After spending more than $500 on dental care for my dog, I’ve decided taking a proactive approach was a must.
I’m brushing the dog’s teeth several times a week now. As our veterinarian told me, “It’s a lot easier and cheaper for you to brush her teeth, than for me to do it.”
The big thing you have to know about brushing your pet’s teeth is that you can’t use regular human toothpaste. Dogs don’t get that whole “spit and rinse thing” and swallowing the flouride is bad for them.
But rather than spending $5 to $10 on a tiny tube of chicken-flavored pet toothpaste, I asked the vet for alternatives.
She said that you can use toddler toothpaste for kids (it has to be the kind without fluoride). This is about half the price of specialty pet toothpaste. In addition, she said you can use a piece of gauze or an old baby sock (reusable, yay!) instead of a toothbrush. She said some dogs have an easier time with a piece of cloth than a toothbrush. Of course, if your dog is prone to chomping your fingers when you brush, go with the toothbrush!
It also doesn’t hurt to ask for samples from your vet. After Molly Dog’s visit, we came home with an Iams tooth cleaning kit – complete with sample toothpaste, a toothbrush, a finger toothbrush, and coupons for Iams products.
With good dental care, we’re hoping our dog will live a lot longer, and happier life.
Looking for more great pet tips? Check out the Puppy in Training Carnival, where there are lots of great posts on taking care of your pets.