4 Ways to Control Bad Doggy Breath
The most common cause of bad breath is a build-up of plaque on your dog’s teeth. If plaque isn’t removed, it can cause irritation and inflammation of the gums, which can lead to serious gum disease. Brushing your pet’s teeth is the best solution to keeping your dog’s teeth clean and plaque free, however, this can be very difficult (maybe impossible?) to do with some dogs. Here are 4 other ways that will help keep your pup’s teeth clean and breath fresh.
- A HEALTHY DIET
As humans, we know that a diet rich in processed foods and sugars can negatively impact our own oral health — and it is the same for our pets! A minimally processed low carbohydrate diet will naturally limit plaque and tarter build up. A raw food diet helps minimize plaque build up because it doesn't contain starchy fillers, offers natural enzymes to protect a pet's oral health, and offers abrasive action to actually clean the teeth. People still often think that dry food will help “clean” their pet’s teeth. This is completely untrue – it’s like saying that eating potato chips will clean our teeth. Crazy right?
- RAW BONES
It might seem contradictory, but raw, meaty bones are one of the best ways to keep your pet’s teeth healthy and clean. Bones work like a toothbrush to scrape away plaque and tartar without leaving behind a starch, which often is the case when giving dental chews or treats. It’s important to follow a few safety guidelines when feeding raw bones. First is to use only 100% raw bones – never cooked. Match the size of bone to the size of your dog and know if you have a very aggressive chewer. You should always monitor your dog when chewing on a bone.
Edible bones like raw chicken wings, chicken backs, chicken necks, and turkey are safe for your dog to eat the entire thing. But they aren’t firm enough to be very effective at cleaning teeth. Recreational bones - usually from beef, bison, elk, or deer antlers - are long-lasting and the chewing and gnawing is what scrapes and cleans the teeth and gums. There are also softer chews like tendons and bully sticks that offer a dental cleaning effect.
- DENTAL TOOTH WIPES, RINSES, AND SPRAYS
There are many safe and effective oral hygiene products available that may help to clear away plaque and inhibit harmful bacterial growth. Dental wipes, for example, are relatively less invasive than brushing and although they can’t get into all the nooks and crannies, they are helpful.
- DENTAL TREATS/CHEWS
The typical dental chews are often ineffective or dogs don’t like them!! Bocce’s Bakery has introduced two new products - Brushy Sticks and Brushy Bites - that are designed to “brush” teeth, freshen breath and help remove plaque and tarter. Himalayan Yak Chew Cheese-Char is a distinctive blend of cheese and activated charcoal, supporting your dog’s overall dental health. We have many other chews including bully sticks, salmon skins, and collagen chews that are all helpful for your dogs oral health.
If your pet continues to have bad breath, be sure to contact your veterinarian. As with most health issues, it’s much better to prevent problems from developing in the first place. Regular appointments with your vet can often identify health issues in the early stages when they are easier – and less expensive – to resolve.