It might not be the most enjoyable of subjects to consider, but sometimes, dog owners need to discuss the less-savory aspects of dog ownership. Up there with the least pleasant topics is the unfortunate situation where your dog’s breath is… it’s not good.
It’s a common ailment, but knowing that other dog owners find themselves in the position of having to deal with it doesn’t make it any easier. We all want to be able to hug our dog, perhaps even go so far as to let them lick us – but if their breath isn’t exactly minty fresh, neither of those are pleasant ideas!
Aside from the “ick” factor, if your dog’s breath is bad, it might even be a sign of a health problem. So rather than continuing to wince any time you’re within five centimeters of your dog’s head, fix the problem once and for all.
What Causes Bad Breath In Dogs?
The most common reason is simple: dogs don’t brush their teeth! The only reason humans don’t have constant bad breath is because we’re brushing our teeth at least twice a day.
Not brushing leads to a build up of the same issues that humans can face: plaque, tartar, and other dental diseases. Sometimes, bad breath can be caused by kidney or liver issues. These will usually have secondary symptoms that you’ll notice, but it’s worth getting bloodwork done if you suddenly notice your dog’s breath smells vastly worse than normal.
What Are The Treatments For Bad Breath?
If your dog has an underlying condition, then getting that fixed is the primary objective. If that’s not the case, then you have a number of options.
Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
While you can buy special canine toothbrushes, the quickest and easiest way of brushing your furry friend’s teeth is with slip-on finger brushes. These allow you to move naturally around your dog’s mouth, rather than having to juggle holding and angling a separate brush. Most dogs will accept having their teeth brushed, but the younger you start them, the better they will come to tolerate it.
Chewing is nature’s way of cleaning teeth, so ensure your dog has plenty of options in this department. The best option is to find the best dental chews for dogs rather than using bones, which can splinter and potentially do more harm than good.
Reducing Sugar In Their Diet
Sugar is one of the primary causes of tooth decay and disease, which undoubtedly contributes to breath problems. If you’re thinking that your dog doesn’t consume much sugar, you might want to check the labeling of your dog food; you’ll be surprised by how much is in there. If you switch to low-sugar options or just have the occasional day of only feeding basic meat, then you should begin to notice an improvement.
When Should You See A Vet?
When you first notice breath issues, just to be careful. From that point onwards, you should be able to manage the situation from home. Of course, teeth should be checked out on an annual basis just to ensure everything is progressing as it should be.