February is Pet Dental Health Month and if you have a dog you know that sometimes he can get “doggy breath” and that is not a great smell! Dental health is important to your pet’s overall health -- cat and dog.
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can be caused by a build up of odor-producing bacteria in your dog’s mouth, on his teeth, in his lungs or in his stomach.
What can you do to keep your dog’s breath fresh? We have a few ideas you can consider.
Have a dental check-up with your veterinarian. If your dog’s breath is truly bad, you will want to schedule an appointment with your vet to make certain your dog doesn’t have an underlying health issue. Bad breath can also be because of a dental issue like a decaying or abscessed tooth. You will want to check it out as soon as you notice it.
Check his diet. If your dog eats anything and everything he finds lying around that could be the cause of the bad breath. When you see your dog chomping down on something he dug up in the backyard, that could be the reason for his bad breath. Feed your dog and cat a high-quality food that is high in protein and offers a crunchy element as that can help clean his teeth. Also, be aware that the bad breath issue could be because of a digestive problem. Ask your veterinarian if probiotics would help with the bad breath by improving the beneficial growth of bacteria in your dog’s intestinal tract.
Bones and dental treats. Offer your dog a variety of bones and dental treats to help keep his teeth clean. Gnawing on a hard bone will help remove some of the tartar and other build up from his teeth. Dental treats are on the market that are specifically aimed at helping clean your dog’s teeth. Be aware, though that these treats can be calorie laden and you may want to cut back on his food intake if he is getting daily dental treats -- check with your vet.
Brush his teeth. The best way to keep your dog’s breath fresh is by brushing his teeth. When you get a puppy and start brushing his teeth when he’s young, it will become part of your daily routine. If you have an older dog who is not accustomed to having his teeth brushed you will want to start out by giving him a taste of the doggie-specific toothpaste. Work up to rubbing some of the toothpaste onto his teeth with your finger or a finger brush. After he’s comfortable with the finger brushing, move up to a doggie toothbrush and get in the habit of brushing his teeth daily.
What are your best steps in helping keep your dog’s breath kissable? We’d love to know!
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