There’s nothing like the warm cuddles of a loving pup beside you, but when your dog breathes on you with breath that could kill a houseplant or burn off an eyebrow, you’ll need to do something about it. The smell is not just unpleasant, it’s also a sign of poor dental health and may even be a sign of an underlying health issue. Luckily, there are many resources out there to help you figure out what’s going on and how to keep your pup’s breath in check.
What’s Causing Your Dog’s Bad Breath?
Before grabbing the doggie toothpaste, try to figure out what might be causing your pup’s bad breath in order to rule out any underlying health issues. Just like humans, the most common cause for bad breath is a build-up of plaque and tartar which leads to gingivitis and eventually the more serious periodontal disease. To prevent this buildup, make sure to brush your dog’s teeth regularly (once a day is ideal), give them chews to prevent the build-up in the first place, feed them a well-balanced diet, and make sure they don’t eat anything yucky.
If your dog’s breath smells sweet or fruity, this could be a sign of diabetes, so get them checked by the vet right away. If your pup’s breath smells like urine, this could mean they have kidney disease and should visit a vet ASAP. If their breath smells really foul, they are vomiting, have a lack of appetite, and their gums are yellow, they could have kidney disease and, again, should visit a vet ASAP!
Brush Your Dog’s Teeth Regularly
Most likely, your dog’s breath probably stinks because of plaque and tartar build-up which is easily fixed by brushing their teeth regularly. Don’t use human toothpaste or a toothbrush though! Use specially-made doggie dental products. There are a number of special products for brushing your dog’s teeth and the American Kennel Society (AKC) has compiled a list of toothpaste brands that’ll do the job.
There’s even a Tropiclean plaque remover gel that requires no toothbrush!
Some come with a tootbrush, but if not, try one of these toothbrushes
Give Your Dog Dental Treats
In addition to brushing your dog’s teeth, you can give them dental treats that are made to remove plaque and tartar buildup and also have ingredients in them that’ll help to freshen your dog’s breath. BARK’s Oral Health supplements include unique ingredients, such as Champignon Mushroom extract (which has the ability to suppress odor causing toxins in the intestines), cinnamon (which supports a healthy bacterial balance in the mouth), and spirulina (for its beneficial deodorizing effect).
Then there’s the Dozers Dental Chew, which is chicken-flavored with a unique shape that gets in between your dog’s teeth as they chew.
Chews For Your Dog
Like dental chews, regular chews help to remove plaque and tartar buildup while also preventing more buildup to occur. Just the act of chewing is healthy for your dog because the gnawing scrapes the plaque off the teeth and a lot of meaty chews contain enzymes that help to promote dental health. Check out a list of chews that we offer to help your dog on the road to dental health.
Aside from brushing your dog’s teeth and giving them chews, you may also want to visit your vet for a professional cleaning every so often which is actually the best way to maintain your dog’s dental hygiene. Even if it’s more expensive than any of the other options, your vet will be able to provide the best advice and dental care for your dog.