Teeth & Bad Breath
Filed in Dogs, Grooming
On occasion, both humans and dogs suffer from bad breath. Unfortunately dogs don't have the opposable thumbs that are necessary to pop a piece of gum or a breath mint in their mouths, or to floss, so it's the responsibility of dog owners to take care of this problem.
Dogs have to maintain healthy mouths just like humans. Like us, dogs can suffer from tooth decay. In fact, the older dogs get, the more likely they'll suffer from tooth decay.
Dental care for dogs can be both expensive and inconvenient (in most cases, dogs have to be anesthetized). Prevention is worth a pound of cure; it's much cheaper and easier to provide your dog with dental hygiene yourself. There are numerous types of toothbrushes and cleaning products on the market to help you clean your dog's teeth. (See the related products below.)
Keep in mind that you should never use human toothpaste, since it will cause a toxic reaction. The foaming agents in the paste are to blame. You should also be warned that the first few times you try to brush you're dogs teeth they probably won't be the most willing participants (like kids!). However, if you brush your dog's teeth often enough it will likely become part of the routine and they'll grow to accept it.
If bad breath still lingers after brushing your dog's teeth, then his teeth most likely aren't the problem. Bad breath can also can be caused by gastritis or their diet. However, there are some dogs where no matter how often you clean their teeth, they're going to have bad breath. For dogs like this, there are many powders, tablets and liquids on the market to temporarily alleviate this problem.