Have you ever woken up with your furry friend sleeping with their face next to you, and you’re shocked at the awful smell coming out their mouth? It can be enough to not want to get near them for a long time. However, this isn’t normal and is an issue that needs to be addressed. While sometimes it can be due to your dog eating something from your trash or even their own feces if you forgot to pick it up, it can also be a sign of periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease is when bacteria from your dog’s tooth has developed into a mineralized later of debris, also known as tartar. It often contains toxic substances and can cause gum irritation, infection, discomfort, and in extreme cases, tooth loss. It can also contribute to further health problems in the long term, so it’s best to take precautions to prevent it from happening. Below are some tips to prevent and help bad breath in the case of periodontal disease.
Keep an eye on your dog’s diet
As mentioned, bad breath can be down to something your dog has eaten. Therefore, to prevent this from happening, you’re going to want to keep an eye on everything they ingest. Keep inappropriate items out the way, such as full trash bags and other stinky substances. If your dog goes to the toilet in your garden, ensure you pick up their feces straight away so that they are not tempted to eat that too. In this case, prevention is the main key, but keeping a close eye on them can help too.
Brush, brush, brush
Although you may be used to cooking the meat in your meals as thoroughly as You most likely haven’t brushed your dog’s teeth before, but don’t worry, a large majority of dog parents haven’t. However, regular brushing is the best way to maintain oral health in your furry friend. The best way to get into the habit is to start small, only brushing for 15 to 30 seconds at first with a small pediatric or finger toothbrush. Then, once your dog is more comfortable with it, you can gradually work your way up to two minutes. There are also some dog kinds of toothpaste you can use with the brushing but never use your own toothpaste. Sometimes the flavoring of the dog toothpaste can encourage your dog to enjoy the experience rather than fear it, and it has other health benefits too.
Consider a deep clean
Most veterinarians offer a thorough dental cleaning, which can ensure a clean and healthy mouth. It gets rid of any bacterial buildup and can stop periodontal disease before it gets too far. Brushing alone will not guarantee all of this, so by going to your veterinarian, you’re doing the best thing to give your dog the best dental health. But keep in mind, if the disease has spread too far, tooth decay under the gum line may have gotten bad enough that your furry friend will need some of their teeth pulled to reestablish a healthy mouth. However, this is only in the most extreme cases, and following these other tips should prevent this from ever happening.
Purchase some dental chews
Alongside the regular brushing of your dog’s teeth, investing in some dental chews can contribute to even better oral health. The water additives in the products have anti-plaque ingredients and have been known to help slow down the redevelopment of bacteria on your furry friend’s teeth. Rawhide chews and bones effectively scrape the teeth as your pet chews them, but you will need to remain cautious. Depending on your breed, your dog may take their time to chew and swallow large chunks that are difficult to digest. However, as long as you ensure your dog takes their time chewing, it maintains oral health and removes smelly breath.
Look at genetics
You may wonder why your dog is developing bad breath even when you’ve been taking the precautions mentioned above. The reason could be due to genetics, as certain breeds are more susceptible to mouth problems than others. These include toy breeds like poodles, Yorkshire terriers, chihuahuas, and longer-nosed breeds like border collies. The best thing to do in this case is to visit your veterinarian, and they will be able to assess your dog’s oral health and give advice if oral intervention is needed.
After following this guide, you should have a dog you are more than happy to cuddle up to without the fear of bad breath. Not only this, but you’re lessening the chances of them experiencing oral discomfort or potentially losing a tooth in the future. It’s a win, win situation for both of you, but you need to put in the work. Don’t forget the regular brushing and always have the dental chews on hand.