Any advice

I have an active two year old cocker spaniel who is training me not to give him kibble. I am worried about his teeth, which seem to be getting brown in places, so I’d like to do half kibble and half wet food (I have ordered 50% butternut box). But there are so many kibbles. He has had Royal Canin and Science Plan, but gradually refused to eat the. This site has also made me realise that these don’t seem to be great foods in terms of quality. I’d welcome any advice about a good quality kibble I can try- the choice is bewildering. Also, should I persist if he is not keen. Finally- does anyone have any tooth cleaning advice?

I also feed my dog part Butternut Box and part kibble, I feed her 3 meals a day so she gets Butternut Box morning and evening and kibble for lunch. The kibble I feed is Guru cold pressed and she loves it.
As for teeth cleaning I’m not sure kibble actually helps with this, most stuff I’ve read says that feeding raw bones is best though I choose not to with my girl as she’s very lazy and tries to swallow stuff before it’s properly chewed. As an alternative I give her dried fish skins and clean her teeth regularly with Tropiclean Dental Gel. She’s very good about having her teeth brushed with one of those finger brushes but you can just apply the gel to the dog’s teeth so they lick it off.

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Hello and welcome to the forum Edses. I too have tried BB and I agree that feeding half and half would help to make it more affordable. Petmum seems to have a good regime going and that may be helpful to you as cold pressed food seems to go well with Butternut Box. We have a thread on cold pressed food here. If you want any help sourcing a suitable product, please give more information and we can assist you with using the Dog Food Directory.

@Petmum - Guru is celebrating the second anniversary and it is on offer this week - 15% off.

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Thank you for the advice… I had assumed from what the vet said that kibble was good for teeth but, you know, I don’t think she actually said it. So maybe kibble is not essential. He really prefers wet food.

I wil try the dental gel and fish skins- that’s totally new on me but he does love to chew. The vet says he can’t have bones (injuries?), which is a shame as he LOVES a marrowbone. Do you think bones are dangerous?


Hello and welcome to the forum. You should never feed cooked bones as they can splinter and cause damage. Feeding raw bones is not risk free. You can reduce the risk by following good food hygiene practices. You should also be aware of your dog. I feed raw but would personally not give bones anymore as my dog tends to try and swallow large pieces. I did give her bones at one point but had a couple of scares so don’t anymore. As with everything, it is down to personal choice but if you do decide to give them, make sure you get as much information as you can and are aware of the risks.

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Yes, giving bones is not without risk and the British Veterinary Association does not approve. On the subject of dental hygiene, the problem area is often at the margin of the teeth/gums and AFAIK the only thing that keeps this clean is regular brushing with a canine toothpaste. I do not feel that kibble is of any use. I brush my dogs’ teeth regularly and apply PetzLife gel afterwards. They also get Plaque Off on their food every day. One is 7 and the other 4 years old and although they still have a small amount of plaque on the molars, the gum margins are clean and neither of them have ever needed a veterinary dental treatment so I know that this does work. Mine also have a Nylabone and antler but lately they have not been bothered with them.

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Hi, welcome to the forum.
In theory, the rough surface of the kibble should help clean the teeth; in practice they require so little chewing that the effect is minimal.
A solution of water and bicarbonate of soda and a cheap supermarket toothbrush on the soft side once a week work just fine… just be careful near the gums: if they bleed the dog will start hating the practice and he’ll make it very hard for you! :wink:


@Petmum - Guru is celebrating the second anniversary and it is on offer this week - 15% off.
@Dottie -Thank you, I did see an email a couple of weeks ago about the 15% offer but had forgotten until you said! Just checked back and if anyone needs the discount code it’s WOOHOOGURUS2

Thanks also for the tip about Plaque Off, I think I shall look at adding this to my dog’s food as well as the teethbrushing. When I looked for info on the best ways to clean a dog’s teeth I found lots from raw feeders who advocate feeding bones but bones are not something I’ve ever been comfortable feeding as I too consider it too risky. It’s good to hear what works for others regarding dental hygiene.

Hello Edses and welcome to the forum!

Some great advice already. I’d like to add my thoughts too…if your dog is starting to show a disinterest in kibble and yet continues to favour wet meat, my first thoughts are that it seems quite likely that it may be due to the texture of the kibble. And for this reason I’d be tempted to explore feeding a semi-moist kibble.

Both of the foods you mention are manufactured by the method of extrusion and the resulting extruded kibbles are hard and of the same shape. By comparison there are kibbles manufactured using different processes, eg cold pressed kibble is harder and compact and each looks the same, like pellets. Semi-moist kibbles are softer and moister than extruded kibbles and the kibbles are of the same shape. Baked kibble is as hard as extruded kibble, and each kibble is shaped differently.

I think it’s fair to say that any reliance on kibble alone, for maintaining healthy canine teeth, does seem these days, to be insufficient, given the fairly commonplace veterinary dental work that occurs.

That said I’d be tempted by feeding the greater surface areas of mixed shaped baked kibble over a uniform all-the-same-size kibble, if I were ‘pushed’ to pick kibble alone for helping with any tooth cleaning abrasive action that kibble might offer.

Unfortunately, many dogs simply cannot tolerate their teeth being cleaned by toothbrush, finger sleeve, or finger(!) :o and in these cases, there are alternatives and some of these have been mentioned in the earlier posts.

Raw bones remain, in my experience, as exceptional canine teeth cleaners and I do give these frequently, mostly raw chicken wings and lamb spines for dogs who chew before swallowing; marrow bones and beef ribs for those dogs that enjoy gnawing.