Recently, a blog post appeared in the Kansas Daily Mail about Hill’s pet food. The reporter was given a tour of the Hill’s veterinary facility where a large pack of mostly beagles was a part of the Hill’s feeding trials. Here’s an interesting excerpt from the piece:
“The dogs have yearly dental cleanings and any other vet care that’s needed.”
What’s interesting about this? Hill’s manufactures a prescription diet called t/d Oral Health Canine which is purported to scrub away plaque.
Can Kibble Scrub Away Plaque?
Were these dogs being fed the t/d diet?
If this diet is so effective and the dogs eating other Hill’s diets need yearly dental cleanings, then why not add the magic properties in the t/d food to all of their foods? Wouldn’t it prevent the dogs from having to undergo yearly teeth cleaning surgery?
It’s nice to know the dogs are being looked after, but if the dogs require yearly dental cleanings, isn’t Hill’s overlooking the fact that their feeding trials might not be all that successful?
Can a diet be called 100% nutritionally adequate if the dogs eating this diet are suffering from tooth decay and dental disease?
The fact is, all kibbles, regardless of advertised benefits to the contrary, cause dental disease in dogs.
Plaques, stained teeth and tartar buildup have been accepted as normal for most dogs when this is a very unnatural sign of improper diet, bacterial imbalance and chronic disease.
Making The Connection
“Poor foods contribute to gum and tooth disease by several means.” says homeopathic veterinarian Dr Don Hamilton.
And dental disease is at epic proportions, affecting over 70 percent of dogs and cats before the age of two.
“First, and most obvious, high levels of sugars and simple carbohydrates provide rapidly available nutrition for oral bacteria” says Hamilton. “Secondly, poor nutrient quality simply does not support the immune system. Third, and probably most important, though commonly overlooked, rancid foods contribute greatly to degeneration of all body tissues. The gums are either particularly sensitive or are just easily visible, but I commonly see inflamed gums in an otherwise apparently healthy animal. In either case, this provides an early warning sign for the beginning of chronic disease.”
Dental disease is a sign of chronic disease that should be taken seriously.
Removing plaque buildup surgically removes the plaque but does nothing to address the cause. In fact, the yearly surgery to remove plaque and tartar buildup contribute to the decline in health, as the toxic chemicals in the anaesthetic will stress the liver and immune system.
The reason the Hill’s dogs pass their feeding trials, despite the food causing persistent, chronic disease? Vets accept dental disease as a natural occurrence in dogs when it isn’t.
Unnatural foods lead to unnatural outcomes.
Raw Food And Dental Health: An Ounce Of Prevention …
Feeding dogs the diet they were designed to eat – a raw diet complete with raw meaty bones or a fresh food diet that’s not laden with starch – is enough to prevent and even treat dental disease.
Check out happened when veterinarian Tom Lonsdale switched raw fed dogs to Hill’s Science Diet in this article.
Raw foods contain naturally occurring enzymes that help protect the teeth and gums. They don’t contain unnatural and damaging starches and sugars that promote unhealthy bacterial growth in the mouth. Finally, raw foods don’t contain synthetic ingredients, harmful aflatoxins or other chemical compounds that stress the dog’s immune system.
(Thinking about switching your dog to raw? Click here …)
Veterinarian Sara Chapman concludes, “Raw meaty bone diets keep wild carnivores’ teeth in top condition, and they can do the same for our domesticated carnivores. Even ground raw diets help prevent tartar build up, as the meat contains natural enzymes, and raw diets do not stick to the teeth, unlike diets that are high in starch. Kibble has long been touted as helping keep teeth clean because of its abrasive action. Have you ever watched your dog eat kibble? You have surely noticed that they don’t chew the stuff, they bolt it down whole. I encourage all my clients to feed a balanced, high quality raw diet if possible; balanced high quality cooked or canned diets are acceptable alternatives if they can not feed raw.”
As the old adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
When it comes to dental disease, this is certainly true. Feeding your dog a raw diet can save him from both dental disease and the yearly surgery to remove tartar and plaque caused by processed foods.