When chatting with Dr. Kris Bannon, DVM and Fellow, Academy of Dentistry, I asked her how often I should brush my service dog’s teeth? I was hoping she would tell me that brushing Whistle’s teeth once a week would be enough to maintain his healthy teeth. But, that’s not what she said.
She strongly recommended brushing his teeth every day just as I would care for my own teeth. She also said that doggy breath was a sign that something was wrong. She said if our dog exhibited any type of doggy breath it was most likely that some health issue was going on that needed to be addressed. Dr. Bannon recommended using a toothbrush with soft bristles, even a child’s toothbrush, accompanied by a doggie toothpaste that can be purchased from your local vet or a pet supply store.
I have heard other veterinarians say that using such a doggie toothpaste was unhealthy because of the additives that can be found in these products. I asked Dr. Bannon her opinion on that issue and she said that if dogs received such a small amount of toothpaste each day it was not harmful to them.
I also asked her how often we should have our dog’s teeth cleaned professionally by a veterinarian. She said that larger dogs could go a few years in between cleanings but smaller dogs required more frequent cleanings.
The thing I heard loud and clear was doggie breath is not acceptable. I need to brush Whistle’s teeth every day and I also need to make sure that he is getting a professional examination of his teeth and mouth at a minimum of once a year but preferably every six months.
I don’t know about you, but I am feeling the need to go and brush Whistle’s teeth!