Opinions on aging dog dental care? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-19-2014, 02:40 AM Thread Starter
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Opinions on aging dog dental care?

My older dog just turned 9 she's non GSD. Over the years I've tried different things brushing her teeth, dental treats so forth. It's not that any of them didn't seem to work at all, I'm just curious of the opinions out there of what people seem to prefer, or what they feel works best for their dogs. Her age is starting to show in those chompers. So I want to step up dental care up a bit or at least tend to her teeth more frequently.

I had a 19yr old dog whose teeth got so bad he was on soft food by the end of his life. I was only 20 when my family put him down so I didn't have much hand in the care of him during his life span. I've been the soul caretaker of this girl. So I'd like to avoid those same circumstances my 19yr old dog went through the last few years of life.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-19-2014, 08:28 AM
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It's cheaper to do dental care sooner rather than later. Take care of them now, vet cleaning...brushing like you are...chews to clean, so the gums don't recede and create further damage. AND...nasty bad teeth bacteria damages internal organs. So talk to your vet about a cleaning.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-19-2014, 08:47 AM
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zymox makes such a good product for ears , and now, there is a dental / oral care line Zymox Oral Care Breath Freshener, Water Additive, & Dental Gel for Dogs and Cats



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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-19-2014, 10:08 AM
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My girl (also non-GSD) will be 8 this summer, and last year she had nasty, gross teeth already. The only thing that really worked for us (her teeth, her tolerance, and my schedule), was doggy tooth gel. We applied it every evening, and saw a marked difference within a month.

However, the real turn around was this January, when we switched Lena to a raw diet (b/c of allergies). I had heard that it does wonders for teeth - even really gross ones - but I was still amazed by how QUICKLY it happened. I'm not saying that every dog with teeth problems needs to be on a raw diet (only do what you're comfortable with), but it worked wonders for Lena. Just last week, I had 3 different people compliment her teeth, and scoffed at me when I told them she'll be 8 this summer.

Chewing is also great! (elk antlers are our favorite) Lena was never much of a chewer since she was 2 or 3, we thought it was because of the new dog that came into the house then. But now I think her teeth may have been bothering her, because since they've "cleaned up," she is a chewing machine! It's great to see.

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“Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one, is a life diminished.”
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-19-2014, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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I will definitely check out the zymox line of product. In my area the vets being mainly for farm animals I honestly never thought of a vet cleaning, she'll be going in a few days I'll for sure inquire.

Mesonoxian A diet switch up may help, I've often thought the diet she's been on a while hasn't been great for her teeth. Tooth gel is probably a better fit for her tolerance as well. Also love the Dean Koontz quote .

All really great advice some things I haven't tried already, thanks everyone!
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-19-2014, 09:07 PM
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My dog will be 9 in September and his teeth are all white thanks to his raw diet
Even if you don't switch to raw, give her some raw meaty bones to chew on (but avoid weight bearing bones of large animals, such as a cow's femur, if your dog tries to bite down on the bones).

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-19-2014, 09:41 PM
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I`ve found the biggest help with teeth is chewing - they need to chew on things regularly. A variety of shapes too. Round things (like knuckle bones) help the back teeth and longer things (like the occasional beef leg bone) will work the canines a bit more. Also, watch the kibble you feed. Something high in sugar (beneful for example) and especially high in carbs (dog chow as another example) tend to cake the plaque and tartar on faster.
I was struggling with my 7 year old rescue dogs teeth. The vet thinks it is because of long term malnutrition the plaque and tartar just builds up faster (he was starved the first 3 years of his life). He is very busy and won`t lie down long enough to really chew on something. I switched all my dogs to raw and his teeth have been beautiful since, and he loves to chew up raw bones. I know everyone here jumps on the raw bandwagon but it honestly was the best thing for his teeth. I have an almost 5 year old, almost 6 year old, 8 year old and 11-14ish year old and they all have sparkling white teeth and get nothing special - no tooth brushing, no gels, no additives in the water. Just plain old species appropriate diet.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-19-2014, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by carmspack View Post
zymox makes such a good product for ears , and now, there is a dental / oral care line Zymox Oral Care Breath Freshener, Water Additive, & Dental Gel for Dogs and Cats
What is your opinion of the sorbitol in these products?
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-19-2014, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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I may start off with the raw diet see how she takes to it. It's her back teeth I'm noticing could use some help staying clean. She's always been such a plush toy girl. I'll look into some other things she can chew on to get back there to where I can't really.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-20-2014, 12:18 AM
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All the stuff that you are doing sounds great. I like to give dogs raw bones once a week to chew on, which seems to really help and they love it.
Going to the vet and have a dental done is really worth doing if you can afford it. They have to give the animal a general anaesthetic, so with older dogs pre-anaesthetic blood work should be done. While the dog is under the vet will check the degree of gum disease and do a clean and scale. This is especially good for dogs that resent having their mouth looked at; your vet may pick up fractures that were previously unnoticed.
Ideally for a dog that has problems, have their teeth cleaned so that you can maintain them on a dry food diet, or half dry half wet. Once the dog is on solely wet food their teeth will only get worse. High quality dog food such as Hills Science Diet is formulated so that it helps to remove plaque build up as the dog chews it.
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