Apparently I'm a Bad Dog Mom....

Discussion in 'Dog Health Care' started by sillysally, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    ....because after reading the dental thread I realized I've never brushed either dogs teeth. I honestly thought it was something that you only did if your dog had a specific dental issue...

    Sally is 9 and has a one dental a couple of years ago and Jack is 7 and has never had one. They do have antlers, water buffalo horns, and Nylabones always available and are fed mostly kibble with the occasional canned added in.

    How do I start out brushing? How do I train them to accept it with minimal drama? How often do I brush? Do I just get one if those kits? How do I properly brush a dog's teeth?

    It kind of sucks, I'm already the bath lady and ear cleaning lady, now I get to be the tooth brush lady-lol.
     
  2. Southpaw

    Southpaw orange iguanas.

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    Do they mind if you touch their mouths/pull their lips up etc? I've found that as long as the dog is okay with having its mouth handled, tooth brushing is usually decently tolerated.

    Mine have all been started on tooth brushing as puppies, aside from Happy.... so that makes it easy. If they don't mind you playing with their mouths then it's just a matter of introducing the brush. For most dogs the toothpaste is no big deal - we usually do chicken or beef flavored and they will lick it right out of the tube - it's the toothbrush itself that can kind of freak them out. I really suck when it comes to the "slowly desensitize" aspect of dog ownership so my usual advice is to just give it a go and see what happens. :p I think the usual process is to start by letting them lick the toothpaste off your finger, then you move to using your finger as a toothbrush, then you start using a real toothbrush.

    If they don't like the regular toothbrush sometimes they tolerate finger brushes better, or you can wrap a piece of gauze around a finger and use that.

    If I recall the price of the toothbrush + paste kits are a pretty good deal so I'd just get one of those. It takes 48 hours for plaque to turn into tartar, so, brushing is most effective if done at least every 2-3 days. Something is better than nothing, and since you give them chews that helps as well. All you have to do is brush the outsides of the teeth - don't worry about inside. You don't have to be too perfect, Juno pretty much chews on the brush and flails her tongue around licking the toothpaste the entire time I'm trying to brush her teeth, and it doesn't sound like that'd make for very effective cleaning but it seems to work just fine lol.
     
  3. frostfell

    frostfell Kung Pow Fish

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    if you dont see plaque, i wouldnt brush. why freak the dog out when theres no need?
     
  4. MicksMom

    MicksMom Active Member

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    Well, then, I'm a bad dog owner, too. I brushed Mick's a few times over the years, but not on a regular basis. The closest I've come to brushing Caleb's was to rub his gums with my thumbs when he was teething. I put Oxy Pet's Oral Pet Solution in water bowl in the kitchen for Mick. Caleb gets Plaque Off in his meals. That, plus bones/Nylabones kept Mick's teeth clean, and is doing the same for Caleb. Vet was very happy with Mick's teeth, and is with Caleb's, too.
     
  5. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    I don't brush my dogs teeth. Lol Honestly, as long as you don't mind shelling out the money for routine dentals when they need it, you probably don't have to brush.

    When I *do* brush the dogs' teeth, I use a normal toothbrush and dog specific toothpaste. If I were to actually brush their teeth like I should, I'd probably do it every other day.
     
  6. maxfox426

    maxfox426 My dog tickles my soul

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    I don't brush Morgan's teeth, either. I always intend to, but life gets in the way. He is provided with a variety of chews, none that are necessarily designed to be "dental cleaners", but... yeah. That's my story. There are days that I feel horrible guilty about it, and then the rest of the time I just continue to forget.

    On the flip side, the vet never even mentioned him needing a dental until his regular exam appointment at five years old. Even then, all she said was, "Eh... you should probably start thinking about it in a year or two." We ended up having it done about 6mos later, pretty much just because they had a special rate for the procedure at that point in time.
     
  7. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    Some dogs probably just don't need it as much. But I still look at it as important... I mean, I know dogs are different than humans, but even some humans have amazing teeth, but you still brush daily. Imagine not brushing your teeth for months or years or never. I just feel like in the long run, it's probably for the best, especially as they age. I'd just prefer to keep problems to a minimal. But with a small dog, I think brushing is definitely necessary. Smaller dogs just seem to have so many more teeth issues. It also makes me look in his mouth and investigate, make sure there is no chipped teeth, or gum problems, or any other issues. Plus he gets stinky breath if I don't brush or use products! lol.

    Also, some vets are really not up to par on their dental knowledge. I've seen some vets say "oh he doesn't need a dental" to dogs with horrible teeth. Then the owner thinks everything is okay, and they finally get a dental years later, only to have lots of teeth pulled, etc.

    I got started with Jackson after he went under for another tooth issue at 3, and got them cleaned at the same time. He had a dead tooth up front that I had NO idea about. Would've never known. So at that point, I started teaching him to come into the bathroom with me at night. He would get a treat just for coming in at first. then I slowly started introducing the brush. Then the toothpaste. Then lifting his lip up. Etc. It was about a 2 week desensitizing thing.
     
  8. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    It's not just a money issue. Dentals are an anesthetic procedure, and there is a risk your dog can die as a result.

