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DIY: How to Brush Your Dogs Teeth

albuquerque pet dental health

albuquerque pet dental healthIt is pet dental health month! And to start it off we want to give you some basic tips on how to help keep your dog’s teeth healthy. Brushing their teeth is the easiest and best way to keep your dog’s teeth healthy, looking and smelling better.

Did you know that your dog’s dental health is just as important as your own? Plaque buildup, gum disease, and gingivitis are all issues that affect both you and your dog. Just like you need deeper cleanings than a toothbrush can offer, Vetco offers deep dental cleanings. For the month of February 2018, we are offering $15 off dental cleanings. 

How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

What You Need

Despite what many pet stores will have you believe, you do not have to have a special toothbrush for your dog. Though you can use a dog toothbrush or a child’s toothbrush, you can also use gauze wrapped around your finger or a cotton swab. What is important is that you are able to reach all corners of your dog’s mouth comfortably.

If you are going to use a toothpaste, you do need to use one formulated for dogs. Do not use human toothpaste, baking soda, or salt. These cleaning agents can be harmful for your dog


Do I need to use a special toothpaste to brush my dog’s teeth?

Pet toothpaste, often flavored like poultry, malt, and other dog-friendly varieties are your best option. Never use human toothpaste, baking soda or salt. While safe for you, these cleaning agents can be harmful to your dog if swallowed. Be careful of homemade dog toothpaste recipes. Most of them contain baking soda which can lead to stomach upset for your dog. If you are interested in making your own, here is a baking soda free homemade toothpaste recipe care of k9Instincts.com

Homemade Dog Toothpaste Recipe:

  • 1 cup of unrefined, virgin coconut oil.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kelp.
  • 1/8th tablespoon of dried parsley flakes.
  1. Place one cup of coconut oil in a hot water bath to make it soft and pliable. (Unless it already is!)
  2. Add the turmeric, kelp and parsley flakes.
  3. Mix thoroughly, store in fridge between uses.

At Home Dog Teeth Cleaning

Let your dog try the toothpaste before jumping into brushing. Once he realizes that it tastes good, he will likely be more cooperative.

  1. Lift your dog’s lips to expose their teeth and gums
  2. Brush with a gentle motion to clean both the teeth and gums. If your dog flinches or pulls away, try brushing more gently in case it is a little painful. Dogs with gum disease may have some sensitivity in their gums, but this is also why brushing is important. Brushing will help treat the gum disease and make the gums feel better, even if it may be a little sensitive at first.
  3. Clean any visible surface, including their cheeks. Most dogs won’t allow you to brush the inside of their teeth. Just do the best you can and clean as much as you can.
  4. Make sure to clean their back molars. This is where the most build-up tends to be.
  5. Give your dog a reward, like a nice dog biscuit as a treat for letting you brush her teeth.

You should brush your dog’s teeth at least weekly, though every day is ideal. If you cant brush every day, make sure you get dog chews that help clean plaque build up.


How Often Does My Dog Need Professional Cleaning?

Just like you, it is good to get their teeth cleaned annually. The cleanings allow for a truly thorough cleaning of all their teeth which helps prevents tartar buildup, gingivitis, and gum disease. If your dog has any teeth that need to be extracted due to cavities, these can be removed at this time. It also gives the vet the chance to assess your dog’s overall dental health. Poor dental health can lead to a lot of other health problems such as life-threatening illness, organ failure, and heart disease.

Take advantage of our February $15 off dental cleaning coupon and bring your dog into Vetco on Menaul for their annual dental cleaning.

Is Coconut Oil Good For Dogs?

coconut oil dog diet

coconut oil dog dietCoconut Oil has been the big trend for the past couple of years. I don’t know about you, but I use it on everything from cooking to skin care. But is it good for your dogs too? YES! Coconut oil is great for your dogs digestion, it improves their coats, prevents infection, and supports a healthy thyroid. But too much coconut oil can have negative affects.

Basically coconut oil is fat, but it is a good kind of fat and is classified as a super food. Coconut oil is made up of MTC, medium chain triglycerides. MTC is made up of Lauric Acid, Capric Acid, Caprylic Acid, Myristic Acid and Pamitic Acid. The Lauric acid has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. The Capric and Caprylic acid also have anti-fungal properties.

MCTs are metabolized quickly to provide an immediate source of energy which can help sedentary dogs feel energetic and overweight dogs lose weight.


If you are interested in giving your dog coconut oil, you want to make sure you don’t give them too much. If you give them too much they could have diarrhea or greasy stools.  For smaller dogs give them 1/4 teaspoon a day and for larger dogs give them 1 teaspoon per day. Once your dog has adjusted you can typically give them 1 teaspoon per 10 lbs of body weight. As you increase the dosage, watch your dog to make sure they are not reacting poorly. You want to make sure to give them the right amount so you are helping them and not just giving them the trots.

In addition to adding it to their food you can also apply it directly to their coat and skin. A topical treatment will help their skin stay soft and healthy. If you are giving your dog a bath, apply it to their coat and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Then give them a light rinse. If there is still too much oil on them, give them a light shampoo.


In addition to giving your dog orally, coconut oil can be applied directly to your dogs coat and skin. As we stated earlier, because coconut oil contains lauric acid, it is a fabulous immune builder, both orally and topically.

You can pick up coconut oil at most grocery stores. As with any dietary change it is a good idea to consult with your Albuquerque vet to make sure it is a good addition to your dogs diet.

Time To Spay and Neuter Albuquerque!

low cost spay neuter albuquerque

low cost spay neuter albuquerqueAlbuquerque has a huge wild pet population. This is primarily due to pets not being spayed and neutered and being abandoned. Bob Barker had it right when he told everyone on The Price is Right to spay and neuter your pets. It is better for your pet and better for the animal community. Unless you are a breeder, you do not need to keep your pet unaltered. If you are thinking of having puppies, why not consider adopting someone else’s? It is best to get your pet altered by about 6 months old. If you are unsure about the age of your pet or when is the best time for spay or neuter, please call Vetco and we can help you.

Spay male puppies can help with problems like: mounting, marking their territory, dominance, aggression, and roaming.

Did you know that allowing your puppy to go into heat for even one cycle increases their risk of breast cancer from 0 to 8%, and if they go into their second cycle it is increased to 25%. Neutering your female puppy can literally save their life.

Altering your pet (in other words getting them spayed or neutered, or “fixed”) does not cause weight gain. This is a common myth. It reduces their metabolism by 30%, so this needs to be taken into consideration when determining their diet.

Altering your pets will not cause them to have a different personality. Your pets personality is not determined by their sex hormones. It is determined by their genetics and environment. However, altering your dog can positively affect some behavior and dogs can be more affectionate an less likely to run away, bite, or be aggressive.

The biggest deterrent to spaying and neutering pets is cost. Vetco in Albuquerque prides ourself on having low cost spay and neuters. You can even get some extra savings by checking out our promotions where we often offer added discounts on surgery.

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The information provided on this website is written by Vetco staff. All information is meant to be informational and is not meant as veterinary advice. If you have a health question regarding your pet, their treatment or anything concerning their veterinary care, please call Vetco to consult with a veterinarian.