Doggy Dental Care

Doggy Dental Care lucy the puggle dog

Do you brush your dogs teeth?  I have to admit, I have NEVER brushed Lucy’s.  I know, I am a bad mommy.  In my defense, I only recently found out I was supposed to AND getting Lucy to cooperate is like trying to wrestle a noodle–a very, very energetic noodle.

I know I have to start, though.  I totally get that dogs get plaque build-up which leads to health issues down the road, etc., etc.   After a little research, I found out that while dog breath isn’t supposed to smell like fresh baked bread, it shouldn’t smell super foul either.

Apparently, really bad breath can be an indication of health problems, including oral diseases.

dog toothbrush kitTurns out, you can get a tooth-brushing kit, designed specifically for dogs.  It comes complete with flavored toothpaste:  peanut, chicken, beef, you name it {gag!}.  Whatever you do, don’t opt for minty human toothpaste, it has ingredients that can ruin their enamel and cause an upset stomach.  It’s best to start when they are a puppy {oops} to get them used to the process.

lucy the puggle dog toothbrush

The first time, allow them to lick the toothpaste off of the brush.  It lets them know, “Hey, there is a treat on the end of that white stick.” It builds a little trust and excitement, so that when you push it into their mouth, it doesn’t totally tick them off.  There’s no need to go gangbusters on their chompers, a nice soft brushing at least once a week will do the trick.  {For the record, this may be a two person job at first. One to hold Fido down, the other to brush.}

Hold the brush at a 45 degree angle and brush only below the gum line.  The first few times are more about getting the dog used to it, than doing any actual cleaning.  Offering a treat afterwards will help to soften the blow.

lucy the puggle dog

In between brushings, chews and chew toys are awesome for keeping dogs mouths clean.  Just make sure to throw them away if pieces start to crack or fall off of the chew thing.

Looks like I will be getting down and dirty with Lucy here in the very near future.  So, do tell, how do  you brush your dog’s teeth?  Does s/he fight it?  Whew, there’s a lot more to this pet owning business than I first thought!


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  1. Lacy says

    Hi Mavis! I have the Nylabone toothpaste you have pictured in the left. I bought the small toothbrush or you could even use a small child’s very soft bristled toothbrush as well. My 2 boys don’t mind it at all and they get excited when I break out the toothbrush! They are, however, more concerned with eating the toothpaste rather than me brushing their teeth but I’d rather have that than getting my fingers bit off. It will take a bit but I’m sure Lucy will get used to it! Good luck!!

  2. Sakura says

    My boxer has been getting her teeth brushed since she was a baby. I use a spin brush soft for her and she just sits and gets it done. Seriously she lets us do whatever we need to when it comes to grooming her. My older dog won’t let me get near her with any type of brush so I her the vet for teeth cleaning. My little chi hardly has any teeth so I just give her a cleaning chew.

  3. Darla says

    I don’t brush my dog’s teeth, and I felt very guilty until my vet confessed that he doesn’t brush his dog’s teeth either. According to the veterinary professionals I know, many people claim to brush pets’ teeth because they think they should, but very few people actually perform the task, let alone regularly or adequately. It’s not very economical, but I decided that I prefer to have my dog get a professional teeth cleaning every few years rather than wrestle around in her mouth every day.

  4. Gwenn says

    We don’t brush our dogs teeth, never have. We give them smoked (NOT baked) bones we get from a local meat shop. They spend hours chewing on the bones. The grinding of the bones on their teeth keeps them pearly white and keeps their gums healthy too. We ran it by our vet and she said that it was ok to give them these kinds of bones (smoked bones won’t splinter when dogs chew they like cooked or baked bones do). They LOVE chewing on the bones even when the meat and other good stuff is gone. They are a bit messy so we went to the thrift store to buy old blankets to put on the floor when the girls have bones

  5. says

    I have two small Chihuahuas, and it is virtually impossible to get any size toothbrush into their small mouths. So I end up wrapping the end of my index finger with gauze, putting doggy toothpaste to the tip and then going in and rubbing whatever they’ll let me. They have dental cleanings every few years, and I try to be diligent in between. Every now and then they also get a Greenie, which helps a bit. I don’t give them too often, though, because even the smallest is like a meal to them, and a meal of Greenies just doesn’t seem all that healthy to me.

  6. kcb says

    I have had no success with the toothbrush. I use the little thimble like thing that came in the toothbrush kit. At least I can tell if I am getting the teeth. We also give our dog Nylabones, an antler, & a Yak bone to chew. We also have the vet clean her teeth every couple years.

  7. says

    Winston, my rescue maltipoo, gets his teeth brushed occasionally. He loves the toothpaste but hates the brushing. I give him two Dentastix a day but I try to keep him away from gluten so I am conflicted about that as well.

  8. Sara T says

    I have brushed my Golden Retriever’s teeth since he was a puppy ( at times very irregularly). Last spring I panicked bc I saw some plaque, we were going to have the vet clean them, but you have to put them under, a friend suggested bones & they have worked wonders!

  9. lynne says

    I have 2 dogs – one that has very healthy, pearly white teeth, the other has a plaque problem. she does allow me to brush them, but I’m very inconsistent with doing it. I give them raw bones to chew on at least once a month, and that really helps to clean them. Lovin’ the Lucy pics!

  10. Patty P says

    I have never brushed my dogs teeth. We give them the retriever rolls (its rawhide curled up into a stick….beware of some of the brands that have little tiny pieces wrapped up inside them though, those are not good) to chew on about once a week. The vet is always impressed with how clean our dogs teeth are and always seems to mention that she can’t recommend a cleaning for my dogs at this time. I have a Rottweiler and an older Yellow Lab.

  11. Debi says

    I occasionally brush my dogs teeth – she’s 8. The vet says she has good teeth, little to no plaque build-up as well. What’s really astonishing is that my dog loves the hair dryer. Most dogs bite at the air, mine wants you to take the hair dryer and with one hand (not a brush) run your fingers through her coat while blow drying her.

  12. Charlie says

    I have two goldens, one when he hears my own spin brush, he runs into the bathroom begging for him to be next. He has his own soft Bristled spin brush and doggy toothpaste. Our other golden thinks the tooth brush is a toy to chomp down on, he broke his spin brush so now he gets a regular monsters inc kids brush. The animal hospital I work at recommends brushing at the very least 3 times a week. You really only need to focus on the outside of their teeth, the inside gets cleaned constantly by their tongues and you never really get a tarter build up there. I try to keep up with that but sometimes I just don’t do it… Dental chews help alot if your dog likes them. I’m trying to avoid them having to go in for a cleaning because I don’t want them to be anesthetized but if they have to go under for something else like a growth removal then I always get their teeth cleaned too.

  13. Heather says

    I cannot get over how cute little Lucy is!! I have a puggle too (he is only 4 months old) and he is just the love of our lives!! He’s currently teething, so we don’t brush his teeth yet (we’ve found 4 teeth so far and he’s missing like 8… I think it’s safe to say he’s swallowed the others or we have yet to find them!). But it’s good to get some tips on what to do when the time comes! Love reading new stories about Lucy :)

    • Mavis Butterfield says

      Aww, puggles are the best!! I never did find any of Lucy’s baby teeth. Hmmm she must have swallowed them too.

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