How often do you brush your dog's teeth?
If you admit brushing your dog’s teeth has fallen to the bottom of your to-do list or was never there to begin with, don’t feel bad! You’re not alone. Putting your hands inside your dog’s mouth can be intimidating and down-right nerve wracking for some. It’s easy to understand why this battle is one dog owners concede when faced with the daily chore of chasing a toddler down the hall and pinning them down with a toothbrush! That’s why the crew at Pet Groomerie wanted to tell you about Skyler.
Skyler is a 15 year old dachshund and a new doggie customer at Pet Groomerie. His owner was more than happy to share her dental woes with us in hopes of helping other busy dog owners see the importance of consistent dental care for their pups.
Skyler was a rescue dog found on the streets, extremely underweight and very skittish. His owners took one look at his piercing blue eyes and knew they wanted to make him part of their family. From the start Skyler didn’t like them poking around near his mouth and as his family’s human members grew in size his owners gave up trying to brush his teeth.
They did what many owners do; they took him to the vet once a year (or so) for a $200-$300 dental cleaning. The problem with this approach (outside of the cost) is that it’s not enough for many dogs. Over time Skyler’s teeth got worse with age and each dental visit required teeth being pulled. These rotten teeth cause bad breath, make it painful for them to eat and can cause systemic infections that could even kill a dog.
To wrap up the latest development in Skyler’s story, his recent vet dental visit resulted in 9 teeth being pulled and a $600 vet bill! That is unfortunately a common scenario for dogs as they age, but it doesn’t have to be! The moral of the story is two-fold. First, start getting toothbrushes and washcloths with toothpaste on them in your dog’s mouth when they are young so they get used to it. Second, make dental care a primary maintenance goal. You don’t even have to brush their teeth yourself to do this. The professionals at Pet Groomerie can inexpensively add on a teeth brushing to your next visit. We also carry products like gels and foams that can be squirted into mouth. Did you know there are dental water additives that can be easily added to their bowl? Skyler’s owners didn’t but are now committed to giving him the care he needs.
Here is a link with some more helpful hints in this department. Thank you to Skyler’s owners for letting us share their cautionary tale!