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DEAR DR. SCHELLING,
Why should I brush my dog's teeth?
My dog won't sit still for tooth-brushing, not to mention . . . how will I find
These two excellent questions are perfect for February, which is
National Pet Dental Health Month.
should you brush your dog's teeth? Imagine what would happen if you never
brushed your own teeth!
Plaque and food residue build up quickly, and over time these accumulated deposits damage your teeth and
gums, causing odor, infection, pain, and tooth loss. This scenario is a reality for many dogs. Studies show that
by as early as age three, as many as 85% of dogs have some form of gum disease.
So how do you incorporate doggy tooth-brushing into your already-busy life? It may be easier than you think.
With some patience and practice, a one-minute daily routine can have a big impact on your dog's long-term health.
In this new article I present more in-depth reasons for brushing your dog's teeth, and lay out a simple plan for getting your canine buddy to accept - possibly even enjoy - this very worthwhile preventive health measure.
Full article: HOME DENTAL CARE FOR DOGS >>
One of my humans brought home a new box wrapped in red paper and hearts. As usual, I figure it's for me. Anyway, something sure smells good in there. I've been sniffing the box to let my humans know they can open it and let me sample the contents. Plus there's a card attached that says "be mine," so that's like an invitation for me to have whatever's inside, right? But my humans are not
complying with my wishes.
- Sweet Tooth
Dear Sweet Tooth,
Because they love you. Let me explain . . .
Your humans are celebrating Valentine's Day, a special day (invented by a cherub named Cupid, I think)
when humans show how much they love each other (like they do every day with you). Sometimes this means
they give each other presents. The newly-arrived box probably contains candy, most likely chocolates.
Trust me, your humans have your best interests in mind by not sharing any with you. Candy and chocolate
can be very dangerous for us non-humans. My canine veterinarian friend, Dr. Samoyed (who already has the white coat) warns:
"The high fat content in many confections and desserts can cause vomiting and diarrhea, and even result in
a potentially lethal medical condition called pancreatitis. Too much sugar can also cause stomach upsets. Even sugar-free candy can produce serious problems: The ingredient xylitol can lead to a life-threatening drop in
blood sugar, and theoretically liver failure as well."
The biggie is chocolate, though. Humans savor it, but it's toxic to dogs. An added issue with us dogs is that
we tend to like the sweet stuff. Here's more information, written by a knowledgeable veterinarian, on why chocolate must never be fed to dogs (or cats or other animals).
As an alternative, maybe you can talk your humans into buying you a Valentine's Day toy (see below), or
some tasty dog treats. Or maybe an extra-long walk followed by a big lovey session with you and your
human family - that might be the best present of all.
Full Article: CHOCOLATE: TOXIC TO PETS >>
GO DOGGY GO SONIC CANINE PREMIUM TOOTHBRUSH KIT: When my humans first tried to brush my teeth, I wasn't having any of it. Hello - I'm a dog. But now that they've gradually acclimated me to the procedure, and since they give me lots of praise during brushing and a treat afterward, I actually enjoy getting my teeth cleaned. My humans like the easy handling and super-sonic cleaning features of this toothbrush, which help them thoroughly clean my teeth and gums. I like all the positive attention. And everyone's happy about no more doggy breath when I kiss them.
GO DOGGY GO FILET MIGNON FLAVORED TOOTHPASTE: Getting a taste of this toothpaste is one of the best parts of brushing. I'm always begging my humans for a big juicy steak, and now I get the flavor of one every time I get my teeth cleaned. A dog could get used to all this pampering.
PLUSH HEART DOG TOY: I "heart" this toy. It's fun to play with and
it reminds me of how near and dear I am to the hearts of my humans. When I'm not chomping on it and making the heart squeak, I like to snuggle with it in my bed.
topics would you like to see covered in future issues of the Dog Health
Let us know at:
70% of all people sign their pet's name
to greeting and holiday cards.
QUOTE: "No matter how little money and few
possessions you own, having a dog
makes you rich"
- Louis Sabin
Copyright © 2006-2009 The Dog Health
Newsletter Dr. Christianne Schelling All
Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed veterinarian.