Dog’s Dental Heath: Bad Breath

Your dog is your special friend, your companion. I’m sure you want him to stay in the best of health, and that will include being aware of his dental needs.

A dog’s dental health may be one of the most neglected areas in caring for your dog’s overall well being. You may think that your dog has bad breath because of something he ate, or maybe he hasn’t been drinking enough water. However, your dog’s bad breath may be an indication of needed dental care, or something more serious.

You’re dog’s bad breath may indicate a need for teeth cleaning, something you may try at home. The younger your dog is, the more acceptable he will be in letting you check his dental health. If possible, start this procedure when your dog is still a puppy. However, if your dog is older, it is not too late to be aware of his dental needs.

Here are some suggestions for you to be able to brush your dog’s teeth:

1. Start by rubbing his cheeks, then his lips. You may have to do this a couple of times a week, for a couple of weeks. You do need to get him use to you touching his mouth area. Praise him!

2. As he gets more comfortable with you touching his cheeks, have your dog look you in the face and gently raise his lips so you can see his gums. Try to make a game of it. You may have to do this several times in a week or as often as he will let you. The goal is to get your dog comfortable with you touching his lips, mouth, and teeth. Praise him!

3. While looking in his mouth, check for redness of his gums, swelling, and/or loose or broken teeth. Praise him for letting you examine his mouth.

4. Next, take your finger and rub his teeth and gums. It may be necessary to dip your finger in beef or chicken broth so he can taste the flavor and lick it off of your finger. Praise him!

5. Instead of just using your finger, you can apply a piece of gauze around your finger, and then dip your finger in the broth. Rub his teeth and gums gently. Rub his teeth at a 45 degree angle. Praise him!

6. A rubber finger applicator can also be purchased. This applicator can be used to brush his teeth with dog toothpaste. Do not use human toothpaste because it may upset your dog’s stomach.

7. You may also purchase a dog tooth brush. The bristles are much softer than the brush you would use.

8. Dog toothpaste is also available. Do not use your toothpaste; it could upset his stomach.

9. There are drops that you can purchase that you put into your dog’s water. This can help to freshen his breath.

10. Pet chews are available that you can put a paste on or in a chew toy. As he chews, the paste helps improve his breath.

If after going through this process and your dog still has bad breath, there may be a more serious problem. When a dog matures to 3 or 4 years of age, it may be especially necessary to investigate the issue in more depth.

Some questions you might answer to evaluate the bad breath issue could be:

* Is your dog drooling?
* Has your dog lost his appetite?
* Has your dog stopped chewing on his favorite toys or dog chews?
* Does he have difficulty in eating or chewing his food?
* Are his gums red and swollen?
* Is there a yellow-brown crust near the gum line?
* Do you see tumors on the gums or under the tongue?

If any of these conditions are present, these symptoms need immediate attention from your veterinarian. Call for an appointment.

Bad breath should not be ignored! Bad breath can also indicate a more serious problem. As with humans, if dog dental care is ignored, poor health may be the result. If you detect any abnormalities, contact your veterinarian.

Bad breath could be the symptoms for:

* Periodontal disease
* Gingivitis
* Halitosis
* Mouth tumors
* Salivary cysts
* Kidney disease
* Gastrointestinal disease
* Dietary “indiscretions” - eating spoiled garbage, etc.

Once your dog has become comfortable with home dental care, continue the routine on a regular basis. Always contact your veterinarian with any concerns or questions you may have. Praise your dog often through the process.

A Healthy Dog Is A Happy Dog!

Having had cats and dogs most of her life, Lori Kniff is concerned about the health and comfort of our best friends, our dogs and cats.

Go to the website http://www.pawsitivepamperings.com, and you will find those items that will keep your pets healthy, happy and content.

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