Author Topic: Is teeth cleaning really necessary?  (Read 7756 times)

Offline Walt

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Re: Is teeth cleaning really necessary?
« Reply #30 on: June 15, 2017, 10:16:21 AM »
Walt, Buster had been fed on a raw diet since he was about nine weeks old.  I still have to clean his teeth.....

As I know his diet includes what a 'dog' should eat and not processed foods, and big, meaty bones,    I've come to the conclusion it's his beard hair causing damage to his teeth.  The hair from his beard is constantly in his mouth and I think this contributes to his teeth issues, so I also brush his teeth daily.

I have noticed a difference in his teeth since cutting his beard as he doesn't seem to have hair in his mouth as much as before.  I make sure on the days he doesn't have a raw bone that he has some chewy treat, like dried meat, dried mango or a veggie stick, as I know if I don't keep on top of brushing his teeth they will stain and plaque will appear.

I did pop into the vets with Buster to ask for advice on tooth cleaning and basically, they don't clean unless the teeth are terrible due to the risks involved in knocking him out, so to keep brushing daily was the advice from them!

Liz, I really don't want to argue with anyone about this issue.  Everyone has an opinion.  However, you say Buster has been on a raw meat and bones diet.  Then you say when he doesn't get a bone then he gets a chewey treat and include dried mango and a veggie stick among the treats you give him.  I would never, ever feed my dog fruit or veggies, especially a mango.  Mango is extremely high in carbohydrates ... lots of sugar.  It is about the same as feeding him candy.  Personally, I don't consume much sugar and I would never feed Bruno anything high in carbohydrates or sugar content as fruits [especially mango] are loaded with sugar.  Carbohydrates, can linger around in your dogs mouth quickly breaking down into simple sugars.  Bacteria in your dogs mouth feed on these sugars, and produce acids that cause tooth decay.  On the issue of the beard ... Bruno's beard was horribly smelly and always looked dirty when he was on kibble.    Once, I got Claire to agree to the raw meat and bones diet his beard never smells and stays clean unless he is outside digging in wet soil etc.  I just don't see how Buster's beard/hair can have anything to do with his teeth.

We have two vets ... in the same vet clinic.  We have talked to both of them about their views on brushing dogs teeth.  Neither of them do it and don't think it is very effective.  I do give you lots of credit for brushing Buster's teeth.  I tried it a couple of times with Bruno and he had no interest in me brushing his teeth.  Bruno is aptly named as he is a very strong willed and physically strong dog.  When he doesn't want you to do something he is hard to contain.  :smiley:

I don't think there is any answer to lots of our dogs health issues.  We are constantly checking Bruno's teeth, hair and weight.  We weigh his food every meal.  We don't give him treats of any kind.  And, we do our best to feed him high quality food, make sure he gets lots of exercise and keep his water dishes full.  Plus, he gets lots of love and attention.
Bruno, male B&S Miniature Schnauzer, born June 22, 2016

Offline Liz W

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Re: Is teeth cleaning really necessary?
« Reply #31 on: June 15, 2017, 12:34:44 PM »
Do you know, having given up sugar myself (terrible week and a half!!) , I hadn't even considered it in Busters diet!  I was just looking for natural chewy things for his teeth!  Goes to show what can happen if you just concentrate on one thing...., I think you are right, I shall drop the dried mango from his diet - good spot, Walt!

I'll stick to bones and dried meat and see how we get on, but will continue to brush as it's a good excuse to check his teeth - and he's used to it!  His beard has never been smelly (thankfully!) and I've found that giving him bottled water really improves the whiteness of his beard too.  I stumbled across this when we went in holiday a couple of years ago and rented a cottage with poor quality water, so I bought some bottled water and Busters beard went really white.  I noticed the red tinge return when he went back into tap water when we got home, so I've stuck to bottled water since.  Not that he's spoilt!! 
Buster, male P&S Miniature Schnauzer, born January 17, 2014
Buster's Scrapbook

Offline Walt

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Re: Is teeth cleaning really necessary?
« Reply #32 on: June 15, 2017, 01:09:57 PM »
Do you know, having given up sugar myself (terrible week and a half!!) , I hadn't even considered it in Busters diet!  I was just looking for natural chewy things for his teeth!  Goes to show what can happen if you just concentrate on one thing...., I think you are right, I shall drop the dried mango from his diet - good spot, Walt!

