How to Prevent Bad Dog Breath

This is a very common condition. Nearby eighty percent of pooches, from the age of three, suffer from this problem. Dog's breath is characterized by a serious deterioration of the gums and supporting bones of the teeth. Unfortunately, the infection that causes your dog's breath to smell can get into the bloodstream and affect vital organs such as the liver and kidneys, causing serious illnesses that endanger your dog's health.

Periodontal disease starts as gingivitis, which is totally curable. But if you allow it to develop into periodontal disease, it can still be stopped but not cured. And, the worse it gets, the faster it progresses.

Preventing periodontal disease involves regular professional cleanings early in your dog's life, and of course, veterinary checkups. Of course, you can start a regular oral hygiene regimen at home, but it's hard to do a thorough cleaning on a dog that would rather do something else.

Vets recommend cleanings once a year, but more frequent visits may be required depending on your dog's condition. You should get your dog used to the idea of having his teeth brushed as early as possible.

Here's what you can do to prevent your dog from getting dog's breath:

• Brush your dog's teeth twice a day. Don't forget to floss.

• Start the regimen when your dog is still a puppy. The earlier you start the better.

• At first, you have to get your dog used to you handling its head and looking inside its mouth. Lift her lips and check the teeth and gums - front back, and on either side of its mouth.

• Afterward, start touching the gum tissue with your finger and run along the gums and teeth as though your finger were a toothbrush. Let your dog get used to the feeling. This is similar to how you would introduce brushing to a baby, starting with just the gums, because even though there a baby has no teeth yet, there are already bacteria. Rub your puppy's teeth and swab out its mouth with your finger.

• The next step is to wrap gauze or soft washcloth around your finger and rub your dog's gums on both the outer and inner surfaces of the teeth.

• The final step is to introduce a toothbrush. Start in one small area first. As your dog gets used to the brush, you will be able to use it in place of the gauze or washcloth. Work on the rest of your dog's mouth. Do not forget to brush the inside surfaces.

A brief period of brushing a day, starting with the first step and working your way to the toothbrush gradually, will lead to a one or two-minute session. Your dog will find out that having its mouth cleaned doesn't hurt and will give you a few minutes of undivided attention every day. It usually takes about 8 to 16 weeks for your dog to get there, but eventually, it will accept brushing as part of its daily routine. Pets enjoy the attention. Your dog may even wait patiently for you to brush its teeth, eventually.

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