Ask the Vet - Teeth Brushing Alternatives For Dogs
We’re absowoofly thrilled that our pawsome pals from David Cuffe & Associates, David and Hannah, are going to be answering questions from the BorrowMyDoggy community. We’re kicking off this new series with a question most dog owners can likely relate to...brushing your pooch’s teeth.
Got any questions for a vet about your pooch? Email them to us via our contact form - high paws!
QUESTION: My dog won’t let me brush his teeth and won’t eat dentastix. Are there any other ways to clean his teeth? - Karen Mills.
ANSWER: Brushing your dog’s teeth can sometimes be a tricky task. If they don’t enjoy it, it could be one of these reasons:
- Oral health - if a dog has soreness in the mouth, he or she may find even gentle massaging with a finger brush painful. Your vet can assess the health of the teeth and gums to see if any dental work is required before pain free brushing is going to be achievable. Some smaller breeds like Yorkshire Terriers may find brushing distressing, as they have very tiny (often overcrowded) mouths!
- Training - it is not always easy to convince your dog that tooth brushing is an essential activity. Introducing slowly and gently when the dog is very young will yield best results - some dogs even look forward to brushing once they are used to it. They may particularly like it if you use one of the very tasty chicken flavoured enzymatic toothpastes on the market. With an adult dog, it can be more challenging to introduce.
Teeth Brushing Alternatives for Dogs
Modern convenience food, even the best stuff, does not always engage the teeth as wild prey would do, and for which the teeth are designed. To get around this, try feeding your dog rawmeaty bones, which helps to manage tartar, staining and maintain healthy gums. Even tiny dogs can and should eat raw bones. Some, like my dog Ella, quite like when you pour boiling water over them first, then she buries them and eats them a couple days later. The best place to acquire these bones is your butcher - most will be happy to provide something suitable at a very reasonable price. Choosing something that is size appropriate for your dog is a good start (chicken necks are fantastic for smaller breeds), and your hound will love you for it!
Please note, it is imperative that the bones are raw. Cooked bones can be dangerous and should never be fed.