Ways to clean up dog's teeth--oral sprays?

bock

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11 Years
Oct 10, 2008
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Sabrina is a 6 year old, 10 pound chihuahua mix. I used to give them both whole raw pig feet with occasional brushing, but have kind of slacked off. Sabina has a lot of tarter build up on her back teeth, and I can't find whole pig feet at any of the nearby stores. They are all split in half with the ends cut off. I am now brushing her teeth daily, but have a hard time getting her back teeth, she fights it a lot. Today I bought her a football-shaped nylabone and I put some TOTW and innova kibble in the center, and peanut butter in the rubber gummy things. She likes it okay, but is mostly licking it. I was wondering if anyone has ever tried any of those dental sprays or water drops. I am wary of the ingredients though, and I just don't know how well they work. Also, are there any good RBMs that would clean her teeth but she won't choke on? I swear, I almost had to give her the heimlich remover when she swallowed a chicken neck whole. And watching our lab, sugar, eat a pork rib rack was really scary. I thought for sure one of those huge chunks was going to get lodged in her throat. So, I am not going to lie, bones are scary for me. Even though I know it's the absolute best thing for them. I was pretty comfortable with the pig feet, but now nobody carries them. Sorry for rambling, any advice or personal experiences? I know she will most likely need a teeth cleaning eventually. Thank you!
 

RHRanch

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8 Years
Jul 29, 2011
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At 6 years old, she is waayyy overdue for a dental cleaning. Have your vet do it, its safer than those people who say they can clean your dogs teeth with no anesthesia. Small dogs develop dental disease easily and need regular cleanings starting at an early age due to the way thier teeth are crowded in thier mouths.
 

bock

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11 Years
Oct 10, 2008
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I don't think that is completely true. My lab mix is twelve years old, never had her teeth cleaned, and has the most beautiful teeth and healthy, pink gums I have ever seen. Good genetics I guess. They will both be getting a check up with our holistic vet in August, but last year he said that RBMs were probably the answer. However, if he recommends cleaning, I wouldn't hesitate. I just want to know what I can do for her right now for maintenance mostly. Thanks
 

AinaWGSD

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Apr 2, 2010
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While it may not be completely true, it is a fact that smaller breed dogs (and mixes) do have more dental disease than large breed dogs. Labs, shepherds, sporting breeds, etc usually have a head shape that is more along the lines that nature intended canines to have, and therefor they do tend to get less tartar build up and have fewer diseased teeth than smaller breeds and WAY less dental disease than brachycephalic (pug-nosed) breeds that have been manipulated by selective breeding to have a certain head shape. And, like you guessed, genetics of the individual plays a big role too.

Is Sabina has tartar build up, then the oral sprays and rinses aren't going to help much with that. They can inhibit tartart build up if used on clean teeth and are great at keeping the amount of bacteria in the mouth down, which is why the vet I work for recommends them in pets that have severe dental disease but are not a safe anesthetic risk, but they don't do anything to remove tartar that has already accumulated. Brushing is also a great way to prevent tartar build up, but once it has already accumulated it doesn't apply enough friction to actually remove it. And, if there is any gingivitis or other dental disease associated with the tartar brushing can actually be uncomfortable or even downright painful for the dog. Usually, if we see a dog that has significant tartar build up we actually recommend that the owner doesn't attempt to brush the teeth until the dog can get a good dental cleaning and remove all of that tartar. So, if you don't want to have a dental done under anesthesia, bones really are your best bet.
 

redhen

Kiss My Grits...
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
May 19, 2008
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Whet kind of bones? Raw bones? There's no place around here to get them.. :(
 

Squawkbox

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8 Years
Dec 25, 2011
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When my dogs get tartar build up, I take a teeny tiny flat screwdriver and take it off, it flakes off with very minimal pressure. Then I brush them and they're good as new!
 

naturalfeddogs

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9 Years
Jan 8, 2011
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Raw chicken wings, necks and drumsticks will work amazing! Given about twice daily, you will see a HUGE diffference in just a weeks time. Not to mention, super healthy. Just don't give at the same time as kibble because they digest at different rates and can cause digestive disturbances.
 

redhen

Kiss My Grits...
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
May 19, 2008
35,107
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Western MA
I'm just so nervous to give them raw chicken...they've never had it before..
 

bock

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11 Years
Oct 10, 2008
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Northern CA
Thanks everyone, we had an emergency with Sugar, so I haven't been back in a few days. We asked the butcher at Raley's, and he said they don't cut their own pig feet anymore because 2 people accidentally cut of their thumbs in the same month.
He also said all the stores he knows of don't sell whole feet anymore. So that stinks. But I noticed they had pork shoulders there, but would those be considered wreck bones? I guess I might have to go to a private butcher for turkey necks, or even whole pig feet. Thanks again!
 

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