So I know that most people don't bother about their dogs' teeth at all--but I bother.. a LOT! I refuse to spend hundreds of dollars every couple of years to get the vets to do dental cleanings on the dogs. Not only because of the money, but because I absolutely hate having to put them under anaesthetic. Just today a good friend of mine told me the sad news that her puppy had died from his luxating patellae surgery because he never woke up from being put under.
Therefore, I have a regimen for the dogs. I think teeth cleaning is especially important if you own small dogs--they are predisposed to having horrible teeth because of the size of their jaws compared to big dogs. Both of mine have been conditioned to teeth brushing and have been since they were young puppies.
These are what I use for keeping their teeth clean:
1. A baby or toddler toothbrush. I don't bother buying pet toothbrushes because they are generally huge, and cost so much more than human toothbrushes! My motto is: whenever you can, buy the human equivalent (this goes for supplements like salmon oil and vitamin E as well) because the pet industry tries to rip people off by charging exorbitant prices for everything! I got this toothbrush from Daiso; pack of two for only RM5.
There's my finger for size reference. It's pretty tiny. I find that tinier works better for my dogs because their mouths are pretty small!
2. I use a pet enzymatic toothpaste for the dogs. I usually get the chicken flavoured ones as the dogs seem to like it better. I just finished our last tube of toothpaste that I bought back in Canada--it was chicken flavoured. I couldn't find any chicken flavoured ones here in Malaysia so I just bought what I could find (the choices here are SO limited)!
This one's made in Germany. I've never heard of the brand before and all the instructions are in a variety of European languages--you'll have to squint to find the English section. I don't remember the exact price, but I think it was about RM30 or so for this.
At first, I start off with just brushing the sides of their teeth (next to their cheeks) because this bothers them less than when I try to brush the insides. After a couple of months, they get used to the feeling of the brush and I can "graduate" to brushing the insides thoroughly as well. Cadence has always been awesome (he hates getting his teeth brushed but he will stand still till I finish), so I've always been able to brush ALL his teeth cleanly (takes about 5 minutes). Lyra still doesn't like me prodding her mouth so she only gets the sides and front teeth brushed.
Depending on the condition of their teeth, I adjust the frequency of brushing. Right now they get their teeth brushed every other day, so about 3-4 times a week. In between brushings, I make sure to apply Petzlife Oral Care Gel on their teeth before bed time.
Now, this gel is REALLY expensive. It retails for USD29.90 for only a 4-oz. bottle, and at the petstores here they are charging RM118 per bottle. However, it's SO worth the money because it works VERY well and lasts for a really long time. I only use a small drop on either side of the dogs' jaws and one bottle lasts for maybe a year.
Before I started using this miracle gel, Cadence's teeth was so horrible that even brushing every night was not doing anything! I hunted for this on eBay and voila, his teeth slowly improved. All the tartar slowly disappeared with regular brushing! The dogs don't mind the taste, and it smells kinda minty.
So there you go, my tried and true regimen for the dogs! I've tried every chewie on the planet (Greenies especially), and nothing worked. Seriously, I think it's a bunch of bullshit these companies are trying to sell. When was the last time you chewed on something that cleaned your teeth? Geez.
Many people keep telling me to feed raw meaty bones to the dogs to get their teeth clean, but... sorry, not my cup of tea. Long fur and RMBs really DO NOT mix. Even with snoods and bibs and whatnot, they would still manage to get pieces of raw meat and blood everywhere! And being the germaphobe that I am... that ain't gonna happen in my house.
Last but not least, a token picture of the dogs... just being cute!
Blog for the Dogs
Here's where I chronicle the dogs' daily lives, write reviews on dog products, and share tips on everything under the sun.