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Discussion Starter #1
Thelma and Louise are almost 2 yrs. old now and I'm wondering if I should attempt teeth brushing. Would appreciate any advice about this...when, how,how often, products to use etc.Thanks! Beth, Bill, Thelma and Louise
 

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Beth, I was told to start off by getting my dogs used to my messing with their mouth. Several times a week I would take my finger in a damp washcloth and gently wipe their teeth. Ginger and Bailey never would let me use a toothbrush, so I continue with a washcloth at least once a week. Chloe on the other hand, LOVES to have her teeth brushed with a soft bristle toothbrush!
Oh, of course a belly rub and a treat afterwards!
 

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Beth,
I ditto what TDN said. I began just by massaging gums with my fingers while Maggie was in my lap; shen she was a pup, I allowed her to chew on a toothbrush while I held it. The washcloth is a good idea!! There are also baby-toothbrushes made of rubber which fit over your index finger. They can be found in the baby section at the drugstore. I have also seen them in the doggy dental section at the Petsmart. (I'm a hygienist, we keep them on hand for our patients' babies, but I hand them out to my petlovers too.)

Toothpaste isn't necessary to remove plaque, it's the bristle action which does that, but sometimes a flavorful dog paste makes things go smoothly. I don't use doggy-paste, because Maggie just wants to lick it, which makes brushing difficult. :biglaugh: (Human toothpaste should not be used on dogs BTW)

Like any new command, teaching a dog to endure brushing takes time, use your calm/firm voice to let them know you expect their cooperation. LOTS of praise when you're done....
 

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There are 2 easy way to brush a dog's teeth: The old one and the modern day one.
The old one, the one dogs do prefer, consist of giving them a raw chicken back and wings once a week. Guaranteed to keep their teeth healthy and white.
The modern way is sold for about $13 at most vet and is called "Breathalizer". Just put a few drop in the drinking water of the dog and it keeps his teeth clean and his breath fresh. A bottle lasts for months!
 

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Cheerio,
When I fed a raw diet to my dogs, their teeth WERE much cleaner! No doubt.

I looked up the Breathalyzer product you mentioned; the active ingredient is chlorhexidine. That product is used in human dentistry also as a rinse for people with periodontal (gum) disease, especially after deep cleanings.
All current studies in dentistry are showing a strong link between gum disease and heart disease, between gum disease and miscarriages in pregnancy, and also between gum disease and the inability to stabilize sugar levels in diabetics.
These same studies are being seen in our animal friends, and therefore I would encourage animal owners to take an extra step in dental health.
For hunting and working dogs, it appears that their stamina and overall health has a direct link to their gum health!! Healthier gums may even mean that our four legged friends will live longer, according to the vet reports I'm reading from zoological dentists.

In human dentistry, chlorhexidine is used in ADDITION to the physical removal of plaque.
I would strongly urge owners to make a habit of brushing teeth instead of just using rinses or chlorhexidine treats (such as greenies, which also use that ingredient); Most owners don't feed a raw diet which includes bones.....so plaque removal should be done manually when possible.
I KNOW it's 'one more thing' to do.....but like our own flossing habits....it really DOES make a difference. (Okay, the hygienist will get off her soap box now.... /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif )
My dogs LOVE to have their teeth brushed now.....and actually 'grin' at me when they see the brush....must feel like a back rub! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I always heard that chicken bones were bad for dogs. Please shed some more light on this. What about Salmonella & stuff from raw chicken? Alway eager to learn more. Also, about brushing, what about the inside of the teeth.....how do you get to those, or do you? Thanks for all your responses......I learn something new everyday!!!
 

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I feed all my dogs raw and the part about chicken bones (or any bones for that matter) only applies to cooked bones. Cooking makes them brittle and will splinter in their intestinal tract. Dogs digestive system is much shorter than ours and also a whole lot more acidic so the chances of them getting food poisening is slim with the proper food handling. OH and their teeth don't need brushing at all if they chew bones. Natures little toothbrush.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So the part about raw is to feed them raw bones, not cooked, right? OR is there any other raw food to feed them besides chicken? My girls aren't wild about raw veggies or fruit. They do like their dry dog food, guess this helps some. Thanks for everyone's info. Beth
 

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Definately learned another chapter here!
Raw bones can clean teeth! I'm always afraid to give them raw things to eat, treating them like human. Only chicken, can I give them pork or beef?

Charlie mom
 

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I join ThelmaLou in the question about the raw chicken bones? And they won't choke on the bones? This is a very interesting topic to me because Miss Shiloh's breath would make an onion weep!!! I realize I should have started when she was a baby getting her used to having someone messing with her mouth, so I could brush her teeth, but she doesn't like anybody messing around in her mouth!! So I'd like to try the chicken bones, or the stuff in the water. Do you think it would be okay for cats to drink the water with the breathalyzer stuff in it?
 

