Doggy Dental Care
Be aware that simply chewing on bones is not enough to keep a dogs teeth healthy for 14-20 years which can be the lifespan of a Coton.
So, yep, grab a puppy toothbrush and some chicken flavored toothpaste! Really, any type of doggy toothbrush/paste is good (not human toothpaste- dogs can't spit and flouride is poisonous!), and there are also some good dental sprays, foams, gels, etc available.
Starting when they're young will make your life easier. Speak soothingly, keep first sessions short, and reward with a treat afterward. Daily or at least weekly tooth brushing is important to dental health.
Try not to feed your dog sticky, chewy, candy type foods that will cling to their teeth and cause decay. Some treats and foods definitely cause build-up faster than others. For instance, dry kibble is better at not causing that build-up than wet food.
Good chewy toys will help clean off that tartar, too. There are many synthetic bones and chew toys that are specially designed to clean your dog’s gums and teeth. Just make sure you’re providing safe objects for your dog to chew on. Hard objects can cause broken teeth.
Giving your dog a good bone to chew on can help get rid of build up and keep teeth strong, but imagine a human who only chews gum and uses mouth rinse. That’s not an effective means of ensuring good dental hygiene and overall health. The same is true for your dog. And it's no fun having that dog whose breath is so bad it's embarrassing.
Your vet will help you keep an eye on the situation, too. Tartar buildup is no fun, and having your dogs teeth professionally cleaned usually costs several hundred dollars and requires anesthesia, which can be dangerous to your Coton (especially if they're older).
Whether you brush your dog’s teeth or not, you should still have a look inside his mouth every week or so. If you notice any signs of dental problems, take your dog to the vet:
- Bad breath
- Change in eating or dog chewing habits
- Pawing at the face or mouth
- Excessive drooling
- Misaligned or missing teeth
- Discolored, broken, missing or crooked teeth
- Red, swollen, painful or bleeding gums
- Yellowish-brown tartar crust along the gum line
- Bumps or growths within the mouth
It's been suggested by my vet that you need to be careful in choosing dental chews for your dog, because many are so hard they cannot be digested and end up lodged in your dogs intestinal tract requiring surgery. Some dental bones actually contain rather toxic ingredients, as well. My vet suggested this brand of dental chews, and I will pass that info on to you:
A good toothbrush is easy to use, reaches all the places it has to, and stands up to some wear and tear. In fact, in the case of most dogs, it has to stand up to a lot of biting and gnawing. For this reason, I might not choose the style that fits over your finger.. because you can get bit (unintentionally, of course!).
C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste
Sometimes it is hard getting inside your pet’s mouth. Sprays and liquids have many of the same cleaning powers of a good toothpaste without requiring all of the elbow grease of brushing. They probably don't do quite as good of a job as a good old fashioned toothbrush, but it helps.
Petrodex Dental Spray