You may think that whiff of bad doggie breath is just par for the course as a dog owner. However, smelly breath isn’t normal and left untreated it can lead to serious health problems, reaching beyond your pup's mouth to his heart, liver and kidneys. Nailing a regular and thorough dental care routine for your pup will keep his pearly whites shiny, halitosis (stinky breath) at bay and help prevent degenerative disease.
The effects of poor dental hygiene on your pooch
Whenever your dog eats, saliva and food residue mix together to form plaque that sticks to his teeth; just like humans. Left unchecked, a buildup of plaque will lead to gum disease and your pooch’s mouth will rate 10/10 on the bad doggy breath scale.
Bad breath aside, gum disease is a serious issue for dogs. It leads to painful tooth decay but the infection spreads even further than the mouth. The inflammation in your pup's body, caused by the infection of gum disease, can lead to heart, liver and kidney problems disease. Want to give your pooch the best chance of avoiding these degenerative diseases? Pay close attention to his dental care.
Brush your pup’s teeth regularly
It might be a chore, but you really need to be brushing your dog’s teeth at least once a week (some vets recommend a daily brush) to keep it a halitosis and pain-free zone. You know how awful it feels to have a toothache, right? Dogs experience the same type of pain when tooth decay sets in due to poor dental hygiene. You don’t want to put your best friend through that.
Make sure you use a toothpaste specially formulated for pooches; toothpaste for humans contains fluorides and detergents which are meant to be spat out. Obviously, your dog can’t do this! Canine toothpaste comes in a bunch of different flavour options, so try out different tastes until you find one he likes. We can recommend Triplepet Dog Toothpaste. If you’re not sure how to brush your pup’s teeth, check out this quick video from VetVid for an easy to follow tutorial. You can make tooth brushing a less tortuous activity for you and your pooch by laying the treats on heavy; he’ll begin to associate the not so fun task with yummy snacks. You can even reward him with a Canine Carob Cookie!
Between brushes, keep your dog's breath fresh by offering him dental chews. The best chews are high quality and contain chlorophyll, clove and cinnamon - all natural breath freshening ingredients.
Chewing helps polish the surface of the teeth but it doesn’t get to the gum lines, like the bristle of a doggy toothbrush. That’s why it’s important to uses chews as one element of an effective dental routine, not as a replacement for brushing.
Chomp on raw bones
Another type of chew your dog can go to town on? Raw bones. By gnawing on raw bones, your pooch will naturally polish his own teeth...and have fun doing it! The chewing action helps scrape away plaque and control the buildup of tartar, which, when left unchecked leads to disease and yellowing of the teeth. To squeeze out the maximum plaque scraping benefit, your pooch needs to be chewing for around 30 minutes a day. Make sure the bones are raw and not chopped up too small; you don’t want him choking mid chomping session!
Good diet = good breath
Feeding your pup the right diet will also do wonders to squash stinky breath and gum disease.
Yoghurt and coconut oil are amazing for fighting bad breath and super simple to include at meal times. Thanks to lauric acid, coconut oil contains antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties that wipe out the bad bacteria in your dog’s mouth. The addition of coconut oil to his diet will also encourage a super shiny coat. Bonus.
Meanwhile the active cultures in yogurt help breakdown hydrogen sulfide, which is responsible for the stink of bad breath. Mix plain yogurt or kefir into his kibble for a halitosis fighting feast!
A sprinkle of cinnamon on each meal is a simple, natural way to keep your pup’s breath and mouth healthy too.