Is your furry friend suffering a bad case of stinky breath? When your dog is constantly breathing on your face, demanding your attention (and unconditional love), the last thing you want is to reel backwards from an unbearable pong.
So here are our top tips for giving your dog minty fresh breath!
Causes of bad breath
Like humans, dogs can also experience a buildup of plaque or tartar on their teeth which causes bad breath. Gum disease will also lead to smelly mouths. However, both can be easily prevented by implementing a good teeth and gum cleanliness routine. If your pooch is on the smaller side, make sure you’re particularly rigorous with this routine as they are more prone to dental diseases than larger dog breeds.
Note: If your pooch has chronically bad breath it could be an indicator that something isn’t quite right and that they need to see a vet.
Brushing your dog’s teeth
It may sound silly, but brushing your dog’s teeth can be a very effective way to ensure dental health. There are toothbrushes and pastes specifically designed for dogs, but we’ve also heard good things about soft-bristled children’s toothbrushes and beef stock powder.
Whatever you do, just make sure you do not use human toothpaste on your dog’s teeth as it can be very harmful. If you have a particularly lively pooch, perhaps a toothbrush isn’t the best method and may result in you being head butted and nibbled on. The earlier you introduce your dog to this routine, the more accustomed to it they will be.
Chewing is great for your dog’s teeth. The act itself prevents plaque build up, so chewing on treats designed specifically for dental health can only make it better! Look out for products in your local supermarket with the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) seal of approval. For a full list of VOHC approved products, check out this list.
Certain herbs can actively reduce bad breath for canines. Add some parsley to your dog’s food to sweeten their breath and improve their digestion, or try rubbing sage over their teeth to reduce oral bacteria.
Good old fashioned lamb shank
Chewing on raw meat is very good for your dog’s teeth. The raw meat massages the gums, preventing bacteria buildup. Chewing for 10-20 minutes a day can vastly improve your dog’s dental hygiene. So if your friend loves a bone, this isn’t just a great way to keep them occupied, but also to show them a little love!
For puppies, we recommend raw chicken necks or raw vegetables high in enzymes.
If your dog’s bad breath persists, it could indicate a larger problem such as kidney or liver infections. If you’ve tried these remedies but they don’t appear to be working, it’s best to take your furry friend straight to the vet for a more detailed examination.