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How to Freshen Up Your Dog’s Breath: Tips from Leading Veterinarians and Pet Experts

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As a loving pet parent, your dog’s bad breath can be a huge concern. While there are various solutions available, how do you know what works best and when to contact your vet? We have compiled tips from two leading veterinarians, Dr. Marty Becker and Dr. Carol Osborne, along with two popular pet experts, to help you freshen up your furry friend’s breath.

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What Causes Bad Breath in Dogs?

The most common reasons for bad breath in dogs are plaque and tartar buildup, periodontal disease, something stuck in their teeth, curious habits like eating trash, and another potential health issue. Plaque and tartar buildup is caused by bacteria on a dog’s teeth, which releases byproducts containing stinky sulfur, causing the smell. If left untreated, plaque and tartar can lead to periodontal disease, which can cause discomfort to your pet and, in severe cases, lead to tooth extractions. Another reason for bad breath in dogs is something stuck in their teeth, leading to bacterial infection and causing bad breath. Curious habits like eating trash or feces can also cause bad breath. Finally, bad breath can be a sign of a serious health issue, like diabetes, kidney disease, or liver disease.

How to Freshen Up Your Dog’s Breath

1. Brush your dog’s teeth correctly

One of the most effective ways to combat bad breath in dogs is to brush their teeth daily. Use a doggie toothpaste like Petsmile, which is the only dog toothpaste given the Veterinary Oral Health Council’s seal of approval, along with an ADA-compliant toothbrush. If you’re having a hard time getting your dog to open up, bring this up with your groomer, who should be able to brush your pup’s teeth for you. Ensure that you brush your pet’s teeth for at least 30 seconds, avoiding the use of human toothpaste.

2. Chew and chomp

Certain rubber toys such as the Kong Extreme allow you to hide cleaning treats or even dog toothpaste inside. As dogs chew on the toy, their teeth get cleaner, and their breath gets fresher. Additionally, rawhide bones are good for banishing plaque, but ensure that you keep an eye on your pet while they’re indulging and take the bone away as soon as it softens up.

3. Visit the vet

Dogs must be seen by a vet at least once a year. New studies show that 80% of pets have dental disease by the age of 3, with many pets showing signs of inflammation as early as 3 months of age. If you catch a waft of bad breath from your dog or notice that their gums look red or inflamed, talk to your vet.

4. Yapping for yogurt

Using plain yogurt to remedy bad breath is a popular home remedy. Ensure that you only add plain yogurt to your dog’s daily food allotment and watch to make sure your pup isn’t lactose intolerant. Just like people, some dogs can’t do dairy.

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5. Buy special teeth treats

Specialized dental care treats can help freshen up your dog’s breath. Greenies Dog Dental Treats are among the top-rated, and they’re approved for use by the Veterinary Oral Health Council. Additionally, water additives that fight bad breath in dogs are becoming popular with owners because of the ease of use.

6. Research dental sealants

If you have a dog breed that’s extra susceptible to decay, ask your vet about dental sealants. They can help keep teeth and gums clean, preventing tooth decay and plaque buildup.

7. Pass the parsley

Sprinkling chopped fresh parsley or dill on your dog’s food is a popular home remedy. These herbs are antibacterial and natural breath fresheners.

8. Use water additives

Water additives that fight bad breath in dogs are becoming popular with owners because of the ease of use. Petlab Co., for example, makes dental formulas for both cats and dogs.

9. Let Toto drink tea

If you suspect your dog’s bad breath is due to upset tummy or indigestion, use a special tea. Make a ginger tea by putting one or two slices of fresh ginger in a cup of hot water and letting it cool down. After removing the ginger slices, give one to two teaspoons of the ginger tea to your dog.

10. Consider professional cleaning

If your pet doesn’t tolerate brushing well, you may need to consider professional cleaning. Professional cleaning is a great way to clean your pet’s teeth thoroughly and remove any buildup that may be causing bad breath.

When to Visit the Veterinarian

When in doubt, a trip to the vet’s office is likely the best solution. Bad breath in dogs and cats is caused by periodontal disease, which is an infection. Infections require treatment. Bad breath is often the first sign of canine dental disease owners recognize. Left untreated, bacteria from your pet’s mouth can lead to liver, kidney, and even heart disease.

In conclusion, freshening up your furry friend’s breath is easy if you follow the tips provided by leading veterinarians and pet experts. Brushing your dog’s teeth daily, providing appropriate chew toys, and feeding them some dry food daily are some of the ways to maintain healthy teeth and gums for your pets. Additionally, home remedies like using plain yogurt, sprinkling fresh parsley or dill, and using ginger tea can also help freshen up your dog’s breath. Finally, visiting the vet at least once a year and considering professional cleaning are essential steps in maintaining your pet’s dental health.

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