Glenbrook Cocker Spaniels

Dental Care

Featuring Ch. Glenbrook As Good As A Wink

Keeping your dog's teeth healthy is an essential duty, along with clipping their nails, protecting them from bad plants, and playing games with them. Tartar buildup can lead to several health issues, even problems with the heart. Some pet owners choose to take their dog to a vet to have their teeth cleaned professionally.  It is ideal to start brushing them while they are puppies, so they can gradually get used to it. When you decide to start brushing, make sure you always use dog toothpaste, not human toothpaste. 

80% of dogs over 3 years old have some form of periodontal (dental) disease. Dental disease causes bad breath (halitosis) and pain, it is also a source of infection and can make your pet seriously ill.  For adult dogs with existing dental disease, a dental treatment with a scale and polish under general anaesthetic is often necessary to get their mouth back into top condition. This will allow you to start prevention with a clean mouth which needs to be continued at home to hopefully prevent, or slow down dental disease developing again in the future.

A Vet's Procedure

In general, a cleaning with no extractions takes roughly 45 minutes to one hour. After the vet performs a physical examination and has determined that it’s safe for your dog to receive anesthesia, your dog will be sedated, intubated to maintain a clear airway, and administered oxygen and anesthetic gas. Most veterinarians will also place an intravenous catheter and administer fluids throughout anesthesia to support your dog’s blood pressure and organ health.

The teeth are cleaned with an ultrasonic scaler, a tool that vibrates at a high speed, to remove large pieces of plaque and tartar. A hand scaler is used to clean under the gumline of every tooth and on all sides of the tooth. Dental probes are used to measure the depth of the pockets found between tooth and gum – abnormally deep pockets indicate periodontal disease. Many times, oral radiographs are taken to evaluate the bone around the teeth.

Once all plaque and tartar are removed, the mouth is rinsed and all tooth surfaces are polished. If the teeth are not polished, small etchings left on the teeth from cleaning can attract more plaque and tartar to adhere in the small grooves. After polishing, the mouth is rinsed again and a fluoride treatment can be applied.

How Much Does Dog Teeth Cleaning Cost?

Dog teeth cleaning costs vary across the board and are influenced by a slew of different factors. A cleaning might only cost a few hundred dollars, but you might end up paying a few thousand dollars if your pet is having oral surgery like an extraction involving a large tooth. One of the biggest factors behind the high costs is anesthesia and X-rays.

NB: Dental X-rays are really important to assessing periodontal disease and the health of teeth below the gum line, unfortunately, they require anesthesia and anesthesia tends to be pricey.

How Often Should You Get Your Dog’s Teeth Professionally Cleaned?

Most vets recommend getting your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned anywhere from once every six months to once a year, depending on the dog. If you’re taking good care of your dog’s teeth at home, you might be able to get away with not going quite as often.  Bad breath is usually the first indicator that you should bring your pet into a vet. Other signs you should watch out for include bleeding gums, seeing blood on chews or difficulty eating.

Post Dog Teeth Cleaning Procedures

Most dogs can generally start eating a regular diet 12 to 48 hours after a cleaning. The anesthesia needs to work itself out of the dog’s body.  If extractions have occurred or major surgery taken place, it might take pets three to five days to fully recover. It is recommended that you soften your pet’s food so he or she can eat it comfortably during this time frame.

How Often Should You Clean a Dog's Teeth?

There is a wide debate on how often you should clean your dog's teeth. You will hear some say every day; others will say once a week.  It is also recommended to give your dog teeth chew toys such as hoofs, brisket bones and to feed a mixture of dry dog food and raw meat.  Chicken necks cut into small cubes and raw chicken wing tips can provide your dog calcium as well as acting as a natural tooth brush. 

Then once a year, when you talk to your vet, ask them about your dog's teeth and whether a professional cleaning is required. Some vets encourage you to have them cleaned professionally once a year regardless of teeth health. Others are less conservative and will truly assess your dog's teeth per visit. If you are brushing regularly, they may let you know they do not feel a vet dental visit is important. Either way, the vet should at least assess the dental health of your dog.

Side Effects for Dogs With Bad Teeth

Bad dental care causes problems for up to 80 percent of dog's over the age of three. Dental problems does not only affect the teeth, but also the liver, heart, intestinal tract, kidneys, and even joints! The reason for this is because the bacteria that is gathered in the mouth due to bad teeth, will eventually be swallowed, and begin to spread throughout the rest of the body. These bacteria can actually cause problems throughout your pet's body.

Signs Your Dog's Teeth May Need to Be Seen By The Vet

  • Dog's breath should never be offensive. Their breath may smell like the food they last ate, which is not the most favorable smell, but your dog's breath should never be intolerable.

  • Gums should be pink and close to the teeth. If their gums are red, swollen, or receding from the gum-line, then you should have a vet look at your dog's teeth.

  • When you brush his teeth, his gums should not bleed. Bleeding gums is a sign of gingivitis.

  • Whining while chewing on toys is a big indicator something is wrong. You may find your puppy does this when their baby teeth are falling out, but they should not do that once all their adult teeth are in. You may also see a sudden resistance in chewing usually beloved chew toys.

Do dogs get cavities?

Dental caries or “cavities” as they’re more commonly known, are rare in dogs. This is due to many factors including a relatively low-sugar diet, differences in mouth bacteria, and the shape of the teeth. When cavities do occur, they can be treated the same way as human cavities: drill out the damaged part of the tooth and fill it with a special dental compound. In severe cases involving tooth root exposure, endodontic procedures will be performed such as root canal and capping. Extraction of the affected tooth is required in certain cases. Another good reason to provide dental care for your dog.

