My Mouth


Taking care of a dog’s mouth is not usually a thing too many people do. Sometimes it may seem impossible, too.

However, if you really care for them, you need to allocate some time and effort to this routine. At least every other day, you need to clean your dog’s mouth.

If you neglect your dog’s mouth, problems like bad breath will instate for sure. But that’s not the worst consequence, unfortunately. The same as for us humans, if you let bacteria go rampant if someone’s mouth, these little fellas will produce both toxic substances and more bacteria that will go into the bloodstream, causing many problems in the heart, liver and kidneys, amongst others. So it’s not only about bad smells, it’s also about HEALTH.

Now, some people say, “wolves don’t need to be brush, and they’re in perfect equilibrium with nature”. OK, here are some things you can answer to these very observative minds:

  1. Wolves don’t eat anything cooked or with a huge amount of carbs. They only eat raw meat, some herbs and stuff they can find in the woods and, besides, they chew a great deal of raw bones, which is the natural mechanism or Mother Nature designed for their mouth cleaning.
  2. Wolves live a mean of 5 years. Yes, this is due to several aspects, one of them, can be too, chewing and eating bones, which can break, and depending on the shape, cause obstructions or injuries in the digestive tract of the individual. Of course other things like vaccines, dangers related to their lifestyles and other conditions play a role. Wolves are not comparable to dogs in this sense. Although knowledge of wolves can help us understanding many things about our dogs, due to the evolutionary closeness, they’re different species, but most of all, their lifestyle is so apart from our dogs, they cannot be taken as a reference in regards to mouth health.

Every dog is different. Cooper’s mouth allows more plaque to build up, while our female dog’s mouth doesn’t. In general, big dogs tend to allow less plaque to appear, but you always need to take care of them. Small dogs, on the other hand, always have problems, and this is due to the proportion of their teeth to their mouths, which is, even if you don’t notice, unnatural. This is a consequence of the human manipulation of the breeding and the un-natural downsize of this type of dogs.


We brush both dogs’s teeth every night, before bed. In Cooper’s case, since he was adopted when he was already almost an adult (and obviously no one took care of his mouth before), he’s got a little bit of plaque in some of his teeth, and when we just adopted him, he had a breath that definitely can be used as a weapon. And it was.


In the picture you can see there’s a bit of plaque on some of his teeth. At this point, and since we’re brushing them every night, the vet told us there’s no need for the time being for a special procedure of teeth cleaning. In such procedure, the dog has to be asleep and the vet performs a teeth cleaning, pretty much like the one the dental professionals perform on your mouth (if you actually go there, I mean). But look how much it as improved and please, don’t give up on your dog’s mouth health:

Evolution of Cooper's Mouth after 3 months of care

The change, as you can see, is dramatic. Please note how the gums used to be so retracted so the teeth looked even bigger. The gums were also very swallowed and the breath was horrible. I wanted to show you this so you can see it’s possible to improve your dog’s mouth health without too much money or effort or risk to your dog. An it’s totally worth it.

Since he was not so comfortable with human touch, he definitely used his yawning a great deal to us – bear in mind, yawning is the way dogs tell you they’re a bit anxious and not comfortable with what you’re doing… more like “You know I have the potential to hurt you, but I prefer to dissipate my energy yawning instead or harming you, because I’m a good guy and I also happen to love you”.


How to brush a dog’s teeth

If your dog’s not a puppy anymore, it might require a bit effort to get him or her used to this process. But it’s quite simple, actually. It only requires a little of consistency.

One step at a time. It’s very easy to get a dog getting used to be brushed. You can follow these simple steps either in different days or in one session, but that will depend on your dog’s capability of being manipulated and to learn things from you. Please don’t rush it. If in doubt, spread them in time.

  1. Relax and take a huge deep breath. The first encounter your dog will have with the tooth brush has to be nice. So, depending on what your dog’s best reward is (you should know if it’s ore important food or play or a caress, for instance), take some food you know he or she likes, take the tooth brush, with either a bit of dog toothpaste, a very small amount, and put very close the treat to the brush, so your dog will have to get close to the latter to reach the food. Do not force the brush into your dog’s mouth yet. Please use a very small treat. Repeat 3 times. Do this for a couple more times.
  2. Prepare the toothbrush again, hiding the treats, and take your dog’s flews up. Touch him or her canines with the brush a little, and give him or her the treat. Repeat at least 3 times, each one taking more time for the pooch to be in contact with the brush. It has to be a gentle touch, please. If at this stage your pup allows you to massage the gums with it, you’re doing amazingly. Reward with treats, if this is the best prize for your dog, but do it also with affection, which will become the most important one.
  3. Extend the time in step 2 gradually, as well as the area you may want to reach. Remember, you really need to be relaxed and comfortable. Don’t rush it or take a weird position to do this, as your dog will feel your anxiety and will associate it with the process. At this stage, reward only with affection.

There are other things people will tell you that can work, as for instance, dental sticks. But in my experience they’re useless and if you read the labels, they all contain several ingredients your dog doesn’t need or that are even bad for his or her health. Nothing substitutes nor compares to brushing. In fact, if you don’t have toothpaste, even the mechanical process will help in the removal of matter that will help building plaque.

But there’s no magic or unique solution, so you really have to combine a good dietary discipline and teeth brushing to ensure your dog doesn’t need to pay visits  to the vet for those awful cleaning sessions, which by the way put in risk your dog because it’s needed to be general anaesthesia.

Also another way to help your dog cleaning itself while eating, is to add a little bit of parsley on their meal. Finely cut, the dog will eat most the parsley along with the kibbles or food, so it will have the double action of refreshing their breath and hell cleaning from the inside the dog, as parsley is an excellent natural cleanser that helps with digestion while detoxing internally. Don’t bother though if your dog doesn’t eat it all, this is like the salad for kids, and it’s also a matter of creating the habit for the dog. Some people add too mint leaves as well to the meals. This one’s good too, pretty much has the same effect as the parsley does, and it’s also a matter of time and habits to get your little friendo to get used to it and eat it without complaint.

Please do not use human toothpaste on your dog. It’s poison for them. Ever.

There’s plenty of toothpaste products in the marketplace, Cooper uses this and it’s been really good controlling the bad breath and he kind of likes it (although the process of brushing is something I think no dog will ever like, not even if you get them since puppies to do so). Also you won’t need a special toothbrush, as a good and soft one for humans will do the job.

There are also sprays that claim they don’t need brushing. Don’t believe them. Although the chemical action will definitely help, it won’t get the whole job done, and in these cases, on the contrary of what you may think, it’s better to brush in the first place, to take all possible physical obstacles, and then apply the spray so the ingredients can better act to kill bacteria and clean.


And last, but not least, here’s a natural tip that I have tested and is working really well too. I only brush them once a day, before going to bed, but after I give breakfast to them, I give them just a tad, but really, a tad of mint and thyme leaves, very finely ground. It’s so tiny I just take a small speck with a finger and put it into their mouths and this has worked wonders with breath and plaque. Try it and let me know ;)


Thank you for your reading, and keep up the good love!

Love your dog, enjoy your life and take care!