We all know a bad breath when we smell it! But do you know why your dog gets it? And what can be done to improve it?
Bad breath, medically termed ‘halitosis,’ is a common problem reported by pet owners. Bad breath is caused by an excessive build-up of odor producing bacteria in your dog’s mouth, lungs or gut. Most of the time bad breath is caused by something minor, like plaque and tartar, which certain dogs (especially small ones) are prone. Decomposed food, bacteria and minerals combine to form plaque, which can be seen on the sides of the teeth as a thin brownish-yellow layer. Its this plaque that causes bad breath. Ongoing bad breath could indicate that your dog needs better dental care, however in some cases it can be a hint that your pet may be experiencing bigger medical problems and it might mean there is something wrong with their gastrointestinal tract, liver or kidneys.
In all cases, bad breath should be investigated. I mean, nobody likes a stinky kiss do they?
Top 4 Ways to Tackle Bad Breath
1. Make sure your dog gets regular check ups
Nobody likes going to the dentist but just because you might ignore the fact that you’ve got a check up due, don’t do the same for your dog. Dog’s needs to have their teeth examined 1-2 times a year. Not only will the vet monitor and track the state of your dogs teeth and breath, as well as clean and polish your dog’s teeth to remove any heavy tartar; it’s also just good for your dog to go for regular checkups to make sure he has no underlying medical issues.
2. Brush your dogs teeth regularly – (everyday to be precise)
Dogs clearly can’t clean their own teeth so it’s a job for the owner. It might sound ridiculous but it will keep your dog’s breath fresher while reducing plaque and tartar build-up, which can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Focus your attention on the upper teeth as plaque usually begins to build up there first and don’t forget to brush their tongue too! There is also special toothpaste formulated for dogs. Don’t ever use human toothpaste as it can upset their stomachs and not only that, dog toothpaste comes in appetising flavours to help make the whole experience a little more enjoyable!Pet toothbrushes and toothpaste can be brought from local pet stores.
3. Give him something to chew on
Did you know that chewing is a dog’s way of naturally cleaning his teeth? And it helps improve his breath in the process. Kongs are the best chew toy for this. A kong is a nontoxic rubber toy with a hollow centre, which is usually stuffed with food to provide dogs with a healthy outlet for their natural desire to chew. Instead of food, put some dog toothpaste on the inside of the toy and as your dog chews on the kong, he’ll get used to the toothpaste and clean his teeth at the same time.
4. Incorporate parsley into his diet
Parsley is a herb used in many diets but it isn’t usually given to a dog. Humans have used it for medicinal purposes for years, and the good news is, it can be beneficial for your dog in the same way. It’s a natural breath freshener and has several health benefits. It contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to help fight the bacteria-inducing bad breath. As well as helping maintain a fresh breath, it also contributes to the cleansing of organs, which helps prevent all sorts of canine diseases. The only time when your dog shouldn’t be fed parsley is if they are pregnant or have kidney problems. Don’t go overboard, however, a few pinches mixed in with their food will do.