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Health Topics  >  Digestive  >  Bad Breath

How do you prevent your dog from having bad breath?

In the early stages of bad breath (before it prolongs or if there’s too much plaque buildup), you can try a home remedy to prevent bad breath and reduce the chances of needing to visit the vet’s office. Some bad dog breath cures and remedies you can try include the following:

Regular Tooth Brushing

Regular and routine teeth brushing with a dog-specific brush and toothpaste are effective ways to eliminate plaque buildup. Do not use human toothpaste, as they typically contain xylitol, which is toxic to dogs. Since you can’t always monitor what your dog eats, you can help prevent them from getting dental disease by brushing their teeth on a daily basis.

As is true for humans, brushing is the cornerstone of good oral hygiene. 

Regular tooth brushing is the cornerstone of good oral hygiene.

Provide Enough Water and Supplements

Water helps reduce bacterial load and may promote fresh breath. Besides water, specific ‘dental water’ contains enzymes and other ingredients formulated to improve dog breath.

Your veterinarian can recommend supplements or food that help to increase good bacteria in the system. It is well known that probiotics help with overall dog wellness and can prevent bad dog breath. Consider switching your dog to dry food if they’re eating wet food. 

There are more and more options for items designed to improve your dog’s dental health, but these products are not created equal. Look for products with the VOHC (Veterinary Oral Health Council) seal of approval, which ensures they meet standards of plaque and calculus retardation.  

Pro Tip: Any oral health product for your dog should have the VOHC (Veterinary Oral Health Council) seal of approval.

Chew Toys and Treats

Chew toys and dental treats are also handy for improving your dog’s oral health, since chewing and gnawing may displace tartar. It also increases saliva production to minimize the bacteria in the mouth.

Not all dental chew toys will offer the best oral hygiene benefits, so it’s best to ask your veterinarian for recommendations on the most effective chew toys and dog treats for bad breath. Do note though, that the chew toy must be appropriate for your dog’s age and size for effectiveness. As a general rule, if it hurts to tap your knee with it, it is too hard for your dog.

Supervise Snacking

Since unsupervised snacking can cause bad breath, limit your dog’s access to unpleasant foods and secure your trash. Instead, provide healthy dog food for the prevention of bad breath.

If you have a cat, place the litter box away from your dog’s reach to avoid eating cat feces or more importantly, clean up after your pets promptly to remove any temptation.

Chew toys must be appropriate for your dog’s age and size.

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