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Old 11-10-2013, 09:43 PM
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sillysally sillysally is offline
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Default Apparently I'm a Bad Dog Mom....

....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.
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:39 PM
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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. 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.
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Old 11-11-2013, 07:05 AM
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frostfell frostfell is offline
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if you dont see plaque, i wouldnt brush. why freak the dog out when theres no need?
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sillysally View Post
....because after reading the dental thread I realized I've never brushed either dogs teeth...
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.
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Old 11-11-2013, 11:10 AM
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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.
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:14 PM
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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.
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Old 11-11-2013, 02:07 PM
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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.
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Old 11-11-2013, 02:17 PM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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Quote:
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.
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! ). 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.
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Old 11-11-2013, 02:18 PM
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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.
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Old 11-11-2013, 02:55 PM
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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.
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