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How often should dogs get their teeth cleaned


How often should dogs get their teeth cleaned?

by Tami

(Duluth, MN)

I have a 3 year old lab who has no problems chewing her toys. She eats and drinks, goes to the bathroom on her own and sleeps through the night. She is still a puppy so it has been easy to brush her teeth and keep them clean with a wet toothbrush. When I take her out in public, especially with her friends in the park, it is a lot easier to brush her teeth with a wet brush, then it is when she is at home alone and the only way to get the brush to her teeth is to brush with an empty water bowl. I also use a doggie dental oil that I got from my vet.

My question is about teeth cleaning, especially when she is with her friends. She has a large mouth, so she tends to chew and gnaw on anything that is within reach. When she is in the park with her friends, she will chew on their hands, their feet, their toys, the ground, the other dog's food and water bowl. When I take her out, sometimes she eats other dogs' food and water bowls, and she even chews on the other dogs' toys. We keep her on a loose leash, but I don't want her to keep eating other people's food or water bowls, or to keep chewing other people's toys, especially since she has chewed on them before, and I don't want other people to be afrd that her dog will eat them or their food or water bowls. She is friendly and likes other dogs, and she likes to play with them, but I don't want her to start chewing on them.

I'm not sure if I should be worried about her biting people's food and water bowls or not. Does she have to be taught that they are not food or toys? She has been neutered and has had a dental checkup in the past so I don't know why she has been chewing on the dog food and water bowls. I want to make sure that she is well behaved, so how often should I brush her teeth? Is it a good idea to have her wear a muzzle or is that a bit extreme? I know that there are some dogs that chew on their owners, and I don't want that to happen to her.

Replies

I'd say she needs teeth cleaned at least every 3 months (maybe 6 months if she's really gnawing on the other dog's toys, though) and definitely brush her teeth with a toothpaste that's appropriate for her age (not too abrasive - I like a gel toothpaste for dogs). I'd say if you want to minimize chewing, just have a few snacks in the park for her, and then when she does chew things she shouldn't (or, you know, if she does it repeatedly), get her a nice chew toy.

She's probably fine in terms of biting your food bowl and water bowl, as long as she isn't doing it out of anger or frustration. But it's still best to teach her not to.

I brush my own teeth every 2-3 days. I brush their teeth as often as possible when I take them to the vet. I don't brush their teeth often at home because I'm not sure how to get their gums to be as clean as they should be.

If they are chewing on other people's stuff, my first suggestion is to be kind to them. When they start getting bored with one thing, I try to switch things up. The other dog may just be curious. If it is their toys, they may have never seen a toy with a real mouth on it. So I will give them the toy to chew, and see what happens. The other dog may not be ready for a toy yet. Or he may just be very interested and want more. But, this is just my suggestion. You have to be kind. You have to let them get their own way occasionally.

As for muzzles. I think it would be more appropriate to get a muzzle that is large enough for her. Like a kennel muzzle. But be sure to get something that she can still eat and drink through, and isn't just for protection.

Yes, my vet recommended that I get her a doggie dental oil because it's good for cleaning their gums. I was thinking that a muzzle would be a good option, but I don't want to muzzle her in public places if she is with other people and I don't want her to be afrd to go anywhere. My vet also sd that I should use the toothpaste she has been using for brushing her teeth and that is what I did. I guess I was a little bit worried about her eating other people's food, but it hasn't been a problem so far.

I want to keep her as comfortable as possible in public, and I don't want to make it so uncomfortable that she will start chewing on things when we are out in public. We are already bringing a doggie dental oil, a dental chew and a toy when we go out, and she is wearing a leash and a muzzle, so she isn't free to chew on other things, but we are trying to make sure that she has as much freedom as possible.

If she is chewing on people, dogs, or things that are not food, I think a muzzle would be a good option for her. I would say that you should do it every time you take her in public, though. It's not good to take her in public


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