The Business of Doggie Breath!

August 18th, 2007 by Dan

Dog teeth are the equivalent of our hands; they are used for eating, play and communication. In recent years it’s come to light just how important it is to keep on top of our pup’s dental health. Consider starting daily brushing of your dog’s teeth using a toothpaste specifically made for dogs (they come in all sorts of yummy flavors like beef and chicken) or a baking-soda-and-water paste and a child’s soft toothbrush, a gauze pad or a brush designed for pets. Start this routine as early as you can in your dog’s life, but remember it is never too late get into a good habit!

If your pet has bad breath, please do not ignore it! It is most commonly a sign of an underlying issue that needs attention. Schedule your dog for a vet appointent. The bacteria that causes dental plaque to build up in your dogs mouth can lead to halitosis and will need to be removed in a professional cleaning. Once this happens, start the brushing regimen to maintain your dog’s shiny clean chompers!

Bad breath can also indicate periodontal disease, which is an infection between the tooth and the gumline. This is a painful condition and if left untreated teeth may have to be extracted and the infection can become systemic and cause illness. Again, your veterinarian can diagnose this issue and discuss the problem further.

Sometimes doggie breath is just that! By brushing your dog’s teeth and providing healthy crunchy snacks (carrots are a great one) you may be able to keep your pooch’s mouth healthy for years. Eventually, dental cleaning will become a necessity for most dogs, but if you maintain the health of your dog’s mouth throughout her lifetime, it hopefully won’t be more than a routine procedure.

5 Responses to “The Business of Doggie Breath!”

  1. Clare Says:

    Good information, thanks for sharing this.
    Dental disease is one of the most common reasons why dogs go to the vet, yet it’s easily preventable. It takes a bit of patience to get your dog used to having his teeth cleaned, and I’ve found that using a flavoured toothpaste certainly helps!

  2. Wendy Says:

    Little Dogs and Exercise

    I work in a veterinarian office and I’ve seen people come in with their little chihuahuas and tea-cup size yorkies carrying them in little pouches, papooses or hand bags. One lady insists that her dog enjoys laying cradled like a baby in her arms most of the day, and believes his spine is curved in that way as well now. These little dogs hardly get any exercise and are so pampered that they hardly need to move a paw all day as their ‘masters’ cater to their every whimper. One client was then wondering why her little pooch kept breaking it’s legs- it broke one three times, each time just jumping down from a high area! I believe it’s because the dog’s limbs are so weak and the muscles so atrophied from it hardly getting much exercise. These legs are like toothpicks to begin with. Does this sound logical to other people? Perhaps there should be a large ‘hamster wheel’ or ‘pooch wheel’ created so that they get daily exercise.


  3. Daily Doggie Dental Care | Dog Reflections Says:

    [...] two responses are not ideal, but they both show that the pet’s parent has at least awareness that dental health is a part of their dog’s total health. It also gives me an opportunity to improve a dog’s [...]

  4. Dog Photo Of The Day: “It’s Dark Down Here!” | Dog Reflections Says:

    [...] This Puppy looks like it is giving the other a complete dental exam! [...]

  5. Ask The Dog Guide: Unstoppable Doggy Smell? | Dog Reflections Says:

    [...] Teeth/Gums: Canine dental disease can cause a very stinky situation, especially if there is infection going on around the gums. If your dog is a drooler (like some Basset mixes tend to be) the saliva can be foul smelling and spread to the coat. Bad breath can be just that or it can be a sign of a more serious underlying illness. [...]

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