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Dental Care

Taking Care of your Poodle’s Teeth

By Jacki Panzik

Just like taking care of your own teeth, which is important to your general health, your dog’s health depends on good dental hygiene for good health. Two of the biggest contributors to K-9 death are liver and kidney malfunction, which can be directly related to the condition of a dental hygiene.

Always remember when your introducing your puppy to a new procedure that he/she might find uncomfortable or unfamiliar at first, you get the pup used to it a LITTLE at a time. This goes with all training. If you take baby steps, not giant leaps, your pup will not get overwhelmed. This will create a trusting bond from the start. By the time your pup is an adult he/she will be used to your communication methods and will understand what it is you are expecting from him/her.

Starting at a very young age, you can get your puppy used to having his or her teeth and gums handled. Start out with quick sweeps of your finger over your puppy’s gums and teeth. You could even have something good tasting on your finger like chicken broth. Mmmmm… puppy’s really like chicken broth on a finger.

Next, graduate to a little doggy toothpaste on a finger. Manufactures make pet toothpaste so that its taste is tolerated and even enjoyed by pets. Then go to sweeping over teeth and gums with a pet toothbrush with pet toothpaste on it. GRADUALLY build up to a full teeth brushing regimen. Brushing everyday is of course best. But twice a week is an absolute minimum. This also helps you spot problems such as broken teeth or abscessed gums before they become big problems.

Poodles are so intelligent – they know when an owner is doing something for their wellbeing. If properly introduced to care practices, they will respond with appreciation and will know they are loved and in a caring home.

There are new techniques available today when it comes to dental care for your Poodle that don’t require anesthesia. I’ve even seen advertisements in some grooming shops about no sedation teeth cleaning. If done properly and home dental maintenance is kept up, your dog can avoid having to go through the trouble and expense of a full blown “dental” in a veterinarian’s office as often as would be required with no dental maintenance. This is most beneficial to your dog’s health because anesthesia will take a toll on immune systems and other factors in the body. I like to avoid anesthesia whenever possible, both for my Poodle friends and myself. Although when getting a check up at your veterinarian’s, he or she should always check teeth to make sure everything is up to a quality standard for your dogs optimum health.