I'll stick to bones and dried meat and see how we get on, but will continue to brush as it's a good excuse to check his teeth - and he's used to it!  His beard has never been smelly (thankfully!) and I've found that giving him bottled water really improves the whiteness of his beard too.  I stumbled across this when we went in holiday a couple of years ago and rented a cottage with poor quality water, so I bought some bottled water and Busters beard went really white.  I noticed the red tinge return when he went back into tap water when we got home, so I've stuck to bottled water since.  Not that he's spoilt!!


Here is a link that I like ... suppose I like it because my science training says it is spot on  :grin:  You might enjoy reading it. 

http://www.dog-nutrition-naturally.com/dog-digestive-system.html

Just a couple of things.  First, you brushing Buster's teeth probably is a really good thing.  What could it hurt?  Second, I painted with a broad brush on the sugar bit.  All sugars aren't bad.  Fructose, most likely would be ok in small amounts.  Third, dogs get somef minerals out of the water they drink.  The worst thing you could do is give your dog distilled water.  Distilled water is pure H2O ... nothing but H2O.  It is also slightly acidic.  That happens when distilled water is subject to air as it takes up C02 and creates carbonic acid which makes the water slightly acidic.  Unless your water contains some harmful minerals such as arsenic, lead etc I wouldn't worry about Bruno drinking it.  Minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium in drinking water is good.  Bruno likes to eat dirt ... probably in search of some mineral.

Bruno, male B&S Miniature Schnauzer, born June 22, 2016

Offline Liz W

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Re: Is teeth cleaning really necessary?
« Reply #33 on: June 15, 2017, 10:49:35 PM »
Thanks Walt, I'll have a read of the link - and to be clear, Buster gets Mineral water, not distilled or RO water!  I'd wondered if it's the high amounts of iron in our water - which tends to leave a red/brown colour on things (I use iron oxide as a wash for my pottery, lovely range from black to a dark red!)

Who knows?!  Our tap water is perfectly safe for him to drink and he also has two water bowls outside to drink rain water from if he wants - but despite tip toeing around muddy puddles when we are out, he is happy to drink from them.....yuk!!
Buster, male P&S Miniature Schnauzer, born January 17, 2014
Buster's Scrapbook

Offline Walt

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Re: Is teeth cleaning really necessary?
« Reply #34 on: June 17, 2017, 10:51:39 AM »
Thanks Walt, I'll have a read of the link - and to be clear, Buster gets Mineral water, not distilled or RO water!  I'd wondered if it's the high amounts of iron in our water - which tends to leave a red/brown colour on things (I use iron oxide as a wash for my pottery, lovely range from black to a dark red!)

Who knows?!  Our tap water is perfectly safe for him to drink and he also has two water bowls outside to drink rain water from if he wants - but despite tip toeing around muddy puddles when we are out, he is happy to drink from them.....yuk!!

Liz, in a PM we exchanged a long time ago you mentioned fish.  That is something I have struggled with.  I worry about parasites in fish.  I bought some salmon fish heads that also have some meat and skin attached.  I've had them in our freezer for about 6 weeks thinking about whether I really want to use them or not.  I've thought about buying some frozen shrimp with the shell intact, just for a little variety.

I've also read quite a bit about freezing meat to kill parasites etc.  It is about how low the temperature is and how long it has been exposed to the temperature.  Flash freezing will do a good job. 

Do you removed the fat from the raw meat you feed your Buster?

Just a few questions about what others do.

Also what have you been doing in relation to organ meat.  Getting a wide variety of organ meat is pretty difficult.  I bought some beef liver, but Bruno won't eat it.  Chicken liver, yes.  I don't feed it to often, maybe once a week. 

