February is Pet Dental Health Month and since my vet was offering a 10% discount on dental services i FINALLY decided to take in my 9 year old Maltese who was in desperate need of having one of her pre molars pulled. Since I was apprehensive of having her put under anesthesia I had put this procedure off for years. The result was absolutely disgusting fish breath and a tooth that looked like a prehistoric fossil!
Luckily, the procedure went well and they cleaned the other teeth which were all in relatively good condition. The best part is that now my dog’s breath is odor-free!
$500 later, I have now added a new New Year’s Resolution to my list– Brush my dog’s teeth at least three times per week.
Here was my list of reasons for NOT brushing her teeth. If any of these sound familiar, save yourself the $500– and go out and spend $12 on a brush and paste and get brushing!!!
1. “I only give her dry dog food so I don’t need to brush her teeth“: Unfortunately most dry dog foods have high starch content. Sugar and starches combine with the bacteria in the mouth and produce acids. These acids can eat away at the enamel on the tooth in addition to causing plaque build-up.
2. “My dog doesn’t like it”: When I was a kid, I didn’t like brushing my teeth, but it wasn’t a choice. It is part of a healthy lifestyle. If you let your dog make all the decisions in your house, it would be a disaster!
3. “I don’t need to”: I give them bones and chew toys: This is an equivalent approach to only chewing gum for your personal dental hygiene. You won’t find a dentist that recommends that approach! It is a nice addition but can’t do the job alone.
4. “I just put an additive in the water”: This is an equivalent approach to only using a mouth rinse for your own personal hygiene, except not even as good because your dog isn’t gargling and rinsing. Again, a nice addition but not sufficient by itself.
5. “My dog’s mouth is too small for a brush“– Guess what? There are really small brushes out there. And if you can’t find one, use Dental Wipes instead. While not quite as effective as brushing, textured dental wipes still offers the abrasion necessary to keep plaque and tartar at bayy