Our vet recommends a twice-annual professional tooth cleaning for Cocoa. There are two ways they clean teeth: while under general anesthesia and while awake.
There are risks associated with anesthesia that you should consider before you agree to this. We had Emily’s teeth cleaned once under anesthesia and everything went well. I recently heard a story about a person who’s dog died during a regular tooth cleaning.
If you have your dog’s teeth cleaned while she’s awake, she will have to sit patiently during the procedure. Some dogs don’t have a temperament that allows this.
The DIY Tooth Cleaning
You can also try to clean your own dog’s teeth. There are two main ways to do this.
1. You can either use a small toothbrush, which you can buy at a pet store.
2. You can buy a finger brush that slides over your finger. With this method you need to put your finger inside your dog’s mouth.
We’ve found is that our dogs don’t seem as scared of our finger. The toothbrush makes Cocoa nervous and Poppy, our spaniel, is downright afraid of it.
Dog toothpaste comes in different flavors, ranging from chicken to mint. My family prefers the mint because it actually has a smell that we like. Our dogs don’t seem to have any preference. They’re too busy trying to get us to stop brushing!
You can buy dog toothpaste at a pet store and on an online store like Amazon.
Just don’t use human toothpaste!