Let’s be honest. Doggie kisses are irresistible, right? But the smell? Not so good. So what’s a pet parent to do? We must have kisses, so we must find a remedy – quickly.
What Causes Bad Breath?
Bad breath, or halitosis, is primarily a result of bacteria build-up in your dog’s mouth. However, bad breath can be caused by dental or gum disease, which is much more serious, since gum disease, like in humans, can lead to other, more serious problems. As your dog eats, food builds up between the teeth, which attract bacteria. The bacteria feed on the food particles and the gums become infected. The infection can move into the blood stream and cause infection in the heart and other organs, and can be fatal.
Give your dog hard treats that require a fair amount of chewing; that helps to remove build up. Giving your dog raw marrow bones, so they cannot be splintered and swallowed, once a month or so helps keep the teeth clean. Another good option are deer antlers which are not prone to splinter either (plus deers are not harmed in the process of obtaining the antlers.)
<Also Read: Deer Antlers As Chew Options>
Another option is to opt for rawhide bones. Their is much debate about the safety concerns with bones – regardless if they are hard marrow bones or rawhide bones. SAFETY NOTE: Monitor your dog closely if you choose to give them a bone and make sure to remove any small pieces that may come off to avoid problems with swallowing pieces of the bone.
Another option is a hard rubber toy. Chewing on one of these can help rid the teeth of food particles. One of the most recommended hard rubber toys is a Kong. The Kong allows you to place treats inside where the dog must work to get them out. This helps clean the teeth and keeps the dog occupied mentally. It is recommended for many behavior problems, such as separation anxiety. There are also many treats on the market that claim to “brush” while your dog chews.
The Home Doggie Dentist
There are many at-home tricks for freshening your dog’s breath. First and foremost, brush your dog’s teeth. Brush your dog’s teeth regularly, several times per week using pet toothpaste. As an option, you can use a rubber cap with little nubs that go on your finger; then you can use your finger to brush the teeth. They can be found at your local pet store.
Another option is a pet dentist. It is a good idea to have your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned twice a year for a deeper cleaning than you can do at home. If your dog just won’t stand for tooth brushing, see your vet for a product called Biotene that you can put in your dog’s water. It freshens your dog’s breath and removes plaque. Do not use Biotene for humans; get the one especially for dogs.
Chew on This
Feeding your dog dry food will help the situation. Canned food and/or human food will sometimes make the situation worse. Parsley is claimed to freshen breath as well. Just pick up some at the grocery store, chop, and sprinkle on your dog’s food. But you should only give it in small amounts and for short periods of time.
Fresh is Best
Make sure your dog has clean, fresh water available. Bacteria contribute to bad breath, so make sure he’s not picking any up when he drinks. Wash water and food bowls regularly to be sure that they are bacteria free.
Good doggie dental hygiene is just another way to ensure your dog a long and healthy life. With some tools in hand and some practice, curing doggie breath is fairly easy. Make sure to maintain regular vet visits, and if there is any doubt about your dog’s oral health, see your vet to prevent a more serious issue than just bad breath.
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