Dr. Stacey: I totally get it! Much as I love my Newfoundland dog Clara licking me … oh boy!
So to help, I feed her a diet with true tartar fighting capability. Diets like Hill’s T/D and Royal Canin Dental rise to the top. She gets enzyme treated rawhides. The chewing action removes mushy plaque. If I’m late she reminds me. She also gets her teeth professionally cleaned yearly.
There are water additives, gum gels, and pet treats all claiming to reduce tartar. Some work while others don’t. Look for the Veterinary Oral Health Council seal (vohc.org). Treats like Greenies have this seal. They’ve been tested and proven to help.
Brushing teeth really works. It’s best if you teach your pet to like this when they’re 8 weeks old though.
Tartar never “sleeps”. At some point you need to make the decision to have your pet’s teeth cleaned. Cleaning saves teeth, heals red inflamed gums that are painful and freshens breath.
Pet’s teeth can only be 100% cleaned with a sedative or alternatively general anesthesia. Awake they simply will not accept a metal instrument under the gums or around the entire tooth and this is exactly where the most important scaling happens – under the gums.
Non-sedation cleaning is incomplete, painful and frankly very stressful for your pet. Is anesthesia safe then for pets? Yes it is, with the monitoring that’s done and the anesthetics used today and the quick procedure that it is… it is very safe.
In our practice we prefer to professionally scale with a sedative only to achieve 100% cleaning. This means your pet is not under a general anesthesia, they are simply relaxed. We are also able to x-ray teeth as well to examine tooth roots and look for painful disease.
So getting your pet’s teeth cleaned is not a big ordeal. Cleaning prevents tooth loss and dental surgery (which is a big deal).
Save your pet’s teeth. Call us for a complimentary oral exam and we’ll let you know how your pet’s doing. Get 20% OFF dental cleaning at our clinic as well in October. (250) 339-6555
Not for the squeamish! Here's a before/after of doggie dental patient Tanna.