What canine dentists want dog owners to know

Toss the dental chews and go natural

Andrea Churches has worked in the dog care industry for over 30 years and has spent a great deal of those years peering into the mouths of dogs as the head hygienist and co-owner of Canine Dental Hygiene Services (CDHS). http://caninedental.com.au/

“I started my training in the US in 1997, working with both cats and dogs. Having worked previously in animal hospitals [my business partner and I] saw a demand in the Australian market for holistic oral care in canines and so CDHS was born; we’re the first to offer this service in Australia and have been doing so successfully since 2014.”

CDHS offers anaesthesia-free teeth cleaning for dogs and uses a swaddling method to soothe anxious dogs, similar to a thunder jacket.

“We work seated, on a large dog mattress, with our patient between our legs,” says Churches. “We use a variety of hand scalers and all work is done by manual removal, no electric or power-operated tools are used. We also use nylon bars occasionally to get to the more difficult to reach areas, and it also serves as a pacifier that assists in calming our dogs.”

The process itself, takes roughly 90 minutes depending on the state of the teeth and the temperament of the dog. Once the visible calculus is removed and all pockets under the gum line are cleaned, Churches use a paste, consisting of natural coconut oil and pumice, as a polishing agent.

Andrea Churches offers her expert tips on how to keep your dog’s chompers in tip top condition:

Stop buying dental chews, sticks, pastes

A major complaint we get from clients is that they’re spending a fortune on dental chews, sticks, gels and pastes – the list is endless but these products never seem to do anything. Imagine, a dentist trying to sell you a biscuit or chewable object to clean your teeth, you would probably look for a new dentist pretty quickly.

When it comes to keeping teeth clean, go natural

Owners should brush their dog’s teeth daily with coconut oil, as it has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, along with a plethora of other health benefits. It’s also good for humans, too.

Feed your dog a natural diet

We always advise a raw food diet for our dogs. Going back to the way nature intended a dog to eat is always ideal. That means staying away (as much as possible) from commercial food diets like dry dog biscuits and canned dog food. Incorporating raw chicken carcasses in your dog’s diet daily will assist in maintaining a healthy set of teeth as well as providing them with essential nutrients. For a dog, it takes some time to chew through a whole chicken carcass and so, dinner time can be quite a meditative experience.

Bones are a must

A raw natural diet with plenty of poultry bones is a must, but we do not advise chicken necks or wings. Being so small, they can get stuck down your dog’s throat, particularly if your dog has a habit of eating their food too quickly. This is why we advise feeding your dog the entire carcass; your dog will be cleaning his own teeth while chomping and chewing on the carcass.


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