How I Failed As A Dog Mom + Helpful Dog Dental Care Tips

How I Failed As A Dog Mom + Helpful Dog Dental Care Tips

Meet Daisy. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Daisy {aka Daisy Baby, Daisy Mash, Mash Potato, Mishy Mishy & a host of other equally silly and endearing names} she is a chihuahua mix. Daisy joined our family in 2010. I found her listed on one of the online pet pages and I just had to meet her. The moment I held her I knew she was meant for me. She was just so freaking adorable and friendly. And she was covered in fleas. I agreed to take her anyway and home we went – straight to the bath. We slathered her up with shampoo and washed away her flea problem. She looked at me with those sweet, loving eyes and my heart just melted.

Daisy is mostly a chill dog and likes to sit with me on the couch while I blog. But she does have her excited moments. She sometimes gets angry with Puppy Mister. He is really sweet but sometimes he can be a little too lovey. And that can get on Daisy’s nerves. Aside from Daisy’s occasional spats with Puppy Mister, she also loves to “circle.” She will hop off the couch and try to run a circle right through the carpet. It’s hilarious. Except that one time she circled her butt right down the foyer stairs. She slid down the short flight of steps much like a child going down a snow hill on a sled. After the initial shock wore off, she loped back up the steps and gave me a lick. One time and she learned not to do that again. She also gets really happy when Jay gets home from work and wags her tail so hard you think it might snap right off, lol.

How I Failed As A Dog Mom + Helpful Dog Dental Care Tips

Daisy has always been a bit of a scratchy dog. She is allergic to some things and we have to be careful with the shampoo that we use on her. So, when she started scratching her face last spring, I didn’t think much of it. I would just make her stop when I saw her doing it. It got really incessant, though, and one day I noticed a huge gash under her eye. I was horrified, but I thought the wound was self inflicted so we got one of those “cone of shame” things and some medicine recommended for wounds at the local pet store. So, I put the cone of shame on her and treated her as the directions stated to on the medicine.

How I Failed As A Dog Mom + Helpful Dog Dental Care Tips

Days passed and it didn’t get better. And she seemed miserable in the cone of shame which I kept on her during the day. At night, I wrapped her little face in gauze and an ace bandage. I kept her wrapped in my arms so that I could feel if she tried to scratch and hopefully stop her. So mostly I just stayed up all night watching her. Usually, she would sleep way down in the covers at my feet and would not go for snuggling, but she didn’t put up much of a fight this time. One day I noticed she had what felt to me like a fever and she was pretty listless. I knew then that something was horribly wrong. And I was suddenly sure that she was going to die. And I had no idea why.

Before I had Daisy and Puppy Mister, I had never really had dogs of my own. I had a couple as a child, sure, but none that I was solely responsible for caring for and none that I had become this attached to. I had no idea that something so small could take up such a huge place in my heart. These dogs were my babies. So, I had to know what was going on with Daisy.

Amber called the vet and took Daisy to see her. I hate to say it but I was so shocked, distraught and sleep deprived by the past few days that I was so glad that she took this on. I will forever be thankful to my wonderful daughter for doing this.

So what was wrong with Daisy? Her “cut” was actually an abscessed tooth. That is not all, though. The vet kept her overnight because all of her teeth {that were left} needed to be removed. Every single one. We had taken horrible care of her teeth. The vet said that her teeth were so loose that many could be removed with just their fingers. When I heard this, I cried and cried. I have never felt so guilty about something in my entire life. I could not believe this. My poor Daisy suffered for days {or maybe longer} over something that I could have perhaps prevented.

But, honestly, I had no idea. Dogs need their teeth brushed? How the heck would you brush a dog’s teeth anyway? I surely didn’t have the answers to these questions, so I wrote to Purina to get answers to these questions so that I could take better care of my dogs in the future. The folks at Just Right by Purina did not make me feel horrible over my mistakes either. Instead, they offered helpful resources and shared some of their own experiences with dog dental issues that helped make me feel much better and realize that I am not alone. So, I decided to share some of them with you here today.

Dog Dental Care Tips & Resources

Yes, your dog’s teeth need to be brushed. You can read here to learn how to brush your dog’s teeth. February is actually National Pet Dental Health Month, too. Learn about how often your dog’s teeth need to be brushed here. So, if you aren’t already, perhaps you could start brushing your dog’s teeth now {if you haven’t already} and celebrate early.

“Regular brushing is always helpful and I definitely would recommend Purina DentaLife products. Purina Veterinary Diets has a patented form of kibble for dental health for more serious dental disease. From my own personal experience {as a chihuahua owner}, I believe that smaller dogs are more susceptible to dental issues because their jaw bones are much smaller, but they’re fitting in the same amount of teeth (albeit not the same size) as larger dogs.” – Julie {Just Right by Purina}

Daisy and Puppy Mister both really love Purina DentaLife Chews. Even though Daisy no longer has any teeth, they make her breath smell much better.

Thanks to the quick action of the caring vet, almost a year later, Daisy is alive and well. The only difference is her tongue is a bit floppier. 🙂 How does she eat with no teeth, you might ask? Just fine. She eats kibble just like before. It’s the craziest thing but the vet told us that, in her experience, that small dogs generally adjust pretty well after losing their teeth and that most can still eat kibble. I am so thankful. I really was not ready to lose this little sweet doggy. She is 9 now and Puppy Mister is 11 and I hope to have many more years with these little fluffs.

