The short answer? Yes! I know, it sounds ridiculous, however, it is almost as important as getting your child to brush every day. Most dogs can be trained to accept the idea, so we have some tips for you:

  • The younger you start, the better. But it’s never too late.
  • Start by pulling back the lips and rubbing her teeth with gauze or some sort of clean fabric. This gets her used to the sensation.
  • Once he’s comfortable with that you can upgrade to a toothbrush. Make sure if you do not purchase it from your veterinarian (they know what is best) that it is very soft bristles.
  • DO NOT use human toothpaste. It is toxic to dogs. Purchase paste that is poultry flavored. Your dog will thank you.
  • 30 seconds is all it takes, just make sure you get below the gum line and the back teeth especially well. This is where most of the tartar forms.
  • Tarter turns into plaque in 36 hours so be sure not to miss more than a day. Once it is plaque it must be professionally removed under anesthesia.
  • It is also helpful to use a diet specially formulated for dental health. Make sure you look for the VOHC seal (Veterinary Oral Health Council).
  • Regular check ups with your vet are still important. Dental disease is easily treated but left untreated can cause a host of medical problems, including pain for your dog.
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If your vet recommends a professional cleaning, “anesthesia free” is not the way to go. They are simply brushing your dog’s teeth for you. The dog must be under in order to allow the technician to get under the gumline, where there is hidden plaque. Make sure your veterinarian performs oral x-rays. We often find problems we can not see with the naked eye. Pre-anesthetic blood work is always recommended and encouraged.

As always, with any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at (303) 691-3720 or