The Guild of Shepherds & Collies

Doggy Dental Tips

Cleaning your dog’s teeth is a great way to keep an eye on what’s going on in your dog’s mouth and keep an eye on Fido’s overall health.

Eighty percent of dogs over the age of three have dental problems. This is especially true in Collies and Shepherds with over half the owners of the breed complaining about bad breath and other mouth related problems. Plaque and tartar causes sore gums and bad breath and dental issues can lead to major problems such as liver, kidney and heart disease. So keeping on top of your dog’s teeth cleanliness is a vital part of their overall dog health.

Start Young

Start brushing your dog’s teeth from a young age. As puppies, try and aim for at least twice a week to start getting Fido used to the experience. Use a little meat tasting doggy toothpaste on a toothbrush and encourage your dog to lick it off. As your pup gets more and more used to licking from the toothbrush, start applying light pressure on the teeth with a gentle brush. Don’t aim for too long or too hard. Like with any puppy training, you want to start off slowly and make this as positive an experience as possible.

Encourage Chewing

A hard toy or a chew bone can help remove and scrape away plaque build up which should prevent any serious dental issues for your dog in the future. Our favourite way to encourage dogs to clean their teeth is by putting a little bit of meaty flavored toothpaste on a rope toy and encouraging our dogs to play with it. As they bite down on the fibers of the toy, the abrasion and toothpaste combine to help keep those teeth nice and clean.

Chew Safe

Avoid letting your dog chew on wood or stones. These can wear down teeth and damage the gums as well as break teeth exposing nerves (ouch). Wood can cause splinters on the gum which can cause infection and abscesses.

If you see a large increase in plaque (the yellow gunk on the tooth enamel) or tartar (a hard, greeny-brown substance),mouth pain or reduced appetite it is time to see the vet and talk about a tooth clean and overall health.

Article By:
Kimberly Freeman
City Dog Expert

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