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February 11, 2014 Posted by: Adam Holmes

Getting Rid of That Nasty Dog Breath

If bad breath is cutting down on the quality of cuddle time with your pup, it may be time to address the problem. Much like humans, bad breath in dogs can be caused by a build-up of bacteria and plaque, or eating something particularly odorous.
Luckily for those of us on the receiving end of doggy kisses, there are some simple solutions for this common problem.

Give Those Teeth a Polish

One of the best ways to beat bad breath is frequently brushing your dog’s teeth. Most pet stores stock canine toothpastes in both sweet and savory flavors help make the experience a little more pleasant for your pooch. Toothpaste meant for humans often contains xylitol, a sugar substitute that is highly toxic to dogs — never brush your dog’s teeth with human toothpaste!
When brushing your dog’s teeth, focus on the upper teeth as plaque commonly accumulates there first. Brush the tongue thoroughly, as well.
The ideal time to start brushing your dog’s teeth is the puppy years because he’ll become accustomed to it. However, it’s never too late to start!

Schedule Regular Cleanings

Just as you benefit from annual dental cleanings, your dog will too. Your vet will not only clean and polish your dog’s teeth; they’ll also check for problems like cavities or tooth damage. If there’s heavy tartar build up, they may recommend cleaning under anesthesia. While expensive and slightly dangerous for older animals, it can be worth it to avoid a serious illness later.

Let Him Chew!

It’s no secret that dogs love to chew, but there’s more behind it than fun. Chewing is your dog’s natural way of cleaning his teeth, and it improves his breath in the process. Check your local pet stores for specially formulated dental chew toys.

Offer Some Healthy Treats

For a dose of natural breath freshening, mix parsley in with your dog’s kibble. If you’re the baking type, whip up some fabulous homemade treats to get rid of stinky breath while indulging your pup. If your dog isn’t fond of green stuff, toss a few carrots his way. Carrots help eliminate plaque due to their abrasive quality and they’re full of vitamins to keep your dog healthy and happy.
If your dog has persistent bad breath, it could be indicative of serious health issues so be sure to consult your veterinarian.
From squeaky clean teeth to kitchen-made treats, it’s easy to freshen your dog’s smelly mouth. Here’s to a sweeter cuddle!

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