As the old saying goes, a dog is a man’s best friend. They love you unconditionally, and you return these feelings—even though, on occasion, they can have the dreaded “dog breath.” You love to cuddle your canine buddy, but this isn’t so pleasant when you can smell what they ate for breakfast from a mile away. Lucky for you, there are lots of ways to get rid of your dog’s bad breath. Take a look at these tips and you and your best friend will be able to spend all the up close and personal time your hearts require.
1. Keep an eye on what they eat and drink.
For the most part, dogs will eat almost anything in sight. They have even been known to eat non-edible items like plants, sand, dirt, and pretty much anything else they can wrap their teeth around. Be sure to keep an eye out on what they are consuming, and try to get them out of the habit of eating things that they shouldn’t be.
The main part of a dog’s diet is and should be protein, but excessive meat can generate unnecessary deposits in a dog’s teeth. These deposits could be the source of the bad breath. In order to prevent this damage, incorporate certain vegetables and grains like rice into your dog’s diet. Raw carrots have especially been proven to be very good for a dog’s teeth.
Adding chopped up parsley to your dog’s regular food can also make a huge difference in the smell of his or her breath. You want your dog to be healthy as well, after all. Is feeding them a diet of strictly kibble actually the best solution? Kibble breath is one of the primary culprits of a dog’s bad breath anyways.
Keep an eye out for any issues with your dog’s eating habits. If you have noticed that they have had any trouble eating lately, the cause of the bad breath could be coming from a damaged tooth, or an even worse problem like gingivitis. Another sign of a potential issue is if your dog has been drooling excessively. Keep an eye out for these signs and seek a professional if you are at all concerned.
2. Brush your dog’s teeth.
Just like we all brush our own teeth every day, it may be necessary for you to brush your dogs’ as well. This is not only important in terms of odor issues, as it can also help prevent more serious problems like gum disease. If possible, brush your dog’s teeth once per day, 4-7 days a week.
Dog toothbrushes and toothpastes are available at almost any pet store or veterinarian location. Avoid using human toothpaste on your dog, as they are likely to swallow it. This can harm their stomach. For your information, toothpaste designed for human use isn’t supposed to be swallowed by you, either! The high amounts of fluoride are not good for you.
Dog toothpaste comes in appealing flavours for your dog like liver, chicken, and peanut butter. Why most toothpaste companies aren’t introducing these kind of flavours for human use is the question of the century!
If you do not want to purchase a dog toothbrush, using a clean gauze swathed around your finger is almost just as effective. Make sure you wrap it tightly around your hand so that it doesn’t drop into your dog’s mouth, causing them to swallow it afterwards. Also be clear with your dog that your hand is not a hotdog: don’t take a nip to the hand when you are trying to get rid of your dog’s breath problem!
Your dog may feel reluctant to the brushing at first, so take things slow to begin with. Introduce them to the idea gradually. Be sure to give them a treat when you are done! This way, he or she will associate this activity with a positive result. Ideally it will get to the point where you don’t have to offer any treats at all.
3. Look into annual cleanings by your vet.
Most vet clinics offer thorough teeth cleanings for both dogs and cats. Consider getting this done for your dog about once a year. It can work wonders in terms of getting rid of their bad breath.
These cleanings are a little bit pricey, but since you are only doing them about once a year, you may decide that it is well worth it. These cleanings can cost anywhere from $150-400, plus potential extra costs like a necessary tooth extraction, so be sure to evaluate whether or not its in your budget, or if the smell is really worth the cost to you!
4. Get some dental-friendly treats.
Luckily for you, you are not the only one who has had this problem. Because many people have experienced the bad breath that a dog can produce, the pet market has created treats that are especially made for a dog’s bad breath and/or oral issues.
These treats are often in the shape of a stick, and give your dog a bit of a challenge in terms of chewing through it. These kinds of treats essentially help with tartar build-up, and even give your dog’s mouth a workout to ultimately build up the strength of his or her teeth.
These treats are very inexpensive, usually costing anywhere from $4-20 per bag, depending on size.
If these methods fail to work, or you have noticed any unusual behaviour with your dog’s eating, be sure to seek professional help. The cause of your dog’s breath could be more serious than what they ate earlier that morning.
A dog’s bad breath can be very unpleasant. You still love your dog, but you are willing you do almost anything to get rid of that dreaded dog breath that they are carrying around. Try out a combination of these tips, and find the ones that work best for you and your dog. Soon enough, he or she will be back to giving you awesome and dog breath free kisses!