    I use my electric toothbrush on my dogs (I do change the heads first! :p). I don't really give them an option to not let me do it. I straddles them when they're standing, facing the same direction as my dog, and just brush. They don't really fight it. I also scale their teeth when needed, which usually involved flopping down on the bed with them (it's easier to do when they're laying down).

    My dogs love the taste of the toothpaste (CET Chicken), so that probably helps. They HATE HATE HATE the mouth rinse though, so I don't use it often.
     
  9. Greenmagick

    Greenmagick New Member

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    I don't brush my dogs teeth.

    They have not needed dentals either...Marley was 13 1/2. Ivy is almost 5...teeth are still great.
     
  10. Lyzelle

    Lyzelle New Member

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    I get a wild hair up my butt every few months and attempt to brush Zane's teeth. He pretty much despises it. After two or three weeks of trying I give up for another few months.

    Luckily, we've only had one major tooth issue, and it was a slab fracture that we are still sorta going back and forth with. His teeth don't really get NASTY, at least not with constant chews. After that fracture, though, they got bad pretty quick and he had a dental earlier this year. They are already looking a bit bad again. But I've been given the all clear to give him chews again so...YAY!

    He's almost nine.
     
  11. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    I agree that as long as your dog doesn't seem to mind having their mouth handled, it's usually not too bad. Payton arrived not really being thrilled with having me look at his teeth, but I kept at it until he was comfortable with it (it was kinda really important given he was intended to be a confo dog.) Pepper and Auggie both had their mouths handled by Auggie's breeder so no problems there.

    If you ask Auggie if he wants to have his teeth brushed he'll go running to the bathroom in excitement. I was really good about it when he was younger but slowly started to get out of the habit. We use the peanut butter enzymatic toothpaste, or if I want to disinfect (like after Auggie eats poop) I use baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.

    Payton and Pepper are less thrilled about it but they will both quite politely sit and let me both scale their teeth and brush 'em. I would try some PB or chicken flavoured toothpaste first and see how that goes.
     
  12. MicksMom

    MicksMom Active Member

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    That's what I forgot to include- I've never had a dog need a dental, either. Our Sibe/GSD lived to be 17 and Mick 15 1/2.
     
  13. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    IMO ifnyour dog likes the taste of the toothpaste enough, and you don't traumatize him the first time you brush, you'll be set. So try a couple of toothpastes and make sure he likes it before you try brushing. My crew prefers CET. I don't notice a big change in enthusiasm with Tucker if I use a different brand, but my cat Neko goes NUTS for CET but is only mildly interested in Petrodex and will walk away in the middle of brushing.

    I can't brush my aunt and uncles dogs teeth because she would always get her teeth brushed at the groomers which was a very bad experience for her. She probably would have been okay if introduced gradually, she loves food afterall and that's what toothpaste is. But now if I let her sniff the paste she actually gags and recoils, then runs away, it's the most visceral response to smell I've ever seen in a dog.
     
  14. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    Agree on the toothpaste, too. Jackson definitely has a preference for the CET beef and chicken flavored ones. I have vanilla now, because it makes his breath smell better, but he shys away from it a lot more.
     
  15. TopShelfPets

    TopShelfPets Thread Killer

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    I only brush Jaeger's teeth about once a month. He doesn't like it or hate/fight it. He has lots of bones and other chews and is mostly fed kibble, so the tartar build up isn't severe. The vet hasn't said anything negative about his teeth needing a cleaning.
     
  16. krissy

    krissy New Member

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    Brushing teeth is one of my huge pet peeves. Most dogs can learn to tolerate it. It is cheap. It takes 30 seconds. It has a huge impact on the pet's health. So... why not?

    I brush both dogs' teeth every evening before bed. It's a routine so I never forget. If I don't do it I feel like something is wrong. The dogs get a healthy treat after so they are more than happy to have it done.

    If I go away and leave them at a kennel, my biggest OCD is that they are going a whole week without having their teeth brushed. I make sure to send dental chews and their Healthy Mouth. Doesn't totally alleviate my OCD but it helps.
     
  17. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    Yeah, this^
     
  18. Southpaw

    Southpaw orange iguanas.

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    Juno luckily doesn't seem to accumulate anything on her teeth. I'm very unpredictable with my brushing. Sometimes I'll do it every night, sometimes I do it once every few weeks... but they're still white, gums still look good, breath is still odorless. So I'm happy.

    Lucy does not do so well with this routine and is starting to get dog breath again.

    It's a hard routine for me to get into. I mean I think to myself, if I can remember to brush my teeth every night, why can't I remember to brush theirs... but unless I think of it when I'm by their toothpaste, it doesn't happen.
     
  19. FransterDoo

    FransterDoo New Member

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    We brush the teeth of the little dog with the underbite. The other 5 have clean lovely teeth. Heck one of them is 10 and she's got really clean teeth.

    Maybe it's the raw? I tend to feed big hunks of pork most of the time.

    Our vet's even been like "looks great! keep doing what you are doing...you feed whole raw, right?"
     
  20. NeNe

    NeNe New Member

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    I use a water additive. Several companies make them- Arm & Hammer, Nylabone etc. It goes in with her fresh water every morning. I have also read that dogs that are fed a grain free diet arent as likely to have a plaque problem as carbs are one of the culprits in the accumulation of plaque.
     

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