BARF Chicken Bones for White Teeth

Discussion in 'BARF' started by MyPemCharlie, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. MyPemCharlie

    MyPemCharlie Global Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Charlie's teeth are pearly white since I've been brushing them since a pup. Desta's teeth are horrible for a 3 year old, she has bad breath, and does not enjoy toothbrushing. When I do brush, there is a bit of blood on the toothbrush coming from her upper molar on one side.

    Having done some research, I've decided to buy a bag of chicken wings next week when I need groceries and test the BARF belief that soft bones from chicken wings, backs and necks do a fabulous job of cleaning teeth and making gums healthy. Fed raw of course. I'm a little squeemish I guess like most people, but have read enough information to give it a try.

    The other alternative for healthy teeth naturally is raw recreational beef bones. However, I read many more reports about dogs breaking their teeth on hard large beef bones, and almost no reports on dogs choking on raw chicken bones.

    If raw chicken wings are the pearly teeth miracle that the BARFer's claim, then I'll probably join the local raw feeders coop to buy wings/backs/necks in bulk and give Charlie and Desta a raw chicken breakfast 3 or 4 days a week.

    We'll see how it goes.
  2. Louwants

    Louwants Senior Member

    You may want to have the vet check out the tooth that is bleeding, to make sure there isn't an infection or anything in it first.

    I've debated about giving my dogs raw chicken bones. I've been wanting to, yet sorta afraid to. Anyone who can give me more information through experience?
  3. MyPemCharlie

    MyPemCharlie Global Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Yes, well the original idea for Desta's vet visit July 2nd was to spay her and clean her teeth...before the heartworm misdiagnosis fiasco. Now I'm not taking her back to the vet until November when she is in between heat cycles (unless there's an emergency of course).

    I'm thinking the soft raw chicken bones might strengthen up her gums by then. I would also be interested in hearing from anyone feeding raw bones, and if they really keep the teeth in great shape.
  4. glencorgi

    glencorgi Senior Member

    I've fed raw chicken wings.;) At first it is a bit YIKES! but you get over it and the dogs love them. A few at first were, "what is that????" but once they took a taste, what a treat! Actually, I need to start picking some up again.

  5. Vannette

    Vannette Senior Member

    Mine eat raw most of the time. They love love chicken. I usually feed legs as there isn't enought meat on a wing. Not really on a leg either but I work it so they don't eat just legs. And Katie has to eat twice a day or she will die, or so she thinks.
    Wings are good as an additon to something else. Even dry for dinner. My 2 have beautiful teeth. No tartar or whatever it is they get. Good breath. Many advantages to raw. I don't feed big beef bones because I'm afraid they will break a tooth. Pork bones are good too. And you don't have to cook pork first.
  6. Michael Romanos

    Michael Romanos Active Member Staff Member Moderator

    Raw chicken and chicken bones are perhaps the WORSE meat/bones you could give to your Corgi. For worse read dangerous.
    Not only are the presence of at least one life-threatening infection and contracting intestinal worms a possibility but there has also been the scare of Bird Flu which can be transmitted from raw poultry and passed from dogs to dogs and from there to humans.
  7. MyPemCharlie

    MyPemCharlie Global Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    I'm only noting what I plan to do, not recommending anyone else do the same. If anyone asks, my official response is "No food is safe for dogs."

    When Charlie mangled the two baby bluebirds this spring, he was in more danger of bird flu than if I give him a human grade USDA inspected raw chicken wing from the supermarket. There have been no bird flu reports in animals in the United States (nor New Zealand or Australia for that matter). CDC Worldwide Reports of bird flu in animals: OIE - OIE DAILY UPDATE ON AVIAN INFLUENZA SITUATION IN BIRDS Most of these involved wild birds, except in parts of Asia.

    My dogs' monthly heartworm/flea preventative also includes a wormer to wipe out intestinal parasites.
  8. Michael Romanos

    Michael Romanos Active Member Staff Member Moderator

    Indeed there are many foods that can be unsafe for dogs. Treated veggies and fruits for example. What i mean by treated are chemicals ( anti-disease, fast growth, pest sprays etc and then there are the vegies/fruit that are genetically altered. Veggies and fruit washed before giving to your dog may still not be completely uncontaminated. Water is the biggie. We have a thread on water and what a lot of cold tap water in even first world countries can contain to the detriment of dogs - and even purification methods do not entirely eliminate unwanted elements.
    But I would say, most of us seek to give our dogs the least likely food to harm our Corgis, and as far as meat goes, that is most definitely in feeding them cooked rather that raw meat of any description.
  9. MyPemCharlie

    MyPemCharlie Global Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    I would certainly not put anything in my dog's mouth that I believed would be harmful. After reading multiple articles from raw-feeding groups and personal experiences, I am comfortable that giving the dogs a small trial on some raw chicken for their dental health is as safe or safer than popular alternatives such as rawhide chews or Greenies, which I won't give my dogs.

