Dog Dental Care

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Dog dental care is part of the basic dog hygiene

Dog dental Care / Tooth brushing

Dog Dental care - Mila brushing

Mila during tooth brushing

Brushing your Dog’s teeth frequently is a good idea. Like for humans it is advised to do it at least twice daily. This is because basically the same rules of nature apply for a dog’s teeth as for human teeth.
To support your teeth cleaning efforts, there are a lot of chewy treats available that will not only entertain your dog, but also help with the dog dental care by mechanically cleaning the teeth during chewing.

However, please note that neither kibble nor chew treats are able to replace proper dental care! That would be the same as just chewing Xylitol sweetened chewing gum as a human and believing that this replaces all of the brushing, flossing and use of mouthwash we do every day. It doesn’t!


Also just in case, I’ve sparked some strange ideas here: NEVER feed Xylitol to your dog – it’s toxic for dogs! Chewing gum is not made for dogs either.


Examples are:

Rawhide for dog dental care

This a actually a fun means for your dog to help dog dental care. But there are things to consider.
Read more about it in this post about rawhide dog treats.

Greenies for dog dental care

Dog Dental Care - Greenies

Greenies – treats brush your dog’s teeth during chewing

Choosing a brush for dog dental care

There is actually a whole variety on the market, but not everything is really useful.
I have been trying to use a finger toothbrush for my first attempts of brushing with Mila, but did not find those very useful, because as a puppy, of course, she would chew on that and I could still feel her razor sharp teeth squeezing my finger through the finger piece.
So, if you have a dog with a strong jaw and especially a puppy – who will discover the world by chewing – I would not recommend a finger brush. Maybe it’s an option for dogs with a mouth too tiny for a brush. But then again a finger is not really that much smaller. Anyway, for my purposes and and English Bull Terrier I could not find any good use for a finger brush.

There is a dental Kit from Nylabone for dog dental care

brush and toothpaste already included

Dog Dental Care - Nylabone dog dental kit

Nylabone dog dental kit for dog dental care

There also are those doubleheaded brushes available for dog dental care, which I basically consider a good idea. Although for a dog prone to chewing, the principle in my opinion lacks technical maturity. Often they are too small for a bigger dog, even though they come in different sizes and the construction around the two brush heads is too weak to withstand heavy chewers’ jaws.

I use a regular SOFT HUMAN tooth brush for Mila’s dog dental care. She tolerates brushing, but every now and then her jaws cling together around the brush and it gets bite marks. Also over time bacteria collects on the brush, so like I do it with my own brush I frequently replace it with a new one.

Choosing a toothpaste for dog tooth care

It may help to facilitate the brushing, if you choose a flavored toothpaste. Your dog will lick and chew anyways once it feels the toothpaste in his mouth. But chances are it will tolerate the entire process better when it is combined with some yummy flavor.

As mentioned above there is this Nylabone kit, which already does include the paste.

A lot of recommendations also point at this product:

CET Dog Toothpaste

Dog Dental Care - CET Toothpaste

CET Toothpaste for dog dental care

It is a bit pricey, but according to the recommendations it seems to be the real good stuff. I will switch to this paste once my supply of nylabone toothpaste is empty. If there is anything worth mentioning with this product, I will let you know in the future. Like other doggie toothpastes it comes in different flavors to choose from.

Update (12/2014)!
I am using the CET dog toothpaste meanwhile and Mila seems to like it. It seems to be a little more runny than the Nylabone toothpaste, which makes distributing it on her teeth a little easier. I am very confident and think I will continue using it.

 

Dental cleaning for Dogs

If you want to get your dog’s teeth cleaned, many vets again use anaesthesia. And there is good reason, because this way they can reach parts of the teeth, your dog would otherwise never tolerate. If you want to avoid the risks associated with anaesthesia there are clinics that offer Anesthesia-Free Dental Cleaning. So, just take a look around on the Internet for those in your area and ask if this is an option for your dog. It is always about weighing the risks against the benefits in every individual situation. So necessary steps will also depend on the health in your dog’s mouth.

Not sure how to get your dog to let his teeth brushed? I will cover this topic soon.

Read more about common dental problems in dogs in my essay about malocclusion and tooth fractures.

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