Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tips for Combating Doggie Breath

By Suzanne Alicie

We all love our dogs, but one thing that seems to be a common complaint for all owners is doggie breath. Sure, little baby pups might have sweet smelling puppy breath, but in general when your dog gets in your face your first instinct is often to push him away. There are several ways you can combat doggie breath, and of course the first step is to talk to your vet.

Most veterinary offices offer doggie dental care which can help address any sort of infection, buildup or decay that may be making your dog’s breath worse than usual. Keeping your pooch’s choppers clean and healthy is part of being a responsible pet owner; you should do it for the health of your dog, not just for your sensitive nose!

You can even brush your dog’s teeth at home if you’re brave enough or if your dog is well behaved enough to allow it. Actually, if you start brushing their teeth regularly from puppyhood, most dogs will tolerate it – just be sure to use toothpaste made for dogs! It may be tempting to use some sort of human toothpaste or mouthwash to combat offensive doggie breath, but these things can be very harmful to your dog.

Some dog treats can help clear away plaque and leave your dog with fresher breath, such as Snap Biscuit and Snap Bits treats from CANIDAE. These treats include all natural peppermint as well as other healthy ingredients that will help keep your dog’s mouth fresh and clean! Doggie breath is as much a part of being a dog as barking, and it doesn’t seem to bother them at all, but the poor people who own the smelly critters are always looking for ways to defeat bad dog breath.

Dogs use their mouths much the way we humans use our hands – they pick things up, they carry things, they explore and they most often chew anything that they haven’t been taught not to. Their teeth get quite a workout, and the surface of their mouth collects germs and bacteria that can create odors. Providing your dog with plenty of fresh cool water will help wash away some of the stuff inside his mouth and result in dog breath that is a little less offensive.

Our dog Bear likes to dig and eat roots when she is outside, so not only does she pick up that “dog smell” that indoor dogs have when they come in from outside, her breath is just overwhelmingly gross when she comes in. Of course she loves a treat when she comes inside and usually then has a long drink of water as well, but often the bad breath lingers.

Your veterinarian can help you determine whether your dog’s breath is just normal doggie breath or if there is an underlying cause such as periodontal disease. Regular vet checkups, professional dental cleanings and brushing your dog’s teeth can all help prevent many types of odor causing problems, and keep you from having to cover your nose when your pooch wants to cuddle or kiss you!

Photo by Michael Ciarleglio

Read more articles by Suzanne Alicie


  1. Lots of good suggestions especially the dental cleanings at the vets .Those are very important. I also give my dogs chew up sticks which helps them. Great post.

  2. I have been brushing my dogs teeth since he was a puppy. He tolerates it as long as there is still toothpaste left. As soon as he laps it up, he is done with the process until I put more on the brush. It REALLY helps with the breath and I constantly get compliments on his teeth. Read up online about how to start doing it. Start SLOW! Only a few seconds here and there. Each time do it for a little bit longer. You don't want to turn your dog off to doing it.

  3. Healthy dog equals healthy breath. Oral disease is the most common cause of bad breath. There are other medical issues that can lead to bad breath though. Taking care of the underlying condition will take care of the bad breath.


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