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Please bear in mind when reading topics pertaining to health issues, that most of these questions were answered by helpful Maltese owners with no formal education in veterinary medicine. When in doubt seek a professionals advise.
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New Puppy-tooth brushing
by Marcia
New Puppy-tooth brushing Thanks to those of you who gave me advice. I have decided to keep the tiny rescue female (now named Daisy) as a little sister for Casper and a cousin for the Shih Tzu girls (Maggie, Phoebe, and Sugar). I want to start out doing everything right. I have spayed and microchipped and I groom every day. But -- is teeth brushing so important? They eat only the best dry food and the vet cleans them annually. My vet has never mentioned brushing -- just says no people food. If it is important, how do I do it and what do I use? Should I be doing Casper and the girls? I know Maggie would HATE it! Please advise.


Marcia, everything I have been reading and even my vet says to start brushing as soon as possible. I have started out with my 7 mo old Buster just rubbing his teeth and gums, (which isn't working too well yet) Then you are suppose to try rubbing with chicken broth or something flavorful to get them use to it. There are a few tooth brushes you can get. I haven't gotten that far. You're suppose to let them bite on it to get them started from what I understand. You should also use doggy toothpaste not human. I am feeding Buster IAMS Puppy Food, Dry not canned. the dry food helps to keep their teeth clean. Alot of the yummies are suppose to help too. This is new to me also so I am sure I have a lot to learn. Hopefully we will gets lots of pointers.
Libby & Buster

Brushing their teeth, especially with small breeds that have more tooth problems, is a good idea. It may save you the cost (and anesthetic risk) of yearly dental scaling at the vet's. Maybe you would only need every other year, or even less often. Use a toothpaste for dogs (it has enzymes to help break up the plaque and tastes good for them), and if the brush is too much to handle, try one of those finger brushes (look in pet catalogs), or you could use a piece of gauze wrapped tightly around your finger. Note: do not let dog swallow gauze, and don't try this with a dog that tends to bite and snap at your fingers. They also have rinses for their mouth, and these all help to keep teeth clean and breath fresh. BTW, has anyone used those Dentabones I keep seeing on TV? (I think Pedigree puts them out). Just wanted to know if they work, and if they are safe.

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