Do you have any ideas?
Bruno, male B&S Miniature Schnauzer, born June 22, 2016

Offline Liz W

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Re: Is teeth cleaning really necessary?
« Reply #35 on: June 17, 2017, 01:24:04 PM »
Walt, we are getting way, way off topic here (!) but I think I mentioned that I'm a coward and feed Buster a ready made raw diet - it arrived all done and frozen in ice cube portions ready for me to defrost.

I use companies like Nutriment, wolf tucker, Cotswold raw and at the moment, Natures Menu (country hunter range).  I also supliment his food with bones - without fat as there is more than enough fat in the marrow, chicken wings, hearts and liver (but never more that a few pieces as it can upset tummies).

I do feed dried sprats as a treat, but interestingly the TV show that did the piece on teeth cleaning also looked at the high rate of kidney issues in cats and said it was due to the high quantities of fish that was being fed to cats.  Most cat food - even beef flavour - has a high level of fish in and fish contains.......arsenic, which causes kidney failure.  Their advice was to feed fish no more than once or twice a week. 

Buster LOVES fish. One of his meals is salmon and chicken and I'm a bit leery now to continue this and the dried sprats, in case this overload of arsenic from the fish will overload his kidneys too.  I don't know, I worry about him as I want him to be in top condition and healthy forever!  I only added fish as, like you, wanted a bit of variety in his diet - but to be honest, Buster will eat ANYTHING and I wonder if I just worry too much about these things as his diet is overall very good!
Buster, male P&S Miniature Schnauzer, born January 17, 2014
Buster's Scrapbook

Offline Walt

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Re: Is teeth cleaning really necessary?
« Reply #36 on: June 17, 2017, 02:59:02 PM »
Walt, we are getting way, way off topic here (!) but I think I mentioned that I'm a coward and feed Buster a ready made raw diet - it arrived all done and frozen in ice cube portions ready for me to defrost.

I use companies like Nutriment, wolf tucker, Cotswold raw and at the moment, Natures Menu (country hunter range).  I also supliment his food with bones - without fat as there is more than enough fat in the marrow, chicken wings, hearts and liver (but never more that a few pieces as it can upset tummies).

I do feed dried sprats as a treat, but interestingly the TV show that did the piece on teeth cleaning also looked at the high rate of kidney issues in cats and said it was due to the high quantities of fish that was being fed to cats.  Most cat food - even beef flavour - has a high level of fish in and fish contains.......arsenic, which causes kidney failure.  Their advice was to feed fish no more than once or twice a week. 

Buster LOVES fish. One of his meals is salmon and chicken and I'm a bit leery now to continue this and the dried sprats, in case this overload of arsenic from the fish will overload his kidneys too.  I don't know, I worry about him as I want him to be in top condition and healthy forever!  I only added fish as, like you, wanted a bit of variety in his diet - but to be honest, Buster will eat ANYTHING and I wonder if I just worry too much about these things as his diet is overall very good!

Well, I can ask you what toothpaste you use on Buster  :smiley:  I do remember now about your deal on the raw diet.  My gut tells me that dogs don't really need a great variety of raw meat and bones.  But, I do think a fish head every once in a while couldn't hurt.  Salmon is pretty rich in fat, especially salmon heads.  I trim most of the fat off of the raw meat I give him.  Still dogs, as do humans, need some fat in their diet. 

Ok, I will stick to the topic from now on.
Bruno, male B&S Miniature Schnauzer, born June 22, 2016

Offline Liz W

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Re: Is teeth cleaning really necessary?
« Reply #37 on: June 18, 2017, 12:07:36 AM »
Walt,  I use virbac enzymatic toothpaste - I think it's turkey flavour and a child's normal toothbrush.

https://www.pet-supermarket.co.uk/Enzymatic-Toothpaste/p/I0039854?_fp1=ppc&_fp2=818920777&_fp3=44652947920&_fp4=I0006836&gclid=CJG7l__oxtQCFQafGwod4v8HXw

It was recommended to me by a dog breeder who uses it on her dogs.  A little lasts a long time!  I use a pea sized blob on each half of his mouth and I brush Busters teeth during our evening brush - where he lies on his back over my knee.  I brush and comb him through and brush his teeth, file his claws and rub balm into his feet.  Have I mentioned I'm a bit smitten with my dog?!?

