They are subsequently susceptible to
dental health issues in the
same way as humans are.
In addition, dogs live much longer than they would in nature, and senior
dogs benefit from good dental care throughout their lives.
YOUR cocker spaniel'S TEETH
Puppies start to get their puppy teeth at the age of 3 to 4 weeks. They
will start with 28 puppy teeth. These teeth will be replaced with their 42
permanent adult teeth at about the age of four months.
Dogs have four different types of teeth:
• Molars – used for chewing
• Premolars – hold and break up the food
• Canines – used to hold and tear the food into small pieces
• Incisors – cut and nibble
Many veterinarians estimate that approximately 80% of all dogs over the
age of three have some form of gum disease.
This is quite astounding and worrying isn't it?
This causes problems for the dogs with chewing food, which can lead to
digestive problems. Just like with humans, this also causes teeth to be
easily damaged or start to fall out.
This condition becomes progressively worse as the dog ages, and can
even lead to fatal health conditions as a result of infection.
Cocker Spaniels love to chew so keeping their teeth in good condition isn’t
usually all that difficult if you follow some simply principles.
A good quality
Dog Chew Bone or other
Cleaning Bone can be used to
scrape tartar from the surface of the teeth. Be sure to remove any of the
dental bones before they are small enough to be swallowed, as they can be
a choking hazard for your dog. Beware also if you have young children
around who may pick up and swallow pieces of bone.
Pop along to your local pet shop and see their range of chew bones or use
the two links above for some help.
PROPER CARE OF CANINE TEETH
While it is not necessary to brush your Cocker Spaniel's teeth daily, it is a
good idea to do this at least once to twice a week.
If you have never
brushed your Cocker Spaniel's teeth before, it may be wise to get your
Veterinarian to show you the first time.
If you are confident enough with your dog already, here are some
tips below to help you get started with the brushing.
It's not hard once you have done it a few times.
If you notice that the gums are red or the teeth appear yellow, try
brushing your dog's teeth during the grooming routine. A
finger dog tooth brush is a
good option as it is like a little sleeve that fits over your finger.
It is texturized to provide a scrubbing action, and is much less likely to
accidentally and painfully bump the dog’s gums during the cleaning.
In addition purchase some
Toothpaste, the human kind will not
work at all as dogs intensely dislike the taste.
Simply slide the brush over your finger, apply some dog toothpaste and
gently rub the textured surface over the dog’s teeth and gums.
Starting this routine when your Cocker Spaniel is very young will help them become
used to the procedure. Show dogs will require more frequent brushing to
keep their teeth bright and healthy.
A good, raw, knuckle or beef marrow bone is a natural way for your dog to
clean their teeth.
Avoid using a cooked bone or a straight flat bone, as
these can splinter and cause other heath issues.
When you notice the bone is beginning to shred or is getting small enough
to be accidentally swallowed, remove it from the dog.
Most butchers will save knuckle bones
for you if you ask them.
There are also commercially available “tarter bones”. These bones are good
for all sizes of dogs as they come in several thicknesses. Care must be
taken to remove these when they become small or the dog may ingest the
When you are brushing your Cocker Spaniel’s teeth, watch for any signs of
inflammation, redness or even bleeding along the gum line. This will be
normal if the puppy is getting adult teeth, but is not normal in adult
dogs after about 6 months of age.
Look for any heavy deposits of tarter along the line of the gums or
extending up the teeth. It will have a yellowish to brown color, and may
not come off with simple brushing.
If the tarter build up is severe, the
dog will need to have it removed by a veterinarian. This process is known
as scaling, and requires that the dog be anesthetized, so is a fairly
While most dogs are not known for sweet smelling breath, it is important to get
your dog to the vet if you notice a particularly foul smelling breath over a period of
This can be an indication of a dental or digestive problem, and it is
always better to determine and manage these issues as soon as possible.