Ask the Veterinarian/dog oral care


Can you suggest beyond brushing what i can use to keep my dogs oral care in check. We brush her twice per week or use a cloth with a little dog paste but she is really uncooperative and we arent accomplishing much. There are so many products out there and i dont want to use something thats toxic.


Dear Lori,
It is very frustrating when there are a lot of products that everyone says is "the best". Most dogs do need to be trained to accept teeth brushing. This video shows the position to do it -

Positive training and clicker training is the very best way to get your dog to actually love teeth brushing, nail trimming, ear cleaning, mat removal, rectal temperature taking, opening mouth to look for something stuck in the mouth, etc.

Even a wonderful magazine like Animal Wellness has many different points of view. To read a few about training dogs to like brushing and other dental advice, enter  Or type teeth brushing in the search box for training articles. goes more into training your dog to get used it by using your fingers and treats. Be very very patient. Start with the goal of a month of daily work to get her to look forward to the treats she gets after your training session. Only then can you have the goal of clean teeth. that training month, just forget about what you actually do with the teeth. Make sense?  then you can move on to the next "body handling" training. also has similar advice, but a little different.

So far, of all the products I get at holistic vet conferences, I have not found one, or even several, that are the best for every dog. make sure you are using a dog toothpaste as they are usually more readily accepted. Try the different food or water additives as well.

Most importantly, as a holistically trained vet, I can say that most teeth will stay white and bright with no brushing if you feed real food rather than "dog food", especially using big chunks of raw meaty bones or big chunks of meat so she can sink her teeth in and exercise her jaws the way nature designed her to. This also changes the pH of the saliva to prevent tarter build up.

If you are intrigued by thinking about holistic health for your dog, read the 7 keys to health at my site, and buy a few books about general health care (abcs of healthy pets) and feeding the best.  

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Dr. Christina Chambreau


I can give you the holistic approach to any problem, mostly for dogs and cats and some farm animals and horses. Depending on the condition and the type of animal, I will be able to give very specific treatment suggestions such as what flower essences, homeopathic remedies, nutritional supplements, diet changes, lifestyle changes or herbs that may be helpful - not drugs. I can also suggest where you can go for further education or to find a specialist in a specific holistic field. I can help you understand why your animal is ill and what improvements can be expected. I do not check messages more than every one to two days, so PLEASE DO NOT ask about EMERGENCIES - call your local veterinarian. I cannot diagnose your animal. I cannot prescribe specific treatments. I am no longer very current with conventional treatments, so cannot answer questions on those. I am not an expert on birds or small critters. I am not an expert in breeding, birthing or babies.


I graduated from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 1980 and began using homeopathy in my practice after a client introduced me to it. By 1988 I was using exclusively holistic treatments. I began lecturing in 1987 and have spoken at veterinary conferences, health food stores, people's homes, churches, veterinary college conferences - anywhere people want to learn more about keeping their animals healthy.

Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy (I helped found this one) American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association National Center for Homeopathy American Veterinary Medical Association

I have written in many magazines, journals and newspapers. A few include Bark Magazine; Journal of the AHVMA; Baltimore Dog Magazine; Whole Dog Journal; Tiger Tribe; Wolf Clan. I have also been frequently interviewed on radio and TV. I am Associate Editor for the Integrative Veterinary Care Journal, so often have articles there.

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) Certified Veterinary Homeopath (CVH)

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