A dog with bad breath is something that can make any dog owner gag. Even though your dog might think that you appreciate a big wet kiss if he has bad breath, then getting up close and personal to your dog’s smelly mouth is the last thing that you want to experience. Smelly dog breath isn’t just smelly, it could also be a sign of a health problem. There are many reasons why your dog has bad breath, and it’s a good idea to do a bit of research into the possible causes of bad breath and what you can do to treat it.
Causes of Bad Dog Breath
We all know that dogs like to eat yucky things, and ingesting inappropriate items can cause noxious breath. Other issues such as metabolic diseases can also cause halitosis, but the most common cause of bad dog breath is periodontal disease. Just like humans, dogs can experience plaque build-up on their teeth, which can then turn into tartar, accumulating around the gum lines causing irritation, gum inflammation (gingivitis), bone/soft tissue loss, abscesses, and gum disease. The good news is that gum disease can be managed with regular dental care.
Preventing Bad Dog Breath in Boxborough, MA
Below are listed some ways to help prevent bad breath in your dog.
Perhaps the best way to keep your dog’s mouth healthy and to control bad breath is to brush his teeth because it’s an excellent way to prevent tartar and plaque buildup. The more often you can brush your dog’s teeth, the better. In fact, daily brushing is ideal. Although most dogs aren’t very fond of the idea at first, training your dog to have his teeth brushed can be done. There are many dental products available, and it’s important to buy toothpaste made specifically for dogs because human toothpaste contains ingredients such as xylitol that are toxic to dogs.
Dog toothpaste comes in a variety of flavors ranging from chicken or peanut butter flavor, and dogs can learn to like the flavor. Also, many dog toothpastes are enzymatic, which means that they have properties (enzymes) that help reduce bacteria, limit tartar buildup, and improve bad breath. When brushing your dog’s teeth, you should use a toothbrush made especially for dogs or a brush that fits over your fingertip. If you have any questions about brushing your dog’s teeth, ask your veterinarian for recommendations.
Dog Dental Treats
Dogs love treats, and dental treats are a very good way to maintain your dog’s dental health and help combat bad breath. Dental treats are made to remove plaque buildup, and they contain ingredients that freshen your dog’s breath and can break up plaque and tartar. Dental chews and treats come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and flavors, and it should be easy to find a treat that your dog likes. But be sure it isn’t too hard. Some treats and chews can break teeth.
If brushing your dog’s teeth isn’t an option, you may want to try dental wipes. Tooth wipes are designed to be rubbed against your dog’s teeth to help remove plaque and tartar. Wipes work similarly to toothbrushes, but unlike tooth brushing, wipes can’t get into the tiny nooks and crannies that a brush can.
Special Dental Diets
Specifically formulated dental dog foods and treats can slow the build-up of tartar and avoid the progression of dental disease and bad breath. Formulated veterinary dental diets provide balanced nutrition along with attributes that allow for scrubbing the teeth, freshening the breath, and reducing plaque and tartar formation. If you have questions about specially formulated dental diets for your dog, contact your veterinarian.
There is a variety of dental chews available, and almost all of them have teeth cleaning properties. The act of chewing benefits your dog’s oral health, no matter what your dog is chewing on. The act of chewing and gnawing scrapes plaque off your dog’s teeth, and a lot of dental chews contain enzymes that help promote dental health. But be sure it isn’t too hard. Some treats and chews can break teeth. If you need recommendations regarding which dental chews are best, contact your veterinarian.
Dog Teeth Cleanings
Perhaps the best way to ensure your dog’s oral health, and to reduce noxious fumes coming from his mouth is to have him undergo a dog teeth cleaning by a veterinarian. Your veterinarian knows what’s best for your dog’s teeth and will be able to address any issues she finds. Although dental procedures for dogs involve general anesthesia and are more expensive than the options listed above, it is the best way to maintain your dog’s optimal dental health. Your veterinarian is experienced in dental prophylaxis, and dog teeth cleanings can prevent, locate, and treat any issues that might go unnoticed.
Tips for Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth in Boxborough, MA
There are several tips for brushing your dog’s teeth:
Try to get your dog used to the idea of having his teeth brushed, and keep the sessions short and non-stressful. You can acclimatize your dog to having his teeth brushed by dipping your finger in the pet toothpaste, and massage his lips, once or twice a day for a few weeks, and then move on to the teeth and gums.
Second, place a toothbrush along your dog’s teeth, and gently brush in small, circular motions. Purchase a toothbrush designed especially for dogs, as it’s smaller than a human toothbrush and has softer bristles. Toothbrushes that you can wear over your finger can also be used. Always use toothpaste designed specifically for dogs, and never use human toothpaste as it can contain xylitol which is harmful to dogs.
Signs Your Dog Needs a Teeth Cleaning in Boxborough, MA
It’s always important to have regular exams with your veterinarian, and between veterinary visits, be sure to check your dog for the following:
- Bad breath
- Difficulty eating
- Painful mouth
- Excessive drooling
- Swollen and/or bleeding gums
- Red or inflamed gums
- Tartar deposits on the teeth and along the gum line
If you notice any of these signs in your dog, call (978) 929-9200 and talk to your veterinarian at Veterinary Dental Services. A professional teeth cleaning might be recommended, especially if your dog has severe bad breath. Most dental procedures begin with blood work to determine if your dog is healthy enough to undergo anesthesia, and if everything is well with your pet, your veterinarian will conduct a complete oral exam and x-rays to identify problems under the gum line. A full dog teeth cleaning can prevent periodontal disease, and professional scaling and polishing can remove plaque and tartar build-up.