Discussion in 'Dog Grooming' started by vega, Nov 16, 2007.
Which is the best way to teach a dog to keep his mouth open so I can brush his teeth? Thank you!
The best way would be to associate pleasure to having your hands in there. If you look at the stand part 2 lesson, I use clicker training to get my dog to accept my touch on her body. You can do the exact same thing on the mouth, starting with one finger on the outside of the gums, then on the teethes, and so on.
I personally don't brush my dogs teethes, I do give them dentastix which is supposed to clean them, but if your dog is a big chewer then he will be cleaning his teethes as he chews.
But i'm sure other people will have a different opinion on this one, so it's up to you! :o
Is there a specific reason that you need to brush the dog's teeth?
If a dog is eating standard dog food only, then there really is very little, if any, need at all. I'm sure it does happen but I've never personally known a dog to suffer dental issues. Probably because they don't subject their teeth to the sugary foods that we do.
My Chihuahua, Toby, had bad teeth which became infected, and from that he developed a bad heart. We had his teeth cleaned and they found a number of bad teeth so we had them pulled (around 6-7).
Unfortunately, the Vet also found a cancer in his mouth while removing his teeth. He got really crook from the cancer over the next few days and so I made the decision to euthanaise him. He was 12 years old.
Had he not had the cancer he probably would have lived another 3-4 years. Theres a lesson in there: Inspect your dog's teeth regularly.
We had Toby cremated after he died, his ashes are in a little wooden box in our Living Room.
As for cleaning the teeth: if the dog's/bitch's diet is correct (plenty of raw bones and biscuits) and with regular checkups and descaling when needed, he/she should never develop bad teeth.
Toys are a little different, a lot of toys can't or won't eat bones (too big or too hard for their small mouths [without training from a young age]), Toby couldn't and he paid for it.
When I was a Police Dog Handler we fed our dogs bones and biscuits everyday, occasionally we had to take one in for de-scaling, but I never came across one with bad teeth. Biting on a padded arm protector probably also served to clean their teeth a little.
Dentists suggest we floss and brush our teeth for 2-3 minutes every day if brushing is to be effective. Can you imagine doing that with a dog, keeping in mind a dog has 10 more teeth than we do.
My dog is a is a toy (and as such gets no bones) and he won't eat any of the special biscuits for cleaning teeth. Our vet said he will need a descaling soon and that must be done under general sedating, that's why I want to brush his teeth. Thank you all for your help. Special thanks to gngh for sharing Toby's story.
Actually I've been told by the vets, and by doggie daycare staff, and also read in several books and websites on dog care, that it is a good idea to brush your pet's teeth regularly. They recommend once a day! I admit I'm not that good...! they say it's because dogs' teeth, like ours, can build up plaque and bacteria can accumulate and lead to gum disease later in life. Not to mention bad breath. I do know quite a few other dog owners who do brush their dogs' teeth at least occasionally. But I know it sounds strange.
Dogs do naturally clean their teeth when they chew on hard things like bones or hard chew toys. But is it "enough"? I don't know, but to err on the side of caution I don't think so...drawing on my own experience only, I know that all my previous dogs had typical "doggie breath" and I never brushed their teeth because I didn't know to do so. I thought doggie breath was just natural and inevitable, like doggie drooling. But my present dog does not have bad breath, his breath is odorless, even though he occasionally eats yucky stuff he finds on the ground (after which I definitely brush his teeth as I don't want him kissing me then, eek!!), and I regularly brush his teeth. at his recent annual checkup the vet said his teeth and gums were in excellent health. But when I pet some other people's dogs, I often see yellow teeth or smell offensive doggie breath. So maybe regular teeth brushing does help after all. Also, dogs have a biological urge to chew throughout their lives, so I imagine that developing tooth or gum disease that would make chewing painful has got to be really horrible for them, so I think it's better to take precautions anyway.
I also think that for modern domestic dogs who live in such close quarters with us, sharing our furniture or maybe even sleeping in the same bed as us, calls for increased standards of hygiene compared to dogs of previous generations who may not have spent so much time in such close quarters indoors with us.
I think that wild dogs or wolves probably chew on more hard substances than the typical modern pet dog, either that or they do in fact develop oral diseases later in life and maybe that is one of the things that kills them as part of natural selection. (Or maybe in the wild they tend to die from other causes long before oral disease sets in...)
