Recently, my wife and I watched Beverly Hills Chihuahua for what
must be the 50th time. It’s a hoot of a film starring a chi who was
rescued from a dog pound in Southern California and now is the toast
In the movie, a dog of unknown parentage has his teeth brushed for
the first time ever, in an attempt to make him shiny and beautiful
for a potential new home.
Enjoying the effect of his clean and shiny teeth, the dog comments
(yes, the dogs talk, if you haven’t seen the film) that he now feels
That saying immediately became part of my daily lexicon. After
completing the dental care regimen with and for our dogs I will
typically announce that they are now, “minty fresh”.
It always evokes a chuckle.. we enjoy making every part of caring
for our dogs fun.
But it is more than fun. It is deadly serious. Caring for Fido’s
teeth is about more than cosmetic beauty and being minty fresh for
fun or a movie role.
Canine Dental Disease Can Be Serious..or Even Fatal
Plaque builds up on teeth becoming tartar or calculus. Bacteria
begins to grow, eating away teeth and gums.
Bad breath, gum and periodontal disease, pain and tooth loss follow
This bacteria attacks our dog’s system far beyond the localized region
of the mouth.
It may impact his blood, heart, and kidneys. Left untreated your dog’s
health and immune system can become so compromised as to cause
permanent damage or even be the cause of premature death.
And it is so simple a problem to avoid.. Checking your dog’s teeth for
any problems and regular brushing may, in fact, save his life !
Even if your dog has never received a dental exam, you can still..
Check Your Dog’s Teeth at home..here’s how:
Place your hand over his muzzle. Lift up each side of his mouth.
Look to see if the gums are healthy (firm and pink, black, or spotted
like his skin) and if his breath is bad.
Look carefully for soft or hard, white, yellow, or brown plaque
or tartar which should be brushed and removed.
Maintaining Fido’s Dental Health
Create your own dental care routine at home. You can brush your dog’s
teeth with toothpaste made for dogs or use an oral care gel found in
most pet stores and apply it with your finger like I do or use a
Never use human toothpaste or mouthwash. Both can make your dog VERY
sick. However, there are oral care rinses and dental treats that can
all play a role in maintaining Fido’s healthy smile 🙂
Start a regular dental care regimen while Fido is still a pup for best
Signs of Canine Dental Problems
*Halitosis or bad breath
*Tartar / Calculus
*Pawing at the face or mouth
*Change in eating or chewing habits
*An unusual level of drooling
*Misaligned or missing teeth
*Discolored, broken, misaligned, missing or crooked teeth
*Red, swollen, puffy, tender, painful or bleeding gums
*Yellow or brown tartar crust along the gum line
*Bumps or unusual growths in Fido’s mouth
If you see signs of dental problems such as those listed above then you
should see your vet to preclude further damage and more serious health
consequences such as those we mentioned earlier.
And if canine dental care is new to you, the time to change all that is
now. Fido’s health and longevity depend on it.
And he’ll thank you for helping him become… “minty fresh 🙂 ”