How can I tell if my dog has gum disease?

Start by lifting your dog’s lips. If you see dirty or discolored teeth, typically an ugly brownish-greenish color, see  your veterinarian. This is likely tartar or plaque and is an early sign of imminent gum or periodontal disease. Next examine the gums for any swelling or redness. If you brush your fingertip along the gum line and observe the tissues become angry and inflamed or even bleed, this indicates more serious gum infection and disease. Finally, take a whiff. If your dog’s breath is fetid and foul, this is usually associated with bacterial infection. Remember that sweet smelling “puppy breath?” A dog with a healthy mouth should have pleasant or at least neutral odor. If your dog exhibits any of these signs, see your veterinarian for help.

Maintaining Oral Hygiene

1. Appropriate Food

There is scientific research supporting the use of food as an easy means of helping keep your pets teeth clean. Advance and Royal Canin dry food size, shape and texture produce a mechanical brushing effect on teeth, helping to remove plaque and tartar when chewed. It also helps to reduce tartar through the inclusion of a specific nutrient that effectively reduces plaque deposits. 

2. Plaque Off / Dentafresh

These products have been shown to work in two different ways: by decreasing overall bacterial loads in your pets mouth, thus aiding with smelly breath, and also softening plaque on the tooth surface. If the plaque is softer, it can be brushed away more easily by appropriate diet, brushing, or chews. 

3. Bones and Chews

Products such as Dentabones encourage your dogs to chew, which helps rub plaque off, and also spread protective saliva around teeth. 

Feeding fresh raw brisket bones and other animal products can greatly aid the hygiene of the mouth. Not every dog or cat can have bones and there are some individuals that have medical conditions or gut sensitivities that prohibit their use within the diet. 

4. Brushing your pet's teeth

Plaque will start to accumulate 12 hours after a scale and polish or brushing. There are many dental tooth brush varieties on the market, along with different designs and dental pastes. Many pet dental kits come with a microfibre finger cloth with which to start, toothpaste and a double headed toothbrush, specifically designed for your pets mouth. Finger brushes can also be used.

How Do You Brush A Dog's Teeth?
Some steps to guide you are below. 

Ways to Prepare Your Dog: Before you begin brushing your dog's teeth, it is a good idea to get him used to you touching his mouth. For a few weeks before you begin brushing his teeth, raise his lower and upper lips and massage the area for thirty seconds at a time. Watch his reactions. Once he seems relaxed while you are doing this, then he is ready to have his teeth brushed. Another good idea is to put a little toothpaste (dog toothpaste) in his mouth to get him used to the flavor. If your dog is resistant to the flavour, but not the brushing, it's better to brush without anything than not brush at all.

Getting Prepared: Before you bring your dog into have his teeth brushed, you want to set up the area and have everything within hand's reach. For instance, already put the toothpaste on the toothbrush, so the dog does not have to wait for you to do this. The idea is that you want to minimize the dog's discomfort and finish as quickly as possible. It is also important to make sure your dog is prepared. If the pup/ dog wants to play, they will not be very tolerant of getting their teeth brushed. You will want to make sure that the dog is relaxed and calm. This will eliminate the battles that could ensue if you choose a time when your dog is hyper and playful.

Beginning Brushing Their Teeth

Once you are prepared, you will want to have your dog in a position where you can be face to face. This may mean you need to sit on the floor or place him in your lap. If possible, it is often a good idea to have a second person there to comfort him and talk to your dog to help him feel at ease, as well as to gently hold him still. The second person talking to your dog will help distract them, especially during times when you may need to add toothpaste.

  • Begin slowly, initial sessions should be brief, a minute or two and well rewarded.
  • Get your dog used to the toothbrush by dipping it in tuna juice, chicken or beef stock or just use water.
  • Next try offering the toothbrush with the paste, without brushing. Allow your dog to taste the paste.
  • When your dog is comfortable with the brush try brushing one or two strokes on a few teeth. Slowly increase the amount of brushing as your dog becomes more comfortable.
  • Start at the front of the mouth. Pets are often more accepting of this.

Using a toothbrush

It's ideal to use a toothbrush, but not all dogs will be willing to use one. The toothbrush bristles should be placed at the gum margin where the teeth and gums meet at a 45 degree angle. The movement should be in an oval pattern. Be sure to gently force the bristle ends into the area around the base of the tooth as well as into the space between the teeth. In cases where your dog is resistant to a toothbrush you can use a wet washcloth or gauze on your finger. Another alternative to a brush is a rubber surface cap that goes on your finger, which acts like a toothbrush. You can find these at most pet stores. To begin brushing their teeth, lift up their upper lip and brush in a circular pattern making sure to get the gum line. Continue around the mouth doing top teeth first. Then begin doing bottom. The bottom will be trickier since your dog will most likely keep his teeth shut and the bottom teeth will be a little hidden. Really focus on the back teeth; this is where plaque gets built up the most and can do the most damage.                

Place pet dental toothpaste.   Place the toothbrush on the teeth on a 45 degree angle.  Using your fingers gently pull the gums away.

Pay attention to the canines. Also the gaps between all teeth, and make sure you brush all the way to the back of the mouth.  Work inside the mouth, cleaning the back of the teeth.

Using a Finger Brush


Place the finger brush on your index finger                Brush to the back of the mouth.               Also along the side of the mouth.

and apply pet dental toothpaste. Start at the

front of the mouth, using an oval movement

brush over the front teeth and gum.


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Safety Beach, VIC, Australia
Phone : +61409434996
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