Brushing my dogs teeth? Is it really necessary?

Weeg

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We are getting a new puppy! Its not our first dog, we have had 2 other dogs before her and still have one now. We raise our dogs to be duck dogs, and always get Yellow labs. I am doing extra research this time, I think it is mostly because of the excitement of another pup, but I had a quick question.

We have all the basics covered. Crate, heathy all natural food, lots of out door activities like horse rides and duck hunts, check chain training, and all the basic stuff. One thing we have never considered was brushing our dogs teeth. I was looking up essentials and hacks, wondering if there were any products out there that I missed and would be useful, I came across teeth brushing.

We have never done this, is it really necessary? We feed our dog dry Canidea limited ingredient dog food, I don't think we the ever had dental problems in the past but we were never looking for any, so who knows. What do you think? Is it necessary? Do you do it? Thanks for any advice! We got everything else covered, this is my only question! Avery
 
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rosemarythyme

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I brush mine, or use some sort of dental gel or spray. Does it work? :confused: Since we get shelter dogs we have gotten a few with existing dental issues, so my goal is to keep build up at bay, so we don't have to spring for any further teeth cleanings.

Even if you don't want to brush it doesn't hurt to check their teeth yourself regularly. My dogs line up each night to get their teeth done and their coats brushed.
 

DobieLover

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I not only brush my dogs teeth, I scale and polish them every other month as well. They've never required dentals and the vets are always amazed at how clean their teeth are.
It does take time to earn their trust before sticking a sharper scaler against and just under the gum line. One jerk of their head and you'll rip a chunk of gum out.
I've trained 9 dogs (not all mine, some were my parents) to let me scale, polish and brush their teeth.
Yes on the dog toothpaste. It helps keep them interested in the brushing process and you can't use human tooth paste on a dog.
I will add that none of the dogs I've trained to allow me to clean their teeth were acquired as puppies. I only adopt as did my parents.
 

Aapomp831

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The gums are a direct route to the bloodstream. I personally don’t brush my dogs teeth, but I have them cleaned at the Vet once a year. Their yearly cleaning is all they need; vet even confirmed their teeth and gums are perfect and there is no need to brush them every day. That’s really not realistic for any busy household.
 

EverythingDucks

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I have little dogs who are known to have dental issues, do I brush them about every other day.
I use tooth brushes and tooth paste, and dental treats in between.

Be sure you get the right sized brush though. For my fakers, I have to get teeny tiny ones to fit in their mouths.
For a bigger dog you might want to get a finger brush.
 

humblehillsfarm

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YES. Train them while they are young. Brushing once every one to two weeks is sufficient for most dogs and LAY OFF THE TREATS, especially people food! If you give your dog treats, honestly giving them tiny pieces of cooked chicken is the way to go. Just like for people, treats are usually higher in carbs or sugar which is what causes plaque in the first place.

My mom isn't even a dog person and she managed to "train" her 3 year old shelter dog to get accustomed to teeth brushing. She wasn't exactly training per se as much as she sorta sat on the dog to hold it down for a good brushing, but even with that terrible method of "training" the dog got to the point where she would calmly sit for her teeth to be brushed.

If you start with a puppy, just running your fingers around the inside and outside of its teeth daily and rewarding with a little piece of chicken afterwards is probably far more effective at getting the dog used having its mouth stimulated.
 

Weeg

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LAY OFF THE TREATS, especially people food! If you give your dog treats, honestly giving them tiny pieces of cooked chicken is the way to go. Just like for people, treats are usually higher in carbs or sugar which is what causes plaque in the first place.
We hardly ever feed treats anyway. We give them leftover salmon skin, chewy chunks of our deer, and little things like that. Thanks for all the advice! I will look into it!
 

EverythingDucks

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YES. Train them while they are young. Brushing once every one to two weeks is sufficient for most dogs and LAY OFF THE TREATS, especially people food! If you give your dog treats, honestly giving them tiny pieces of cooked chicken is the way to go. Just like for people, treats are usually higher in carbs or sugar which is what causes plaque in the first place.

My mom isn't even a dog person and she managed to "train" her 3 year old shelter dog to get accustomed to teeth brushing. She wasn't exactly training per se as much as she sorta sat on the dog to hold it down for a good brushing, but even with that terrible method of "training" the dog got to the point where she would calmly sit for her teeth to be brushed.

If you start with a puppy, just running your fingers around the inside and outside of its teeth daily and rewarding with a little piece of chicken afterwards is probably far more effective at getting the dog used having its mouth stimulated.
X2

Chicken is a great high value training treat. And you can give as small ot large amounts as you want without it being a mess.
 

Phneyda

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You cannot use human toothpaste on dogs. Does everyone brush their dogs teeth? No. Should they? Probably, but if you have your vet do annual cleanings then no brushing may be needed. I say probably because brushing, even if it’s not needed, helps dogs get used to the sensation. Just in case finances don’t allow for a vet cleaning one year. Finally, if buying toothpaste and a tooth brush is cost prohibitive than maybe getting a dog isn’t the right thing to do right now? Having a dog can get expensive.
 

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