Why Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth Is Extremely Important

brush2By the third night, our foster girl, Bella was at home with us, I started to brush her teeth.  At the beginning, all I did was put a bit of doggie toothpaste on a toothbrush so she could get used to it.  As days went by, I was able to start brushing her teeth followed by a snack, which she loved.  Between you and me, I think she just let me brush her teeth for the treat.  Smart girl!

A couple of days ago, I was finally able to brush her molars and I could not believe what I saw.  There was a black hole not on the tooth, but rather on the gums.  I had never seen anything like that before so I contacted BARCS right away and I took Bella to their vet so he can check her out.

brush1I told the vet that she had a black hole on both sides/gums, and that although her breath was not as stinky as before we could still smell something funky.  He would have had to sedate her to see this, so I suggested to him that Cynthia and I hold Bella and show him what we were talking about.  We did so and he gave Bella antibiotics and a referral to another vet with experience in this sort of problem.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, we’ll be dropping Bella off at the vet we were referred to so he/she can take care of Bella’s teeth.

And, the above picture is why it is extremely important that you brush your furry kid’s teeth.  I brush Alex’s teeth almost every night, I am not a perfect pet parent, and there are nights when I am too lazy or I just forget, but 9 out of 10 times she gets her teeth brushed and I ask Cynthia, at least once a month, to check her mouth since she is a dental hygienist.  The first time I asked her to do that, she just laughed and looked a little puzzled.  Right now checking Alex’s teeth and gums is just something she does at least once a month for our girl.

brush3Alex will be turning 12 years old in May, and so far, she’s only had a dental cleaning once.  That, I think, is pretty good.  If you do not brush your furry kid’s teeth, bacteria will grow and because of it organs such as her heart, kidney, and liver can be affected.  Please, take a couple of minutes every night and brush her teeth.  Cynthia knows a lot about it since she is a dental hygienist and she uses a lot of terminology that honestly speaking sounds like another language to me, but so far what I gathered from what she tells me is that plaque grows faster at night-time when we produce less saliva and that is why she is really adamant about having everybody brush their teeth before going to bed.

14 Comments Add yours

  1. kat says:

    Soo what did the dog have …what was it called..that big hole thing she had? What did the vet say it was and how did they fix her up?


    1. Marcela says:

      She had a piece of stick that run from one end of her mouth across the other side. The only way to really see it is if she had someone brushed her teeth. The vet removed it, said she probably got it while playing/chewing on it, gave her painkillers and sent her home. This is why I don’t allow my dogs to play/chew/run with sticks in their mouths.

  2. nikkiharvey says:

    I’m so good with brushing Max’s teeth. He was a rescue dog when we got him and he had been my best friend for about a year when he needed his teeth cleaned- we couldn’t have got rid of the tartare build up from before we had him. And while he was at the vets having his teeth cleaned he was put under anaesthetic. Now I’ve always been terrified of anaesthetic- the thought of being given too much and not waking up. So while max was at the vet I was so worried I actually paced up and down until my legs hurt. Naturally, I hate to miss even one day as I never want to be in that situation again. I hope Bella’s gums get sorted and don’t cause her too many problems 🙂

    1. Marcela says:

      Wow! And I thought I worried:-) We’ll be dropping her off tomorrow, Wednesday, for surgery. Yes, I hope she comes out without any problem. Thanks:-)

  3. Will and Eko says:

    Very important post. I was way too lax about brushing Eko’s teeth when he was younger, but luckily we have now settled into a good routine to help keep his pearly whites pearly.

    1. Marcela says:

      Great. Yes, please continue your handsome boy’s teeth:-)

  4. Quan says:

    Any resources that you’d recommend to get my pup started on a regimen?

    1. Marcela says:

      I went to PetSmart, but you can also try Petco, and buy a toothpaste for dogs. Do not use human toothpaste on a dog. It usually comes with a brush, but I don’t like the one that comes in the package so I just use a human toothbrush. The kind that is not too soft, but not too hard either. I am using Arm & Hammer toothpaste for Alex and Bella. I’ll post more info about in a later post. Also, for the first few days, please just let your doggie smell and taste the toothpaste from the toothbrush and gradually start brushing his front teeth until one day, like with Bella, he/she will let you brush all his/her teeth.

      1. Quan says:

        Ok. Thanks! Looking forward to the post. My pup likes the toothpaste, I’m just not sure how to proceed from there.

      2. Marcela says:

        This is what I did with Bella: the first 3 days all she did was lick the toothpaste off the toothbrush. She got a treat afterwards. On the 4th day I started by brushing gently the front teeth for a couple of seconds, 3 seconds at the most. I did that for a couple of days followed by a treat. I slowly moved to brushing more of the front teeth and I always ended it with a praise and a treat. By the end of the second week, I was able to brush her molars, for a couple of seconds. Always, always ended on a positive note. I hope that helps:-)

      3. Quan says:

        Thank you!! I look forward to try the next step tonight.

      4. Marcela says:

        Great. Just remember to go slowly.

  5. You are right! Louie is getting a “dental” next week! (He has no problems, but we feel he needs a good cleaning.) I am not as good about brushing as you are, but now I see even if you are diligent, you must check!

    1. Marcela says:

      Yes, please do check at least once a month just to make sure everything is ok. Also, if there is a funny/stinky smell that does not go away after brushing his/her teeth for a couple of days dig a little deeper for something is wrong.

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