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Healthy Food — Healthy Pets :: helping pets since 1994


Chew or False, Marketing and Teeth

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I can remember, it must have been about 1994. I had just recently got into this whole concept of feeding a wholesome raw meat diet. I was on a mission — well actually, I was on my bicycle and riding to work when I saw a bus pass by with an advertisement on it that said chew or false and next to the words was a picture of a dog biscuit.

Two thoughts came to me:

  1. What a load of doggy–do that message is.
  2. What a brilliant advertisement.

Realizing the ad was very good; it made me madder because I knew a lot of people would fall for its message.

Essentially, the advertisement was saying to give your dog 1 biscuit a day to help prevent dental problems that lead to the loss of the teeth. Indeed, wouldn't this be great, if that were true.

The advertisement was playing on the idea that dry food cleans teeth, which any reasonable person with some common sense will know is not true. Why is it not true? If it were true, then all the dogs and cats eating commercial pet food wouldn't have dental problems. Plus veterinarians wouldn't be promoting dental packages to have your dog or cat's teeth cleaned.

Think about it for a moment — taking a pet to the vet is a very traumatic experience for most pets and for many humans too. Not only that, but in order to have your pet's mouth cleaned, your pet will need to be under general anesthesia. Two things we want to avoid as much as possible.

Oh, I know the sales pitches you will hear for the benefits of having dental cleaning — we will do a full oral exam and look for cancers too.

Of course, everyone has a difference of opinion, but personally I don't think an oral examination is just that important. Pets today are only sick because we feed them like humans rather than the carnivores they are — pets are eating processed and unnatural foods — essentially junk food which is how most humans eat. In my opinion, commercial pet food is junk food for pets.

I know that some will argue that even fish have cancer today while living in the sea due to contamination — so who's to say that pets eating a natural based diet won't have health problems? Well, certainly not me. The reality is that our pets can and some still do have health problems while eating a wholesome raw meat diet — but unless we give them the opportunity to eat a diet full of wholesome nutrition, they will never have the chance to be healthy — it's just common sense.

The reality is, the main reason why dogs and cats have dental problems is because the diet we feed them is not healthy — thus the answer to the question of chew or false is false.


Dry Food Makes Our Pets Chew Too Much

What an interesting thought — dry foods make our pets chew too much and thus the reason why the answer above was false!

Dogs are meant to rip meat from the prey while cats are meant to cut pieces of meat off their prey using their molars. Once they have the meat, they swallow it whole. As a result, dogs and cats are not meant to chew excessively. Doing so actually damages their jaw muscles.

Even humans who chew gum are damaging their jaw muscles. The jaw muscles are only meant to chew so many times before resting. Similar to chewing gum, eating dry food or dog biscuits all the time lead towards jaw problems.

The reality is that dry food (and even cooked meats) can cause dental problems because dogs (and cats) are not meant to chew too much. Essentially dry food requires our pets to chew too much to break the food down before swallowing. This leaves particles of food in the mouth, which then lead to dental problems.

Since our pets are meant to bite, rip, tear, chew a few times and then swallow the food, this leaves no food particles in the mouth thus helping to prevent dental problems. Dry food will leave a lot of food particles in the mouth, which begin to decay.

This is one reason why some people suggest that our pets should not eat ground meat. Feeding ground meat can potentially leave food particles in the mouth too. While this is possible, most dogs just lick the ground meat up and swallow immediately with no chewing and thus fewer ground meat particles left in their mouth. Cats, they tend to eat smaller pieces of ground meat with each bite and then swallow too. But dry food, that requires a lot of chewing and thus creates a lot of food particles.

The pros and cons of feeding ground meat versus meat chunks were discussed in Part 3 of my book.


The Mouth — A Wet, Damp, Oxygen Starved Cave

During the day, the mouth is open allowing airflow in and out. You eat, you drink and your pets do the same. All of which helps to create the mouth fresh.

But at night, the mouth is often closed creating a wet, damp and oxygen starved location — a perfect location for bad bacteria to grow and flourish.

To help prevent bacteria from growing, we want to have as few food particles in the mouth at night as possible. But even if there were food particles in the mouth, then those food particles can only create bacteria that damage the teeth if the teeth are not strong — in other words, calcium deficient.


