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Dog Dental Health

Date: May 3rd, 2023

By: Alex Semancik

If you think your dog’s bad breath is just a part of owning a dog, you may find this information useful. Your dog’s breath may be more than just a foul odor; dental health is a critical part of your pet’s overall health. Dental problems can cause, or be caused by, other health problems, so bad breath can indicate something more serious. Here are some things to know about maintaining your dog’s dental hygiene.

(Photo credit Petra Visser and Dutchdoodles)


A good, intuitive first step to improving your canine’s oral health is brushing his teeth. Ideally, you would start this habit when your dog is young so that they grow up getting used to it, but better late than never. Some dogs likely won’t be too fond of your brushing attempts at first, but over time most dogs won’t mind, especially with special canine toothpaste. Although it would be convenient, you can’t simply buy a new toothbrush and slap on whatever minty toothpaste you use to brush your teeth. Human toothpaste contains many chemicals that are toxic to dogs. Luckily,canine toothpaste is available at any local pet store and comes in many dog-friendly flavors such as beef, chicken, and peanut butter. These flavors may help convince your four-legged friend to open wide. Investing in a toothbrush designed for dogs is encouraged, but any old toothbrush should do the trick. Brushing is essential to your pet’s dental health for preventing plaque build, the more often the better. Making brushing a habit for your dog will help prevent common ailments like periodontal disease, tooth loss, gum diseases, and, of course, bad breath.


There’s no substitute for brushing, but there are treats available that can aid in the dental hygiene of your canine. Certain treats are made specifically to remove plaque that can build up on your furry friend’s teeth. Many of these treats also contain ingredients that kill plaque-building bacteria and freshen your dog’s breath. Treats are usually more happily accepted by pets compared to brushing, but for the best results try to incorporate both.

(Photo credit Petra Visser and Dutchdoodles)

Chew Toys

There are many different chew toys to choose from. Chew toys keep your pet busy, reduce their stress, and prevent them from chewing on your items of importance, but they also can aid in dental health. The act of chewing itself is beneficial to dog dental health. The gnawing and scraping, that might make you cringe, in reality remove plaque from your dog’s teeth.

Food & Water Options

. Dental powder is made from probiotics that promote the growth of healthy bacteria and kills plaque-building bacteria. This can be a great option that may not require a vet visit though it is always best to consult your vet first. This powder can be added tomeals and will freshen your dog’s breath as well as prevent plaque and tartar.


Many vets are recommending sprays for a dog’s mouth, or liquid additives for their water to maintain good dental health. There other holistic additives to promote dental dog health, including adding a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to the drinking water.

If nothing else seems to do the trick, you can investigate prescription dental food via your vet. These foods are clinically proven to help reduce periodontal disease by cleaning the surface of your dog’s teeth and killing harmful bacteria.

Professional Cleaning

Although this option is more expensive, a professional dental cleaning done by a veterinarian is the most effective way to ensure your pet’s dental health is pristine. Your dog will likely have to undergo general anesthesia for this procedure. Your veterinarian is the expert who ultimately knows what is best for your pet, including oral problems your dog may have.

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