3 Ways to Combat Bad Dog Breath!

Like their human counterparts, if you get a whiff of your dog’s breath it isn’t going to smell like roses, but there is a big difference between normal doggie breath and a bad case of halitosis.  Here are three important tips to your dog’s dental hygiene and how to keep their breath fresh and clean.

Brush

According to the American Veterinary Dental College, the single best way to ensure dental health

bad dog breath

Even kisses from this cutie can naturally be a little stinky!
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and fresh breath is brushing daily.  Like their humans, dogs can have plaque build-up which can lead to periodontal disease.  Pet stores will carry dental products for your dog like angled toothbrushes to easily reach their back teeth and pet-appropriate toothpaste.  Never use human toothpaste on your pet!  It is too abrasive and they are more likely to swallow or inhale the foam.

Puppies are more likely to get into the habit of a daily brush, but this doesn’t exclude older dogs.  Patience and positive reinforcement is the key.  Add a few treats into the session and before long they may be telling you it’s time to brush!

Crunchy Kibble & Fresh Water

Many people are in the habit of feeding their dogs only wet food; unless directed otherwise by your veterinarian, it is not ideal. Canned food is soft and likely to stick to your dog’s teeth where it can sit and fester.  Dry dog food, on the other hand, promotes chomping and helps keep teeth strong and healthy because it gently rubs away any soft plaque and tartar build-up. Try mixing half a portion of wet food with some dry food – your dog will love it!

Be sure to keep the water bowl clean and bacteria free.
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Always give your dog fresh water and make sure you rinse their bowl.  Fresh water is crucial to overall health. A dehydrated pup will have a dry, sticky, or pale mouth and gums.  Giving them the best water in the world will do no good if they drink from a dirty bowl because it can host bacteria and harmful microorganisms.

Just remember: Crunchy food “brushes” their teeth and gums and fresh water rinses the gunk away.

Crunchy Treats & Chew Toys

Like crunchy kibble, there are benefits of having crunchy treats and chew toys for your canine friend.  Crunchy treats like rawhide or dental biscuits promote chewing, which in turn promotes saliva thus keeping their mouth moist.  Their natural inclination to chew and chomp also promotes strong, healthy teeth.  There are treats that contain anti-tartar ingredients as well.  Chew toys gently rub the gums and help disperse soft tartar build-up.

Always monitor your pet.  You should be familiar if your dog is a chewer or a large chunk swallower.  If they are the latter then you must remove the treat before they can swallow a large piece, as it can get stuck in their digestive tract and cause a blockage.

Crunchy Treats & Chew Toys

Like crunchy kibble, there are benefits of having crunchy treats and chew toys for your canine

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I may not know how to brush, but I’m happy to chew a brush!
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friend.  Crunchy treats like rawhide or dental biscuits promote chewing, which in turn stimulates saliva thus keeping their mouth moist.  Their natural inclination to chew and chomp also promotes strong, healthy teeth.  There are treats that contain anti-tartar ingredients as well.  Chew toys gently rub the gums and help disperse soft tartar build-up.

Always monitor your pet.  You should be familiar with your dog’s habits and know if they are a chewer or a large chunk swallower.  If they are the latter then you must remove the treat before they can swallow a large piece, as it can get stuck in their digestive tract and cause a blockage.

Finally

It isn’t hard to maintain a healthy dog with fresh breath, but if you find that your furry friend has offensive breath no matter what you try, it may be time to visit the veterinarian, as you may be dealing with a more serious health issue beyond stinky breath.

 

Citations

ASPCA.  Ten Steps to your Dog’s Dental Health.  http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/ten-steps-your-dogs-dental-health

AVDC.  Home Care for Dogs.  http://www.avdc.org/carefordogs.html

Leonardi, L.  Wet or Dry Dog Food: Which is Better?

http://www.petcarerx.com/article/wet-or-dry-dog-food-which-is-better/838

PetEducation.com.  Water: A Nutritional Requirement.  http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+1659&aid=716

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