Bad Breath in Pets

We all love special kisses from our furry friends, but when your pet has bad breath, those kisses can be a little unpleasant. You benefit from good dental health by ridding your pet’s breath of odors and preventing your pet from getting oral diseases. There are many ways to keep up your pet’s oral hygiene, and using a combination of ways can provide the best benefit. This article can help you create a proper dental hygiene program for your pet.

Bad Breath in Pets - Dog Chewing Toothbrush

Courtesy of Linda N./Flickr

Brushing is Best for Bad Breath in Pets

Brushing your pet’s teeth is the invasive part of a dental hygiene plan, but it cleans your pet’s teeth the most effectively. Most dogs will eventually accept teeth brushing if they are rewarded properly, but some cats teeth may always be difficult to brush. Never force your pet to brush their teeth because it can be frightening for them and they may be experiencing tooth pain. Brushing your pet’s teeth removes disease causing plaque, freshens breath, and helps clean their gums.

The first part of brushing your pet’s teeth is gathering the right supplies. There are special toothbrushes for pets, designed to cover all three sides of their teeth for maximum cleanliness. There are some regular sized toothbrushes and small ones designed for small dogs and cats. Some toothbrushes are actually finger-brushes and resemble finger cots placed over your finger to brush their teeth with. Most veterinarians recommend brushing your pets teeth frequently, which usually is several times per week. Your veterinarian should give you a specific frequency for your pet because they will best know their dental health.

Human toothpaste should never be used because it can be too abrasive. There are several types of veterinary toothpaste available. Some are specifically labeled for tartar control if your pet is prone to tartar buildup. There are many flavors too; some of our flavors we carry at VetRxDirect include poultry, peanut butter, seafood, vanilla mint and beef. These flavors make brushing your pet’s teeth more enticing for them and easier for you.

How to brush your pet’s teeth:

  1. Make sure you have your toothbrush and toothpaste ready and your pet is calm and relaxed.
  2. Place a small amount of toothpaste on the toothbrush bristles.
  3. Gently get your pet to open their mouth. A great way to do this is let them smell the toothpaste and they will likely want to open their mouth to eat it.
  4. Gently place the toothbrush into your pet’s mouth and brush their teeth like you would your own, working from back to front.
  5. Keep reassuring your pet and praise them for good behavior
  6. Once you are finished it would be a good idea to give them a treat or other reward, so they associate teeth brushing with positive rewards.

Rinse for Bad Breath in Pets

When brushing isn’t feasible or between brushing, using a mouth rinse can be beneficial for your pet. Rinsing, too, can help with plaque buildup and especially bad breath odor. Most of the oral rinses contain chlorhexidine which is an antibacterial agent to reduce the buildup of odor causing bacteria.  There is some variation in mouth rinses for pets because some are added to their water daily for them to drink and others are for use directly into their mouth. The water additives are all liquids and will help with daily cleaning of your pet’s mouth each time they drink.

The rinses for direct oral use are usually liquid solutions, but VetRxDirect does carry gels too. The advantage of gel is its use directly in the mouth; You use the applicator to squeeze a small amount of gel onto the teeth and gums, and it is distributed through your pet’s teeth itself. Other oral rinses can be applied to gauze or to a toothbrush and be applied to the teeth. Some of the liquid oral rinses can be squirted directly into the mouth too. Each product is quite different for the oral rinses, so be sure to thoroughly read the directions and ask your veterinarian any questions you have.

Chews for Bad Breath in Pets

           Dogs are naturally meat eaters and wild dogs kept their teeth clean by chewing meat and bones. Our dogs can also benefit from a similar mechanism, and there are many different chews available to help with oral health. Some have chlorhexidine in them as well to kill odor causing bacteria. Most of the chews are formulated with ingredients to brush off plaque on the teeth or are shaped in ways to clean off plaque. These are the easiest way to clean your pet’s teeth because they love the taste of chews, but they aren’t as effective. However, dental chews can be a great addition to a dental hygiene routine. The caveat to dental chews is the need to monitor your pet while they chew them because there is always a risk of choking.

The whole process:

           Together teeth brushing, rinsing, and providing dental chews can be a great combination for a winning smile in your pet. Your pet will benefit from having healthy teeth to help prevent disease and tooth decay. Not to mention how you’ll love having fresh kisses from your pet! This oral hygiene plan is just an idea and doesn’t replace your veterinarian’s special orders for your pet. Talk with them about what products they recommend and how often they want you to practice it.

What dental hygiene products do you use on your pets? Leave a Reply below. Thank you.