Doggie Bad Breath: 5 Solutions to Freshen it Up
Few things can spoil kisses from your pooch as much as a waft of their bad breath! Dogs may develop stinky breath due to plaque build-up on their teeth, or it could be sign of an underlying health condition. Either way, their breath doesn't have to send you running away.
Thankfully, there are certain steps you or your vet can take to freshen up your dog’s breath.
1. Brush their Teeth
Veterinarian at the Somerset West branch of Vetworld, Dr Omar Mehtar, says he would encourage pet owners to try to brush their dog’s teeth around 2-3 times a week, and while that may seem over the top, it is the best way to tackle the issue.
“Bad breath is usually caused by bacteria in the mouth and the brown build-up on the teeth, so all mammals can have bad breath from time to time,” he says.
“What I tell people with puppies especially, is try and get them used to eating carrots, celery, or apples. They are a good consistency to get rid of some of the plaque,” he said.
2. Visit your Vet
In some cases where the plaque build-up is too much for a few toothbrushing sessions, it is advisable to visit your nearest vet.
Dr Mehtar (who is a proud parent to 10 rescue dogs) says that at his practice, they can do a general scale and polish where the dogs who need it would need to be placed under anaesthetic.
“If plaque isn’t removed it can cause irritation and inflammation of the gums (gingivitis). We often do this sort of procedure here,” he says.
3. Dental Chews or Water Drops
Chewing is how dogs naturally clean their teeth and specially made dog teeth-cleaning treats can work like a charm to mask a bit of bad breath.
Petworld offers a number of dental chews that help reduce plaque accumulation and come in a variety of flavours: the Marlon’s Dental Bone, the Pedigree Dentastix and the Pet’s Elite Drops are just a few options you can try.
Dr Mehtar says that breath-freshening water additives that you can put in your dog’s water bowl could also be an option for pet parents who love fresh kisses!
4. Veterinary Dental Diet
Many dogs suffer from poor digestive function, which could have a negative effect on their breath.
Your veterinarian may recommend that your dog be switched over to speciality foods with fewer ingredients and hypoallergenic formulas to help aid digestion and improve overall quality of life.
A variety of options are available at Petworld, with brands including Royal Canin, Hill's Science Plan, and Vet's Choice in a range of popular flavours in both small and large quantities.
5. Keep an Eye on what your Dog Eats and Drinks
Most dog parents have had unpleasant instances where they have had to pull rubbish from their dogs’ mouth, such as rotten food or even faeces from a cat or bird... Try to keep an eye on what goes into your dog’s mouth around the house or during walks. It is also important to always have fresh, clean water for your pooch.