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Hello poodle friends! My toy is two years old, and I try to remember to brush his teeth several times a week, although I have to admit a lot of times I forget. I have a few questions:
  • At what age did your poodle first have his/her teeth professionally cleaned at the vet?
  • Curious as to how much you've paid for a teeth cleaning? And....
  • Has anyone had their poodle's teeth cleaned at the same time as a neuter/spay? I've heard some vets won't do it out of contamination concerns with the bacteria from the teeth flying around during the surgery.
Thank you!
 

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Poppy has never had a veterinary dental - I started daily brushing when she was a pup and have kept up with it. Sophy (papillon) is more prone to tartar, and I made the mistake of pushing her too far by trying to flick chunks off with my thumbnail, after which brushing got difficult for a while... She has had two dentals, one with just sedation at around 7, one under full anaesthesia at around 10. Prices wouldn't mean much, as I am in the UK.

Regular brushing with an enzymatic toothpaste really does make a difference, especially for gum health. The vet warned me Sophy would probably need extractions at her second session, but once the gunk was cleaned off all her teeth proved to be firm and healthy.
 

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I brush my poodles teeth daily, I have been using Petzlife gel on my chi mix Gracie who hates her teeth being brushed
 

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Merlin had one at 5 or 6 and Beckie just at one at almost 4. I brush 4 times a week. I paid 650$ CAD for Beckie’s dental but that’s including 2 teeth (not because of tartar).

I expect they will need another one in 4-5 years and then I won’t put them through it anymore because they will be too old.
 

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I know this doesn't answer your questions, but I give Basil's teeth a half-ass 20 second brush everyday after I brush and floss everyday. It's part of the routine.

The general idea being something is better then nothing... And multiple half ass attempts are worthy of being a step in the right direction. Progression, not perfection sort of idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I know this doesn't answer your questions, but I give Basil's teeth a half-ass 20 second brush everyday after I brush and floss everyday. It's part of the routine.

The general idea being something is better then nothing... And multiple half ass attempts are worthy of being a step in the right direction. Progression, not perfection sort of idea.
So funny, and true with my dog-teeth brushing technique as well! You're getting your poodle used to the tooth brush on a daily basis, so that's worth a lot. And a little something is always better than nothing!
 

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I know this doesn't answer your questions, but I give Basil's teeth a half-ass 20 second brush everyday after I brush and floss everyday. It's part of the routine.

The general idea being something is better then nothing... And multiple half ass attempts are worthy of being a step in the right direction. Progression, not perfection sort of idea.
You summed it up quite well.😉I totally know that my attempts are half-assed but we do try. I am not as good as you as I don’t do it daily but we shoot for at least something several times a week. I have worked on this since he was little and I can get a sort of good brushing done. I actually use a finger brush or a kids soft bristled brush as he seems to accept that better. I just have such a hard time thoroughly getting to all the teeth. I have been trying and have to believe it when you say, something is better than nothing. I’ve used the spray stuff and wipes too. I just wish Bobby was more of a chewer. He chews on a bully stick every night but only for a few minutes. I’ve tried other things but he just isn’t a big chewer. My Great Dane loved to chew. I was able to give him fresh knuckle bones as well and those made his teeth sparkle. He had amazing teeth, never needed a cleaning. I think Bobby will for sure at some point.
 

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Peggy Sue, Standard Poodle Born May 2019
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I asked the receptionist at our veterinary clinic if Peggy can have a dental when she’s spayed in May. They weren’t sure and haven’t gotten back to me. I’m leaning towards letting them focus on the spay. Gracie’s first dental was in her senior years and way too late. She was like a new dog after. I suspect she’d been in pain for a very long time.

I read an article recently that said a dog eating normally doesn’t mean they’re not in pain. It means they’re doing what they need to do to survive. That gutted me.

This is a really good article on brushing:


I found this part especially enlightening:

Dr. Mees is a fan of simplicity; her tool of choice is a children’s soft tooth brush. If you have a very large dog, she recommends an adult extra soft brush, explaining, “People mistakenly think the heftier the bristle, the better the job. You want something very soft because the gingiva (gums) are very sensitive.”

If your dog is worried about the brush, start with just your finger then move to a brush. While finger brush products aren’t bad, they have thick bristles that make it difficult to get under the gum line. Some of Dr. Mees’ clients have reported success with an electric toothbrush, but in her experience, that sort of horsepower tends to scare most dogs.

As for toothpaste? Simply wet the toothbrush with water and forego the paste. Many dogs try to eat paste by chewing the toothbrush, making the brushing job a whole lot harder for us. Dr. Mees says toothpaste is a major reason why people often unknowingly struggle and give up on brushing; we think we have to use it – and we don’t! Want the benefit of the enzymes in canine toothpaste? Try using it as a treat after you brush your dog’s teeth. (Note: Be sure to use a product formulated for dogs, not humans.)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I asked the receptionist at our veterinary clinic if Peggy can have a dental when she’s spayed in May. They weren’t sure and haven’t gotten back to me. I’m leaning towards letting them focus on the spay. Gracie’s first dental was in her senior years and way too late. She was like a new dog after. I suspect she’d been in pain for a very long time.

I read an article recently that said a dog eating normally doesn’t mean they’re not in pain. It means they’re doing what they need to do to survive. That gutted me.

This is a really good article on brushing:


I found this part especially enlightening:

Dr. Mees is a fan of simplicity; her tool of choice is a children’s soft tooth brush. If you have a very large dog, she recommends an adult extra soft brush, explaining, “People mistakenly think the heftier the bristle, the better the job. You want something very soft because the gingiva (gums) are very sensitive.”

If your dog is worried about the brush, start with just your finger then move to a brush. While finger brush products aren’t bad, they have thick bristles that make it difficult to get under the gum line. Some of Dr. Mees’ clients have reported success with an electric toothbrush, but in her experience, that sort of horsepower tends to scare most dogs.

As for toothpaste? Simply wet the toothbrush with water and forego the paste. Many dogs try to eat paste by chewing the toothbrush, making the brushing job a whole lot harder for us. Dr. Mees says toothpaste is a major reason why people often unknowingly struggle and give up on brushing; we think we have to use it – and we don’t! Want the benefit of the enzymes in canine toothpaste? Try using it as a treat after you brush your dog’s teeth. (Note: Be sure to use a product formulated for dogs, not humans.)
I also asked the vet tech about having a teeth cleaning done during my toy's neuter, and she didn't know the answer either, which likely means it's not something that's done often. I was guessing, though, that maybe it's not done often because many people don't wait to spay/neuter until after 2 years old as I have. It seems the only dental they typically do during a neuter is the removal of retained baby teeth, as twyla mentioned above.

Thank you for the great Whole Dog Journal brushing article!
 

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I have read that it is inadvisable to do the two together - risk of cross infection and risk from a longer time under deep anaesthesia. I don't know whether there are any research studies, but I think vets have good reason to avoid doing it where possible. It seems to be commonplace in rescues, but I suspect they are focussed on both cost and getting the dog fit for rehoming as quickly as possible, and are not as completely invested in the well being of each individual dog so are able to accept the small extra risk.
 
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