It’s February, and love is in the air! That must mean even more doggy kisses from your fur-ever love, right?
But if more doggy kisses mean more opportunities for you to get bowled over by his bodacious doggy breath, you’ll want to read on for a few tips about how to kiss doggy breath goodbye forever!
Vets believe that at least 85% of dogs who are at least 4-years-old have some sort of periodontal disease. This can be painful for your dog, and can lead to infection and even tooth loss for them.
That’s why dental health care is so crucial for your best friend, and not just in February, which is dental health month for dogs and their humans.
One of the earliest signs that your dog may be suffering from some dental issues is their breath. No, contrary to popular belief, a dog’s breath isn’t supposed to make you want to throw up. And while it’s not entirely true that their mouths are cleaner than a human’s (although kids try to prove this in science projects all the time!), they shouldn’t reek just because their dogs. Good oral hygiene for your dog can make a huge difference in not just their breath, but their general dental health and that can make a difference in their overall health too. You can read more about the connection between bad doggy breath and their health here.
How to kick doggy bad breath to the curb
We know, we know. It’s not easy to brush your dog’s teeth. Or maybe you’re one of the lucky ones for whom it is, and if that’s the case, lucky you! For many of us, though, we KNOW the value of brushing our dog’s teeth. We just can’t get our pooch on board.
So if your dog has some kickin’ breath but he won’t let you come near with a toothbrush, here are a few handy helpers.
- Give healthy dental treats. If you’re going to give Fido a treat anyway (and you know you are because he’s such a good boy), make it one that includes parsley and/or peppermint or spirulina. These herbs and mints are great bad-breath busters and typically come in treats designed to scratch at the plaque and tartar on your dog’s teeth in the process. Getting rid of that plaque and tartar, as well as introducing breath fresheners like parsley and peppermint can be a win-win for you and your dog. He gets a yummy treat and you get more kissable breath.
- Try real bones. There’s a reason we have sayings like, “He tore at it like a dog with a bone…” Dogs love their bones. And that’s great if you have a reluctant tooth-brusher. The thing is, there’s often a lot of confusion about the best bones to give. Don’t give dogs cooked bones. It’s just too risky because too often, they’ll splinter and can really do some damage to your dog’s digestive tract.Raw bones are generally the safer route, but you should be careful never to give your dog raw pork bones, raw rib bones or raw bones that are smaller than their mouth and that they can swallow whole accidentally. That may mean you’ll have to monitor the chewing your dog has and take a beloved bone when it gets too small, but that’s better than the alternative of them choking or doing damage to their trachea.Raw bones offer calcium, mineralization and create more saliva to help break up mouth bacteria and face it–dogs love them. Scope out the meat section at your local grocery store and ask the butcher for pet bones. Your dog will feel like a king, and you’ll be helping him tear away at plaque and tartar that stink his mouth up.
- Keep the water bowl clean. Think of the last time you washed your dog’s water bowl. Don’t worry, we won’t judge. If it’s been a while, you’re probably in good company. We often think that dogs can break down bacteria from their food or water bowls and while that’s typically true, it doesn’t mean they should. The thing about a water bowl especially is that the water they drink should help clear OUT bacteria in their mouth, not add to it. You know that sort of pink color you may see in your dog’s water bowl sometimes? (Again, no judging, you don’t even have to answer if you don’t want to!)This is a bacteria called Serratia Marcescens and it can be found in other places where water is prevalent (bathroom, laundry, etc.) If your dog has a compromised immune system, this bacteria can make it worse, and even if not, it can make your dog not feel his best. It can also be a traitor to your efforts to keep breath fresh, so it’s a good idea to make washing the dog’s bowls a daily event.
Check out more tips on what to do about bad dog breath.
Get to the gut of the problem
The myth is that all dogs’ breath smells. The truth is that if your dog’s breath smells, there very likely is an issue with their digestive system. We can’t emphasize it enough. Good health begins in the gut, and that means good oral health too. There are billions and billions of microscopic bacteria, fungi and viruses that live in your dog’s gut and they collectively create your dog’s microbiome. In humans, the gut is often called “The Forgotten Organ” and it’s the same for dogs so often. When we work to ensure good gut health in dogs, we’re working to make sure their overall health–oral included–is optimal.
Keeping your dog’s gut healthy means it will protect him from all sorts of bad pathogens that want to take his immune system over. A healthy microbiome is a protector of his immune system and works directly with his brain too.
But it also keeps his mouth bacteria balanced and that is key to fresher doggy breath. If your dog’s stomach is upset, he may have runny poop or even vomit. Let’s be real–they clean up after themselves really nicely, but…vomit and poop breath can make you throw up yourself.
And if your dog isn’t absorbing the right nutrients from his food, he can end up with malabsorption issues and leaky gut. Leaky gut lets harmful bacteria go just about wherever it wants, and when they’re let loose, they can leave an unmistakable stink in your dog’s mouth.
Bye-bye doggy breath!
Luckily, keeping your dog’s gut in its best health is a breeze with Bernie’s Perfect Poop. The unique 4-in-1 combination of premium fiber, pre- and probiotics and enzymes can go right to work at putting doggy breath at bay. When your dog has the right enzymes helping to break food down for best absorption, and the right fiber to move food along appropriately, the pre- and probiotics in Bernie’s work with your dog’s microbiome to make everything gut simply splendiferous.
And when that’s the case, their breath no longer has that odiferous reek that makes you want to turn away in disgust.
So say “Bye-Bye, Doggy Breath!” and tell your pooch to pucker up!