One of my dog walking clients in Milwaukee and I were talking about a very common problem in the dog world –stinky breath. While some owners may not notice the smell, those of us with pups that like to give kisses surely do.

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of freshening my dog’s breath is to get a dental cleaning at the vet, which is incredibly vital to the overall health of your dog. Periodontal disease is the most prevalent disease in dogs and not only can it cause mouth pain, but left untreated, it can lead to heart, kidney, and liver disease. How often a dog needs a dental cleaning will depend on your pet, but it should typically be done yearly-espeically when dogs and cats become seniors.

In between dental cleanings, there are a few things you can do to help your dog’s mouth stay clean and fresh.

  • Brush your dog’s teeth. This should be done on a weekly basis, if not daily. Be sure to use a dog specific tooth paste and brush.
  • Give your dog raw bones to chew on. These bones will help break down tartar. Keep in mind these bones need to be raw, not cooked, as cooked bones can splinter and cause all sorts of GI issues.
  • Try a new kind of water. There is now water that contains enzymes, chlorophyll, and other natural ingredients that help destroy bad bacteria found in the mouth. You should be able to find this at most pet stores.
  • Provide dental chews for your dogs. Like the raw bones, these help break down tartar.
  • Add coconut oil to their diet. Coconut oil has many benefits to your pup including helping their skin and coat, and freshening breath.
  • Look into the quality of their diet. Low quality kibble, such as Puppy Chow, Beneful and others are prone to cause intestinal issues, thus resulting in belching.