Though we love our dogs, we often pull away in disgust after we get a whiff of some bad breath. There are several reasons a dog has breath issues, ranging from diet to disease. All of these issues can be addressed properly as long as you know what to look for. Because dogs look to their owners to ensure a healthy and happy life, it is imperative that precautions be taken to ensure that bad breath and it’s causes are dealt with properly.
Causes of bad breath
The leading cause of bad breath is when bacteria begin to build up in your dog’s mouth, lungs, or even digestive tract (including throat and stomach), many of which give off a foul or sulfur based odor that so many dog owners are familiar with. If left untreated, these bacteria can progressively get worse, causing tooth decay and gum disease as they begin to cause infection or break down tissues.
Dogs are commonly prone to plaque and tarter, which are renowned for causing bad breath in the oral cavity. This can be caused by certain diets (low quality dog food or even consumption of human foods) and also a lack of oral care. Because dogs can’t readily use a toothbrush, plaque buildup can quickly become a problem if left unaddressed.
Taking care of your dog
This makes it important for every dog owner to know how to manage their dog’s oral health. There are many methods to maintaining your dog’s oral hygiene, a combination of which is necessary to maintain a healthy and happy smile.
Doggy dental bones are great for oral health and nutritional value. There’s a large variety of dental treats on the market, making it hard to decide on one particular brand or type. Some rely on all-natural substances, which is a definite plus when chemicals are a common practice in dog related foods. There are even some that utilize multiple methods for keeping teeth clean, including an outer coating that surrounds a rawhide bone. If your dog has a sensitive stomach, be sure you’re aware of what their dental treats contain. They aren’t always what they appear to be at first glance.
Rawhide bones are the classic way to help brush a dog’s teeth by taking advantage of their natural chewing motions. When you do give your dog a treat of any kind, make sure you maintain consistent observation, and be careful not to let them swallow large pieces whole, since that can cause digestive issues.
Regular brushing should be done at least every two weeks. Keep in mind that a dog’s body is very different from ours, so be sure to use dog tooth paste to keep your dog healthy. Luckily, there are a large variety of tooth brush styles readily available to make the process easier for both of you. Consider utilizing finger-brushes, which are easier to control than a traditional toothbrush.
The dog care market has also seen a new rise in other bad breath treatments. Some of them are spray chemicals, while others may come in a powder form that needs to be applied orally. While some rely on completely natural ingredients, others can contain miscellaneous chemicals or additives that can have negative effects on your dog’s health. Be cautious when choosing any additions to your dog’s oral care, and consider asking your vet about recommending certain types of oral hygienic care.
Severe cases of plaque may require professional cleaning in order to remove the problem. The scraping process can be uncomfortable for dogs, and challenging for the practitioner. It’s best to leave this technique to the professionals.
Know when to see the vet
Persistent bad breath can often indicate underlying medical problems that need to be addressed quickly. Keep a nose out for fruity or sweet breath which can be an early sign of diabetes. Urine-like smelling breath can be a sign of kidney disease. Foul breath, accompanied by vomiting and yellowing gums and eye corneas are signs of liver disease. While most bad breath is oral or dental related, these specific types of bad breath are signs that can help every dog owner quickly identify serious problems, ensuring a timely response for a hazardous situation.
Dog lovers around the world enjoy giving their faithful friend a great big hug, but it can often be a little unpleasant to endure some bad doggy breath. With plenty of attention and the right oral hygiene, your dog can enjoy a healthy smile and breath that says, “Give me a big kiss!”