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Dog Breath-It Doesnt HAVE to Be SO Bad!

While your friends and family are amazed that you're raising such an amazing dog, you notice that they flinch when the dog gets too close. They may shrug away or not bend down to pet him as they once did. While they may not say so directly, it could be due to your dog's killer breath. While this situation is all too common, hopefully you've noticed your pooch's halitosis before anyone says or does anything to cause you (or your poor dog) embarrassment. As stated, your dog cannot tell you that he has a sticky, plaque taste in his mouth that won't stop. It's your job to understand that he, like you, needs his teeth brushed and his gums attended to regularly.

Bad breath can make being around any dog a terrible experience. Sometimes the bad breath is so strong that it permeates an entire room. Bad breath can be blamed on a number of culprits. A couple of the most common are dental or periodontal disease. This can all be associated to your dog not properly chewing his food (i.e. not allowing saliva to do its job), having a broken tooth or dental plaque and tartar. Also, your dog could be suffering an internal problem that is causing his bad breath. He could be having problems with kidney or liver function. The best thing to do in extreme cases is to consult with your vet.

So, in order to keep everyone in awe at your amazing dog, you'll want to be sure to take care of three of the major components that will not only help your dog's overall health, but will help prevent and/or control his bad breath. These deal with regular home dental care, diet and professional cleanings.

It is estimated that 80 percent of dogs over the age of three suffer from the periodontal disease - a serious deterioration of the gums and supporting bones of the teeth. Yes, it will give your pet bad breath, but left unchecked, the bacteria that cause this disease can enter the bloodstream, causing infection to vital organs. Research indicates that proper oral health may extend the life of your pet by two to five years!

By the way, the exact same statistic holds true for adult humans. And 80% is a conservative estimate. Periodontal disease is painless, insidious, offensive (except to the offending party, who has no idea about their halitosis), and entirely preventable.

At home, you'll need to brush your dog's teeth everyday. It will take a valiant effort until it becomes habitual for you and your dog. It's best to acclimate your dog to this procedure when he's a puppy. If not, older dogs will put up more of a fuss. Brush your dog's teeth for at least thirty seconds using special dogtooth brush and dog toothpaste. Never ever use human toothpaste. If swallowed it could have dangerous side effects. Reward your puppy or dog after each brushing. Every few days, after meals, you may want to give your dog a rawhide chew. Monitor your dog when giving such treats as choking can occur.

Next, you'll want to be sure that you are meeting your dog's nutritional needs. Do not feed your dog table scraps-ever. And, never feed your puppy or dog candy or especially chocolate. Give your dog the best food designed for his body type and breed.

Finally, you'll want to be sure to have your dog's teeth brushed and professionally treated by a veterinarian every six to twenty-four months. After your first consultation, ask your vet what schedule he believes is best. It can vary dependent upon breed and lifestyle. You dog will have to undergo a general anesthesia in the vet's office before the brushing. For older dogs, talk to your vet, especially if it's been awhile (up to a few years) since your dog's last cleaning. Some vets will not put older dogs under anesthesia for regular cleanings.

Your pet's breath, if all the abovementioned elements are combined, should be just fine. If your pet's bad breath continues after one or two months of regular monitoring, then consult your veterinarian. It could be something else. Once the problem is solved, your awe-inspiring dog will be able to give you and anyone else all the doggie-kisses that he truly wants to share!

About the Author:
Tina Spriggs is an expert dog lover whose lifelong interest in canines provides the motivation for her site. To learn more about dogs or to find gifts and toys for them visit her site at Dog Gifts and Toys for Dog Lovers.

Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

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