Dogs have a reputation for having bad breath, but the truth is that when taken care of properly, dogs really should not have bad breath. If your dog’s breath is bad enough to make you gag or recoil it’s time to make a change. Bad breath in dogs can actually be a sign of a severe health issue.
Visit the Vet
Bad breath in dogs stems from the teeth, much like it does in humans. If your dog has bad breath, it indicates bad oral health. The first step in getting rid of it is to have your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned and treated by a vet. This will give you a fresh start in an oral care routine for your dog. It can also be a time when your vet may tell you gum disease has progressed far enough that some teeth need to be pulled. Getting to the vet sooner rather than later can save your dog’s teeth and risk further health complications.
Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
The next step is to get into a regular brushing routine with your dog. The more you brush their teeth, the less chance you will need another expensive trip to the vet to have their teeth cleaned. This might be something your dog hates, but pet stores have everything you need to make the process easier. There are dog-friendly kinds of toothpaste in pleasing flavors and toothbrushes that fit right over your finger, so you are always in control. Make sure you never use human toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth.
Your pet store will also have dental chews that you can buy that will help scrape plaque and other food off your dog’s teeth. They are hard to chew which means your dog will have to scrape their teeth against the chew repeatedly. Rubber chew toys and bones are also great for helping to keep teeth clean. Always keep an eye on your dog if they are chewing on a bone to ensure they don’t break off pieces that are too big to swallow.
Watch Their Diet
If your dog’s breath only stinks sometimes or has a very identifiable odor (feces, raw food, etc.) then it is a good idea to check what your dog has been eating. Make sure they aren’t eating things they shouldn’t be as that can also cause bad breath and health issues in your pet.