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Client Tips for Fighting Doggie Breath

February 17, 2023

Original Post Date: 2/8/2019
Reviewed and edited by: Cathy Barnette, DVM, on February 7, 2023

It's not uncommon for a dog to have stinky breath, but chronic halitosis is not normal. The following information highlights the most common causes of halitosis. It also offers client tips that may help to fight against bad dog breath.

Client Tips for Fighting Doggie Breath

Tip 1. Talk to Your Veterinarian
Fighting halitosis caused by periodontal disease requires a two-pronged approach, including both home care and profession care provided by the veterinary team.

Your veterinarian will help you identify the best dental care practices for your pet. Their recommendations may include:

  • Comprehensive dental examination and evaluation (performed under anesthesia) to establish an initial set of dental records
  • Routine annual dental treatments to clean, scale and examine the teeth
  • Dental x-rays of the teeth and of the area below the gum line

Tip 2. Daily Dental Care to Prevent Doggie Halitosis
Establish a daily regimen of at-home dental care, routinely cleaning your pet's teeth and gums using a brush and toothpaste made specifically for animals. Ask your veterinarian to demonstrate the best way to brush your pet's teeth. Keep in mind these points:

  • Starting this routine at an early age reduces your dog's risk of periodontal disease.
  • Puppies and older pets can learn to enjoy having their teeth brushed. Discuss positive handling techniques with your veterinarian.
  • Even with routine brushing, some pets may still develop periodontal disease. Talk to your veterinarian about additional home care measures, if needed.

Tip 3. Diet to Control Doggie Breath
Dental diets are specifically formulated to help clean your pet's teeth, fight plaque, and promote oral health. Ask your veterinarian if a prescription dental diet would benefit your pet.

Tip 4. Chewing Cleans a Dog's Teeth
Chewing can help to keep your pet's teeth clean, but choosing the right chew is important for safety and efficacy. Dental chews that carry the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) Seal of Acceptance have been tested and found to be effective in controlling plaque and tartar.

Some dental chews are dangerously hard, which can lead to tooth fractures. Some chews, if ingested, can lead to intestinal obstructions. You can reduce these risks by giving dental chews only when your dog us under close supervision. Talk to your veterinarian before choosing a chew snack or chewing toy to ensure it is the best possible choice for your pet.

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