Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bad Breath

If your pet’s breath packs a potent punch, chances are the culprit is plaque, the same bacteria-laden film that develops on your teeth if you don’t brush for a while and can lead to a smelly and sometimes dangerous gum infection. Avoiding this in your pet takes some care:

-Attack the plaque: Brushing twice a day would be ideal, but twice a week is okay.

-Start ‘em young: Brushing your pet’s teeth may sound impossible, but if you start when your cat or dog is a few months old, the experience can quickly become routine.

-Tickle their taste buds: Some pet toothpastes come in flavors like poultry, beef or malt to make the experience more palatable.

-Get in the groove: If your pet doesn’t take kindly to the teeth brushing, some vets recommend picking up a hard rubber toy that has grooves in it. Smear a little meat flavored toothpaste on it and your pet may brush his own teeth. Nothing beats a toothbrush, but this beats nothing.

-Floss with an ox: Cooked oxtail’s tendons and fibers help massage the teeth and gums in hard to reach places
-Quell it with carrots: A little bit of raw carrot, given as a midday treat can act as a mild mannered tooth scraper, scouring away plaque.

-Reach for a spray: Many pet stores sell mouth sprays for dogs and cats, however, they are purely cosmetic.

-Can the canned food: Switching to dry food may help to improve mouth odor, because it scrapes the surface of the teeth.

-Nix Nibbling: If you allow your pet to munch on her food throughout the day, the harmful bacteria in her mouth are always active. If you only feed a dog once or twice a day, you only feed the bacteria once or twice a day.

-Rice to the occasion: Whole grains, liked cooked brown rice can help food move along the digestive tract more readily. Better digestion can play a role in better breath. Just place a small portion of your pet’s regular food with rice at every meal.

-Scrap the scraps: Breath often reflects the diet, and if you’re giving your pet left over spaghetti, you may have found the cause of her bad breath.

-Go for the green: Chlorophyll tablets, available in pet stores, can aid digestion and sweeten your pet’s breath.

-Whip it with rawhide: Rawhide bones are good at scraping away plaque buildup. The constant scraping may help clean the mouth.

Alice England


Breanna said...

Great post! We give the girls bully sticks which seem to go miles in getting rid of plaque and bad breath :)

Art and Sew Forth said...

I suppose that's why my piggies never have bad breath! they eat lots of greens and carrots to scrub scrub scrub away!

Giupetto and Gianna Tails said...

Alice, great post as usual.
My dogs don't like the tooth brush, but the vet recommended wrapping a floss around your finger and massages the outside of the dogs teeth, front and back teeth.
I found, instead of floss,these mint dental pads. They work the same way but taste like mint and the dogs seem to like the taste.
Just throwing my 2 cents in. :-)

Sean (Camargo Creations) said...

Thank you very much for such an informative post. I use the flavored toothpaste with my Beagle and she just thinks it is a weird way to get a treat.