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hi everyone - I am a first time owner of a poodle. Poppy has a bad dental condition and the vet says she must eat her kibble.
Poppy loves her poached chicken and vegetables. If I don't feed her the poached chicken and vegetables, she gets very depressed and sad.
I have tried 7 different varieties of kibble to help her teeth and gums and also dental chews. I am brushing her teeth as best I can 馃槼
I don't want her sad and depressed - I would really appreciate some advice. I just want what is best for Poppy's health and teeth - thanks馃檹馃徏
 

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What kind of condition is it, if you don't mind my asking? Is it tartar buildup, or a structurally bad set of teeth? If it is tartar buildup, kibble alone is unlikely to improve the condition, and a dental cleaning may be in order depending on how bad it is. I'm glad to hear you're brushing her teeth, as that will prevent further tartar buildup (my dentist explained to me that it's not about how hard or how long you brush teeth, but how often, as the tartar builds up in between sessions and is removed by the action of brushing).

Regardless, unless she has a tooth condition preventing her from properly eating kibble, I would switch her onto kibble and feed the poached chicken and vegetables as a topper or a snack, since the diet she normally eats lacks calcium and a few other nutrients, which likely is elevating the problem. If she can't eat kibble because it is too hard, you can soften it with some water or feed wet food, making sure to stay on top of teeth brushing. I'm afraid I'm not too familiar with kibble brands in Australia, although if you can get Farmina over there, that is a good kibble. As for her being down because she can't eat her normal food... It'll just take time. And hey, there's nothing saying you can't add a tiny bit to her dinner. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Poppy has an underbite - therefore structurally bad teeth and tartar buildup. I love your comment from the dentist - and re-enforces brushing each day.
I give her Hills Science diet kibble for healthy teeth also Advance kibble for healthy teeth. I will try softening the kibble with water. I give her Oravet teeth chews but she has no interest.
I mix the kibble with her chicken and vegetables - but she eats around the kibble!
I will keep working on it - thanks for your positive re enforcement and truely appreciate it 馃檹馃徏馃惄馃惥
 

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if she wont eat, try giving her short periods of time to eat every hour, say 10 mins per hour to eat your food. If she doesn't eat, take it away. In another hour, she gets another 10 min time period to eat. Eventually, she'll get hungry and eat. food toppers every day leads to a picky dog, and thats no fun..
 
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I鈥榤 not a vet but I doubt any kibble will have any effect on tartar build-up. Brushing is the most important step you can take to avoid it.
I can only manage a minute for brushing her teeth as she struggles to get away Hopefully over time she will let me do it longer 馃
 

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for sure, lots of praise and treats. Start slow, with just opening her mouth and praise her for not fighting you, Work your way up to just brushing once, then treating.

I also suggest raw bones, theighs and necks work great, as well as chew toys with bristles meant for "brushing teeth". You said your dog doesn't like chewing, but some raw chicken she will for sure like, and I bet she would like flavored chews too.
 

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I can only manage a minute for brushing her teeth as she struggles to get away Hopefully over time she will let me do it longer 馃
One minute is long enough ! As long as you stay a 10-20 seconds on each side and front, it鈥檚 fine. Dogs can鈥檛 stand brushing their teeth as long as we do.

Both my toys like having their teeth brushed. They鈥檒l come to me to have their turn. Try to make it fun and most importantly, not too long !
 

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Raw bones 1-2 x per week have turned my dogs teeth from tartary messes I expected to need cleaned at her spay at 18 months, to pearly whites without a speck. I find it has to be something that they can chew through and swallow -duck wing tips work well for our 11 lb dog, whose teeth and breath have also improved dramatically since we started. And, of course, never ever give a dog a cooked bone, especially poultry bones. They become brittle after cooking and can shatter and cut the intestines.

Using kibble with toppers, and just being strict (if you don't eat, too bad!) have been what I have had the most success with.
 

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food toppers every day leads to a picky dog, and thats no fun..
Poodles are unique eaters and do really well with food toppers. Many of our members also rotate formulas to keep things interesting.

@Poppyismypoodle, I would consider some more palatable kibble and chew options. Not sure what's available around you, but Peggy likes Farmina and Honest Kitchen (we even use the latter as treats) and always has a Himalayan yak cheese chew on the go. We use a little canned chicken as a topper (Weruva brand).

If you wish to continue feeding your poodle homemade, you likely need to take some additional steps to ensure she's getting adequate nutrition.
 

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You鈥檝e received lots of good advice. I would add this: Try feeding her kibble in a toy. Example: Kong wobbler, Bobs-a-lot, snuffle mat, balls that spill kibble while they roll, etc. It can be motivating for the dog because it鈥檚 more interesting and fun than a bowl. Good luck! You and your dog are lucky to have each other.
 

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I agree about the raw. Buck鈥檚 breeder recommended raw necks, which can be hard to find. Wings cut into three pieces work well. His teeth are Hollywood white without the veneers:) CET enzymatic chews are great too.
 

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Poodles are unique eaters and do really well with food toppers. Many of our members also rotate formulas to keep things interesting.
I'm sure they do well on toppers, but don't toppers typically lead to a generally picky dog? I put "meal mixers" freeze dried, pumpkin, spinach, green beans, egg etc. every other day. But I typically don't feed it every day as I want my dogs to be ok with being fed just kibble if I need to.
 

