I have to say that I've been a bit lax in my grand plan to get Oscar used to having his teeth brushed. While he's pretty comfortable with us touching his ears and his tail, he's pretty finicky with us touching his paws and really hates when we try to look in his mouth. It's therefore a bit of a struggle (to say the least) to get him to let me look in his mouth.
Having said that, I haven't given up on good dental care for Oscar. Our vet told us when we first brought Oscar in to see her that small dogs can be especially susceptible to bad teeth. I'm not really sure why their teeth get worse in comparison to big dogs, but I'll trust the expert on that one. I also found out that teeth cleaning for dogs can cost hundreds of dollars, so it kind of goes without saying that I'd like to keep his teeth in good shape.
It's Pet Dental Month, as you may know since a lot of pet bloggers have been talking about it. The pet stores have had some dental products on sale because of that. I saw this TropiClean water additive on sale last week, which is supposed to freshen breach and reduce plaque and tartar, so I figured I'd give it a try. I've been adding a little to Oscar's water each day. My plan is to use a water additive to help keep his teeth clean (or at least cleaner) until we get to the point where he lets me brush his teeth. Has anyone else tried this or something like it? I'm not sure if it's doing much, since Oscar won't really let me get a good look at his teeth. His front teeth look shiny and white, but I can't really see much past that without him nipping at me.
When I first started looking into how to care for Oscar's teeth, I came across the Veterinary Oral Health Council site. The VOHC is made up of a group of vets, and it reviews pet dental products which are submitted by companies that want their products to receive the VOHC seal of acceptance. The seal is given to dog and cat products that, according to the standards of the VOHC, reduce plaque and tartar. Right after I bought the water additive, I remembered the site and went back to check if it the TropiClean additive was on the list of products that have received the seal. While the TropiClean one isn't, there is a Healthymouth water additive that has been added to the list. The ingredient lists are quite different, so I'll do some more reading about this to try to educate myself a bit more about what would be best to use.
While I was doing a bit more reading about VOHC, I came across the website for the Hale Veterinary Clinic, a dental-only veterinary clinic. He has talked about the VOHC seal in an article on his site. He also has a useful guide to pet dental care here. The tip about using a washcloth before trying to use a toothbrush sounds like a good one!
Now that it's Pet Dental Month, Greenies (a product that is on the VOHC list) is involved in an initiative to donate money to the American Animal Hospital Association's Helping Pets Fund. For each blog post about the VOHC seal, Greenies will donate $25, for each use of #VOHC on Twitter, they'll donate $1, and for each Like of the Greenies Facebook page, they'll donate $1. It sounds like a decent cause to me, and since I was planning on blogging about this water additive anyway because of Pet Dental Month, it's perfect timing! If you'd like, spread the word!
Happy blog hopping!