Shorkie Dental Care
Please feel free to call me anytime: Steffy at 253 327-8667. I am always here to answer questions and help people understand these amazing furry angels known as Shorkie Puppies
Just like humans, Shorkies can get cavities if their teeth are not properly taken care of. Cavities are not as common in Shorkies as they are in humans; however there are some things which can increase the likelihood of your Shorkies developing tooth problems. If you live in an area with hard water, it is more likely that your Shorkies teeth will develop tartar deposits. Additionally, tooth problems are more likely if your Shorkie eats mostly soft foods, because these leave debris in gum pockets at the base of the teeth, leading to infections. These not only cause problems for your Shorkies teeth - studies show that a whopping 98% of cases of bad breath in toy breeds are caused by periodontal disease, which is the result of tartar build-up and gum infections.
The best way of preventing these problems is with regular brushing of your Shorkies teeth. Even if you have a great relationship with your Shorkie, staring into its mouth and seeing rows of shining, sharp dog teeth can be intimidating. But by gradually getting your Shorkie used to the idea of having you handling his mouth, you'll be able to clean his teeth and take care of his mouth without too many problems.
If you have a young Shorkie, it is much easier to get started. Even if your Shorkie is a few years old you can still get him used to the idea, but you may find that it takes a bit longer before your Shorkie is willing to let you brush his teeth. To get your Shorkie used to having his mouth handled, start by lifting his lips and looking at his teeth - do this two or three times a week, and each time, give him a small treat after you have finished. This will help both you and your Shorkie relax when you are handling his mouth, and your Shorkie will be more comfortable with the process when he knows there will be a treat when it's over.
Once your Shorkie is used to having his mouth handled, it's time to start brushing. There are a few simple items you will need to brush your Shorkies teeth, which you can obtain from a pet store or from your veterinarian. You'll need a dog tooth brush (a wash cloth or gauze pad wrapped around your finger also works well), and tooth paste which has been formulated for animal use. Human tooth paste should not be used for brushing dog teeth, because dogs cannot spit, and human tooth paste is not safe to swallow in large quantities. Your Shorkie will most likely swallow whatever you use to clean his teeth, so it is important to buy tooth paste which has been formulated specifically for dogs. In addition, dog tooth pastes come in several different flavors, so if you can find a flavor your Shorkie likes, it will be that much easier to brush his teeth.
Once you have the right tools, brushing dog teeth is pretty similar to brushing your own.To start brushing, lift your Shorkies upper lip and brush the teeth in a circular motion, making sure to brush at the base of each tooth where it meets the gum line. Also make sure to brush the back molars, because these teeth are more likely than the front teeth to develop problems. To get your Shorkie used to having his teeth brushed, do only one or two teeth the first few times. As he becomes more comfortable with brushing, you can brush more teeth in each session. Always give your Shorkie a small treat after each session.
Brushing should be done twice a week. If your Shorkies teeth have a lot of tartar build-up they'll need to be cleaned by your vet - this is a fairly quick procedure but it does require anesthesia. In addition to regular brushing, feeding your Shorkie dry dog food or hard biscuits every day is the best way of preventing tartar build-up. Soft foods and meat should be given as treat foods only. As well as this, provide your Shorkie with bones or hard toys to chew on - this will help keep their teeth and gums in good condition and it will also reduce the risk of your Shorkie chewing on furniture or destroying your property. If you give your Shorkie bones, do not cook them. Cooked bones can splinter, and these splinters can cause your Shorkie to choke, or if swallowed they can perforate the bowel. Choose a bone based on the size of your Shorkie - make sure you get a large bone if your Shorkie is a large breed, so that there is no possibility of swallowing it.
With a little care and attention, you can help keep your Shorkies teeth in tip-top condition for years to come. Remember to stick to a regular routine and you will be pleased with the results.