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I have tried practically every tooth treat, gel, paste, chew, bone, etc going in the battle to keep my toy dogs' teeth clear of tartar, and have come to the conclusion that daily brushing with a good enzymatic toothpaste is the most effective. It removes the plaque before it can harden, massages the gums to keep them healthy, and is well worth the time and chicken spent getting the dogs to accept it and the few minutes each morning, to avoid the risks of dentals under general anaesthetic. They enjoyed chicken wings but would bite them into swallowable chunks in seconds, and even the smallest dental chews often contain nearly as many calories as a meal, with more carbs and sugars than I like. Toy dogs' small mouths can be crowded, plus with a malocclusion you need to be working on those little incisors, which don't really get used in chewing - brushing gets the job done, and lets you check for problems while they are minor.

We have a routine - I clean my teeth then clean theirs, and Poppy likes the toothpaste enough to remind me if I look like forgetting (Sophy would slide out of it if she could, but accepts with a good grace as long as she gets a lick of the toothpaste as a reward afterwards).

Absolutely agree that if home made makes up more than about 15% of total calories you need to be thinking about making sure it is reasonably well balanced, at least in terms of calcium:phosphorus.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I have tried practically every tooth treat, gel, paste, chew, bone, etc going in the battle to keep my toy dogs' teeth clear of tartar, and have come to the conclusion that daily brushing with a good enzymatic toothpaste is the most effective. It removes the plaque before it can harden, massages the gums to keep them healthy, and is well worth the time and chicken spent getting the dogs to accept it and the few minutes each morning, to avoid the risks of dentals under general anaesthetic. They enjoyed chicken wings but would bite them into swallowable chunks in seconds, and even the smallest dental chews often contain nearly as many calories as a meal, with more carbs and sugars than I like. Toy dogs' small mouths can be crowded, plus with a malocclusion you need to be working on those little incisors, which don't really get used in chewing - brushing gets the job done, and lets you check for problems while they are minor.

We have a routine - I clean my teeth then clean theirs, and Poppy likes the toothpaste enough to remind me if I look like forgetting (Sophy would slide out of it if she could, but accepts with a good grace as long as she gets a lick of the toothpaste as a reward afterwards).

Absolutely agree that if home made makes up more than about 15% of total calories you need to be thinking about making sure it is reasonably well balanced, at least in terms of calcium:phosphorus.
I have tried practically every tooth treat, gel, paste, chew, bone, etc going in the battle to keep my toy dogs' teeth clear of tartar, and have come to the conclusion that daily brushing with a good enzymatic toothpaste is the most effective. It removes the plaque before it can harden, massages the gums to keep them healthy, and is well worth the time and chicken spent getting the dogs to accept it and the few minutes each morning, to avoid the risks of dentals under general anaesthetic. They enjoyed chicken wings but would bite them into swallowable chunks in seconds, and even the smallest dental chews often contain nearly as many calories as a meal, with more carbs and sugars than I like. Toy dogs' small mouths can be crowded, plus with a malocclusion you need to be working on those little incisors, which don't really get used in chewing - brushing gets the job done, and lets you check for problems while they are minor.

We have a routine - I clean my teeth then clean theirs, and Poppy likes the toothpaste enough to remind me if I look like forgetting (Sophy would slide out of it if she could, but accepts with a good grace as long as she gets a lick of the toothpaste as a reward afterwards).

Absolutely agree that if home made makes up more than about 15% of total calories you need to be thinking about making sure it is reasonably well balanced, at least in terms of calcium:phosphorus.
Thank you Ava for this information. I will keep working on the cleaning and do some research on dog toothpaste to make sure what I am using a good enzymatic toothpaste. At the moment I am using 'dentist chicken flavour toothpaste 馃檹馃徏馃檹馃徏馃檹馃徏thanks once again for your comments
 

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Not entirely sure why the colon I typed has turned into a grinning face! I tried many dog toothpastes too - some were runny, some set like concrete in dog hair, some the dogs hated. The one I use at the moment is I think only available in the UK and from vets, but it is very like Virbac, just less sticky.
 
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I use a dental scraper on my toy. They are only a few dollars on Amazon. Wait till your puppy is very tired. Give him lots of loving and pull up his lip so you can see his teeth. Praise then leave his teeth alone and give him some loving. Do this every night for a week. The next week do the same and touch the scraper to a tooth - do not scrape. Praise and loving. Keep this up and gradually work up to partly scraping one tooth. Always give lots of praise and an occasional treat too. I never work long on his teeth - just a few at a time but he has no tarter at all. I also feed raw and an occasional chicken neck too. Swizzle's teeth look great - the vet always raves about how good they look.
 

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I use a dental scraper on my toy. They are only a few dollars on Amazon. Wait till your puppy is very tired. Give him lots of loving and pull up his lip so you can see his teeth. Praise then leave his teeth alone and give him some loving. Do this every night for a week. The next week do the same and touch the scraper to a tooth - do not scrape. Praise and loving. Keep this up and gradually work up to partly scraping one tooth. Always give lots of praise and an occasional treat too. I never work long on his teeth - just a few at a time but he has no tarter at all. I also feed raw and an occasional chicken neck too. Swizzle's teeth look great - the vet always raves about how good they look.
thanks for the information CT Girl. I didn't consider a scraper - I will investigate. what teeth do you work on? I started brushing her teeth but need to get to the back teeth.
I have stopped the poached chicken and now giving her bones. do you feed Swizzle kibble and veggies? I have tried to give Poppy raw chicken wings but she is not fussed about them.
 

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I am another proponent of raw. I constantly got compliments on his teeth and I did nothing but feed him bone in raw. Until Covid, when I started feeding one meal a day of top grade kibble, which he refused to eat dry without gagging, so I soak it for about 10 minutes in warm water. But both his energy level and the quality of his teeth have gone downhill from when he was 100% raw fed.
 
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