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Your Cocker Spaniel Newsletter




From the desk of Sharda Baker.


Hi there and welcome to your Cocker Spaniel newsletter.


This week we will look at one  of the most important and often overlooked health issues facing your Cocker Spaniel.


I hope you find these tips helpful.

While it may not be seen as a top priority by many dog owners, it is actually very important to care for your dog's teeth throughout their  life.

Many people mistakenly assume that a dog will be able to care for its own teeth, much as nature intended. This may have been true if dogs only ate all natural ingredients and foods such as they would have eaten had they remained wild animals.

But when we think about it, most domesticated animals, just like our dogs, eat a variety of foods and chemicals that are often not  found in nature.

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 Dental 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.


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 Dog 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 whole bone.


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 costly procedure.

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 time.

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.

For those interested in further health and training  tips, please see our  extensive suggested resource list below

They cover all aspects of dog care in detail.

All the best for now and happy brushing!.



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