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             Breath in Dogs

How to Control Bad Breath in Dogs                                  Finally, give your pets access to safe chew toys. Chew toys
                                                                   not only help reduce your pet’s stress level and eliminate
There’s nothing fun about getting a slobbery wet kiss from         boredom, but these toys can help to reduce tartar buildup.
a dog or a cat with bad breath! Bad breath, also known as          Be sure to use a chew toy approved by the Veterinary Oral
halitosis, is generally caused by excessive build-up of odor       Health Council (VOHC). Chew toys that are too soft are
-producing bacteria inside your pet’s mouth, lungs, or even        a danger because pieces may be swallowed causing an
gut. While most cases of bad breath can be traced back             obstruction. Chew toys that are too hard, such as nylon,
to poor oral hygiene, in some cases, bad breath could be           bones, and antlers break teeth. Rope toys can cause
symptomatic of a more serious health problem.                      threads to get caught between the teeth.

Treating bad breath starts by identifying the cause and                          What’s the Best Way to Treat Bad
taking steps to correct the underlying problem. Other than                       Breath in Dogs?
dental disease, causes of bad breath are oral tumors,                           1. Brush your dog’s teeth daily.
tonsillitis, or foreign material in the mouth or voice box area.                Brushing is the best way to
Even systemic diseases like kidney disease and diabetes                         keep your dog’s mouth free from
can cause a change in the odor of the breath.                                   bacterial buildup and help control
                                                                                bad breath.
However, bad breath in dogs and cats is most commonly
linked to the build up of bacteria in the mouth due to poor                     2. Give your dog  safe chew toys
oral hygiene. In fact, bad breath is the most common                            to gnaw on. The natural process
warning sign of  dental disease. Periodontal disease starts                     of chewing will help clean your
out as plaque. Plaque is a biofilm that contains bacteria                       dog’s teeth.
which causes gingivitis. Over time, plaque hardens, forming
a substance known as tartar. Plaque and tartar lead to                          3. Make sure your dog is on a
swollen, inflamed gums, along with bad breath.                                  healthy diet.

Abscessed teeth are also common in dogs. These can result
from bad periodontal disease, or from a fractured or worn
tooth that allows bacteria to move up the canal in the middle
of the tooth to the tip where it causes an abscess to form.
These abscesses can also cause bad breath.

The best cure for bad breath is to prevent it before it            4. Schedule regular dental
happens. In order to best keep your pet’s breath under             cleanings with your veterinarian.
control, schedule a yearly dental check-up with your pet’s         Be sure your dog has his teeth
veterinarian. Veterinary organizations recommend annual            cleaned at least once every
dental exams and cleanings for pets.                               year.  Anesthesia is required to
                                                                   do a good job of evaluating the
Additionally, veterinary dentists recommend that pet owners        entire tooth, and dental x-rays
brush their pet’s teeth on a daily basis. Brushing teeth is the    are needed to evaluate the tooth
best way to cut back on tartar buildup and help control bad        roots and surrounding bone.

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