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My dogs love chicken bones and feet. It is so funny to see a full chicken foot sticking out of Miss Polly's mouth. They get really good glucosamine out of the drumsticks so I don't have to supplement either. I also once or twice a week give them large beef soup bones for recreational chewing (non digestive) which cleans teeth and gives them a heightened sense of euphoria. They love em. You can feed any meat you want as long as your dog will tolerate it. Polly does not do well with pork and most dogs do poorly with ham as it is such a rich meat, but wild game, grocery store, farmed all fine. One thing you should never do is give them raw food and kibble together in one meal. They digest at different times and can cause blockages. Even Polly with her very few teeth can mow through a bone, it just takes her a little longer than the others.
I didn't read the whole thread thoroughly, but I believe there was a question about cats. Cats do even better on a raw diet than dogs as they are dedicated carnivores. You can get a lot of research on the internet, but take your time and read through the crap. There are raw feeding groups on Yahoo that are great as well.
Bad breath may also not necessarily be caused by bad teeth. Fillers from their food (carbohydrates) can sit in their stomach and ferment causing a horrible odour as well. Soozie had breath that would knock you over at ten paces, but she has no bad breath since switching to raw.
 

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I have tried plaque off bur cant say it made much of a difference, I do brush the dogs teeth I try to at least once a week!!

Foxy Roo you can brush her teeth with a brush and she makes "whhhe whhhhr" noises when you brush them!

Caleb freaks when he sees a brush but has had them brushed since a pup. (Our old vet did'nt handle him very nicely when he was a pup and frightened Caleb - who is a sensitive flower at the best of times!and was quite a sickly pup)

I brush Calebs teeth with a finger brush and ask to show me his teeth which he will do. He has a lot off plaque on the front of his teeth which was from him as a puppy not eating anything but wet food but he will eat dried now.

I add something to the water called "pet dental liquid tartar remover"

I will definately be teaching pup that haaving her teeth cleaned is a good thing! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif
 

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Quote:Originally posted by Thelma Lou:
... Also, about brushing, what about the inside of the teeth.....how do you get to those, or do you?
Yes, the insides and tops are important too. However, that takes time, as the dog learns to tolerate brushing and trust your intentions. Good Luck, be patient....and give lots of praise. Giving treats is a good training tool, they can be slowly removed as progress is made with obedience.

There is a lot of info on the net about feeding a raw diet too. Some is good, some is bad....do your research, and ask a lot of questions.

Good Luck with developing new habits for dental health. It IS so important to their overall health, and you'll enjoy longer and healthier lives.
 

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Our last beagle adored raw carrots, she had beautiful teeth all her life.
 

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Chicken bones and smal games' bones splinters ONLY once cook. Raw and fresh, they do not and are therefore very safe. One should make sure the chicken is as fresh as if you were purchasing it for your plate in order to avoid Samonella..
Think about it, what do wolves, wild dogs, foxes and coyotes eat? Rabits and birds. No problem with the bones...
Pork however is another story. A pork bone will either splinter even raw, for the smaller bones, or break your dog teeth for the bigger ones as they are extremely dense.
Beef or big game raw nockles are great as the dog has to work on the cartilage. Make sure to throw them out on day 3 during the winter and day 2 during the summer.
To keep white teeth, the best is definitely the chicken backs and/or wings.
 

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Quote:Originally posted by threedognight:
Ginger and Bailey never would let me use a toothbrush, so I continue with a washcloth at least once a week.
We also used the washcloth approach with Booker and eventually when she was comfortable with that we were able to move beyond to a soft toothbrush. We then got cocky, however, and decided to try one of those disposable electric toothbrushes on her... that was a REAL mistake and definitely caused a setback!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks so much for all the info!!! I had no earthly idea about raw. I will get some raw bones for them.....that will be an "outside" recreation, though, does it not make a smelly mess to be chewing, salivating on the floor, etc?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
OK you guys, I got all fired up about my babies' teeth. Feb is National Dog Dental month & I read all about how important it is. SOOOO I went to the buthcher in the gro. store,asked for some bones (beef) for my dogs, and he gave me some what looked like half a torso. Could tell it was from cutting T bone steaks from it. Has about 3 giant pieces of raw bones with meat on the edges. Well, the girls went into what I would describe as Jeffry Dahmer mode!

They worked themselves to death on those things! And try to take it from either one...World War 3 ensues.

The next time I do this, I think I will put them on the grass. My deck is all greasy from them dragging the darn things around.
They DID use all their ancient skills for tearing, shredding, jaw exercising imaginable!!!

Any suggestion for the next episode of dental hygiene? This was a very interesting experience, but it has to be easier.
 
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