Do you think your dog's bad breath is just what a dog's breath smells like? There's good news: Dog breath doesn't have to send you running away from your pet. Here are some steps you can take to freshen up the situation.
- Brush your dog's teeth. It might sound ridiculous but it will keep your dog's breath fresher while reducing plaque and tartar build-up, which can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Most pet stores stock special finger brushes that you slip over your finger to brush your dog's teeth. Special canine toothpastes in appetizing flavors help make the experience a little more enjoyable for your dog. Never brush your dog's teeth with a toothpaste developed for people.
- Consider annual cleanings by your vet. Bad breath is more common in older dogs because tartar builds up over the years—unless you have your dog's teeth cleaned regularly. Your vet will clean and polish your dog's teeth and check for any problems, such as cavities or tooth damage. Your veterinarian may also recommend cleaning under anesthetic to remove heavy tartar. This can be more expensive and risky for older animals, but it may be worth it to avoid a serious and possibly life-threatening illness later.
- Give him something to chew on. Chewing is your dog's natural way of cleaning his teeth, and it improves his breath in the process. Consult your veterinarian about appropriate chew toys and oral care treats.
- Keep an eye on what he eats and drinks. Make sure that your dog isn't eating inappropriate things, such as feces from a cat, dog, or bird. And be sure to give your dog fresh, clean water daily
- Add chopped parsley to his food. Parsley is a natural breath freshener.
If the bad breath persists, visit your vet. He or she can assess the condition of your dog's teeth and confirm that this is where the odor is coming from. It's important to rule out other health problems, such as periodontal disease or a kidney or liver disorder. Your veterinarian can also advise you as to what steps you should take to maintain your dog's oral and overall health.