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Things You Didn’t Know About Your Dog's Teeth

We have all experienced bad breath from our beloved pooches!  


Like us humans, it's a problem that is usually caused by a buildup of tartar and plaque on the teeth and gums, and unfortunately, this buildup can lead to more severe problems in later life.  

An example to look for would be fishy dog breath, which could be a sign of kidney and liver problems! 


Here are a few simple ways to help.  


Buff away the bad stuff 

Four out of five dogs over the age of three will suffer from gum disease!  

Bad teeth and gums can lead to severe problems for your pooch, and if bad breath is causing you concern, it's best to address the problem as early as possible. The earlier you introduce your pooch to brushing, the more tolerant they will be of it.  


Cleaning their teeth regularly can help prevent gum disease and stop your dog’s breath from smelling. Pick up a doggy toothbrush from your local pet shop, and if you can, brush your dog’s teeth daily—even a few times a week will help keep plaque and tartar at bay.  

Like any training, patience and a regular schedule will help your dog get used to brushing.  


High-quality treats  

Like us, everything your dog chews and crunches on will affect their teeth. Some dental treats are made with natural ingredients to promote oral hygiene.  


The ingredients to look for include:  


  • Rosemary is antibacterial and aids gum care.  

  • Sage protects against bacteria.  

  • Collagen: to help with gum healing.  


Some products also have sodium hexametaphosphate (look for ‘SHMP’), which binds the calcium found in dental plaque so it can be easily removed via dogs' saliva to help prevent tartar formation.  


Happy gut = happy dog  

Your dog's breath is a strong indicator of their digestive health; bad dog breath can be a sign of a buildup of bacteria in the gut. As well as a good brushing routine, a properly functioning digestive system can help with bad dog breath. 


The gut relies on healthy bacteria to help it function well, so the right dog food is key when it comes to gut health. Ensure your dog has a good diet with no fillers or additives, added carbs or sugars as these are found in many pet foods and provide substances for bacteria to thrive on. Always look for natural ingredients to promote digestive health and healthy dog poops. Any fish-based food is easy for most dogs to digest. In the same way that we take supplements to support our health, you may want to consider adding a doggy health supplement to your dog's diet for extra digestive support.  


Dog digestive supplements can help promote the best levels of friendly bacteria in the gut, which allows the digestive system to work properly, helping a dog to keep more nutrients from their food. Some supplements have prebiotics, which naturally increase the activity of these friendly bacteria and encourage the ratio of good to bad bacteria, ensuring that the digestive system works properly.  

They also should have added vitamins, minerals, and ‘Omega 3’ and/or ‘6’ to promote solid stools, healthy skin, a glossy coat, and overall well-being.  


Can dog food clean my dog's teeth?  

Though evidence is limited, some vets do recommend switching to dry dog food instead of wet food for dental care, as the crunchiness of dry food may help clean plaque off a dog’s teeth. If your dog is on a wet food diet, perhaps try introducing a handful of dry food to see if this helps.  


See our previous blog on wet or dry food. 


No matter how hard you try, sometimes a dog simply won't let you near their mouths with a toothbrush! 


If you’re starting to worry about your dog’s dental hygiene or if they don’t enjoy dental sticks, don’t ignore it; always ask your vet for advice. 


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