If you are anything like us, you love to smooch your pooch. There is no greater happiness than planting a kiss on your pooch’s snout, except for one thing – BAD BREATH! 

Bad breath can be a sign of dental disease. In fact, 80% of dogs over the age of three years have some form of dental disease.

This can be quite disconcerting, but with good dental hygiene you can be back smooching your pooch in no time at all.

So, what is dental disease?
Dental disease is basically caused by bacterial infection that builds up in a substance called plaque. Plaque is sticky and attaches to the surface of your dog’s teeth, above and below the gum line. It is made up of food particles and saliva, if it’s not removed regularly it will calcify into tartar. The infection in tartar can cause irreversible changes such as destruction of supportive tissues and bone. This results in bad breath and loose teeth. 

What to look out for!
If you notice that your dog has any of the following it is vital that you speak to your veterinary healthcare team for the appropriate recommendations and treatment:

• Bad breath
• Loose teeth
• Bleeding or redness of the gums
• Discoloured or plaque build-up on teeth
• Receding gums
• Reluctance to chew or eat
• Pawing of the mouth

What can YOU do?
The main thing that you can do is to keep on top of the plaque build-up on your dog’s teeth. 

This can be achieved by implementing the following:

Brushing your dog’s teeth
By brushing your dog’s teeth daily, you will help to decrease the build-up of plaque. Removing plaque is the gold standard for your dog’s dental care.

Appropriate Food
If it’s possible to use a special veterinary recommended dental diet, then this could also help reduce plaque build-up. You may be wondering how this works? It’s the unique shape and size of the special biscuits that encourages chewing which in turn has a brushing effect on your dog’s teeth. 

Dental chews
Most dogs love to chew. If you can encourage your pooch to chew on some appropriate toys such as Greenies, Whimzees and Dentabones, Pigs ears this will stimulate saliva secretion which will help combat plaque. 

Lastly, a regular thorough dental check-up of your dog’s mouth will give you the best indication as to the state of your dog’s dental hygiene and what steps you might need to take.

If you follow all of the above, you will be able to smooch your pooch to your heart’s content and your pooch will be just as happy as you.

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