Oh, infamous dog breath. We’ve all smelt it, and our dogs have all dealt it. When we humans are struck with a terrible taste in the mouth, we get busy with the toothbrush before we let anyone near us. Our fur babies will happily smother us with stinky kisses, but we instinctively turn a cheek. The struggle against dog breath is real but modern dog living means we have the knowledge and the products to make those kisses smell sweeter.
Prevention is the Best Medicine
When it comes to keeping your pup’s breath so fresh and so clean, clean, preventing decay is the name of the game. Although better breath is definitely a big motivator, it’s not the most important reason why you should keep your dog’s dental health in good order.
Bad breath is a clear sign that bacteria and plaque are overpopulating your dog’s mouth. If this is left uncontrolled, it can lead to serious health problems. Eating can become difficult with painfully swollen gums and decaying, loose teeth and dental disease can lead to problems with your dog’s kidney, liver, and heart. So, yes, dental hygiene is a big deal and not just because of the stink.
Regular Brushing and Cleanings
Recommendations vary from daily to once a week but most experts say to brush your dog’s teeth at least once a week. It takes just a few moments as you only need to brush the outside of your dog’s teeth. His tongue will take care of the inside. Be sure to use a toothpaste especially for dogs in such yummy flavors as poultry or malt. Human toothpaste can contain ingredients that can be toxic to dogs. (Xylitol, we’re looking at you!)
You should also get your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned by a veterinarian once annually. Your vet will be able to assess the health of your pup’s mouth and ensure that any problems are addressed before they progress to something serious.
Now that we know why we need to take dental health seriously and what we should do on the regular, let’s looks at some surprisingly easy hacks to keep your fur baby’s breath fresh!
1. Fresh Herbs
Finely chop fresh herbs and add them to your dog’s food. Parsley and mint are especially aromatic in the mouth but all herbs contain chlorophyll, which we already know fights back the stink of bad breath.
2. Delicious and Healthy Dental Treats
You know your pup will do anything for a treat. Keep breath fresh and keep those tails wagging with dental treats especially designed for oral health. Look for treats that contain enzymatic ingredients that clear away build-up and natural breath fresheners like peppermint.
3. Use Dental Wipes
We get it. Some dogs are not too impressed with the tooth brushing routine. Make life easier and breath more pleasing with dental wipes that contain powerful antimicrobial ingredients. It’s no secret that germs cause bad breath. Fight the germs and get better breath in return!
4. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is like a cure-all that also smells and tastes delicious, to humans and dogs alike. Shiny coat, healthy gut, clearer skin and more are all in store for your dog if you scoop some coconut oil into their dish each day. Known for its antimicrobial properties, it will freshen your pups breath while delivering a host of other benefits to boot.
5. Spray Bad Breath Away
Breath spray has come a long way since the Binaca of backseat fame. Made with natural ingredients that are safe for your pup to ingest, mouth spray for dogs fights bad breath with a quick and easy spray to the mouth. Peppermint oil and grapefruit seed extract are excellent ingredients to fight germs and freshen things up.
Dogs are kind of infamous for occasionally going after the green stuff in the yard. Avoid the unpleasant aftermath of such snacking sessions and offer up some fresh wheatgrass instead. The chlorophyll freshens breath and is perfectly safe and gentle on pup’s tummy.
7. Rope or Ridged Toys
Toys that rub teeth and have ridges are excellent at scrubbing off the bacteria that causes bad breath. Rope toys can be especially effective at rubbing and flossing, especially once your dog gets in the grinding groove and really goes to town on those chompers.
8. Doggie Probiotics
Probiotic supplements help ensure that your dog’s body is sufficiently populated with good bacteria that take care of all kinds of things in her body. Probiotics improve digestion, the immune system, and can control bad breath by making sure the good guys outnumber the bad in your dog’s mouth.
Cinnamon is a common ingredient in dental health products for dogs. Cut out the middleman and try sprinkling some over moist food for a pick-me-up in the breath department. Cinnamon has a host of superpowers for canine and human bodies alike. It’s antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and regulates blood sugar. Please note that intake for you and your dog should be limited to about ½ teaspoon per day. Large doses can lead to problematic side effects.
10. Probiotic Foods
Supplements are not the only way to get good bacteria into your dog’s system. Adding a few spoonfuls of “real” yogurt to food, offering small portions of soft cheese, or giving your dog kefir or unheated buttermilk can introduce beneficial bacteria to your dog’s body. A better balanced body with have better breath.
11. Fresh Carrots and Apples
These crunchy treats are super great at getting to those back teeth for removal of bad breath causing bugs. As a bonus, your dog will be getting vitamins and minerals in a sweet and fun to eat package.
Go Ahead – Brush It Off!
Bust out that toothbrush and give your dog’s teeth a scrub at least once a week and have her teeth cleaned once a year. On top of that, you can easily incorporate these fresh breath hacks into you and your fur baby’s daily life and enjoy sweeter smelling breath and kisses every day!