continue feeding commercial dog food.  So the best way around creating plaque, post carb ingestion, is to clean your dogs teeth twice a day, and/or give them the most natural food on earth, meat or offal (100% animal treats) – that contain NO carbs/ sugars. AND that can scrape the sugar causing vegetable crumbs off their teeth.

Remember dogs are not like humans, they don’t need a massive amount of carbs In their diet to stay healthy. In fact some of the healthiest dogs mainly eat OR ONLY eat meat based products (raw feeders).

Yes you can add small amount of other vegetables with specific benefits like blueberries for antioxidants, but now you have another MAJOR reason for adding more meat to your dog’s diet.

PS – if you wonder why preventing dog teeth and gum disease can add years to their life consider this “Scientists have found links between periodontal disease and a number of other problems, including:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Dementia
  • Rheumatoid arthritis     ”  ref 1


Ref 1   Tooth decay, About tooth decay.      www.nhsinform .scot

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