It's All About The Calcium — Baby!

Yes, it's all about the calcium baby.

If you want your dogs and cats to have healthy teeth, it's best to start when they are young babies — well actually puppies and kittens. When they are young, feeding them a wholesome raw meat diet helps to ensure they are getting adequate nutrition, especially calcium. Not only does a wholesome raw meat diet help to ensure our pets are getting the calcium they need, but also that they are able to utilize and use the calcium efficiently and effectively within their body.

When our pets are using the calcium properly, they create healthier bones and as we all know, teeth are bones too.

A wholesome raw meat diet helps to create the perfect balance between calcium and phosphorus within their body, which helps to build stronger teeth.


This Is Not Rocket Science — Baby

The principles of good health are not rocket science — it's all based on common sense.

When you begin feeding a wholesome raw meat diet to your puppies and kittens, it allows them to develop and to create strong teeth, which are far more resistant to dental decay. Sad to say, dental decay is a problem created by humans. In nature, animals simply don't have dental decay.

Mother Nature gave animals teeth to last a lifetime. In some cases, that's true. Elephants, as an example, have 4 sets of teeth. When one set of teeth wear away, the next set appears. But elephants only have 4 sets of teeth. Once their fourth and final set of teeth wear away, the elephant begins to die as they can no longer chew properly and as a result, begin to starve to death — teeth are meant to last a lifetime.

But back to our dogs and cats, when you begin feeding a wholesome raw meat diet to a mature dog or cat, it's possible that some dental issues have already started and while I would love to say to you that they would reverse, I cannot say that with 100% certainty. Some issues won't reverse. However, others will.

Many people who begin feeding their pets a wholesome raw meat diet notice that their pet's teeth begin to get cleaner.

While feeding a wholesome raw meat diet to an adult dog or cat can help to rebalance the calcium to phosphorus ratio within their body, leading to healthier bones, it may be too late for some teeth which already have dental decay.


It's A Little Bit Rocket Science Too

Without trying to confuse you too much, when you begin feeding a wholesome raw meat diet, strange things begin to happen — your pet's body begins to respond.

The pH (acidity) level of your pet's body begins to change — it starts to become more normal again. A poor diet will create an unhealthy pH level within the body. This can lead to many health problems — one of which is cancer.

A wholesome raw meat diet, just like any wholesome diet, will have a positive impact on the pH level of the body regardless of the species of animals — and yes, this includes us humans. When the pH level begins to change, this has a positive effect on other parts of the body.

The body starts to become more aerobic (oxygen rich) rather than anaerobic (oxygen starved).

But more things begin to happen — changes throughout the whole body including the saliva. The pH of the saliva begins to change too. Your carnivore friend begins producing a proper amount of natural antibiotics in its saliva — all of which help to combat dental problems too.

It's reported that a dog's saliva contains the enzyme known as lysozyme. By definition, the worse lyse, means to destroy — thus lysozyme is an enzyme that destroys. Since a dog's saliva contains lysozyme, this is one possible reason why dogs lick themselves or others when they have wounds. To the best of my knowledge, although harder to confirm, it appears that a cat's saliva also contains lysozyme.

Realizing that so many pets eating commercial pet food have dental problems, it makes me wonder if they are producing enough lysozyme in their saliva?


Canary In The Coalmine

The increase in dental problems that we are seeing amongst our pets is, very much, a sign like the canary in the coalmine. Yet so many are oblivious to the sign — all people see is the symptom — the dental problems are the symptom, but what's the underlying cause of the dental problem?

The underlying problem is that pets are not being fed a wholesome diet that creates a healthy body from inside out.


Dry Food Does Not Scrape The Teeth Clean

Yes, as many of you know — dry food cleans the teeth by scraping them clean — well, at least that's what the marketing wants us to believe. You can always gauge the success of a marketing plan by how many people actually believe what they have been told. Based on how many people believe that dry food scrapes the teeth clean, I would have to say the marketing plan for dry food and biscuits has been extremely effective — wouldn't you?

But we both know now that chew or false is neither chew nor true — it's just plain false.


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