Help for dog with bad teeth

Dog Food Advisor Forums Diet and Health Help for dog with bad teeth

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  • #89001 Report Abuse
    Christine M


    My poor Bear is not quite 4 and has suffered from bad teeth his whole life. Any suggestions on what to do besides frequent dentals and tooth brushing? He is an American Eskimo, and at 6 months old required his first dental. We got another dental done in december and he lost a tooth… And it looks like he will lose at least two more on the top that have bad cavities near the base of the tooth… My poor baby. He’s going for a dental checkup on Saturday, but wanted to get some info on other steps before then.

    We are currently feeding him Orijen Adult dry dog food (we are in Canada). He won’t eat the vet dental food and I’m not a fan of the ingredients anyways. I’m not really into raw feeding due to the possibility of bacteria, etc., and Bear doesn’t seem to care much for many of the pre-made raw foods out there anyways.

    He likes the CET chews and they helped him a lot but they are hard to find now, so we got the Enzadent ones but they don’t do as much for him. He gets bully sticks to chew too (they always have a few to chew on).

    We probably still aren’t brushing his teeth enough, but he tolerates it quite well. We use the CET toothpaste from the vet and a normal toothbrush… We tried one of the powered toothbrushes for pets but he hated it and he doesn’t like the ones which go around the whole tooth.

    Any other recommendations for water additives, etc.? We also have a 4 mo old puppy but his teeth are fine.

    #89002 Report Abuse

    Daily brushing, once a day after the evening meal can help big time. However, often there is a genetic component so they end up needing extractions at a young age.
    My peke had most of his teeth extracted at the age of 5 despite daily brushing, he is 16 now and still loves to eat.
    I presoak his kibble in water overnight in the fridg and add some chopped up cooked lean meat/chicken, scrambled egg, something to it.
    They adjust just fine, continue daily brushing.
    I like Petrodex 6.2 oz tube from and a medium adult brush. My younger dog lets me use a battery operated electric toothbrush on him, less work for me.
    No matter what you do, most dogs will need at least one or two professional cleanings per lifetime.
    Oh, and those additives and chews don’t do much, if anything, they are breath fresheners at best.
    I have an 8 year old that has not required a cleaning yet.
    PS: You have to brush the back and sides/inside area that’s where the tartar tends to build up. See YouTube for “how to” videos.

    #89038 Report Abuse
    jeanne e

    I use the CET chews with the hextra added (not sure of the spelling). Anyway, Amazon, CHEWY.COM, entirely, etc. sells them online and most online pet stores too. Also, the more you buy on some websites, the cheaper they are JMO, but I never thought they did much for my small puggle. Having 3 dogs, and 40 years of rescues, I think it depends on the dog. Smaller dogs seem to lose their teeth more so than bigger dogs.
    As for the electric toothbrush,, I bought a battery operated childrens brush and I got my dogs used to it by turning it on and running the end of it along their back. NOT the brush, lol. Anyway, after awhile they adapted to the toothbrush.
    The problem I have is that they all tend to eat the toothpaste before I can get it to the teeth. Also I have tried many different types of manual toothbrushes and same results.

    #89039 Report Abuse
    jeanne e
    #89231 Report Abuse

    Would you be willing to offer a raw knuckle bone? Those, IMO, do WAY better than CET chews for teeth, and most dogs love them. One or twice a week cleans a lot of their teeth right up. (As far as the bacteria issue in raw…there IS bacteria in raw, yet I’ve been feeding raw for way too many years to remember and have never had a dog get salmonella poisoning, but I know of many dogs who have gotten sick or died from recalled kibble. It’s a personal choice, but please don’t feel that all kibble is automatically safe from bacteria and all raw food is automatically contaminated.)

    I brush the teeth of my dog with poor root structure and an incorrect bite. I consider it insurance; and I use coconut oil vs. pet toothpaste. Now that he’s getting older I’m giving him bio-dent. It’s too soon to know if it’s helping, but I’ve heard others say it can really help strengthen their roots, teeth, etc.

    #89482 Report Abuse

    It might be the protein levels in the food are too high. Phosphorous is a mineral that “tags along” with protein – i.e., the higher the protein levels in a feed, the higher the phos. will be. And if that is the case, it could be affecting the dog’s kidney function, which is a major cause of inexplicably bad teeth in young dogs.

    Some dogs do naturally have a tendency to build up tartar, but there is plenty that can be done with diet to prevent it. Try a lower protein feed or one that specifically has been formulated for dental health. Several years ago, I had to put an older dog on Science Diet Oral Care, because at 2yrs old, her teeth were practically rotting out of her mouth after whelping a litter. Still don’t know the underlying cause for it, but I gave her the kibble pieces as treats, and it did help. I don’t care for the SD brand and wouldn’t recommend it, but there are certainly other brands that do make similar foods.

    And just as an aside, in a bad case, the “bumpy” Nylabones and rawhides might also be of some help.

    #89483 Report Abuse

    Would you be willing to offer a raw knuckle bone? Those, IMO, do WAY better than CET chews for teeth

    Knuckle bones are a great way to fracture teeth, especially in small/medium breeds. Just with pork necks on 25lb (ish) dogs was enough to break molars, and cause a stress crack in the front canine of a 65lb Shepherd mix. I remember about 15-16 years ago, when raw was called “BARF”, some owners used to feed knuckle or marrow bones as recreational bones, and they soon developed the nickname “wreck bones”, for all the damage they did to teeth.

    #89653 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    Bad teeth are more often than not hereditary.
    I have a few friends who use K-10+ dental sticks. They swear by it. Admittedly they aren’t militant about giving the “treats” yet have gotten great results.
    Not only do they not give them regularly, but they don’t even give their dogs the suggested amount. Because of the cost and they have large dogs.
    In fact I think one friend gives her dog a couple of the medallions sporadically.

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