A cuddle with your dog is a lovely thing – until he breathes on you, you’re inhaling the same air that he’s exhaled, and it smells pretty fishy. Bad breath can be indicative of underlying issues. While occasional halitosis (bad breath) is normal, persistent or unusually strong odours can signal a serious health issue. If you notice a change in your dog’s breath or it is particularly rank, consult your vet. But in the meantime, you’ll want to know how to get rid of bad dog breath fast.
While it’s essential to address the root cause, there are some quick ways to alleviate the issue temporarily – and you’re not limited to brushing your dog’s teeth. If your dog’s bad breath persists or is accompanied by other symptoms like excessive drooling, changes in appetite, or swollen gums, it’s crucial to take veterinary advice. While it may simply be due to poor oral hygiene, persistent bad breath can be a sign of dental disease, kidney or liver disease, oral tumours, gastrointestinal problems or even diabetes. The latter typically causes sweet-smelling breath, and you should take your dog to the vet immediately.
How to get rid of bad dog breath fast
1. Dental chews and toys
Offer one of the best dental chews or toys designed to promote dental health. These can be either edible or non-edible, and can help reduce plaque and tartar build-up. The best chews will stay intact long enough to encourage the chewing action, but no so hard that the dog risks breaking a tooth.
Pooch & Mutt Superfood Dental Sticks | Amazon.co.uk
Made with chicken, spirulina and mint, these sticks are a convenient way to clean your dog’s teeth daily, while providing additional support.
2. Brush your dog’s teeth
Use one of the best toothbrushes for dogs and dog toothpastes to brush your dog’s teeth regularly. Start slowly and make it a positive experience for your dog. Once the dog is accustomed to it, you should aim to brush his teeth once a day, though you don’t need to brush for as long or as vigorously as you would your own teeth.
Beaphar Toothbrush and Paste Kit | Amazon.co.uk
With varying length bristles, this toothbrush is designed to target hard-to-reach areas and provide a comfortable, superior clean. The liver-flavoured toothpaste combines two enzymes that fight plaque, bacteria and tartar build-up.
3. Water additives
Consider adding dental water additives to your dog’s water bowl. These products are designed to help reduce bacteria in the mouth, thereby diminishing the likelihood of tooth decay and gum disease, and therefore bad breath. You can buy dental water additives, such Dental Fresh (which you can find on Amazon), or you can make your own using natural herbs and ingredients, such as coconut oil, mint and parsley (only use curly parsley, as other types can contain toxins), which have antibacterial properties.
4. Minty-fresh treats
Provide treats or toys designed to freshen breath. You can either make your own using natural breath-freshening ingredients, such as mint, curly parsley and coconut oil, or try these Fresh Breath Bonies from Amazon.
5. Fresh fruits and veggies
Offer fresh fruits and vegetables as treats. Crunchy options like apples (remove core and seeds first), celery and carrots can help clean teeth naturally, like a dental stick – and provide vitamins to boot.
6. Coconut oil
Add a small amount of coconut oil to your dog’s food. Coconut oil has antibacterial properties and has been found to improve breath and oral hygiene. Go for unrefined (virgin) coconut oil, ideally one that’s organic and cold-pressed, such as Coconut Therapy, which you can find on Amazon.
7. Regular vet check-ups
Schedule regular dental check-ups with your veterinarian. Professional dental cleaning may be necessary to address more serious dental issues, and they will be able to assess any more serious underlying issues.
8. Proper diet
Feed your dog a balanced and high-quality diet. Poor nutrition can contribute to bad breath. A diet that is high in sugar or carbohydrates can exacerbate bad breath, so don’t feed your dog human food even in the form of scraps from the table. It may be undigestible for them (or even toxic), and so will contribute to bacteria. Choose your treats wisely as well, as some of them are high in carbs and sugar and can increase the likelihood of bad breath, especially if fed in excess.
Ensure your dog has access to clean and fresh water at all times – one of the best pet water fountains can help you here. Staying hydrated helps maintain a healthier mouth. Water not only rinses out the mouth – which is useful if they have licked or eaten something foul-smelling – but it also helps flush toxins out of the body.
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