It is also recommended that when your dog is 5 years old or so, that you take him to the vet for a full teeth-cleaning, but as this is where they put the dog under general anesthesia, it is a a rather big medical event.
By the way an easy way to brush your dog's teeth without actually putting your hands in his mouth, is to just smear the doggie toothpaste on his hard chew toys. they make some chew toys that are specifically designed for this, they have nubs or bristle-like protrusions in them that "scrub" the dog's teeth when he chews them. you can check the petstore for these, they are usually in the grooming section.
As I said, I'm sure it does happen, but I've just never seen it. But then I've never had toy dogs as described above, and I've never once succumbed to feeding a dog anything but wholesome dog food.
I believe that your dog is more prone to having food stuck in his teethes if you feed him wet food rather than kibble.
Thanks l_l_a, I've tried the doggie toothpaste on a hard toy specially designed for cleaning dog's teeth, but he doesn't like chewing toys. Yes, CollieMan and Jean, you both caught me :dogmellow:, I feed him wet food (wholesome dog food too). Now I'm brushing his teeth with the doggie toothpaste using my finger and he puts up with it. I've read it is the first step to brush their teeth with a real brush, so here's hoping!! Gracias you all.
hi Vega- FWIW, you can also buy "finger toothbrushes", it's like a finger glove with bristles on the end. I find these easier to use than a stick-type toothbrush. For my dog I mean!
"finger toothbrushes" I had no idea such a thing exists! Thanks l_l_a. Now, a bit of non-dog information: As I am Spanish -SORRY about my all my mistakes writing in English :dogunsure:- I had no idea of the meaning of FWIW, so I've looked for it in the Internet,. and I've found a great acronyms dictionary www.urbandictionary.com
Why not?! Bones are great for teeth cleaning.
Sure, my dog is a terrier, about 8kgs, and gets into bones fine. My puppy is <3kgs at the moment and still is able to get through a chicken wings fine.
There's no reason your dog can't give your toy bones. :doghappy:
my 5 dogs all get marrow bones. they get a grain free kibble and cooked meat. they have clean teeth and no doggie breathe. their treats are low in grains too. lots of salmon treats!!! and liver and raw carrots. they also have the sterlized bones to chew on.
there is a homeopathic teeth cleaner where you don't have to brush, PetzLife Oral Gel.
Robyn in SoCal
I would not be feeding marrow bones (if i.e. cow femurs). They are a very dense bone made to support the weight of a massive animal. As such, they are stronger than dogs teeth. A dog can fracture their teeth chewing marrow bone.
How do greenies and CETs compare?
What are CETs?
I saw Greenies for the first time the other day! Look pretty boring. My two would just swallow them. Bone provide more work, so I would rate them higher. Also more 'natural'.
Be carefull with the chicken bones! Since birds where designed for flight, their bones are hollow, and the little splinters you get if you crack them are pretty sharp. Those pointy spikes could injure your dog if he tries to eat them, both because of their size and also because of their sharp edges- if the dog swallows one, it might hurt his belly, or even get stuck in his intestines... And after all, why go into all that trouble when you can get a risk-free, durable and relativley unwreckable chew toy? :doglaugh:
My pooches get raw beef bones everyday. Because I make their dog food, they need the bones. I am carefull with the marrow bones because one time a small marrow bone got caught on one of the mouths. You have to make sure that there is no fat on the bones. They also get raw broccoli, carrots and brussel sprouts and raw chicken necks as treats to chew on. Although they are only four years old, except for the BC who is 5 months, their teeth are perfect. I also got the teeth cleaning picks from my dentist that they were going to throw out and I have tried to use them but they have no plaque to remove. My vet also gave me an old pick that they use to scale the teeth so I guess it is best to monitor what is happening in their mouth.
Must admit, I am lazy when it comes to cleaning our dogs' teeth. However, they get raw marrow bones (I think called soup bones in the USA) once or twice a month and they keep the teeth in excellent condition!
We learned to brushed our puppies teeth at puppy training. They say chew toys and bones don't get far enough in the back of the mouth. They gave us a tooth brush with patÃ© on it. Guus loved it, it wasn't difficult at all to brush. Haven't tried the special dog tooth paste though. Might be a whole other story.
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