Have you ever been happily receiving kisses from your beloved dog, only to recoil at the smell of his breath?
Like in humans, stinky breath in dogs usually a sign of oral health issues. 80% of dogs over the age of 3 have some degree of gum disease from bacterial buildup in their mouth. These bacteria produce a foul smell that may make it hard for you to receive affection from your pet like you used to.
The good news is that you can control your dog’s bad breath by caring for his oral health. There are many products available to help you clean out the bacteria in his mouth, freshen his breath, and let you get back to enjoying close contact with your fur kid.
1. Chewable Dental Treats
Chewy dental treats are one of the most popular ways to freshen stinky dog breath. These treats are formulated to be tough to chew, forcing your dog to really work his teeth into them. When he does, the abrasive surfaces of the treat work to scrape the plaque off his teeth and gums.
Dental chews work well when used on a regular basis, and dogs love to receive them as a treat. Consistency is key, though – giving your dog dental chews a few times a month will probably not be enough to bust his bad breath.
2. Water Additives
Water additives are liquid solutions you can mix into your dog’s water to freshen his breath. These products contain ingredients like citric acid and zinc gluconate that kill common oral bacteria and help regulate your dog’s oral health.
Water additives are convenient, easy to use, and do not cause unnecessary stress for your dog. They are a great way to give your dog’s oral health a boost and minimize the amount of plaque that can collect on his teeth. However, they work best when paired with other oral health products, especially those that provide some mechanical cleaning action like chews or toothbrushes.
3. Foam Treatments
Foam treatments are another simple remedy for your dog’s bad breath. Just squeeze the bottle to release some sweet-smelling foam, apply it to your dog’s teeth and gums and let it work its magic.
Foam treatments contain a lot of the same antibacterial ingredients as water additives and are almost as easy to use. However, they also share a lot of those products’ downsides. They do not offer any friction to scrape away plaque, so they are best used in combination with other products that do.
4. Toothbrushing Kits
Humans manage bad breath by practicing good oral hygiene. Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly will do the same for him. You can pick up a canine toothbrushing kit to get everything you need to keep your dog’s teeth clean and prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.
Be careful if you try this method – not all dogs are receptive to it. If your dog is skittish, has sore gums or a toothache, or is older and set in his ways, he may growl or even bite if you get near his mouth. Be sure to listen to his signals and stop what you’re doing if you feel it may be unsafe. You can ask your vet for toothbrushing tips to help your dog tolerate this activity or just use another breath-freshening product instead.
Bye Bye Bad Breath!
Your dog’s bad breath doesn’t have to come between you and your furry friend. Working on his oral health might take time, but your efforts will eventually pay off. Try a few of the products listed above and see which ones work best for you and your dog. The right combination is sure to make bad breath a thing of the past.