Many toy and small breed owners aren’t aware that their dogs can not only eat a raw diet, but will thrive on it. This is especially important in smaller dogs as oral hygiene is key to prolonged health.
Periodontal disease affects over 87% of dogs over the age of three (source, and a very informative read), and is prevalent in small and toy breeds, but why is this? Years of selective breeding has led to smaller and smaller dogs, and often, very overcrowded mouths. The smaller jaw combined with 42 teeth all fighting for space leaves plenty of places for plaque and bacteria to develop.
So what has Periodontal disease got to do with raw feeding?
Raw fed dogs naturally have cleaner and whiter teeth, and that’s due to the chewing, scrubbing and flossing action caused by eating raw meaty bones. If your dog eats a raw diet, go and check their teeth now, alternatively, if you know anyone who feeds their dog raw, ask to check their dog’s teeth. Now compare that to the teeth of a kibble fed dog and you’ll see the difference is unmistakable.
Dried food has the tendency to sit between teeth, attracting bacteria, and will often require human intervention in the form of cleaning. In comparison, most raw feeders never have to intervene as the teeth take care of themselves.
Better oral hygiene is just one benefit of raw feeding, there are many more which you can read about here.
How to introduce raw feeding to a small breed dog
First, grasp the basics of raw feeding by reading our getting started guide, this will teach you the overall process and give you the confidence to switch to raw dog food.
With small dogs though, you have do things slightly differently. Despite being kibble fed, the natural instinct to gulp, chew and swallow is still very much there, often thinking they are bigger dogs than they actually are which can lead to unnecessary choking. To overcome this, rather than feed small chicken wings or necks, feed something a little bigger like lamb ribs or a chicken carcass (cut down to size, best quartered). Depending on the individual dog, you can choose to introduce smaller items if and when you feel it’s appropriate.
If you need to start off with some mince before working your way up to bones, Nutriment do a Dinner for Dogs range designed specifically for smaller dogs in mind.
Your dog will soon feel the benefits of their new evolutionary diet, and their teeth will certainly show it. What’s stopping you getting started?