Healthy dog - bad breath indicates there is something wrong!

Narrated from: Dog Health

Dogs are famous worldwide – but not for their fresh and minty breath.

Chances are high that you think your dog has bad breath. In most cases that is just the usual smell – the so-called “doggie breath”. You must learn to discern your dog’s usual breath from real bad breath – halitosis. Halitosis is more offensive than regular doggie breath. If you notice that your dog’s breath has become unusually foul, this could indicate that there is something wrong with the dog’s health.

The first thing you have to do if you notice bad breath is to check if your dog has been eating garbage or feces. The dog must not be allowed to do that.

The most common health reasons for bad breath are dental. It is estimated that from 50% up to 80% of all dogs have periodontal disease (gingivitis). You should check your dog’s gums – they are supposed to be coral pink. If the dog has gingivitis, it will have brownish deposits on the back of its teeth and there might be a thin red line running around its gums.

Gingivitis can be dangerous for your dog. It is usually noticed in its moderate stage, when the veterinary can still cure your dog’s problem, but if the disease is allowed to reach its advanced stage, there is little that can be done – the dog’s teeth will become loose and ultimately fall out. For gingivitis to reach its advanced stage, though, the dog’s dental hygiene must be neglected for years.

Bad breath could be an indicator of more serious problems – sinus infections, kidney disease, mouth tumors, etc. Even mundane problems such as gingivitis can lead to more serious diseases - heart problems, respiratory disease, diabetes…  The only way to detect such problems is to go to the veterinarian.

Prophylactics and solutions
You should take responsibility for the dental care of your dog. This way you will avoid dental diseases that lead to bad breath – and if bad breath does appear, you will know immediately that there might be a more serious problem. There are several things you could easily do.

First, you should pick quality dog food. Canned food and raw meat often lead to bad breath. There are special treats like mints, mouthwash, dental treats, etc.  They hide bad breath, but you should use them only if you are sure that the bad breath is due to food and not to a serious problem.

Second, you should buy your dog some safe chew toys – chewing is actually a way of cleaning the teeth.

Third, take the dog to the veterinary now and then. He can clean the mouth more thoroughly and should be able to detect a developing problem.

Last but not least, if you really care for your dog, you should brush its teeth yourself. There are a lot of toothpastes ad toothbrushes designed specifically for dogs. It would be perfect if you could clean your dog’s teeth every day – though you should know that dogs are as stubborn as children when it comes down to teeth cleaning!

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