We all love walking through the door after a long day to find a happy dog waiting for us with some slobbery kisses, but you've probably learned to ignore Fido's bad breath. From time to time even humans get a bad case of halitosis, so we assume it's no big deal, and it normally isn't. But responsible dog owners should know that stinky breath is sometimes a sign of serious medical problems.
Even if you're not worried, there are lots of safe, easy and effective ways to sweeten your pooch's breath, so what do you have to lose by trying them?
Everything you need to know about your pet's garlic breath is in this list:
1. Check your dog's teeth
Bad breath can be caused by plaque or tartar buildups in your dog's mouth, but usually it's a sign that their teeth are a little worse-for-wear.
You should check your dog's teeth and gums about once a week. Healthy gums are bright pink, while red ones and brown teeth should be checked out.
2. You actually need to brush your dog's teeth
Dogs are just like kids: they hate to brush their teeth, but you need to make sure they do. Let them lick a little dog-safe toothpaste off your finger so they'll be less apprehensive.
Handing out a few treats during your weekly brushing will also improve their mood.
Click the next page to learn which serious conditions can cause bad breath!
3. Be generous with treats and toys
A firm chew-toy like a tug-of-war rope isn't just fun for your dog, it will also freshen their breath. Chewing works excess plaque and tartar off your dog's teeth, and so will chewier dog treats or dental sticks. Look out for treats that have cinnamon, chlorophyll or clove in the ingredients, because these will really freshen their breath.
If your dog's teeth look healthy but their breath is still smelly, you could consider changing their food to a different brand.
4. Drink more water
Like humans, dogs can easily freshen their breath by drinking water, so keep their bowl filled. If you want to give them some extra help, a teaspoon of coconut oil will work wonders.
For more drastic cases, try mixing in pet-safe dental water, which is sort of like doggie mouthwash.
5. Know what to look out for
Most pets have nothing to worry about besides bothering their owners, but in certain cases bad breath means something more.
Fruity (sweet-smelling) breath could be a sign of canine diabetes, a urine smell signals kidney problems and yellow gums could mean they have a liver condition.
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