Top tips for eliminating dog breath
SUMMARY: Don't let your furry friend develop oral issues later in life - begin a healthy, doggie-friendly oral care routine today.
Posted: July 25, 2014
You love your four-legged family member - but let's face it, sometimes his or her dog breath can become a bit challenging to deal with. There are a number of reasons why your pooch is suffering from halitosis, but fortunately there are many ways that you can prevent this problem from happening.
According to PetMD, smaller breeds like pugs and Boston terriers are most likely to have bad breath because their teeth are very close together. However, dogs of all sizes can end up with periodontal issues, so it is important to take your dog's dental routine seriously. Here are some excellent ways to do so:
Brush your pooch's teeth: According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, some dogs may show signs of gum disease by the time they are 4 years old due to a lack of routine dental care like brushing. You can even buy a specially made doggie toothbrush. Be careful to use dog toothpaste recommended by your vet - according to ASPCA, human toothpaste can cause problems with enamel formation in puppies and may irritate a dog's stomach.
Take a smell test: About once a week, smell your dog's breath. We know, this isn't the most pleasant of exercises. Keep in mind that canine breath isn't exactly going to have that "just left the dentist" aroma, and that's OK. However, if there is a particularly foul odor coming from your dog's mouth, it could be a sign of an internal problem, so it is important to check from time to time.
Periodically check your dog's gums: Another practice you should do weekly is examining your dog's gums. If they are pink and clean, you're good to go. If they are red, white, swollen or have brownish tartar, it's time to take your pup to the vet, as these could be a sign of oral disease.
Chew toys for doggie chompers: Building strong teeth is important in growing dogs. Gnawing on chew toys is an excellent exercise for your pooch, as it can reduce stress, scrape away soft tartar and massage his or her gums. This also satisfies your dog's natural urge to chomp and helps keep the mouth strong and healthy. Rope toys might be especially beneficial, as they can act like dental floss for dogs.
Consider your dog's diet: Just like humans, diet can influence the prevalence of bad breath in dogs. Because of this, it might be a good idea to limit his or her amount of table scraps and invest in dry food that can prevent the formation of plaque. There are also many treats available that are specially made to fight off dog breath.