Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Teeth Brushing for Greyhounds & Whippets

Greyhounds are not known for their bone chewing abilities, which is inherent in some breeds - who use it to their advantage. The bone gnawing process acts as a good teeth cleaning exercise removing plaque and debris, as well as massaging the gums which also adds to the health of the teeth, keeping them firm and sharp. In ancient times, dogs would naturally gnaw at raw bones after consuming the meat from the carcass after the kill.

Greyhounds should ideally have their teeth cleaned daily if possible, or at the very least weekly.  After food is eaten, food not swallowed will sit around the teeth finding a nice warm gap to nestle into, the environment is perfect for breeding fellow bacteria, helping to create tartar plaque and with it, unpleasant breath.

The next meal will dislodge the stored rubbish around the mouth and it will be sent down to the gut with the next meal, creating upset stomachs and poor digestive health. So it really is important to work on those teeth and start brushing.

How to clean a Greyhound's Teeth

It isn't advisable to go bounding up to your dog brandishing your toothbrush weapon and burst in on their mouths with gusto, expecting co-operation. Greyhounds (and many other dogs) won't be too agreeable to this approach. The best start if you're new to cleaning your dog's teeth, is ......gently.

Start with a regular human toothbrush, choosing the softest version. If you've got two dogs, male and female, choose a pink and blue, so you can distinguish one from the other when you put them away later. Here's my methods, which works.

Get ready: Ideally choose a time when the dog is lying down peacefully, after a meal or later at night when they are relaxed and dozy.

Get a pyrex type bowl 3/4 full with warm (not cold, nor hot) water. Get a towel and place it under your dog's neck.

Starting very gently, dip the toothbrush into the water and take the least intrusive area of your dog's mouth, e.g. lift the lip and very slowly introduce the soft brush to the mouth and focus brushing this one area until the hound is completely comfortable you being there. As s/he relaxes you can move a little further into the mouth and gently brush away. After a minute or two, dip the brush into the water to freshen and clean the brush and return to the teeth again. The hound will like the freshness of the clean water and helps them tolerate a bit more of the invasion.

If there is any plaque at all on the teeth, after 5-10 minutes of gentle brushing you will find this loosens, and you can either crack it off the teeth with your nail or a scaler.

Keep going as long as he will tolerate the invasion, and if s/he objects, leave it and come back to it again next day or later the same day. That way your dog will become used to this routine and will find it quite pleasing.

If you want to use a toothpaste this helps not only with breath freshening, but also the cleaning itself. Here's a simple recipe that can be made cheaply and easily at home. It can be kept for a few months.

Dog Toothpaste - Home Made - Super Simple

2 Tablespoons of Baking Soda
2 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil (softened slightly)
2-3 drops of Essential Peppermint oil


Mix the first two ingredients together fully, then when completely combined, add a few drops of
peppermint oil.

There is nothing harmful or unpleasant tasting for the dog, and it is simple, cheap and effective.

It can be stored in a cool dark cupboard at home in a jam jar or any sealed top jar or container.

WARNING: Please see note below.

NB: Baking Soda and Baking Powder are different

Here's a quick video explaining the difference: Click the link below.

Baking Powder Versus Baking Soda