We’ve all had the experience of being around a dog with such wretched breath that it turns your stomach from even a few feet away.
Generally speaking, when a dog’s breath smells that bad, it’s a more serious problem than a dental chew bone can take care of. Usually, it’s a sign that the dog’s teeth have begun rotting.
If the bad breath smell and the fact that your dog’s teeth are or may begin rotting isn’t enough to encourage you to take care of your dog’s canines, then perhaps knowing that regular dental care can add years to your dog’s life is.
Sensi is now approaching his senior years and his breath has begun to get a bit smelly. For years, I relied upon brushing his teeth with doggie toothpaste and a regular toothbrush every once in a while.
Nowadays, I brush his teeth more than just once in a while — once a week, is more like it. If I can prevent that smell from worsening, it’s worth the five or ten minutes it takes to give his teeth a good brushing.
Plus, God knows I want to keep him around for as long as possible. If a weekly brushing can add a year or two to the time I get to spend with him, I’ll do it.
Even if you regularly brush your dog’s teeth, there’s still an extra measure you may want to consider.
Your veterinarian can perform a full dental cleaning service on your dog’s teeth. Think of it in terms of people — we get our teeth cleaned once a year, why not do the same for our dogs?
And just think of how much more useful the service is to our dogs, who don’t brush their teeth twice a day, floss to get out all that kibble stuck between their chompers or use a mouthwash to keep things fresh in there.
Let me note here too — don’t use human toothpaste, mouthwash or even flavored floss (if you think you might actually be able to floss your dog’s teeth anyhow!) on your dog. It can be poisonous for them. Buy doggie-specific products.
Back to the teeth cleaning service at the vet’s office though — it’s expensive. It usually runs around $300.
Why so expensive? One word: anesthetic.
Think about it. In order for vet to do a thorough cleaning of your dog’s mouth, he or she has got to be able to get that mouth open and get it to stay open without that wagging tongue trying to lick those human fingers away.
So, anesthetic is needed to put the dog out for awhile so the cleaning can be performed. And the anesthetic is pricey, pricey, pricey. Generally, it’s well over $100 just for the sleep-inducing drug.
Even so, it's well worth the price.
I encourage everyone — if you can afford it — to make this investment in your dog's health.