Pardon My Dog Breath

dog breathPhoto by Alexandra Novitskaya

Mouth odor and Dog Breath

If your canine – or feline – has mouth odors so foul your eyes well up with tears, there are things you can do to help.

Poor oral condition in dogs and cats can lead to serious health problems, including heart and kidney disease, as well as painful toothaches, or gum disease.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, without proper dental care, 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats show signs of oral disease by age three.

In fact, oral disease is the No. 1 health problem diagnosed in dogs and cats! But if you follow the steps below, you’ll increase your pet’s chances of always having healthy, pearly whites and preventing dog breath.

1) Make an appointment with your veterinarian for a dental exam and dental cleaning, if necessary. Most vets recommend a check-up at least once a year.

2) Develop an at-home dental care routine that includes a nutritious diet and yes, regular brushing.

3) Schedule regular follow-up vet checkups for overall health maintenance.

Signs of Trouble

If your dog or cat has a yellow and brown build-up of tartar along the gum line, inflamed gums, or persistent bad breath, he or she needs to see the vet.

Broken teeth, or cervical line lesions (isolated swelling on the gum line, above one tooth and most common in cats,) should be attended to promptly by your vet.

What You Can Do At Home

Yes, it is possible to brush a cat or dog’s teeth. It’s best to start when they are young, but with patience and persistence, even an older animal can get used to the activity. They may even enjoy the extra attention.

Learn How to Brush:

Pardon My Dog Breath 2Repeat after me: “I CAN learn how to brush my pet’s teeth, I can, I can!”

Step one

Introduce a brushing program to pets gradually. Avoid over-restraining your pet and keep brushing sessions short and positive. A cat or small dog can be held in your lap. Praise and reassure your pet throughout the process. Try once a week at first, working up to three times a week for maximum benefits.

Step two

While you’re getting your pet used to having your finger in his or her mouth, start by dipping your finger into beef bouillon for dogs or tuna water for cats. Rub the soaked finger gently over the pet’s mouth and teeth. Again, make the initial sessions short and positive.

Step three

Gradually, introduce gauze over your finger and gently scrub the teeth in a circular motion. Remember, lots of praise.

Step four

Finally, slowly and gently introduce a soft toothbrush designed for animals. Special pet toothbrushes are available from your veterinarian or local pet store. Spread on a small amount of toothpaste, then gently brush the teeth in the same circular motion you used with your finger. Only use toothpaste designed for animals because human toothpaste can upset a dog or cat’s stomach.

Provide Proper Nutrition to Kill Dog Breath

Step one

Stop feeding your pet table scraps because they can increase the build-up of plaque and tartar and can lead to other health problems as well.

Step two

Start feeding your pet nutritionally balanced food. There are some specially formulated pet foods available through veterinarians or pet supply stores that can help reduce the accumulation of plaque and tartar.

Educate Yourself Further

For more information about pet dental health, contact your vet.

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