Doggie breath…. We have all heard of it and some pet parents know about it all too well. Although bad breath can sometimes be an indication of a serious problem, such as gastrointestinal, liver or kidney issues, it is much more commonly a side effect of poor dental care and can easily be resolved through a series of easy actions. Here are five tips and tricks for pet parents who are worried about their companion’s bad breath:
Let the dog chew raw bones
Most doggie breath is caused by tartar buildup in the mouth. In order to cut down on the foul smell, pet parents need to figure out how to decrease tartar. Fortunately, raw bones have a tough, fibrous texture that breaks through tartar buildup and can actually help pets avoid dental visits to the vet.
Provide your dog with a large beef or mutton bone (available in most grocery stores) at least once a month to ensure that the dog’s teeth stay healthy and clean. If raw bones are not an option in your area, purchase a package of dried bones from a pet shop. It is important to note that dogs should never be given chicken or poultry bones, as these can splinter and cause serious, often fatal, gastrointestinal problems.
Brush the dog’s teeth
Although few pet owners do this, it is a wonderful way to clean the mouth and avoid stinky doggy breath. Purchase a normal, soft-bristle toothbrush from the grocery store and use toothpaste formulated specifically for dogs.
In addition to being safe for the stomach, these toothpastes are often meat-flavored to make the tooth brushing process more enjoyable for the animal. Gently pull the dog’s lips back, secure his or her head and focus on brushing the upper teeth, as this is where plaque typically accumulates. For best results, the dog’s teeth should be brushed once daily.
Give the dog store-bought dental sticks
Like a raw bone, dental sticks break through smelly tartar buildup and leave the dog’s mouth fresh and clean. Unlike raw bones, however, they can be chewed up and double as a tasty treat. Find a variety that your dog likes and give one bone daily for dental maintenance and upkeep.
Add Biotene to your dog’s water
Veterinary-prescribed Biotene has no smell, color or taste and is completely safe for use in dogs. In addition to freshening breath, Biotene also cuts down on the production of odor-causing bacteria in the dog’s mouth.
Feed your dog a healthy diet
A well-balanced diet improves a dog’s immune system and gastrointestinal health, which in turn lessens harmful bacteria in the mouth, decreases susceptibility to tartar buildup and freshens breath. Ensure that your dog’s kibble is crunchy, nutritious and aligned with his or her age and breed. This simple step will go a long way in getting rid of doggie breath once and for all.
Although many pet owners think that doggie breath is simply the price of living with pets, this is not true. Bad breath can easily be improved or eliminated by making small dietary changes, feeding the animal crunchy dental treats and raw bones, and supplementing their water with vet-prescribed Biotene. Thanks to these simple tips, you may enjoy smooches from Fido even more!
Content reviewed by a veterinarian.
Photo ©iStock.com/Lisa Thornberg