I’ve been a Whippet owner for over 12 years and I unfortunately had to learn the hard way to to properly care for a Whippet’s teeth. My first Whippet had horrible teeth and eventually died shortly after an invasive scraping at the vet’s office. With the proper daily preventative care, Whippet’s can have long healthy lives free of periodontal diseases.
First, we need to understand why Whippets and other sight-hounds such as Greyhounds and Salukis have bad teeth. The long snout of these wonderful dog’s can sometimes block proper oxygen flow to the back teeth. This allows plaque to turn into tartar and mineralize on the dog’s teeth. Over time, these deposits go into the gums and cause damage. If left unattended, your whippet’s internal organs can get weaker over time. For example, liver and kidney function can be affected since they are working over time to process the excess bacteria from the decaying teeth.
With that said, there are a few simple things that you can do to ensure healthy teeth.
- Brush Daily – This seems like such a drag, but plaque only takes 4-5 days before it starts turning into tartar. I prefer to just purchase gauze and chicken flavored toothpaste. Every morning, I simply rub my dog’s teeth for 10-20 seconds. That is all that is required for brushing to keep your dog healthy.
- Provide chewing toys – Soft toys are great fun for dogs, but you should consider adding nylon dental bones or hard rubber toys to your dog’s toy box. Most dogs love these and if they chew for 20 minutes per day they can remove nearly all of their plaque on their own.
- Provide real bones – Giving your dog real bones with a little meat still on can do wonders for their teeth. Every dog loves real bones. This is my preferred method since my dog doesn’t chew on the rubber bones enough to do good. I like to use beef caps and hip bones which can be purchased from most feed stores or pet shops. If you buy the bones with meat still on, make sure you don’t let your dog chew them on white carpet.
- Use water additives – there are many commercial water additives that you can add to your dog’s water bowl daily that will help reduce plaque and keep their breath fresh and clean. These additives are similar to mouthwash for humans
There you have it. With these simple tips, your dog can literally live years longer. More than 80% of dogs over the age of 4 have some form of mouth disease. This can be avoided by taking simple action. You have to remember to keep up with these things daily because it doesn’t take long at all for tartar to form. If your dog already has mineralized tartar buildup you can try the beef caps for about one month. In that time, I would give them about 20 bones. If this method does not work, you should speak with your vet about a teeth cleaning.