Raw Bones, Raw Diet and Dental Health

Elroy, my 13-year-old puppy, just had his dental cleaning last week. I can’t even keep track of how many dentals my senior dogs have had, largely due in part to the highly-processed, high-carbohydrate kibble diet that I had been feeding them for the last twelve years. Now, Elroy has a clean slate, and his current homemade diet, using Dr. Harvey’s base-mixes, will help keep harmful oral bacteria at bay.

The combination of following what I was taught in veterinary school about nutrition, and also feeding my dogs a high-end prescription kibble diet for joint disease, made me feel that I was doing what was best for my dogs’ health food-wise. Yet it turns out that by feeding the dogs kibble, I was coating their teeth with sugar and allowing armies of oral bacteria to move in to do their damage. You may ask, “But how?” Well, carbohydrates break down to sugar, and the sticky nature of sugar make the carbohydrates the perfect product for it to adhere to their teeth. Bacteria are living organisms, and these living organisms eat the broken down sugars and therefore produce waste, better known as plaque. Plaque produce acids that break down the protective enamel and creates cavities. This repetitive cycle, if left untreated, causes severe dental disease.


My youngest puppy, 2-year-old Dora, had extensive tarter build-up when I adopted her about a year ago. However, Dora’s dental outlook will be vastly different than her siblings thanks to the raw, fresh and nutritionally complete homemade diet she gets in part from using Dr. Harvey’s base-mixes. I have also introduced Dora to raw bones (RAW being a the keyword) as a perfectly designed natural toothbrush. Dora is an ideal candidate for raw bones as she has strong, healthy teeth, and she also takes her time and doesn’t attempt to break off large pieces to swallow. I have recently purchased raw bones from Raw Feeding Miami.

Raw Feeding Miami’s bones come frozen, and they come nicely sealed in a freezer-safe bag so I can immediately transfer them to my freezer.

5C53F451-ACC3-4C29-A6AB-FAD3C2F47542Giving Dora her raw bone is definitely an outdoor activity, and I let the raw bone thaw in the fridge, usually taking a full day, before I let her have it. As she chews her raw bone, I check her gums often, to make sure they aren’t inflamed or bleeding, and if they are not, (which they have yet to be), I let her continue. When Dora is ready to come inside, I make sure to disinfect her mouth and legs by spraying Seventh Generation disinfectant (an all-natural cleaner that is safe to use around pets and children) onto a paper towel and wipe, wipe, wipe! I also toss the bone in the trash after one use.

I want to reiterate that I only use raw bones for Dora, my two-year-old dog that has strong, healthy teeth. Unfortunately, my four senior pups’ teeth are too brittle for bones, and they missed out on this amazing opportunity.  I hope your pups are lucky enough to be candidates for raw bones, and I wish you all happy dental health!



After contacting Dr. Harvey’s to share the physical and mental health benefits that I witnessed after switching my dogs’ diets to Paradigm, they have since given me free products from their other lines of food, supplements, treats, and grooming essentials for my honest feedback.

All opinions expressed about Dr. Harvey’s in this and any other article I post may not represent the thoughts or opinions of Dr. Harvey’s or its staff. Dr. Harvey’s products are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.

This post is intended to help you take the best precautions preparing raw diets for your pups, but in no way is intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Yes, I am a veterinarian, but I am not your pets’ veterinarian. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.


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