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Should I brush my dog’s teeth?

I do not brush my dog’s teeth. Does that make me a bad pet owner? I don’t know.

I am borderline obsessive about my dog, but I have never considered brushing his teeth until a few days ago when a friend of mine told me how bad her dog’s teeth had gotten.

I used to brush my old golden retriever’s teeth once a week or so, but I haven’t done the same with Ace. I figure his diet of raw food helps clean the plaque from his teeth. He also chews on various raw bones, and the only time he gets “human food” is if I give him healthy table scraps such as meat or veggies.

Some vets recommend dog owners brush their dogs’ teeth at least twice a week. My friend’s 4-year-old dog has receding gum lines and has to have her teeth cleaned by a vet so the condition won’t worsen. This procedure involves putting the dog under and is not cheap. Like Ace, this dog only eats dry dog food. My friend also does not brush her dog’s teeth, but she probably will now!

As for Ace, I plan on buying him a toothbrush and paste sometime soon. Brushing Ace’s teeth would be a good idea to keep his teeth healthy and to prevent gum disease and future expensive veterinarian bills. You can also try these alternatives to brushing.

If you are worried about your dog’s teeth, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with your vet. Signs of trouble are if the dog has worse breath than normal or if she seems to have difficulty or pain while chewing. Make a habit of looking at your dog’s teeth and gums every now and then. Ace still has nice, white teeth. But he is only 2.

A vet can clean your dog’s teeth to prevent future problems. Some groomers will brush your dog’s teeth if you request it, but you can also brush the dog’s teeth yourself. Make sure to use a toothbrush and paste designed for dogs. The paste comes in flavors like beef and chicken and is nontoxic. The appealing flavor to the dog will make brushing her teeth a positive experience.

Check back soon for tips on brushing your dog’s teeth.

So how many of you actually brush your dogs’ teeth?

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