It’s a Dog’s World… Doggy Breath
Veterinarians estimate that nearly 90% of dogs have periodontal disease, a condition in which bacteria-laden plaque hardens on the teeth causing gum infections that often result in a foul smell.
I’ve discovered this is a fairly recent problem. Dogs who lived in the wild didn’t live for very long, usually 5 to 6 years. They weren’t around long enough for tooth decay. In contrast, today’s dogs live 12 years or more, thereby creating a large window of opportunity for dental problems, including really, really bad breath.
Dental problems, however, aren’t the only reason for doggy breath. Let’s face it – dogs have terrible table manners. They stuff themselves and then release windy burps; they tip over trash cans and devour the contents; and they’ve been known to eat discarded food on the sidewalks. This unhealthy diet can cause stomach problems which in turn can result in bad breath. In addition, dogs can also have underlying medical conditions that will leave them with smelly breath.
Having said all this there are several things we can do as responsible pet owners to combat Fido’s bad breath. .
Give your dog thick, knotted rawhide bones. As the rawhide softens it works like a sponge to clean the teeth.
Encourage your dog to drink water after he’s eaten to help wash away food particles that attract bacteria and cause bad breath.
Buy clean-breath toys. These toys have grooves and ridges and if you put a little dog toothpaste in the grooves, your dog will brush his own teeth while he’s chewing on the toy.
Brush your pet’s teeth every now and then.
Mix fresh vegetables into his food. If your dog will eat them, uncooked baby carrots and green beans are great for cleaning the teeth.
Luckily, my dog Angel loves carrots. It’s by far her favorite treat.
What is your pet’s favorite treat? Any photos to share?