A dog’s bad breath is one means nature has of telling you that your dog has a problem and your attention is needed.
While about 90 percent of the dogs that suffer from halitosis do so because of improper dental care, the others could very well have an underlying serious illness that, if left untreated, can cause premature death. Did you know that dog halitosis has been called the “silent killer?”
Good dental care is as important for your dog as it is for you. You brush your teeth at least once a day if not more. It’s a good idea to regularly brush Fido’s teeth as well. The earlier you can introduce a toothbrush and toothpaste to your dog, the easier it will probably be. If you have an older dog, it is best to have the teeth professionally cleaned by his or her veterinarian before starting a teeth-brushing regiment.
Start by choosing a soft-bristled toothbrush. You can use toothbrushes made for humans or buy one specifically designed for dogs at your local pet store. Some veterinarians carry them as well.
Buy a kind of toothpaste that is made for dogs. Do not use toothpaste made for humans because it can cause your dog to suffer an upset stomach.
The best thing you can do when introducing the concept of teeth brushing to your dog is establish a set time of day for the task. If you do this right before an event that the dog views as fun – a walk, playtime or a swim – your puppy will come to eagerly anticipate the session.
Start by allowing the dog to get used to the taste of the toothpaste. Try applying a little on your finger. Rub your finger along the dog’s gum line. Once the dog is used to the taste, apply toothpaste to the brush. Begin at the rear of the mouth on the upper jaw. Angle the brush slightly upward so that it gets to the plaque under the gum line. Use small, circular motions to brush from the back towards the front. Repeat on the other side.
Next, concentrate on the lower teeth by again starting at the back and working forward.
Try to brush the dog’s teeth on a daily basis whenever possible. However, if getting teeth brushed is something your dog hates, persevere and try to accomplish it at least two or three times a week. Hang in there. Your dog may become much more accepting of the tooth-brushing regiment with time.
There are several products available at pet stores and online that allow you to rinse your dog’s mouth with a product that is safe for canines. Natural remedies such as colloidal silver, which helps to eliminate harmful bacteria, can be used as well.
While the efforts you expend brushing your dog’s teeth will pay off, not all dogs will be cured of halitosis. Some will still need an occasional professional cleaning at the veterinarian’s office. Keep in mind that when having your dog’s teeth cleaned professionally, he or she will have to have anesthesia.
If you find that a steady regiment of brushing the dog’s teeth does not cure the bad breath, schedule an appointment with the veterinarian. There could be a serious underlying health issue that is causing the halitosis.