Toy poodle bad teeth

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Barked: Thu Feb 7, '13 7:00pm PST 
I have a 3 1/2 year old 7.5lb poodle who has tartar on most of her teeth. We got her as an adult and I just recently started brushing her teeth but her vet says she's going to need a professional cleaning with anesthetic by next year. My husband does not want to switch to raw but is not adverse to giving her raw meaty bones once a week if it will help. I just need to know what is safe for her to chew on. And can it remove some of the tartar already present? Eventually I may be able to convince him that raw isn't as unsanitary as he thinks it'll be.
Ember FDX

Go Go Devil- Bunnies!
Barked: Fri Feb 8, '13 11:51am PST 
I think an occasional RMB can be a nice transition into raw for someone is on the fence. My advice there would be to consider how you'll offer them beforehand, since most dogs will want to carry their prize around and find a comfortable, secluded spot to enjoy it. My dogs just go straight into an empty crate with RMBs for that reason. In other houses, I have penned individuals in the kitchen and mopped the floor when they're done, or sent them outside.

As to what you can feed... I would think chicken or (hen) turkey necks may be a good place to start. They're small, well coated in meat and pretty soft, as bones go. They're also low in fat, so less likely to cause stomach upset for a newbie. Then... Whatever works! I know people do quarters (or individual drums/thighs, depending on how your dog chews), wings (too little meat for my preference, but some dogs do well on them), I've done pork tails, pig feet, raw pig ears (not bone, but chewy! And usually available in strips for smaller dogs)... Those are getting higher in fat, though.

Those are all fully (or mostly) edible. If you want pure recreation with little or no bone consumption, I'd try individual beef ribs or MEATY knuckle bones. I used to know a 10lb PoodleX who loved full size beef knuckles... They were half his size, but he'd drag them around and gnaw on them tirelessly.

You may see some reduction of tarter, but typically what's there will remain there until you have a dental. Afterward, regular RMBs will significantly prevent tarter from building back up.