We’re biologically wired to dislike bad smells. Whether emanating from an animal or mineral source, a strong stench can signal danger and alert us to possible trouble. This is especially true when it comes to your dog’s bad breath.
Though a stinky mouth could be an indicator of internal diseases in the kidney, liver or gums, it’s also possible to prevent.
Once you’ve ruled out potential health issues, it’s time to freshen things up. Below are five ways to help get rid of your dog’s bad breath.
1. Vet Cleanings
Dogs should have an annual professional cleaning to keep teeth and gums healthy. Springing for one helps stay on top of plaque and can prevent complications like periodontal disease. This is especially important for older dogs whose tartar build up and cavities may quicken tooth rot.
2. Dietary Changes
It all starts from the inside out. Ensuring Fido eats a balanced diet of high quality dog food is key to tooth health. Keeping your pooch out of the garbage bin and away from feces is also a good way to avoid a potential issue. If you’re still looking for a little external help, try adding in a bunch of parsley at mealtime.
3. Home Brushings
Brushing your dog’s teeth a few times a week may seem like overkill, but it’s actually highly effective at banishing bad breath. It helps keep plaque and tartar build up at bay and is one of the best ways to avoid gum disease. Just be sure to get them specially made for dogs. Visit your local pet store to see their selection of finger brushes and canine toothpaste.
4. Toys and Treats
Anytime your dog is chewing, it’s also giving its teeth a nice scrub. As they gnaw, plaque gets disrupted and their breath grows better as a result. Some bones and knuckles do a fabulous job of scrubbing teeth as do bully sticks and all natural freeze dried treats, but do your research. Not all are appropriate or safe. When eyeing toys, stick to hard rubber or nylon to keep things on the up and up.
5. Topicals and Additives
Ask your vet about water additives that can help reduce the amount of plaque build-up on your dog’s teeth. When they’re drinking enough it can really help to freshen their breath, too. They may also be able to recommend a special topical gel to help speed the process. It goes on with your finger and neutralizes odors in the mouth without brushing.
Ultimately, bad breath may not make your dog any less loveable, but it could be cause for concern. Follow these easy steps to keep your dog’s breath fresh as a daisy and twice as sweet!