We’ve all experienced a kiss from our favorite pooch that left us thinking, “Ugh, someone has dog breath!”
All pets can suffer from dental hygiene issues that can range from unpleasant to concerning from time to time.
Consistent bad breath can be an indicator of significant health issues that may affect your dog.
Dog mouthwash is a great solution that you can add to any dental routine to help minimize mouth bacteria and bad breath.
Continue reading to learn more about why you need to monitor bad breath and how dog mouthwash can help.
What causes doggie bad breath?
Bad breath in dogs is also called halitosis and is usually a sign of ongoing dental problems. Gum disease is typically the leading cause of bad breath, but tooth decay or a mouth infection can cause problems.
Switching to a different brand of dog food may affect your dog’s breath, too.
There are pros and cons to both wet and dry dog food, but ultimately finding one that works best for your dog and doesn’t result in side effects like bad breath is optimal.
You need to take ongoing bad breath seriously and discuss it with your family veterinarian.
If your dog’s bad breath won’t go away, if their gums are inflamed, bleeding, or red, schedule an appointment with your vet for a checkup.
How does dog mouthwash help?
The best way to prevent your dog from having bad breath is to reduce the plaque that develops on their teeth. This plaque is inevitable, as leftover food gets stuck between teeth, and constant saliva doesn’t help either.
Food residue turns into plaque that then creates a sticky film covering your dog’s teeth. Bacteria will then stick to this film and get mixed with the calcium in your dog’s spit. That bacteria will harden and turn into tartar, which is much more difficult to remove.
If you don’t take action, tartar will spread across your dog’s mouth and gums, ultimately resulting in gingivitis and periodontal disease. Tartar buildup will destroy your dog’s teeth and usually requires an anesthetized dental cleaning with a veterinarian.
Your best bet is to start fighting plaque before it develops into a more significant issue. Brushing your dog’s teeth daily, having them chew on dental cleaners or hard toys, and regular cleanings at the vet are all great ways to fight plaque.
There are even mouth wipes that you can use to help disinfect your dog’s teeth between brushing.
Dog mouthwash is another awesome tool to help kill the harmful bacteria, plaque, and tartar that builds up in your dog’s mouth.
Can I give my dog my mouthwash?
Dr. Christina Vulpe, a veterinarian with Alpha Paw, a pet wellness company, recommends avoiding human mouthwash and cautions on the company’s dog mouthwash page not to mix the two.
Mouthwash for people is made to be gargled and then spit out. The action of gargling and swishing around the mouth is what helps coat the teeth and destroy bacteria.
A dog given human mouthwash would swallow chemicals, flavorings, and alcohol that are harmful. Dog mouthwash is formulated to be safe for your pup to consume in small amounts without being dangerous.
Are there any dangers or side effects to using dog mouthwash?
Most dog mouthwash products contain Xylitol mixed with chlorhexidine, which works as a disinfectant that fights bacteria and reduces plaque. Xylitol, or birch sugar, is typically found as a sugar substitute in chewing gum and other products for humans.
When consumed in large quantities, Xylitol is toxic for dogs. It can cause liver failure, hypoglycemia, and cause seizures.
Dog mouthwash, however, contains a minimal amount of Xylitol, not enough to be harmful to your pet.
In many cases, you dilute dog mouthwash in water, further reducing the amount of Xylitol your pet will consume.
Be sure to follow all the dosing recommendations for dog mouthwash and keep the bottle in a safe place that your dog cannot reach.
If you prefer to avoid Xylitol, use an all-natural dog mouthwash that doesn’t include that ingredient.
What types of dog mouthwash are available?
There are many different dog mouthwash options, but the most common ones are water additives, gels, rinses, and sprays.
If you choose a water additive mouthwash for your dog, a small amount should be added to water for your dog to drink fully.
You apply some forms to the inside of your dog’s mouth instead. You’ll need to use some options daily, while others are required a few times each week.
It might take time to test a few different options with your dog to find what they like and works best.
Whatever option you select, dog mouthwash is a great way to protect your dog’s teeth from further decay while also fighting bad breath.