February is “Pet Dental Health” month, so I thought it appropriate to discuss the topic of cleaning our dogs teeth.
|Bears teeth at 8 years- lookin good for an old man!|
Having clean teeth is important for both of our dogs (and yours too!). Because Bear has transitioned into the “senior” category, his dental care is becoming increasingly important to his overall health. Good strong teeth ensure health in more than just the mouth. Dirty and unhealthy teeth can lead to heart disease among other health problems in your dogs older age. For Scooter, and other small breed dogs, extra care must be taken to be sure his small fragile teeth don’t build up tartar and plaque like they are known to do.
You can buy a variety of commercial tooth cleaning products including: toothbrush/toothpaste (must be made for dogs!), teeth wipes, tooth spray, teeth drops (added to water), and teeth cleaning powders like Teddy’s Pride which we reviewed last year. In our household we use the toothbrush/toothpaste method for Bear and teeth wipes for Scooter-it was hard to find a brush in his size!
There are also a variety of teeth cleaning toys, chews, and treats newly available on the market. We mentioned one of our favorites, Greenies, on the 2009 Christmas Gift Giving Guide. Rope bone toys, and nylabones also help keep teeth clean.
|Riley chewing a rawhide wrap|
The best tooth-friendly treat we give the dogs doesn’t come from a package though. We give them both beef and pork bones left over from cuts of meat we use in our own dinner. The dogs love pulling off the meat scraps and fat before chomping away on the bone itself. The bones are great for cleaning their teeth, and provide calcium and essential vitamins.
In our house we do what works for our lifestyle. That ends up being a combination of the options listed above. I brush the dogs teeth every time they get a bath with their toothbrushes and chicken flavored dog tooth paste. I need to do it more often- like weekly, so I’m going to see how it goes to add this to our schedule and see how well we remember. We also have oral cleaning pads- which I use when I groom the boys. Our two rope toys are rotated along with the other dog toys, so they make their semi-monthly appearance and do their job while the dogs are interested in toying with them. Greenies, Dentastix, and other chewies work their way in at least once a week. I only buy these more expensive type treats when I’ve got a coupon or they’re on sale so sometimes we go without.
So now that you know…..put all this good knowledge to use and get to brushin’! February is almost over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a pledge now for cleaner teeth all year long.
The pedigree perma-smile dog says so!
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