November 29


Bad Breath In Dogs – What Causes It And What You Can Do About It

Bad Breath in Dogs

When dogs have bad breath, they can REALLY have bad breath. That won’t stop them slobbering over you – which gives you an opportunity to get a really good whiff. In fact, bad breath is usually a sign of some underlying health problem and you should have your dog thoroughly examined by a vet. The most common cause of bad breath is gum disease.

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The underlying cause of gum disease is the build up of plaque:

Related Article: Cleaning Your Dog's Teeth

Plaque builds up when there is a lack of dental hygiene. Plaque is a soft film which forms over the teeth. It contains millions of bacteria which feed on small particles of food caught between the teeth. As a by-product of this feeding process, the bacteria excrete acids which attack tooth enamel. If the plaque is not removed, over time it will harden to form tartar.

Tartar is more difficult to remove and, eventually it will push the gums further down the teeth. This stage of the disease is called gingivitis. It leads to periodontal disease. It can be reversed with good oral hygiene. A vet should take a look at your dog’s mouth and recommend the best course of treatment.

Gum Disease is more common in older dogs

Your dog should be given something to gnaw on. This will help clean his teeth. If his food is crumbly and breaks in to tiny pieces which can get caught between the teeth, he will need his teeth cleaned more often.

If your dog has crowded teeth or an overbite or under-bite, this will give food particle more chance to get trapped.

Plaque will harden faster when dogs’ breath through an open mouth.

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Preventing Gingivitis in Dogs.

Good oral hygiene is the only way to prevent gum disease and bad breath. Start off with a clean mouth. Your dog should have his teeth cleaned by a professional.

Once a day brush your dog’s teeth or rub them with a cloth. There are specialist dog toothbrushes available or you can use a children’s size toothbrush. This can sometimes be difficult at first, but over time, most dogs get used to it. Human toothpaste can cause stomach problems for dogs, so if you are planning to use toothpaste, get some dog toothpaste.

Pay attention to your dog’s diet. Replace dry food with fresh food. Meat on the bone is best, but you can also use any coarsely minced meat.

Bones are a natural toothbrush for dogs. Regularly give your dog bones to gnaw on. This is especially true if he is not getting bones as part of his regular meals.

About the author 

Stan Jones

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