Does Your Dog Have Bad Breath?
By Lee Dobbins
Your cute little pooch is the joy of your life, you love to be around himâ€¦. Until you get too close!
Bad breath in dogs can be a common problem and while easily taken care of, it can be detrimental to their health if left unattended.
Bad breath can be blamed on a number of culprits. A couple of the most common are dental or periodontal disease. This can all be associated to your dog not properly chewing his food (i.e. not allowing saliva to do its job), having a broken tooth or dental plaque and tartar. Also, your dog could be suffering an internal problem that is causing his bad breath. He could be having problems with kidney or liver function. The best thing to do in extreme cases is to consult with your vet.
The first tool in battling bad breath in dogs is a toothbrush and some enzymatic toothpaste. Yep, thatâ€™s right, fido needs his teeth brushed regularly. Almost 80% of dogs over 3 years old have periodontal disease. This is very serious and is causes a buildup on the teeth and gums that results in deterioration of the gums, teeth and bones. Not only does it cause bad breath, but the bacteria can get into the bloodstream and threaten the health of your dogs vital organs. In fact, proper dental care may help your dog live up to 5 years longer!
You should brush your dogs teeth every day. At first this may really be a struggle, but after a while it will become routine and eventually you and your dog may even enjoy this time together. There are two types of brushes – one looks pretty much like a regular toothbrush and one is a rubber â€œfingerâ€ with little rubber bristles that you place over your finger. You may need to experiment to see which one is best for your dog.
Never use human toothpaste on your dog – it can hurt him! You should use special enzymatic toothpaste that will help kill the bacteria. Plus it comes in flavors dogs like like chicken (I know my dog loved that taste of it).
Anther way to insure your dogs breath smells sweet as well as his overall health is to make sure that you are meeting your dogâ€™s nutritional needs. Do not feed your dog table scrapsâ€”ever. And, never feed your puppy or dog candy or especially chocolate. Give your dog the best food designed for his body type and breed.
Finally, youâ€™ll want to be sure to have your dogâ€™s teeth brushed and professionally treated by a veterinarian every six to twenty-four months. After your first consultation, ask your vet what schedule he believes is best. It can vary dependent upon breed and lifestyle. You dog will have to undergo a general anesthesia in the vetâ€™s office before the brushing. For older dogs, talk to your vet, especially if itâ€™s been awhile (up to a few years) since your dogâ€™s last cleaning. Some vets will not put older dogs under anesthesia for regular cleanings.
If you havenâ€™t tended to your pets dental needs in a while, you may find he needs a dental cleaning and scaling right away. He may even need to have some teeth removed. Once you have this taken car of, however you can start on a routine of daily brushing and he may never need to get a dental from the vet again.
Once you take care of any buildup and start on your brushing routine, your dogs breath should be sweet in no time!
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