Bad breath is something we’re all affected by from time to time. And, yes, that includes coming from your beloved dog! After all, kisses are sweet but not quite as enjoyable when their breath begins to hum. Find out the potential causes of your pup’s stinky mouth and how to support it below.
What causes bad breath?
Many things could cause bad breath in your dog. Luckily, if spotted early and you make the right changes to your dog’s life, it can be helped.
• Plaque is a big contributor to bad breath. But what exactly is it? It’s the build-up of sticky bacteria that produce acids to break down the food particles in your dog’s mouth. However, if your dog doesn’t receive effective regular dental care, this plaque will build up, creating conditions better suited to the overgrowth of ‘bad’ bacteria associated with bad breath.
• These bacteria produce gas, causing that not-so-rosy smell we’re all familiar with. This build-up of plaque can also lead to the formation of tartar or dental calculus – a hard deposit that you may see on your dog’s teeth. This tartar provides another surface for plaque to adhere to which again, if ignored, will favour the growth of ‘bad’ bacteria associated with bad breath.
• Food is another culprit. Many wet and dry foods don’t include ingredients to help with plaque formation and are too soft to help keep your dog’s teeth clean. These foods can also contain ingredients that linger, so without something to freshen their breath, our dogs might blow us away with one huff.
• Some breeds are also more prone to bad breath than others, for example, smaller and flat-faced breeds are more likely to develop gum issues which can cause an odour.
• It’s also important to consider our awareness. Many owners are either unaware that we need to, or cannot effectively, clean our dogs’ teeth, and plaque builds up and leads to greater issues down the line.
How to take the whiff out of your dog’s breathTeeth cleaning
While we try to avoid vet visits, it’s important to take your dog for regular check-ups. In fact, vet clinics often offer a teeth-cleaning service. They start with a general examination of your dog’s mouth and then use a scaler to remove plaque and tartar along the gums, finishing with a polish to keep their pearly whites shining.
This is a good way to bring your dog’s mouth back to a healthy state, but to keep their breath fresh all year round we need to add products to their daily diet that target teeth.Diet
As we mentioned before, food has one of the greatest impacts on your dog’s breath. A great way to support their teeth and gums is to give them food that contains ingredients for oral health, such as spirulina, peppermint oil, and green tea extract. Dry food can also help to keep teeth clean because of its abrasive, crunchy texture that brushes against the teeth and removes some of the plaque.
Wet foods can be tricky because they are typically oily and can leave a film over your dog’s teeth, which if left can lead to greater plaque build-up and very stinky breath.Brush their teeth
That’s right! You can brush their teeth yourself. This is something you should introduce early on to your dog, especially if you have them as a pup, as it’s a strange feeling for them to get used to.
There are products designed to make brushing easier, such as toys and finger toothbrushes with silicone bristles, but a soft human toothbrush will work just as well. However, it’s important to use specially formulated dog toothpaste because many human toothpastes contain xylitol, which is incredibly poisonous to dogs.
The brushing action removes any leftover food and plaque build-up on the teeth, taking away the bad bacteria and helping to eliminate bad breath alongside the dog toothpaste.
Dental chews and sticks are an excellent way to maintain clean teeth and fresh breath on a regular basis. Case in point: our new YuMOVE Dental Care Sticks, our innovative monthly regime, developed by our clever veterinary scientists to target plaque, freshen breath, and create a barrier along the teeth and gums. Their fast-acting formula means you can expect to notice a difference in your dog’s mouth in just 4 weeks.
So, what’s makes them so special? Well, it’s all down to our unique, scientifically proven ActivBarrier™ technology that can be found in the sticks’ soft centre. It targets existing bad breath and plaque but also tackles the root cause – the balance of bacteria in your dog's mouth. What’s more, ActivBarrier™ helps to reduce the formation of new plaque and tartar on your dog’s teeth.
Their flexible spiral shape is designed to maximise contact with the tooth surface, effectively cleaning away existing plaque from the surface of the teeth. A cleaner mouth means fresher breath, plus peace of mind that you’re supporting your dog’s overall oral health! What could be better?
Have you seen our innovative new product? Check out our new YuMOVE Dental Care Sticks to support your dog’s fresh breath and healthy teeth.