How often should we be brushing teeth and cleaning ears and do you have good products to assist and a way to get dogs to enjoy it more?
We shouldn’t have to brush teeth or clean ears. Nature intended our dogs to do this on their own. Since we deviated from the natural diet of our pets we have shouldered this responsibility on ourselves. So how can we give these chores back to them?
Chewing on a bone a few times a week for 20-30 minutes keeps most dogs teeth in tip top shape. Even this amount of chewing can clean up already dirty teeth. Know your dog’s jaw strength. The size of the dog does not matter, I have seen a 25 lb Cocker Spaniel devour a bone as fast as a 90lb Golden Retriever. In addition, know their chewing style. Do they gulp, chew quickly or relax and savor the bone. This will help you determine the best choice. Some good chews to consider are non-basted bullysticks, a raw knuckle or marrow bone, an antler, tendon or trachea. All these offer a semi-hard surface to scrap plaque and tartar from your dog’s teeth. Cooked bones, hooves or raw hide should be avoided as they crack splinter or become gummy and expand. Do not over do it with very hard bones either. This could wear down the teeth if your dog is left with a bone or antler for hours at a time every day. Rumor has it a diet of dry kibble will keep a dog’s teeth clean. If this was true, I would eat Doritos every day.
So what do you do if your dog does not like to chew, or has dental issues that restrict chewing? Petzlife and Leba III are products that utilize herbs to reduce tartar and gingivitis. They are very effective when followed as directed. If you still prefer brushing, find a good natural enzymatic toothpaste made specifically for dogs. Make the experience fun as brushing will need to be done daily.
Ears should only be cleaned if there is a noticeable discharge or considerable itch and irritation. If this is the case then there is probably a deeper problem. Ears are the internal body’s way of releasing impurities. A close look at diet, toxic exposures and external stressors in our dog’s life should be addressed. The underlying problem once resolved leads to clean ears. If there is a foul smell this could potentially be yeast. There are several herbal and supplement products that can heal this issue.