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Everyone who loves dogs has probably been on the receiving end of a dog kiss where you almost gag from the smell of their terrible monster breath.
It’s easy to write off dog breath as a quirky “dog thing”. After all, Kol’s diet is a mix of high-end raw dog food, supplements, fresh veggies, assorted meat sticks, dog cookies, and the occasional piece of roadside trash that makes me gag and shout “Kolchak drop it!” at lightning speed; there’s not exactly a lot of “breath fresheners” in there. To add to the problem, our vet doesn’t recommend putting him under unless medically essential, so while he needs a dental cleaning, he probably won’t get one.
Did you know that bad breath in dogs can be a sign of a larger, more serious health issue? Your dog’s dental health deserves just as much care and attention as you give their diet, fitness, and general health.
You probably brush your own teeth every day and visit the dentist on a regular basis, but how much TLC do you give to your pooch’s mouth? Left unchecked, bad breath can easily turn into plaque build-up, tooth decay, and bacteria that can actually make your dog sick, not to mention uncomfortable. I’ll be honest, when I was a new dog owner, I didn’t even know that brushing your dog’s teeth was a thing, but here we are thirteen years later and these days, Kol and I have a pretty easy daily dental care routine that is simple, but effective. While these steps aren’t 100% enough to ensure your dog never has a dental care problem, they are a great way to ensure you’re doing all you can to support your dog’s good dental health. And for dogs like Kolchak, who might not be able to get a good veterinary tooth cleaning, I consider these steps to be essential to keeping them happy and healthy.
The advice most vet’s give? Brush your dog’s teeth – even if they don’t love it.
And let’s face it, most dogs don’t love getting their teeth brushed. In your dog’s defense, if someone came over, grabbed me by the face, and tried to shove a tiny brush in my mouth, I also would be like “back up off me, mkay?”. However, brushing your dog’s teeth is absolutely beneficial to their dental health and an important part of removing plaque from their teeth before it can harden. We use these great sustainable bamboo dog toothbrushes along with a natural calcium carbonate-based peppermint dog toothpaste. (You can also get some awesome enzyme dog toothpastes that have a dog-centric flavour to them, but I don’t think adding more chicken flavour is really helping Kol’s breath tbh).
Even though this is the number one recommendation vets make to help keep your pet’s teeth clean? I know that most dog owners either aren’t doing it or aren’t doing it consistently enough to get good results. I get it. Wrassling Kol and sticking a brush in his mouth isn’t my favourite thing to do. That’s why I have a back-up plan.
Suchgood Clean Teeth Brushless Dental Care is an easy, effective way to add oomph to your dog’s oral health routine.
I love using Suchgood Advanced Natural Water Additive in Kolchak’s water bowl. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it works. Plus, it’s is all-natural and works by balancing your dog’s oral biome, so there’s no weird chemicals or brushing required. No brushing! I just pour one capful of Suchgood Clean Teeth for Dogs and Cats into the dog’s water bowl every single time I fill it, then boom! Cleaner teeth and fresher breath. It’s basically magic. (I’m told it’s SCIENCE, but magic sounds more fun.) I noticed an immediate improvement in Kol’s garbage breath as soon as we started using it. This is the fastest, simplest thing that I do to protect Kolchak’s dental health. If you’re only going to take away one tip from this post? Make it this one. Suchgood was a game-changer for us.
Use specially designed dental dog toys to help knock plaque loose.
Most dogs love to chew. And choosing the right chews can not only keep your dog busy, but it can also help remove plaque from your dog’s teeth. Look for toys that have little nubby pieces on them designed to rub against gums and teeth. You can also use food rewards like low-fat spreadable cheese, canned pumpkin, peanut butter or canned food to promote chewing on these toys. You don’t need much, I just work a little into the grooves to keep Kol working on it.
Spritz your dog’s gums with Suchgood Dental Spray for fresher breath and cleaner teeth on the go.
Look, I love Kol no matter how his breath smells, but let’s face it, not everyone is on board with hot dog breath in their face. (Rude, I know.) Suchgood dental spray is a great solution because I can toss the bottle in my bag and use it whenever we need it, like right before we see friends. Just like the water additive, it’s all-natural, so I can feel good about using it, and man is it effective. The first time we used it, my Mom actually complimented Kol on his breath! (OK, so she actually said “Koko, I can’t smell your breath; are you still breathing?” but I’m TAKING IT AS A COMPLIMENT. Perspective. It’s important.)
Chew-chew-chews better dental health by providing edible dental treats.
While some edible dental chews have gotten a bad rap for being indigestible, they can do a great job of helping to remove plaque build-up from your dog’s teeth. In order to make the chew durable enough to actually help clean teeth, these treats have to be pretty tough! For food gobblers and power chewers, as well as for any dog who may already have compromised teeth, I’d stay away. For these dogs, the risk of swallowing a chunk or breaking a tooth is too high, but for dogs with fairly healthy mouths who chew but don’t gobble, edible dental chews can help to remove as much as 10% of plaque off your dog’s teeth and be a great part of a healthy dental routine. We rotate between natural chews like braided bully sticks and yak’s milk chews and specifically made dental chews like Whimzee Dental Dog Treats.
With these simple steps and easy to use products, it’s a breeze to keep Kol’s mouth healthy, his teeth clean and his breath fresh.
After all, he’s the best and he deserves the best. That doesn’t just mean the best treats or the best toys, it also means doing my best to take care of his body, his mind, and his heart. But taking care of your dog’s dental health doesn’t have to be hard. A few great products, a few minutes a day, and your dog’s breath will be so fresh and so clean.