By Susan Braden
Bad breath can develop very quickly in dogs’ mouths. Too often, pet owners assume that bad breath is simply natural among animals, and that nothing caused it, or can be done about it. However, bad breath is often a symptom of something far worse – dental disease.
This disease can be very harmful to pets, especially dogs. In addition to being to being quite painful, it suppresses your pet’s immune system, leads to poor health, and can rot jaw bones. Your pet’s immune system may be weakened, as it swallows the infectious bacteria lingering in its mouth. This bacteria in its mouth can lead to tooth infection and subsequent jawbone loss. This disease is truly a serious problem that can be addressed through affordable dental treatment. There are three oral care solutions that can protect your pet from this disease.
Feed your dog crunchy, dry dog food. This crunchy food helps to remove plaque and prevents tartar buildup. Dog food serves as a low cost avenue to maintain the health of your dog’s mouth, as it costs just $18-20 for a large, long lasting bag. Also, the vet may recommend certain chew toys that can stimulate and strengthen gums.
To treat and prevent this disease, owners should begin brushing their dogs’ teeth on a regular basis. The first step is to purchase a soft-bristled toothbrush and vet-approved toothpaste. Your vet may suggest toothpaste with a flavor that will best appeal to your pet, to make the new experience of tooth-brushing more bearable. While you will only need to brush your dog’s teeth a few times a week, remember that it will take time for your pet to adjust to the experience. Gradually work tooth-brushing into your pet’s routine, and eventually, the process may take under a minute.
Make sure your dog’s vet checkups always include a teeth examination. If your veterinarian recommends that your pet needs a deep cleaning, do not make light of this suggestion. Though a deep cleaning may be somewhat expensive, do not postpone it, lest the disease progresses further.
Just as people need affordable care for their own mouths, owners need to be mindful of the health of their dog’s mouths. Owners should schedule periodic vet checkups, and maintain oral maintenance through dry dog food, chew toys, and weekly tooth-brushing. When you notice that your pet has bad breath, these steps will both help prevent the disease from spreading further, and increase your dog’s overall health.