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Bad Dog Breath

Bad Dog Breath and Mouth Odors

Some diseases like kidney failure, diabetes, or gastrointestinal disease can cause a change in breath. Diseased teeth and infected gums can produce a very foul odor, and sore mouth may cause increased drooling. The malodorous saliva can coat the fur, furniture, etc., and you may not recognize that this is originating in the mouth.

Dog owners sometimes forget about their dog’s dental health. Unless your dog’s bad breath is the result of disease such as gastrointestinal disease, diabetes, or kidney failure, the sweetness or nastiness of your dog’s breath is most likely directly related to the health of your dog’s mouth.

The leading cause of bad breath in dogs is tooth decay or mouth infections. They eat and have teeth so they can get the same decay and periodontal diseases that we have.

Often you can cure dog bad breath with a few pet supplies that will aid in the health of your dog’s mouth and prevent poor oral hygiene.

It may sound odd, but veterinarians recommend brushing a dog’s teeth twice a week to promote dental health. Did you know there was a time in human history when brushing human teeth seemed odd, too?

The goal is to start slowly and make brushing enjoyable. It may take several sessions to gradually increase the amount of teeth brushed.

How to brush your Dog’s Teeth – You will be using doggy brand toothpaste and a special toothbrush for canines. Your veterinarian can recommend what flavors and brands of toothpaste he feels is best for your dog. Most dogs love the taste chicken flavored toothpaste!

Step 1 – Select an appropriate time by finding a quiet convenient time when you and your dog are both relaxed and comfortable.

Step 2 – Acquaint your dog by holding him just as you do when cuddling. Begin by gently stroking the outside of his cheeks, and then proceed to the inside of his cheeks with your finger. For these first few sessions, don’t use a doggy toothbrush. After he becomes comfortable with that, place a dab of (doggy) toothpaste on your finger and let him taste it.

Step 3 – Introduce the toothbrush by placing a small amount of toothpaste on the brush. In a slow circular motion, brush one or two teeth and the adjoining gum line. The purpose of this step is to get your dog accustomed to the feel of the brush.

Step 4 – Over the next several days, gradually increase the number of teeth brushed. It is important to eventually brush the rear teeth where plaque and tartar have a greater tendency to accumulate. Go slowly and gently and stop before your dog begins to fuss. (If he learns to dislike the procedure and finds out that more fussing makes you stop quicker, then this brushing business is going to get harder, not easier.)

Build up to about 30 seconds on each side. Dogs don’t get much tartar on the inside surfaces of their teeth, so you only need to worry about the outside surfaces Be sure to brush the big teeth way in back.

Make tooth brushing a pleasurable experience by proceeding slowly and gently. Stop each session while it is still fun and lavishly praise your dog afterwards. He will soon start looking forward to tooth brushing and it will become a pleasant activity for both of you.

The toothbrush can either be a soft bristle brush, or a finger toothbrush. Finger brushes are very gentle and feel good on your pet’s gums as it sweeps away plaque and food debris, while massaging gums to increase circulation. It’s compact and flexible enough to allow you to reach the entire tooth and gum surfaces in your dog’s mouth. It’s the perfect way to introduce dogs to having their teeth brushed. All you need to do is slide the molded rubber finger toothbrush over your index finger and apply a small dab of Doggy Toothpaste onto the bristles. Slip your finger inside your dog’s cheek, and using a small circular motion, brush the teeth and gumline.

Remember: Don’t use human toothpaste on your dog’s teeth. The chemical compound in human toothpaste isn’t suited to a dog, and may make your dog ill.

Dental chew balls or dental rings are useful for fighting plaque and tartar build-up. It is also recommended that your dog chew on a rope bone to provide a flossing action that cleans between the teeth.

Practicing good dental care is very important for your dog. Keeping plaque and tartar off teeth reduces the chance of tooth and gum disease and keeps breath fresh.

Look for abscessed teeth and other dental problems while you’re brushing, and have a veterinarian properly treat any such problems such as gingivitis or periodontal (gum) disease.

Consider your pet’s diet. Some soft canned foods are particular offenders when it comes to bad breath. If your dog eats soft food, make sure he also eats dry dog food, unless he is elderly and your vet has recommended soft food exclusively.

Please have your veterinarian check your dog’s teeth. There are literally hundreds of products to help a dog’s breath. Your vet can advise you which would work best for you and your dog.

Finally, mouth odor can also be a sign of corprophagy, or stool eating. Some dogs eat their own stools as a way of conserving enzymes which are in short supply. Other dogs will eat horse manure, cow manure and dog and cat feces, because they taste good to your dog.

Related Pages

Bad Breath in Dogs
Have you ever wondered what is causing your dog’s bad breath?

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