When we talk about grooming our poodles, we immediately assume that we are referring to their nails and curly coats. However, part of their day to day grooming must include dental care for poodles as well.
It wasn’t long ago pet owners assumed that dogs didn’t need to have their teeth cared for, but now it is proven that dogs need proper dental care to avoid painful and costly mouth issues later on. Poodles, especially toys and miniatures, are prone to dental problems and need attention from their puppy days into their later years. This is what can happen if we ignore our poodles’ teeth:
- Plaque develops and destroys enamel
- Tartar develops
- Tartar can turn into gingivitis
- Possibility of Periodontal Disease due to gingivitis
- Periodontal Disease can affect the liver, heart or other organs
- Rotten teeth cause pain and eating issues
When Do I Start Brushing my Poodles Teeth?
No matter what size of Poodle you have, they all need dental care as they are predisposed to dental issues as a breed. Teeth brushing and care can not start too soon. Dental care should begin from the moment they arrive at your home. That means if you get them from a breeder, you are looking at anywhere from 2 months old and forward. Once your pup has left their mom’s side and are living with you, then the care of teeth and gums needs to begin. If your puppy is wee, you won’t be brushing their teeth, but you will be forming good habits with them. Introducing them to cleaning their teeth means:
- Puppies getting used to you touching their mouths and having hands near their face
- Learning to be patient while you take care of their mouths
- They will understand that dental care is part of their daily routine
Your Poodles dental care should be part of their daily time with you no matter what their age. It’s the same as their eating schedule and outdoor play time. If you start this habit early on, it becomes part of their lives and never becomes a difficult task.
This may be a little more difficult if you get an older dog or a rescue as it may not be part of what they are used to, but if you start slowly and train them with patience, you may at least get the basics in to stave off future dental problems.
Poodles need dental care as soon as they come to your home. If they are older, have their veterinarian do a dental check to see what condition their mouths are in and if they need any emergency dental work completed. Once they are assessed and any problems addressed, you can begin your ongoing care of their teeth with the following steps:
- Choose “brushing time”. A set time every day is a good way to get both you and your Poodle into a tooth brushing habit.
- Practice touching your poodles’ teeth, so they are used to it before you use actual brushes or toothpaste. Sit with your dog and feel their teeth and gums. If you do this for a few minutes every day, most dogs will be fine with it in a short time. Praise them lots and offer a non-sugar treat when you are finished.
- Next, add in the toothpaste to the routine. NEVER use human toothpaste. It will make your Poodle ill. Use doggy meat-flavored toothpaste such as Sentry Petrodex Veterinary Strength Poultry Flavour to practice before you move on to using it on a brush. Rub each tooth with your finger and toothpaste to finger-brush your poodles’ teeth.
- Move to a brush instead of your finger for tooth cleaning. Use a finger brush to begin. These brushes go on the tip of your finger and are similar to bigger toothbrushes. Use these and their doggy toothpaste in their dental routine. It’s another step in getting your Poodle comfortable.
- Now the final step, switch to using a doggie brush. These brushes need to be the appropriate size for your Poodle as the toy and miniature have smaller mouths. You can use a brush such as a 3-1 Toothbrush or use a kit like the one from Nylabone.
Follow these steps, and your Poodle will be fine with dental care and have no long term issues.
- Use the right toothbrush that is an appropriate size
- Put toothpaste in the bristles, not just on top
- Brush gums too
- 5 minutes should be the minimum cleaning time
- Start on the top and then the bottom
Extras to Help with Dental Care
Along with teeth brushing, some items can help with ongoing dental care. Rather than giving your Poodle sweet treats or human food, give them products that will help deter tartar and help with gum health.
Beyond Home Dental Care
Even though daily cleanings are essential, proper professional dental care is needed too. Taking care of your poodles’ teeth is similar to taking care of your own. Daily care takes care of tarter and gums, but regular checkups are important to get rid of plaque and look for any problems that may be starting, such as:
- Abscessed or misaligned teeth
- Red, Bleeding, swollen or receding gums
- Pain while eating
- Bad Breath
Toy and miniature poodles need to be monitored at home and by their vet more often simply because of their predisposition to teeth issues. Dental issues can be painful and costly if not caught early. Regular veterinary dental care can be helping these various issues with cleanings and antibiotics so both home and vet regular vet dental checkups are important.
Poodle dental care is much more important than it was thought to be in the past. A toothache can become a bigger issue and lead to not only costly veterinarian bills but a lot of pain for your pet. Begin early with preventative care to avoid problems later on. Getting your Poodle used to a regular home and veterinary dental care is essential to their overall health maintenance.