Brushing my dog’s teeth: an act of love….Ramblings

I guess I am lucky.  Many dogs aren’t very happy about the idea of having a toothbrush or anything resembling one anywhere near the inside of their mouths, however, my little dog Puzzle is delighted every time we do this activity.

Recently, yesterday, in fact, I saw an ad for a product that made claims to “freshen dog breath.”  Now listen carefully.  First of all, the advertiser stated that brushing a dog’s teeth was not something a dog owner wanted to do, claiming that this was an unpleasant, yucky activity for both dog and owner that every dog owner would pay good money to avoid.

Really?  You can brush your dog’s teeth and avoid yuckiness such as tartar buildup, eventual loss of teeth, god knows what resulting pain and suffering (your dog’s, that is), of course bad breath (your dog’s), and huge vet bills (yours).

So the entire ad started with this premise and went onward.  What to do about bad dog breath?  I have no idea about the price of this product, and when a product’s price is not advertised, I’m sure it’s either sky high or the company has “special offers” and is deceptive about its prices, offering what people think are “bargains,” but we all know what that means.

So the product cleans the dog’s tongue, thereby freshening breath.  Technology at work, folks.  Listen carefully to the ad.  It makes claim to freshen your dog’s breath, and makes claim to clean the tartar off your dog’s tongue, but not from your dog’s teeth.

So, you’ll be paying a fortune for the tongue scraper, and then paying for the special gel for it, probably a they want to dupe you into a subscription payment, and then paying the vet for the teeth cleaning once every few years, anyway.

So back to dog teeth brushing.  It’s not expensive at all.  It’s just like brushing my own teeth, only for me, brushing Puzzle’s teeth is less disgusting than brushing my own teeth.  Dogs need different toothpaste.  They need what’s known as “enzymatic” toothpaste, not the toothpaste people use, such as “Crest” or “Colgate.”

I ran out of the dog toothpaste I’d been using for a few years.  Trust me, dog toothpaste is one of those things like tissues or toilet paper, one of those things you just don’t want to run out of.  Luckily, I had an Amazon gift certificate.  I went online and peeked at the Amazon product reviews.  Naturally, I take these reviews with a grain of salt.  So many of these reviews are all about how fast the product arrived, or if Amazon shipped the wrong product.  Finally, I found overwhelmingly positive reviews of a dog toothpaste called CET.

I have the product right here in my hand, and I will tell you what else it says on the box: C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste, Virbac Animal Health I think that’s all the information you will need.  You can get this product from many veterinarians right at their offices, and you will find that it is highly recommended.  The tube only 2.5 ounces, not particularly a lot but sold for well under ten dollars a tube, if I recall correctly.   If you go through the Amazon site, you will find the product sold by various vendors at varying prices.  CET comes in a variety of flavors.  Pick whatever you think your dog will like best.

For a few days, Puzzle and I were out of dog toothpaste.  Trust me, it was not a good thing.  I have always brushed Puzzle’s teeth I was cringing thinking of her going without brushing for those days.  Then, the CET arrived at the post office.  We began using it.  I was surprised because I figured it would take much longer than it did to clear up the yucky buildup from the days that Puzzle went without having her teeth brushed.

I’m not sure how to teach an older dog how to allow a toothbrush into their mouth, if the dog isn’t used to one.   I used to brush my dog Tiger’s teeth and in fact scrape her teeth with a dental scraper.  If I recall correctly, I didn’t do it daily.  I think I did it once a week.  I rolled her over on her back, and when I got the tartar off her teeth, I carefully lifted it out of her mouth to make sure she didn’t accidentally ingest it.  Human dentists are careful also to make sure we do not ingest the crap they remove from our teeth.  This was all so long ago.

Tiger’s teeth were much larger than Puzzle’s.  Her head and body were differently shaped, and she had a different disposition, being a herding dog by instinct.  Tiger often rolled over and lay with her belly exposed, and stayed in that posture for so long, her delicate front paws bent, waiting.  I was always amazed at how vulnerable she allowed herself to be.  It is a pose I rarely see Puzzle take on.  Instead, Puzzle, who is much smaller,  is more self-protective.  If she is curled in what we humans think of as fetal position, in apparent sleep, she will have her ears up, always on the alert for possible danger, real or imagined.

This morning, Puzzle decided it was time for me to get up.  I suppose it was.  Puzzle decided to change positions from beside me with my arm around her to directly on top of me.  This was not a lengthy commute.  Perhaps a few inches.  I wasn’t exactly awake, nor was I exactly asleep.  So Puzzle got on top of me.  I suppose she was saying, “Mama, get up.”

Then, right on top of me, she immediately fell into a deep sleep.  Now what’s a dog owner to do?  I had a funny-looking now-quite-white fourteen pound dog on top of me, fast asleep, and it was time to get up.  I didn’t want to be rude or anything.  She was truly in a doggie comatose state.  Married folks, you know the situation, it’s heartbreaking to interrupt them, but you have to get out of bed somehow.

I thanked myself a zillion times that my asleep dog didn’t have bad breath.  You sure don’t want a dog that’s suddenly fallen into a deep sleep for whatever reason breathing yuckiness all over you first thing in the morning.

As I remember correctly, I fell back asleep myself, my little dog I suppose in her own dream, too, and we were like that for a while until finally I awoke again.

And all over, upon waking, for me, it was again a surprise to see my dog, this wonder, this creation, how could this be?  How could a creature be so small?  How could a tiny creature love me with so much abandon and joy?

Readers, today I could not ask for more.

Feedback and comments welcome!