Do You Brush Your Dog’s Teeth?

If so, how often do you do it? Does your dog like it? How do you entice your dog to let you brush their teeth? If you have helpful dog dental care tips to share with others, we would love to hear about them in the comments below.

About Dawn McAlexander

Dawn is a full time travel and lifestyle blogger. Besides Cheap Is The New Classy, she also owns and writes for, an entertainment site. Her interests include traveling, home decor, DIY projects, organizing her home and enjoying a nice cup of coffee {or two}. She currently resides in North Carolina with her dog, Daisy.


  1. robin masshole mommy says:

    Aww, poor Daisy. I knew that dogs needed their teeth brushed, but our vet said that dental chews were enough, so that is what we always gave our Milo before he passed.

  2. It’s great that the vets were able to act upon it immediately. I guess dental care is really important even for dogs as it can be a source of infection and diseases.

  3. Reesa Lewandowski says:

    Awh poor pup! My dog is almost 12 and has some dental disease. I have just been trying to give him treats that help with that because I don’t want to stress him out in his old age.

  4. Oh my gosh your dog knows how to paint on the side. It breaks my heart to see that patch over her eye. What a beautiful dog she is. I need to start brushing my dogs teeth. Thank you for the reminder.

  5. It is so important to make sure you take care of their mouth!!! Just like humans poor dental can cause so many problems, but can be hard to find information on/

  6. This is an eye opening post. We don’t have any pets, but I have a friend with two dogs. I will share this post with her for sure.

  7. Hope more people read this and take proper precaution with their dogs teeth. So sorry your furry family friend and member of the family had to go through what he did. Don’t beat yourself up over it, just keep spreading the word.

  8. Pam Wattenbarger says:

    Poor Daisy!I’m glad that she adjusted well and can still eat just fine. I never knew that you needed to brush dog’s teeth, though.

  9. I’m so glad that Daisy has adjusted well to having no teeth. I need to make sure our dogs get their teeth brushed more often.

  10. So glad Daisy is ok! I don’t have a dog, but will have to share this with my sister. Never thought they could get that bad. ((HUGS)) to you and Daisy!

  11. I guess dental care for both dog and man is really important, I have seem some ads on TV about dental sticks to help keep the dogs teeth clean and strong.

  12. Oh wow! I’m glad the vets were able to fix Daisy up! Taking care of your dogs’ teeth must be super important!

  13. Oh my goodness, that is so scary! The poor thing, not your fault momma! I am glad everything got figured out and that she is feeling better.

  14. Amy Desrosiers says:

    I think these are great tips. When we got our dog she had poor dental hygiene. It cost us a pretty a penny to get her mouth in check.

  15. Sarah Bailey says:

    I am so sorry that you have had to go through this! I never knew that the teeth could have led to all of that.

  16. Ash Sears says:

    We were always told about dental chews and so we have done that all the time. So many vets don’t inform you about the dental hygiene.

  17. Claudia Krusch says:

    It is so important to take care of your pets teeth. I am so happy Daisy is happy and healthy. She is so adorable.

  18. Ann Bacciaglia says:

    My Sister has a little Chihuahua with terrible breath. I will have to share this post with her. I will have to look into brushing my cats teeth.

  19. Lisa Bristol says:

    I just started brushing my Chihuahuas teeth. I thought the brushing treats would be enough. Now that she is used to it my dog loves it.

  20. You have such a beautiful dog. Very cute! I’m glad to hear everything is okay with the dog though. I need to be more careful with my cats and their teeth. I know they should be brushed more often.

  21. What a cute dog you have. You are so right, it could not be more important to brush you dogs teeth. Thanks for a truly informative post for all us dog lovers.

  22. This is very helpful! I agree with you, our pet’s dental health should always be a priority. Thank you for this helpful info.

  23. Awww, this is just overflowing with love. I’ve never had a pet and I learned so much from this. I also didn’t know that dogs need to brush their teeth. I’m glad that Daisy is alive and is still doing okay.

  24. Awww, your dog is so cute. I want to have a furry friend too.

  25. I have two rescues and I try to brush their teeth at least twice a week. Thanks for sharing such important info- dog parents need to remember that dental health is just as important as every other part of their bodies!

  26. She is so cute, I am sorry she went through that. Hopefully she is feeling better now! Don’t feel too bad, you obviously adore her, and that is honestly what makes dogs the happiest.

  27. I know you have to brush a dogs teeth but I had no idea it could get this serious.

  28. I had no idea that it was that serious Such great information. This is such great information!

  29. I’ve never brushed my dogs teeth, however, I DO give them dental bones and am always making sure their breath doesn’t stink. All the dogs I have ever owned had amazing teeth even through their oldest years.

  30. I am someone who loves dogs from afar. Your dog is beautiful. But up close, I am too afraid of them. But he looks so sweet. You look like you and him have such a beautiful relationship. I would think you are doing a great job!

  31. Aww, poor fur baby! At least you eventually found out what was wrong!

  32. I never realized how important doggy dental care was until my sweet girl’s last vet appointment. She had some tartar build up and so I have been brushing her teeth and giving her dental treats ever since.