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A few days ago we noticed Bodie has some serious puppy breath. I was talking to the dog trainer at his puppy class last night and he said you're suppose to brush your dogs teeth every two days. Holly and I looked at each other with this stunned look on our face. Not because we haven't been doing it. But because we can't imagine trying to stick a toothbrush in Bodie's mouth and proceed to brush them (you'll know what I mean if you saw our recent costume posting).

Anyway, we walked over to the dental hygiene isle and saw a variety of dental options. For the time being I got a bag of breath mint dog biscuits. I was curious to what the community at large uses/does for their dogs dental care. We're open to any suggestions and recommendations.
 

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I'm afraid I'm a really bad beagle mommy - with 9 beagles, I'd be brushing teeth all day every day. A lot of people on my group use the finger tip brushes - I think they'd be a little easier than the regular doggie tooth brushes. My friend, Deb, who fed a raw diet for years, said during all the time she fed the BARF diet there was NEVER a dental problem with her pack. I still give my pack raw bones occasionally- including chicken backs and necks - which does help keep their teeth clean. A lot of people also use greenies - but from what I understand, you have to be careful and not give too many of them, or you'll wind up with greenie poopies. If you feed a good quality kibble, that will help. My keeshond, Sasha, was 15 when she crossed the Rainbow Bridge, and had had only one dental cleaning - and that was when she was about 13 - she had 2 teeth pulled - not bad for a 13 year old dog. The beagles have all been good - the only one I've had dental problems with was Lottie, who came to me with 7 abcessed and/or broken teeth. The day after she arrived my vet did emergency surgery on her - and pulled 7 teeth - and discovered that her little jaw had been broken at some time, he removed a dime-sized chunk of dead, black bone - I think it was from lack of proper nutrition and trying to chew out of cages or kennels. She'd always been a kennel dog before I got her (with two different LARGE breeders - neither of whom knew her jaw had been broken). I can't even imagine having a dog and NOT knowing it had a broken jaw, but then I don't have 100 dogs as her breeder did. The breeder I bought her from had 40 dogs. Unless you have a full time staff, you can't possibly care for that many dogs.
 

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I don't do the teeth brushing in the family, but my wife uses a glove that has a brush on the index finger. It keeps your fingers clean and works just like the finger tip brush. Tucker loves the dog toothpaste (liver or chicken flavor)so the problem is getting it on his teeth before he licks it off. Our vet told us the important thing is to get the toothpaste on his teeth and the actual brushing is secondary. The toothpaste has enzymes that spread around the mouth to clean the teeth. Chewing is what gets the tarter off the teeth. Our first beagle Cleo didn't chew much so she required more dental visits to the vet. If the teeth are bad it can cause lots of other problems for a dog. Bad breath in itself is not a big problem, (see My Dog Flash' wine tasting) but it can be a sign of bad teeth.
 

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I use dog toothpaste, and a soft toothbrush. Every other day, all four of them get their teeth brushed. Our Traveler has had a lot of dental problems, so tooth brushing is imperative. I was using Oravet, but it didn't seem to help any, so now it's just regular brushing.
 

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I have been using a fingertip brush with Winston. He's just a tad older than Bodie so you probly understand when I say he's just a tad bit nippy still

I mostly use it to get him used to the idea of brushing. I was going to do it once a week, but due to that nippyness, it's more like the attempt every few days, and if I'm lucky once or twice a month will actually accomplish something and don't even make the attempt unless I have help because I don't want to lose any body parts in the process.
I don't use toothpaste because all the ones I have seen say not to use in pups under 6mos. The vet told me that's okay, he doesn't need the toothpaste right now anyway.
I was fortunate enough to find one of Winston's baby teeth, so it's in his baby book. My daughter's friend actually found it....in her arm.
 

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We use a fingertip brush. Daisy LOVES her toothpaste so it's sometimes hard to really brush her teeth well because she just wants to eat it. LOL Rocky hates the toothpaste, as soon as he starts to sniff it he makes this really funny face, so it's a battle to brush his. But I like the fingertip brush because I feel like I have a little more control than with a regular toothbrush.

Hope that helps!
 

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Maggie only gets her teeth brushed several times a week. Always on the weekend, and usually at least once during the week. We've been doing it since her permanent teeth came in (around 5 months old) and she STILL hates it. She sees the toothbrush and takes off running.

I've tried both the fingertip brush and the toothbrush, but for me, the toothbrush seems to work better. I've also tried both the meat and poultry flavors of toothpaste, and the peanut butter flavor, but she won't have anything to do with any of it. She's a handful, this little girl!
 

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I like the fingertip brush. Maggie got so used to me putting my finger in her mouth to brush her teeth that when she has something I don't want her have and she doesn't want to drop, I can put my finger in and get it out.
 

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I'll definitely look into the fingertip brush as it sounds like a fun and stimulating activity for java too.

As for dental products, my vet recommended a special enzyme doggie toothpaste (cost me ~$10) that I'm supposed to use every day. She instructed me to let give it to him sort of like a snack--with a pea sized squeeze on my finger tips and then allowing Java to lick it off. As he becomes more comfortable with the smell and act, I'm supposed to try to rub the paste on his teeth (as much as I can before he licks it all off :D). I think the endgame to that exercise is to eventually have him comfortable enough to brush his teeth with the paste. The vet mentioned that even if he's just licking it, the enzymes helps break up the plaque.
 

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Put me in the bad mommy section....I have the finger brushes,and haven't used them...those are big teeth, but now Cobi has to have his molars done by the vet the tarter is so thick...that means putting him out in order to scrape it off. Casie had his done at the time of his neutering, just the back molars, but it really helped with the puppy breath. You're supposed to play with their mouths and feet so that they get used to toenail clipping, and brushing, etc. All these things I am learning now....where was the how to book when I got my first dogs, years ago?

Cathy j
 
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