Embracing your pup’s affections can’t be as fun if you’re dealing with bad doggy breath, can it?
A lot of owners deal with this problem at some point or other in their relationship with their dog.
If your dog has bad breath, the problem can be more than just having to grit it out while receiving love from your puppy, and could lead to strained relations or problems socializing with other people or dogs.
Also, bad breath, or halitosis, can turn out to be just a symptom of a larger medical problem and may be indicative of a variety of issues like dental disease, or even gastrointestinal or kidney troubles.
Of course, bad doggy breath could merely mean your dog has an excess build-up of bacteria in its mouth. But depending on details, and the right diagnosis, you might be lucky to pinpoint a problem you didn’t quite imagine existed.
In any case, if your dog’s breath suddenly starts stinking or has a funny smell, it’s best to act at once and have your vet do a check-up before the problem gets out of hand.
In this article, we will get into some simple, effective tips that’ll help you deal with bad doggy breath, and also improve the overall dental health of your little friend. Using these may not get your doggy to smell minty fresh all day, but they’ll at least see that it remains healthy and happy, and free to slobber over you all it wants.
1. Getting Regular Check-ups at the Vet’s
It’s an excellent idea to have your vet check and monitor your puppy’s dental health as part of your regular visits, and at least a couple of times a month.
It’s a great preventive measure and can help you zero in on any potentially larger medical problems before they get out of hand.
If your dog’s breath smells unusual, and the change persists, make sure you consult your vet to get a proper diagnosis because often, particular odors in the breath can indicate specific conditions.
For example, a fruity or sweet-smelling breath might be symptomatic of diabetes, or one that has the odor of urine could be due to kidney disease.
Also, make sure you have excess plaque and tartar professionally cleaned periodically by your vet or someone he or she recommends.
2. Daily Dental Hygiene
It’s essential to brush your teeth and clean your mouth every day to ensure good dental health. You know this, of course, but it’s also true for your pup!
Unfortunately, many owners neglect this and don’t start unless the problem gets out of hand, or start too late and face troubles getting their dog used to the routine.
Start brushing your pup’s teeth when he’s still young and easy to train, and you can prevent a whole lot of trouble later on.
Here are some tips on training and establishing a regular routine for brushing your dog’s teeth:
- Make sure you use appropriate products made for dogs, especially the toothpaste, as human products could be toxic for dogs.
- Start gradually, with a few teeth at a time, so that your pup gets used to the taste of the toothpaste and the sensation of brushing.
- Focus on the upper teeth, for plaque tends to build up there easily.
- Try to schedule this for a regular time, such as evenings or nights, after dinner, when your puppy is calm and relaxed.
- It may be trickier, but don’t forget to floss or cleaning the tongue!
If you’re unsure or face difficulties at any point, turn to your vet for advice on techniques, products or any other thing.
Also, while brushing your pup’s teeth, make sure to generally check on the health of its gums, tongue, etc. as well as for foreign objects that may be stuck or unusual growths, for dental hygiene isn’t all about the teeth alone.
3. Using Dental Treats and Other Products
There are a number of products other than regular dental ones such as the best dog dental chews, that are available these days to help you maintain your dog’s dental health throughout the day.
Dental treats that have special ingredients, like charcoal based ones, help take care of bad doggy breath.
You can also use mouthwashes or sprays made for dogs on occasion when you think something extra is needed.
Make sure you consult your vet before using new products! Some of these may contain ingredients, such as xylitol, that are harmful to dogs.
Toys can also assist in maintaining good dental hygiene for your puppy, while keeping things less unpleasant, perhaps, than the old brushing routine.
Hard chew toys, for example, help dislodge stuck food particles or plaque, and rope-based toys can act as a dental floss of sorts.
You can also smear a little dog toothpaste on the chew toys to aid cleaning, while also getting your puppy used to the taste of it.
5. Changing the Diet
Sometimes, your dog’s diet may be worsening the condition due to an imbalance. Often, diets heavy on meat can cause bad doggy breath.
On the other hand, certain additives to the diet can lead to noticeable improvements in your puppy’s oral hygiene.
Adding a little lemon, parsley or specially made additives to your dog’s food or water can help keep its breath fresh through the day.
Another good method is having your dog chew on rawhide bones, which work the same way as chew toys in cleaning out plaque or other particles from the teeth. Make sure you don’t use cooked bones, as they tend to break or splinter and injure your dog’s mouth or internal organs.
What do you make of these tips? Have you used any of them before? Do let us know your own feedback on any of the methods we have suggested, and feel free to recommend some of your own!