We have a Labrador, who, at thirteen, has never had her teeth brushed. We were aware of the importance of dental hygiene, but had never climbed on board, so to speak. Fortunately, she has been blessed with a clean bill of health in the dental area. Only in the last few months have we noticed some bad breath.
We do give her carrots and apple slices for snacks and I think this has helped removing some of the tartar over the years. I also think that her dog food, being in kibble form, has assisted in wearing off the built up tartar too.
Our latest addition, Ember, arrived to her forever home with us at a few weeks short of eight years. She had quite the tartar build up that was removed before the handing over, but some halitosis remained.
We headed to PetSmart to check out our options. We knew that she was getting spayed and that a more thorough look at her teeth would occur then. Therefore, for now a temporary measure was in order.
We found ourselves overwhelmed by the dental hygiene products. There were many kinds of flavored dog tooth paste, tooth brushes and finger brushes to aid in cleaning. We decided on a flavor that we would not mind her breathing in our faces when panting. I was not gung ho on beef or chicken being blown in our direction. Nylabone seemed the right fit.
It is very important to buy only pet tooth paste as human tooth paste can upset their stomachs. Brushing Ember’s teeth was pretty funny on the first attempt. My husband was keen on this job. Ember was not sure why the tooth brush was coming in her mouth initially but loved the taste and allowed more brushing to continue. The finger tooth brush looks similar to a finger puppet.
We also bought edible Dental Bits that are sprinkled on her food. She loves this garnish twice a day and we feel that it has made a big difference with her breath, http://www.nylabone.com/product-finder/by-product-type/advanced-oral-care-dental-bits.htm.
I found a great video with tips on how to brush your dog’s teeth. The dogs in it are gorgeous, http://video.about.com/vetmedicine/How-to-Brush-a-Dog-s-Teeth.htm. Another site I’ve used for dental care information is www.nylabone.com.
Do see your vet regarding bad breath first, as it can be a sign of a tooth infection, inflammation, or a mouth cancer. Our dogs cannot speak so we need to advocate for them. Smaller breeds can run into more issues with their gums and teeth.
So do your dog a favor and have their teeth regularly cleaned and inspected by a vet so that they can live without any unnecessary discomfort and be without bad breath!
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