    Each of us has to decide what's right for our own.
  10. Michael Romanos

    Michael Romanos Active Member Staff Member Moderator

    Chris - I would concede this as far as raw meat goes. The least likely to cause harm is beef - especially quality beef. So it is worth the risk to give your Corgi a raw beef bone - canon, shin, femur and brisket = once every two weeks - because the value of these types of bones for dogs esp canon, outweigh the risks.
  11. MyPemCharlie

    MyPemCharlie Global Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    It is with the large hard recreational beef bones that I read too many accounts of broken teeth. My intent with the soft small chicken bones is to improve the teeth, not break them.
  12. Michael Romanos

    Michael Romanos Active Member Staff Member Moderator

    There might be such a risk of broken teeth by over vigorous/entusiastic chewing but with chicken bones you go back ton the increased risks associated with raw chicken and with chicken bones. Beef brisket bones go softish after much chewing and it is at that stage that one should remove the bone from the dog for safety reasons. So removing recommended beef bones from dogs so as to not allow the dogs to overdo their chewing could be warranted. Apart from broken teeth, dogs teeth will wear down (some practically wear away) from constant bone chewing. It pays not to overdo the bone thing - one every two weeks seems about right.
  13. Peggy

    Peggy Senior Member


    I do on occasion give my dogs raw chicken parts. When we have a whole chicken the dogs get the wings and back.

    However, what I've found even better are raw turkey necks. They are larger than chicken necks so I don't worry about them trying to swallow them whole. They are larger bones and do have some meat on the necks. I have seen great improvment in the teeth of my dogs when we give the turkey necks. Twice a week worked wonders.

    As for the raw or BARF diet, uncooked bones are not as dangerous as cooked bones. It's cooking that causes them to splinter. It also makes them harder. Dogs digestive systems are shorter which enables them to digest and not get sick from eating raw meats. I know lots of people who feed raw chicken parts.

    And yes, a dog can get sick from, choke on, etc. just about any food.

    While it is possible for dogs to break a tooth on a larger bone, I do at times give raw beef bones. Again the key here is RAW. I use either the knuckle (knee joints) or shank bones. Dogs get such pleasure from chewing that IMO, it's worth the risk of an occasional break. And again, the raw bones are better than cooked ones as cooked makes them harder. And as they get old and dry out they do harden to take them away and replace them.

    Dogs can break teeth on Nylabones, rocks and other things too, not just bones. (And yes, I had one who used to chew on rocks. Why I have no idea....)

  14. MyPemCharlie

    MyPemCharlie Global Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Thanks Peggy. I'm just planning to start with a package of chicken wings, since that's probably all I'll find in the meat department without having to ask at the meat market counter. If this trial clears up Desta's teeth, maybe I'll get chicken necks for her and turkey necks for Charlie. Charlie actually chews his kibble and eats slowly, so I have a little less concern about him choking. I have more concern about Desta, the power-vacuum eater, trying to swallow anything I give her whole.

    I am aware not to give cooked bones of any type. Cooking changes the molecular structure, which is what makes them prone to splinter into sharp pieces.
  15. Peggy

    Peggy Senior Member

    If you think she'll try to swallow them whole (necks that is) give them to her frozen or half frozen.

    We get the turkey necks at a meat wholesaler. They don't have much call for turkey necks so will sell them to the public. Same with beef bones. (Although some resturants want the beef bones for soup.)

    It was just a reminder to anyone else reading too. ;)

  16. LaRogue

    LaRogue Senior Member

    :yes: Pip broke his tooth on a Nylabone.
  17. MyPemCharlie

    MyPemCharlie Global Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    OK, I'm changing and adding to my official recommendation: "Food is bad for dogs. And so are toys and chew bones. And collars. And dog beds. And any item smaller than his body. To keep your dog safe, do not give him anything." :chase:
  18. glencorgi

    glencorgi Senior Member

    And don't forget, IF you do decide to give your dog anything, then somebody, somewhere is going to point out your mistake. :chase:

  19. Peggy

    Peggy Senior Member

  20. MyPemCharlie

    MyPemCharlie Global Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Thanks Peggy. Most of the websites I found model raw diets based on Billinghurst's plan of 60% raw meaty bones (primarily wings, backs, necks) and 40% muscle and organ meat plus some veggies. Seems that Billinghurst is the most noted authority, followed by Pitcairn.

    I'm still planning on mainly feeding quality quibble and just a few bones a week for teeth. The local raw feeders' coop is almost 100 members who buy from 6 suppliers in bulk and have a Yahoo Group for discussions and order information. I'm sure they would also provide a wealth of information and experience if I wanted to dive deeper into the raw diet. Right now, I think I'll just see how a few chicken wings go over.

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