Caring for your dog's teeth

After you read this post, make a quick check of your dog's teeth to see if he/she has some cavities, tartar buildup & gum problems. At home here at Stormwind Kennel, we brush their teeth at least 2x a week. Speaking of which, I need to get some new doggy toothpaste because I'm almost running out.

One of the causes of tartar buildups are soft foods (which leave some sticky debris in their mouth---which accumulates, hardens up & may lead to that yellowish/dark orange stuff on their teeth. If you do feed your dog some soft treats, rice mix or mushy dog goo, try to find time to brush their teeth more often than 2x a week. If your dog has bad breath, brush brush brush! That's the result of food stuck in their teeth, plus the warm mouth & saliva will make those bacteria grow.

If your area also has hard water, this may also be a cause of those tough tartar buildups. My hubby and I pamper our dogs way too much, as we give them mineral water. If only my parents knew how much we spend for these dogs! Having 7 hungry dogs to take care of, our monthly grocery is even less than our budget for their dog food and care. They give us so much happiness, that we only want the best for them. We're making the most out of it now since we don't have a real baby of our own yet. These lucky dogs get all our devoted love and affection.

If you have a new puppy, start brushing their teeth. its good to let them get used to it while they are still young (and less slobbery when they grow older). Get a dog toothbrush in the pet store, or you can easily buy a human toddler/kid's toothbrush in the grocery. Always use a special dog formulated toothpaste. Never use human toothpaste (even the kiddie ones) as dogs don't have the capacity to gargle and spit out the frothy human toothpaste from their mouth.

I brush their teeth when they are sleepy or right after their meal. I don't do it when they're hyper because they'll just pounce on me or try to grab the toothbrush. If you have small dogs, you can put them on your lap like a baby. For bigger dogs, just find a comfortable position for both of you. Some of my dogs prefer to lie down on their side...some are just fine sitting down.
I still struggle though with some of my adult dogs as they get restless. That's why its good to start them while they're young so they get comfortable with it.

Lift the gum up and in a gentle circular motion, brush each of your dog's teeth. Make sure to brush the gum line and back molars as that's where the sticky tar usually accumulates. The more you brush their teeth, the more comfortable they'll become. Always give a treat (not a soft one this time) or perhaps a toy after you finish each session to serve as a reward for good behavior!

Having hard chew toys, rope toys, raw hides (don't buy the cheap ones & go for those that are sealed) for your dogs will be of big help in keeping the tartar away!

Now here's an interesting read:

1) normal incisor occlusion 2) side view of normal incisor occlusion 3) normal premolar tooth relationship 4) horizontal lines illustrate normal occlusal plane of upper and lower arches

5) anterior crossbite 6) base narrow teeth

7) overshot bite; incisors and canines 8) overshot bite; premolars and molars 9) undershot bite; premolars.

After evaluating the teeth and their relationship to the jaw, the dentition can be categorized into the following types of occlusions. The normal occlusion is a “scissor bite.” This is the pattern in which the lower incisors occlude next to the cingulum (lingual lobe of an anterior tooth) on the lingual surface of the upper incisors.

Dogs with a Class 1 occlusion have a normal occlusion with one or more teeth out of alignment or rotated. The following bites are Class 1: 1) the anterior crossbite where one or more of the lower incisors are anterior (situated in front of) to the upper incisors and the rest of the teeth occlude normally; 2) the level bite where the upper and lower incisors occlude cusp to cusp (“butt bite”); and 3) the base narrow bite where the tips of the mandibular canine teeth are displaced lingually (toward the tongue) and occlude on the hard palate.

Dogs with a Class 2 occlusion have the lower premolars and molars positioned behind the normal relationship. This occlusion may also be termed brachygnathism, overshot, “parrot mouth,” retrusive mandible, or distal mandibular excursion.

Dogs with a Class 3 occlusion have the lower premolars and molars positioned ahead (anterior) of the normal relationship. This occlusion may also be termed prognathism; undershot; “Bulldog bite”; protrusive mandible; or mesial mandibular excursion.

**(Illustrations reprinted from Veterinary Dental Techniques; Steven Holmstrom DVM, Patricia Frost DVM, Ronald Gammon DVM; W.B. Saunders Company, 1992.)

***Excerpt from Margo B. Maloney DVM, ~Versatile Hunting Dog Magazine, December 2001


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The lives of two dog lovers and how their 7 adorable dogs: 3 Golden Retrievers, 3 Cocker Spaniels & a Husky rule their world.

Meet Summer, the padre de pamilya who is a prolific stud; Duchess, the golden girl who is obsessed with fetching balls;
Zoe, the good-tempered & playful girl with the kindest heart; Suki, our baby who always brightens up our day with her kisses & affection; Taco & Tubby, the cocker spaniel brothers and our Siberian Husky named Kenzo who has extra strength powers. :)

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