Now first thing’s first I am not an expert. I am not a vet nor any where near qualified, so please, if you have any concern about your dogs teeth, please please take them to the vets as a matter of importance no matter how old your dog is. I am a humble boarding kennel owner, so the reason for my post is frustration over seeing dogs, from time to time, come in with oral health that literally makes me cry.
Keeping teeth clean from the beginning – I honestly dont think that the diet we feed our dogs on these days helps with oral hygiene. Good old teeth cleaning (yes with a brush and
toothpaste specifically for dogs) and PROPER bones that are safe for dogs. By proper bones I mean roasted knuckle bones or uncooked
bones. Do not ever feed cooked bones as they splinter and may kill your dog. Again, please check with your vet to make sure the bone you want to give your dog is OK. Also products like the Nylabone are good, they start off smooth but as the dog chews them then get a rough surface, obviously the latter techniques rely on your dog actually wanting to chew things.
Handling – right from being a puppy or getting your new dog (the latter may be more challenging ofcourse depending on their history) you need to get your dog used to being touched and examined around their mouth. It’s not natural for them to be prodded there so from an early age make sure your dog is used to being handled, that goes for grooming too, but that’s another post altogether. I would use praise as the reward because if you try to use food rewards when examining the mouth, they might be more interested in getting the food than having their moth examined, but by all means use food if you have to.
When it’s too late – OK you’ve spotted your dogs’ teeth are in a bad way, what do you do? Well you take them to a vet as a matter of urgency. In my experience, when teeth have a lot of tartar, it is generally covering a lot more decay underneath. Do not be suprised if your vet needs to take out a few teeth and it doesnt come cheap either but it does need to be done. DO NOT LEAVE A DOGS TEETH WHEN THEY OBVIOUSLY NEED TO SEE A VET.
Some ideas for your oral health kit
Toothbrush x 2 – I have just found these on ebay and ordered a few in, so if you would like one, call at the kennels or call 01522 810150.
Vaseline – for crusty noses! (Not oral but around that area and not many people know that thgis cures crusty noses).
Thats all folks, I’ll add more info later.