In honor of Pet Dental Health Month, I decided to look at our dog’s teeth. They looked great. We have cats too, so I trotted up to take a look at their teeth and was shocked! Loads of plaque. Dammit! I originally thought there was no easy solution to tarter, our cats are going to have to go under and have their teeth cleaned and this makes me very uncomfortable at their age.
Anesthesia and Pets
I’m uncomfortable with putting humans and animals under unless absolutely necessary. It’s unnatural and just another opportunity to pump poisons in our body. I’m trying to limit that with our pets.
Teeth cleaning falls under the category of routine care and isn’t covered by our pet insurance so it’s important to keep our dogs’ teeth clean.
Keeping Teeth Clean by Dr. Alinovi, DVM
My next ‘call’ is going to be to my favorite holistic veterinarian, Dr. Alinovi who recommends…
- Feed good food.
- Let them chew on antlers and raw bones. There are many companies carrying elk, moose and deer antler. Larger pieces cut crosswise act as a pumice to clean the teeth. More expensive antler are much heavier/denser and will chew longer.
We can’t give our dogs raw bones or antlers, because they’re such strong chewers that they destroy each and I worry about them breaking a tooth (which would be covered by pet insurance), requiring even more expensive care. But I do have friends who have moderate chewers who can make an antler last for months.
Other Dog Parents
Joan Hunter Mayer, of the Inquisitive Canine, was kind enough to share what she’s learned about caring for Poncho’s teeth:
You can brush your dog’s teeth any time of day, it doesn’t have to be after meals like us humans. A dogs mouth and all that’s in it is different from ours, so it’s not a concern.
- Use an angled brush to help with the shape of their mouth and the movement of our wrists/hands.
- Only need to brush the anterior portion of their teeth, not the inside – it’s difficult and not very effective.
- With one hand, keep the dogs muzzle closed and insert the brush between the inside flesh of the muzzle and teeth – similar to us keeping our mouths closed while we brush.
- Brush in a horizontal action – unlike us that are supposed to in a circular fashion.
What I Found to Beat the Plaque (it works!!!)
I’m lucky, because our dogs have fantastic teeth, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t care for them. I tried a product that you just put in the pet water dishes – the cats boycotted the water (are you trying to poison us?). So I kept looking.
I was soon introduced to a great product called PlaqClnz Daily Treatment Gel and started using it on our cats’ teeth, heavy plaque, and I saw an improvement in less than 3 days; the plaque was coming off! I rub a drop of the gel on our cats’ teeth (they hate it, but it’s fast) and their mouth does the rest. It’s great for dogs and cats.
I also stumbled on a post about flossing our dog’s teeth, by Nikki Moustaki. I couldn’t imagine this working with our dogs for long, but it’s definitely an option for dog parents with very patient and well behaved dogs.
What is your dental routine with our dogs? Do you use any products that work?