Hi there! My name is Claire. I have a story to share with you about my pet dog Mindy. I’m sharing this story so that if your dog suffers from the same problem, you’ll know what to do.
It all started a couple of months ago. Mindy, my beautiful Brussels Griffon, kept pawing at her mouth and whimpering at meal times. I thought it was strange because normally she would wolf down her kibble in seconds. When she started lying in a corner looking miserable, I knew something was seriously wrong. Worried and afraid, I decided to take Mindy to the vet.
When I told him about Mindy’s symptoms, he nodded and took a peek inside her mouth. His eyes narrowed. He then turned to me and said that Mindy’s gums had become swollen, making it painful for her to eat.
I put my hand to my mouth, shocked. I felt ashamed and deeply sorry for my poor Mindy. It was all my fault.
“It is important that pet owners help maintain their dog’s’ optimal health with regular veterinary check-ups and oral hygiene products, such as dental chews that meet these criteria”Dr Stephen Harris, Oral Health Research Manager at Waltham Research.
Did you know that 4 in 5 dogs have oral health issues?
I sure didn’t.
Seeing my face, I think the vet took pity on me because he said gently that it wasn’t too serious. But I needed to start brushing her teeth daily, otherwise Mindy risked getting a bacterial infection. This could then lead to gingivitis, a kidney infection or even heart disease. There was no way I was going to allow any of that happen to my beloved Mindy!
As I was leaving, the vet suddenly called for me to wait. He then retrieved a bottle from a shelf and gave it to me. “After brushing her teeth, put a spoonful of this in her water each day,” he said.
Switching to daily brushing
Going from brushing Mindy’s teeth once a week (at best) to daily would be challenging, particularly with her swollen gums. I knew we’d both have to be patient.
After getting home from the vet, I put on some rubber gloves and started by gently rubbing her gums and teeth with my finger. After a few days, Mindy got used to this (without yapping at my fingers). So I started brushing her teeth and gums very gently with a special pet toothbrush and stopped as soon as I could tell she’d had enough (which wasn’t long in the beginning!).
Over time, we got to the stage where Mindy didn’t object to me poking around her mouth. If anything, I think she liked the taste of the special pet toothpaste, the vet said I had to use instead of human toothpaste.
“Gum disease can be avoided altogether but it takes a bit of effort at home. Veterinarians agree it is well worth the effort. By making dental care a regular part of your routine, you can improve your dog’s teeth, help her enjoy a healthier, more enjoyable life and minimize the need for costly dental treatments at the veterinarian’s office.”Lynne Miller PetMd
One tablespoon a day
Thankfully, the second part of her oral health care plan wasn’t as stressful.
The bottle the vet had given me was a type of mouthwash for pets. As he’d said, all I needed to do was add a spoonful to her bowl of water. The mouthwash then helps cleanse her mouth of bacteria, control plaque buildup and gives her fresher breath, too.
Adding mouthwash to her water is so quick and easy, yet I think it’s helped a lot to keep her teeth and gums clean and healthy. I even rushed to see my vet again to stock up just in case he runs out. Thankfully, I found out that I can order it online.
After a few weeks, the daily brushing and adding mouthwash to her drinking water had totally paid off. Her teeth look much brighter and with far less plaque, and her gums have hardened, instead of being red and swollen.
What’s most noticeable is that she’s gone back to loving meal times again. I’ve noticed a bigger wag in her tail too!
More pet owners need to start using mouthwash
Taking better care of Mindy’s teeth and gums gives me the peace of mind knowing I’m doing everything I can to care for her oral health. Not only am I helping keep her pearly whites clean, I’m also lowering her risk of a bacterial infection leading to gingivitis, a kidney infection or heart disease. I’d never have forgiven myself if any of those happened.
Adding vet formulated mouthwash to her water is an extra step I think most pet owners don’t know about, but it can make a big difference in keeping their mouths clean of bacteria. It’s inexpensive and I think it is a small price to pay knowing your beloved pet’s oral health is being taken care of. In fact, I tell everyone I think it’s the future of oral health for dogs.
Disclaimer – This article has been provided for informational purposes only and is not a replacement for professional advice. If your pet is showing swollen gums or any signs of illness please consult a veterinarian as quickly as possible. The stories featured are fictional and for illustrative purposes. Any similarity to real people is coincidental. Some of the links in this article are affiliate links and we will earn commission for products purchased via these links. However, we only recommend products that have a proven track record of helping to improve a pet’s teeth, gums and oral health.