Giving the discerning dog owner the "upper paw" on the best products, nutrition and training tips.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Truth about Dental Care for your Pooch

So, this week I am headed in for my regular dental cleaning and got to thinking about dental care for my boys.  Truthfully, this has always been an area I have struggled with for many reasons.  First of all, I  have a breed that is braceocephalic (flat-faced), which is naturally predisposed to oral diseases and halitosis.  Second, let's be honest...commitment to daily brushing is not always in the cards for me due to busy work schedules in general.

With that said, I decided to find some answers to my questions and share them with you this week.

1.  How often should I brush my dog's teeth?

According to my veterinarian (and the American Veterinary Medical Association), you should be brushing your dog's teeth daily.  Brushing daily is best, but managing to brush every other day will still be sufficient enough to prevent the buildup of tartar and plaque on teeth.

Our vet recommends C.E.T. products and the poultry-flavored toothpaste

2.  Is there any product out there that can replace brushing teeth?

For this question, I have received mixed reviews.  The majority of veterinarians (including our own) believes that certain products can help, but nothing can truly replace brushing.

If using an actual toothbrush is a significant struggle with your dog, like it is with mine, you can utilize gauze wipes to apply the toothpaste and get better, less abrasive traction on the teeth.

My secret weapon and product of choice is TropiClean Gel...look for this to be featured soon in Products We LOVE!!

3.  Are these products and oral additives safe?

This question has also received mixed responses.  The vast majority of veterinarians believe oral additives can be safe and a great way to minimize tartar buildup between brushings.

Be wary of products that contain high levels of xylitol.  In uncontrolled doses it can cause liver damage or even fatalities.  Therefore, if you decide to use a water additive be sure to follow the instructions provided on the package for dilution measurements.

My vet recommends the C.E.T. products, however, I prefer the TropiClean products because they are made with all natural ingredients.

4.  Are anesthetic dental cleanings safe?  Recommended periodically?

In general, anesthesia poses less risk than most people think.  In the past 2 decades, anesthetic agents have become safer for use and with the appropriate preparation and care your dog should be just fine.

HOWEVER!  It is important that your dog receive a thorough check-up and blood work before going under anesthetic.  Dogs can have undetected heart murmurs, blood diseases, and additional health issues that could be fatal when under anesthetic.

5.  What are the signs of unhealthy teeth?

The most common signs of unhealthy teeth are bad breath (i.e. doggy breath) and yellowish-brown tartar crust along the gum line.

An example of tartar buildup

More serious signs are change in eating/chewing habits, pawing at the face or mouth, depression, excessive drooling, bleeding gums, discolored/broken teeth, and bumps or growths in the mouth.

These are all serious symptoms and need to be evaluated by a veterinarian as soon as possible!

We hope you found this post helpful.  Remember, dental health is important and essential for your dog's overall well being.  Poor dental health can lead to a number of serious health issues, such as cardiovascular failure and loss of eye sight.

I know we learned a few things about proper dental care when it comes to our beloved dogs.  Happy brushing!!


A & A


  1. Well! After reading this blog I have got cleared of all queries in my mind about health.Thanks for this awesome article.
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  2. wow interesting to know that even the dogs have their special toothpaste and all that stuffs for dental health. I am thinking what if the dog do the brushing on their own ???!!!! will look really cool i guess.
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  3. Brushing the dog's teeth daily is very good. Brushing daily is best, but managing to brush every other day will still be sufficient to prevent the cavity and plaque on teeth. So brushing the teeth daily is good even for dogs.
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  6. I noticed that my dog's breath started to stink a little bit, so I should probably start taking better care of his teeth. It helps that you explained how often I should brush his teeth. I'll try to brush my dog's teeth every day since that's best, but I'll also try to go for every other day if that will also work. Thanks for the tips!!services/ck7s

  7. Taking care of your pet's teeth is actually very important as taking proper care of your pets let them eat their favorite food in long run of their life. Those who are having pets must take special care regarding this as pets eats so many things that can cause harm to their teeth.
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  8. Great articles, first of all Thanks for writing such lovely Post! Earlier I thought that posts are the only most important thing on any blog. But here a Shout me loud found how important other elements are for your blog.Keep update more posts..

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