I think also that I take care of variety in Busters food by using lots of manufacturers food too, so he gets a change in consistency as well as flavour!  He loves the rabbit one he has at the moment...and the pheasant.....and the turkey.......and the venison........so I think he is doing OK! 
Buster, male P&S Miniature Schnauzer, born January 17, 2014
Buster's Scrapbook

Offline Walt

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Re: Is teeth cleaning really necessary?
« Reply #38 on: June 18, 2017, 08:25:51 AM »
Walt,  I use virbac enzymatic toothpaste - I think it's turkey flavour and a child's normal toothbrush.

https://www.pet-supermarket.co.uk/Enzymatic-Toothpaste/p/I0039854?_fp1=ppc&_fp2=818920777&_fp3=44652947920&_fp4=I0006836&gclid=CJG7l__oxtQCFQafGwod4v8HXw

It was recommended to me by a dog breeder who uses it on her dogs.  A little lasts a long time!  I use a pea sized blob on each half of his mouth and I brush Busters teeth during our evening brush - where he lies on his back over my knee.  I brush and comb him through and brush his teeth, file his claws and rub balm into his feet.  Have I mentioned I'm a bit smitten with my dog?!?

I think also that I take care of variety in Busters food by using lots of manufacturers food too, so he gets a change in consistency as well as flavour!  He loves the rabbit one he has at the moment...and the pheasant.....and the turkey.......and the venison........so I think he is doing OK!

Well, thanks. 

Just for the record, your writing shows you love Buster very much and want to take the best care of him, possible.  Buster is an extremely luck dog.  Bruno is as well. 
Bruno, male B&S Miniature Schnauzer, born June 22, 2016

Offline Liz W

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Re: Is teeth cleaning really necessary?
« Reply #39 on: June 18, 2017, 11:00:23 AM »
Walt, yes, Bruno is a very lucky chap too!

One mor spoilt though that I picked up on my first puppy class with Buster, we were told we needed to touch the dogs EVERYWHERE as the last thing you need is if you dog is ever injured and needs a vet, is for it also to be the first time he was ever touched in that area, so we have been messing wit Her Buster all over, including inside his mouth with his teeth since we had him.  The addition of the toothpaste REALLY helped us to move on with the brushing.  I first let him lick the toothpaste tube before opening his mouth and brushing away!

There is a great picture on here somewhere by Doris on how to best open the mouth to brush - its worth a look!
Buster, male P&S Miniature Schnauzer, born January 17, 2014
Buster's Scrapbook

Offline Rock

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Re: Is teeth cleaning really necessary?
« Reply #40 on: June 19, 2017, 05:41:21 PM »
Liz, absolutely agree about the dog becoming familiar with being handled, touched, poked, prodded, squeezed, even pinched.   This is all common sensations that occur during grooming, vet visits or with daily activities.  Shadow has always had these sensations.  He is to the point where he can sit looking at me, I can place both index fingers in each of his ears and sits and looks at me.  The expression in his eyes is quite comical, I know he is thinking, "Just what do you think you are doing with your fingers in my ears??"

Regarding touching.  Shadow's only touch problem is when the toe nail guillotine clipper is out.  I can handle his paws without issue.  I can handle individual toes to examine or trim hair, but when the toe nail cutter is out.........   Soon as it touches his toe, he begins to get anxious and pulls away to escape.  I have never quicked him, although I do know he has had bad experience at a groomers.   All of his toes were bleeding.  YES, I startled satan out of bed.  Not that it mattered, damage was done, never returning to that groomer.

The only problem with brushing is getting that tongue corralled.   Geesh.....  How to control the tongue??? :confused: :confused:
Shadow, male Salt & Pepper (mostly Pepper) Miniature Schnauzer, born May 3, 2016