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That totally depends on the individual, their diet, and their "chewing habits". Most of mine have never had teeth cleaning, but they occasionally are allowed to chew on marrow bones which will remove a lot of the minor tartar buildup. There are too many variables here to set a rule for how long between cleanings. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
hmmm....my mom's dog, Teddy is 4 years old. NEVER had a teeth cleaning and has GORGEOUS white, sparkling teeth. Apollo is one year old and he's not had his teeth cleaned either. His teeth are sparkling white, but he's getting some orange/yellow calculous near the gumline. I think it might be smart to get apollo in for a teeth cleaning. He's so young and I don't want him to devleop gum disease and calculous this young.
 

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Emma has never had a professional teeth cleaning. She has wonderful clean teeth for an 11 year old, but we brush them every night. :)
 

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Never. I don't think teeth cleaning with doggy toothpaste is necessary either. A good once weekly or once fortnightly marrowbone will take care of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hmmm....will the marrow bones remove the calculous build up along his gumline? If not, I think I might have to take him in to get that cleaned off and then start him on a regular supply of marrow bones.
 

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I brush 'em (peanut's, that is, Baloo is too young)

My dad just spent $750 to get 15 of his 6 yr old dog's teeth removed. I'm sooo not going there!

I'm also a chicken and I'm afraid of them breaking their teeth on the marrow bones. Knowing my luck, that would totally happen to me!! ::)
 

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We get our 4 year old dogs' teeth cleaned every year. I've read several articles that said regular cleanings can prolong their lives by several years. We don't do daily teeth brushings but probably should.
 

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At a recent appt at Kansas State's CollVetMed Tchng Hospl (where we "vet") they mentioned a moderate build up of tartar (despite weekly knuckle bones). So Puff has an appt in August for their dentist to do a teeth cleaning.
 

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It's very individual...just like with people. It has to do with the composition of the saliva in the mouth. I have to go in every 3 months for cleanings because the plaque builds up so quick. I can't remember now if the dentist told me my mouth was acidic or alkaline. Anyway, dogs are similar. Murray is 6 and has sparkling white teeth. My friend's Rotties have nasty looking teeth and was always needing to have them cleaned. I had her try some hard biscuits that a friend makes and her dogs' teeth have never looked better. Her vet even asked her who cleaned their teeth.

On a side note, there is a person here in the valley who will clean a dog's teeth without anesthetic. Several of the agility people use her. I will go that route if/when the time comes to clean Murray's and Essy's teeth.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Baloo317 said:
I brush 'em (peanut's, that is, Baloo is too young)

My dad just spent $750 to get 15 of his 6 yr old dog's teeth removed. I'm sooo not going there!

I'm also a chicken and I'm afraid of them breaking their teeth on the marrow bones. Knowing my luck, that would totally happen to me!! ::)
oh man, apollo LOVES marrow bones. Your pups dont' know what they are missing! As long as you get one of appropriate size, there should be no breaking of teeth ;)
 

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At Piper's last check-up in December the vet mentioned that Piper should probably have her teeth cleaned at next year's check-up. There was some noticable brown build-up near the gumline. Piper had tummy trouble when we tried marrow bones years ago and I never bought more thinking she couldn't tolerate them well (she's the one lab on earth with a senstive tummy). When Cassie started chewing everything in sight I bought her some marrow bones and let Piper have one, which she tolerated just fine. I've been letting her chew on a marrow bone every other day for an hour or so. In the 4 weeks she's been having marrow bones the visible build-up that had been on her teeth is 100% GONE. Even DH mentioned that her teeth look shiny, sparkly white when she smiles now ;D. So, that is a very long-winded "Yes" to your question about if marrow bones will remove visible build-up.
 

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We give the dogs marrow bones once a week and brush their teeth every two weeks. We were at the vets Tuesday and she thinks their teeth are fine.
 

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OK - this is probably a stupid question but where do you get marrow bones? Just go to the butcher store and ask for marrow bones? I'm assuming cow?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I give apollo soup bones. I keep forgetting if those are the same thing as marrow bones. But to semi-answer your question I get those at the butcher. They are really cheap, like $.75 for three bones.
 

