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Bad breath in dogs

Bad Breath in Dogs

Have you ever wondered what is causing your dog’s bad breath? It is probably caused by a buildup of tartar on his teeth, and possibly by advancing gum disease if the tartar has been building up, untreated, for a while. Throughout their lives, dogs get an accumulation of material called tartar on their teeth made up of mineral deposits, bacteria and tiny food particles. The bacteria break down the food particles and live on the rough surface of the mineral deposits.

When the bacteria break down protein molecules for nourishment, they cause dog bad breath by releasing sulfur compounds into the air. This is essentially the same process that happens in human mouths and causes bad breath, except that, in humans, the bacteria generally live on the tongue. Your dogs bad breath can be avoided by preventing the buildup of tartar on the teeth, or removing the tartar if it gets too bad.

Bad breath in dogs can be quite offensive: in serious cases, the sulfur odor is detectable throughout the house, and it is quite difficult to be near the dog. Dogs usually like a lot of attention, however, so it’s equally difficult to stay away! Left untreated your dogs bad breath will destroy your relationship with her – it may even kill your dog. It may kill your dog because bacteria that are proliferating in the mouth can spread to other parts of the body or set up deep abscesses in the jaw area. Dog bad breath is a symptom of trouble brewing that you should not ignore. If it’s serious and ongoing, take your dog to the vet.

Your veterinarian knows all about dog breath. He or she will probably be able to quickly examine the dog’s teeth and tell you whether tartar is to blame. If the tartar is not too bad, the veterinarian may recommend a commercial product for tartar removal and treating dog bad breath. Or, it may be necessary to have the dog’s teeth professionally cleaned. Sometimes tooth extraction is required, as bad breath in dogs is often accompanied by inflammation and infection of the gums, and loose teeth.

A word to the wise: if your dog is young, and you are just beginning to notice dog breath, start looking after your dog’s teeth to avoid trouble later. Let him chew bones; buy her a toothbrush and get her used to you brushing, and keep a close eye on the teeth and gums.

R. Drysdale is a freelance writer with more than 25 years experience as a health care professional. She is a contributing editor to Bad Breath Cure, a blog dedicated to the treatment of bad breath.

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