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Black & Rust Doberman Pinscher

Cleaning a Dobe's Teeth

Get a pup used to dental care by cleaning his or her teeth with your thumbnail.  You’ll be glad later when it becomes more important and you encounter less resistance.  Older dogs accumulate plaque quickly and need descaling and brushing.  Frequently, take a good look in your dog’s mouth near a sunny window so you can see into the back.  This will allow you to detect problems at an early stage; for example, a tumour growing in the mouth area can metastasize very quickly.

You can use a nail file to scrape plaque from teeth or a tool purchased from a vet supply store on the internet, such as Foster’s and Smith.  If your dog is very well behaved, a used descaler from your dental hygienist will do and can get into the hollow in the molar where debris collects.  Be careful with this tool because it is very sharp—it’s not recommended for use with unpredictable puppies.  The technique requires scraping away from the gumline to remove plaque without damaging gums.  Dogs tend to resist this kind of attention, but if you get into a routine it becomes much easier.  For example, if you brush your own teeth every night and follow this by brushing your dog’s teeth in a specific location in your home, your dog will know what to expect.

Also, remember what it’s like having a dental hygienist clean your teeth—pause frequently during the cleaning to allow your Dobe to swallow.

I use a small toothbrush and toothpaste purchased at the vet’s to prevent plaque buildup.  My Dobe’s favourite is “enzadent,” a tootpaste that looks more like paté than human toothpaste.  Brushing daily is required if your dog eats anything with sugar in it, but fruit and even corn contain simple carbohydrates.


Supervise puppies to prevent them from chewing things that may damage their teeth.  Even hard things like Nylabones can break a tooth if you’re unlucky.  Not only may teeth splinter, but the root may be damaged by pressure from aggressive chewing: a purplish pink or brown-coloured tooth may indicate a dead root. Veterinary specialists are now performing root canal on dogs, but the results are not guaranteed.  Keep in mind that dogs don’t show pain the way humans do, so a problem may go undetected if you don’t keep an eye on things.  The minimum you can expect from regular dental care is gleaming white teeth and avoidance of that stereotypical predator breath! ]:@{=}
Doberman with natural ears
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