If you are looking for home remedies for your dog bad breath, you won’t need to visit the breath freshener section of your supermarket aisle. Instead, you may find some helpful products from the comfort of your home. However, keep in mind that bad breath is often an indication of periodontal disease, where in severe cases, the only solution is a dental cleaning from your vet. Left untreated, periodontal disease can result in bad breath, bone loss, pain and eventually tooth loss. If you think periodontal disease is a rare event, think again; it’s estimated that 80 percent of dogs have some level of periodontal disease by the age of three!
Brush Them Up
Can you imagine how bad your breath would be if you failed to brush your teeth for years? Well, that’s what’s happening to your dog if you’re not brushing his teeth. The unsightly brown coloring found on the teeth near the gums is tartar. Before becoming tartar, plaque accumulates on the dog’s teeth after eating. When plaque accumulates, after some time in mineralizes and hardens until it’s rock hard and becomes tartar. In humans, we rarely see tartar to such an extent because we brush plaque off, but the tartar still accumulates under the gum. In dogs, lack of brushing leads to tartar that accumulates both over the teeth and under the gums. The best way to prevent accumulation of tartar is by brushing away plaque so it doesn’t have a chance to accumulate over time and lead to bad breath and periodontal disease.
Choose a Good Tooth Paste
You won’t find toothpaste for dogs in your supermarket’s oral health aisle, but your local pet store will surely have it stocked up. Toothpaste for dogs won’t smell like mint, but it comes in tasty chicken and beef flavors that dogs crave. These tantalizing flavors will help make the act of tooth brushing more pleasant so your dog looks forward to it. If you introduce the act of tooth brushing gradually, and make it extra pleasant, your dog may actually learn to enjoy it, especially if you start when your puppy is young.
Invest in Raw Carrots
Carrots aren’t only tasty and healthy, but they can help freshen your dog’s breath too. Skip the baby carrots if your dog tends to gulp things down, better opt for the larger ones so that your dog is forced to chew them up. Carrots other than providing good chewing also provide fiber and vitamin A and C. Always monitor your dog when offering stuff to chew on.
Get those Meaty Bones
What you feed your dog can make a difference in reducing tartar buildup. According to veterinarian Ron Hines, research has found that feeding oxtails once a week can help prevent the onset of serious periodontal disease. Also, he mentions how cow tracheas with a little meat attached were found to help maintain teeth in excellent condition according to a Duke University study. Several other ways to reduce tartar can be found under the dog tartar category.
While refreshing breath won’t often go to the source of the problem, it helps dog owners feel better as they won’t haven’t sniff that foul smell when they’re interacting with their dog. There are many over the counter breath fresheners for dogs under the form of mouth sprays, chlorophyll tablets and treats made of mint and parsley.
See the Veterinarian
If your dog has persistent bad breath, it’s a good idea to visit your vet to rule out any medical conditions. He’ll be able to tell if your dog has advanced periodontal disease or if the bad breath may be stemming from something else such as an infection in the mouth, digestive issue or a systemic disorder such as kidney disease, liver disease or diabetes. Usually the former though are accompanied by other symptoms.
*Disclaimer: The above article is not intended to replace veterinary advice. As with any medication there is potential for side effects, complications and overdose. Always consult with a vet first and follow his/her recommendations accordingly.