We often take very good care of our special friends. We may spend hundreds of dollars grooming them and yet our friends need good oral care. For years I faithfully brushed my little guy’s teeth but only on a weekly basis. In addition I saw to it that he was taken to the Veterinarian for his annual teeth cleaning. Despite the above regimen I was in for a surprise at my last visit to the Veterinarian for a teeth cleaning. Despite years of brushing with an expensive enzymatic toothpaste, my little guy had developed bone-loss secondary to recession of his gums. I learned that despite the oral hygiene that I was providing some breeds of dogs are more prone to these health problems. After my visit with his Veterinarian, I made an appointment with a Veterinarian Dentist. Yes they exist and the doctor that I took my little guy to was a Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College. Seriously I needed to know more and how I had failed my friend. First of all I should have been using a soft tooth brush, not the hard bristled ones sold at pet stores. Then I was told that he never recommends using an enzymatic toothpaste also sold at local pet stores. Instead it seems that no one ever tells us that the best toothpaste for your pet is not a human one but instead one that contains “Chlorhexidine” In addition I learned that if you choose non-anesthetic teeth cleaning you should assess the necessity to have this done every 6 months versus annually. Obviously in the veterinary dental community they feel that traditional cleaning with anesthesia is the best way to have your pet’s teeth cleaned.
My take away from this experience is know your breed. Is the breed pre-disposed to oral health problems. If they are, then appropriate action on your part is necessary to insure your pet’s health. In addition, from all of this, the obvious take away is that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Many individuals do not have access to a veterinary dentist unless you live in a major metropolitan area. So it is best to never need one by doing the right thing for your friend. The dentist did say that your dog’s teeth should be brushed every other day at a bare minimum. Performing this less often will obviously lead to plaque build up. A pet’s oral health problem can be expensive. We wish you the best in addressing your pet’s oral needs.
This information is provided for information purposes only. We hope it will encourage you to learn about your breed and take care of your pets oral needs. Please be advised that we receive no payment from any manufacturer of the above products photographed. We do not make any health claims regarding these products.
Here’s a follow up posted 3/19/2014. If you can it is advisable to obtain multiple quotes for your pet’s dental work it could save you $$$$. Yes I said $$$$ not $$$ or $$.