Does Your Dog Have Bad Breath?
8 September, 2014
We love getting those wet, mushy kisses from our dogs all over our faces. And while they are the best way that our dogs express their love, it can become a bit unbearable if they have bad doggy breath! Dog halitosis is very common among dogs. Bad doggy breath can sometimes be a sign of a more serious illness, but usually a little extra dental care and change in diet can help make your dog’s breath minty clean (or at least back to normal).
Bad breath is caused by an increase in bacteria
Bad breath is caused by an increase of the bacteria that produces odors in your dog’s mouth and stomach. There are many factors that can cause this increase and bad breath in canines. The main factor tends to be poor dental health. Tartar buildup, plaque, and gum disease will all enhance bad breath in dogs.
A poor diet can also be a factor in your dog’s bad breath, especially if you feed your pup canned or table food. If your dog has a habit of eating trash, other pets’ food, and anything that he or she can find, it can also contribute to its breath issues.
In more serious cases, bad breath can indicate larger medical issues, like diabetes or kidney disease. If you see symptoms of other diseases or if bad breath persists after adjusting diet and oral health regimens, make sure to take your dog to your veterinarian.
Treating bad breath
If your veterinarian has ruled out any sort of medical issue, then below are some ways to help curb your dog’s bad breath:
Your dog’s breath can be minimized by starting a cleaning routine
Fighting plaque and tartar buildup is the first step in keeping your dogs’ teeth healthy and clean, and in turn will reduce bad breath. Dogs’ teeth should be brushed at least twice a week. Use toothpaste formulated for dogs and whichever doggie toothbrush works best for you and your pup. While you clean your dog’s teeth, check for foreign objects that could be lodged in your dog’s teeth or gums.
Many vets also recommend that dogs have their teeth professionally cleaned once every year. Veterinarians will thoroughly clean your dog’s teeth, take x-rays, check for cavities, and remove diseased teeth. Talk to your vet about dental checkups and cleanings.
Your dog’s diet can be contributing to the bad breath
Your dog’s diet can influence his oral health and can also contribute to stinking up their breath. Make sure to feed your dog high quality food that is easy to digest. Canned food and table food can be factors in bad breath, so unless your veterinarian directs you to use canned food, stick solely to the dried variety. If possible, don’t moisten dried kibble as the added crunch will help fight tartar. Also make sure your dog isn’t eating cat or other pet food, trash and make sure that these items are not within your dog’s reach.
Try adding parsley slowly to your dog’s diet
As in humans, Parsley is a natural breath freshener that is safe for dogs to ingest unless their stomachs are sensitive to it. Experiment with this fresh herb by adding it to your dog’s food. Do so slowly and see how your dog takes to it. Raw carrots, in moderation are also known to help minimize the bad breath.
Purchase some dogs chews that help make the breath and teeth clean
Some dog chews and treats are available on the market that help clean your dog’s teeth and keep breath fresh. Hard, dried dog treats work like kibble to reduce plaque with chewing. Just make sure these biscuits aren’t healthy and not packed with sugar which will only add to tooth issues and require more cleaning. Other chews have anti-microbial and other ingredients that promote tooth health and fresh breath.
Buy some chew toys for your dogs
Chewing is instinctual to dogs and is their natural way of cleaning teeth. There are a variety of chew toys designed specifically to help keep your dog’s teeth clean. Chewing materials that are great for dog dental care include rawhide, durable rubber, some tough plastics, and strong bones that are safe for dogs. Make sure to stock your pet up with a few toys that are appropriate for their size and let them start gnawing away to healthier teeth.
If your dog is not sick, the above program of brushing your dog’s teeth, finding a health dog food and adding a little parsley to your dog’s diet should help you get rid of your dog’s bad breath.