Does your dog's breath almost knock you out? This condition is often called halitosis and results from the bacteria buildup in your dog's mouth, lungs or stomach. When your dog eats, plaque and tartar start building on his gums, resulting in a less than desirable odor.
Bad breath and bacteria left unattended can result in gum disease which occurs more often in smaller dogs and dogs that are older than three. In fact, periodontal disease occurs five times more often in dogs than people. Gum disease can wreak havoc with your dog's health, leading to chronic pain, eroded gums, missing teeth, and bone loss.
Since February is Pet Oral Health Care Month, we thought we would give you some tips on how to prevent bad breath in your dog and to keep it from turning into gingivitis or full blown gum disease.
How to Prevent Bad Breath In Your Dog
- Ideally, brush your dog's teeth every day (or twice a week at a minimum) with toothpaste designed for dogs. Human toothpaste can upset a dog's stomach.
- Provide hard, safe toys for your dog to chew such as the Bark Busters Game Changer. Your dog's teeth get cleaned by the natural process of chewing.
- Provide your dog with treats (get a recommendation from your vet) that improve breath odor. However, these are no substitute for daily brushing.
- Take your dog for regular check-ups with the vet. Your dog may need a professional cleaning. This will involve a thorough cleaning, x-rays, and possibly removal of bad teeth. You want to make sure his bad breath is not an indicator of a more serious illness such as diabetes.
- Consider squeezing lemons into your dog's water. Lemons can help to clean a dog's palette!
- Raw carrots (cut into bite-size chunks) can help to decrease plaque and are good for your dog. Parsley is also a natural breath freshener that is safe for dogs to ingest unless their stomachs are sensitive to it.
- Diet can contribute to your dog's bad breath in a variety of ways. Make sure to feed your pets nutritionally balanced dog food.
If you love dog kisses, you will definitely want to make sure your dog's breath is not stinky!