Brushing Dog's Teeth
We were over at our neighbor's house the other day and the wife was trying to brush her cocker spaniel's teeth. Is she crazy, or what?
Dental disease is a major problem for dogs and cats. It is estimated that one half of all pets seen in veterinary clinics for any reason need immediate dental care, including cleaning, extractions, or treatment for periodontal (gum) disease. The build-up of plaque turns to hard tartar and also works its way into the gum line. This creates odor in the mouth (bad dog breath) as well as tooth decay, gum erosion, and possible abscesses. Both dogs and cats are seriously affected. Prevention calls for the mechanical removal of plaque from the teeth on a routine basis. The teeth should be brushed at least twice a week. At a minimum, an attempt should be made to wash the teeth and gums with a wet cloth. Once plaque and tarter have already accumulated, a professional cleaning must be performed by your veterinarian. This procedure is done with your pet under anesthesia. Once cleaned, the teeth can more easily be kept clean at home with routine brushing. Special pet toothpastes and brushes are available. "Human" toothpaste may foam too much and if swallowed, can cause an upset stomach for your pets.