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Apollopuppy said:
oh man, apollo LOVES marrow bones. Your pups dont' know what they are missing! As long as you get one of appropriate size, there should be no breaking of teeth ;)
I actually posted a question about teeth breakage and marrow bones a few weeks ago, and a few people responded with reports of their dogs breaking teeth. I think it has to do with the marrow bone being a harder composition than the material their teeth are made of.

If I remember correctly, the major factor in whether or not they were at risk of teeth breakage was HOW the dogs chewed on the bones. I just don't want to risk that my dogs chew on them in a way that puts them at risk. If you know your dog doesn't, I think they're OK.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I think its weightbearing bones like knuckle bones, femurs, etc that cause the most damage. I know the soup bones I give to apollo (don't know if they are the same as marrow bones) are actually quite soft, flexible, and pliable. I was really suprised by the flexibility of the bone!

Could you please find the thread about teeth breakage for me? Id be interested to read it.

I dunno about dogs, but with ferrets, bones pose no dental damage as long as they are the appropriate size. For example, mouse bones are NO PROBLEM for ferrets to eat. To break a tooth on a mouse bone would **** near be impossible. chicken bones are also edible, they pose a very small risk of tooth damage if the ferret's teeth aren't in good shape. Rabbit femurs and beef bones, and turkey bones CAN cause serious dental damage.

Now with ferrets, they DO NOT gulp their food, like dogs. So they can be trusted with small bones (like mouse bones). With dogs I would say as long as the bone is NOT a weight bearing bone, as long as it is fairly pliable and flexible, and as long as it is small enough they would be safe. However, with dogs, a bone that is small really IS NOT safe.

I dont know if marrow bones are the same as soup bones. But the next time you are at the store/butchers baloo I'd encourage you to buy a soup bone (where I am at they are very very very cheap) Take it home and flex it with your hands. See how pliable it is. You might be more confident in giving these to your dogs if you actually have a chance to see what its like. Even if you choose not to feed the bone, you can just throw it away and you wont have lost any money really (soup bones are so freakin cheap).

Oh! And the younger the animal, the more pliable the bones. However, the younger the animal, the smaller the bones. So you really have to be careful about that.
 

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The marrow bones I've tried with Puff are like pieces of iron pipe with marrow inside.

Puff regards them as good to try to lick the marrow out of for a bit but much too hard to enjoy chewing on.

So we use knuckle bones BUT FIRST I cut off all the suet/fat on the outside as well as the several small bones that always lurk beneath the surrounding fat and cartilage. When it's suitably defatted and cleared of small bones (which she might swallow), then Puff gets the piece.

There is a section of the knuckle bone (i.e., the ball of the ball joint) that is extremely hard and Puff never chews on that. But there are large sections of the knuckle bone that erode on chewing and become fine grains of bone. Puff's poops come out light tan and rock hard for a day after.

We get ours at a butcher shop and have each one sawed in two so Puff gets half of one once a week. They're frozen and I defrost the piece (10 minutes on 10% power) to make it easier to do the trimmming mentioned above.

Getting a piece keeps Puff seriously occupied on chewing for at least several hours.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hmmmm....i give apollo soup bones instead of marrow bones. Will soup bones clean his teeth?
 

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Around here, marrow bones and soup bones are usually the same - I'm not sure what prompts the store from labeling it one way or the other.

Looking back, I'm almost ashamed at how we raised our first Sheltie, but we just didn't know any better. She was fed a grocery store brand (Kibbles 'n Bits usually) and had her teeth cleaned every 6 months due to excessive plaque. Despite the poor food, and all that anesthesia, she somehow lived to be 16. I'm curious to see how long my parents Sheltie lives. I've got them feeding her Eagle Pack Holistic, and she chews on marrow bones (they have to be cut a bit smaller than the one's for Jes) and has yet to have her teeth professionally cleaned - she's currently 6.

Jes is 4 and he hasn't had his cleaned either. I think it's a combination of a better kibble, some raw meals, and marrow bones. The ones I get are exactly how Bob described (marrow, not knuckle).
 
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