Judy is our 7 year old rescue mutt, who we adopted 2 years ago from an “acquaintance” who wasn’t treating her very nicely. Lately I’ve noticed she has really bad breath. That’s normal for dogs, right! Thank you, Abigail
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First I must say how wonderful you are for saving this girl from a bad situation, and giving her a loving home. Well done!
There seems to be a belief, maybe even an expectation that dogs have bad breath, and it’s normal. In fact bad breath is a sign of dental disease, but we can’t know the extent of it without a thorough check up by a vet. Just like in humans, tartar builds up on our dog’s teeth. If left untreated it can lead to inflammation of the gums, receding gums, abscesses and tooth loss. Bacteria can get into the blood stream and cause all kinds of organ damage. These dogs are often in pain, but because they hide it so well we may not know until the problem is quite advanced.
Don’t be worried or scared because the solution is easy.
The first thing I recommend you do is make an appointment to see your vet, and he can tell you what’s going on and help you devise a treatment plan.
Try and brush Judy’s teeth every day or as many times a week as she will let you. Even once a week is better than not at all. There are many styles of toothbrush and flavors of toothpaste to make the job easier. If she refuses to let you near her with a brush, she may be more willing to accept your finger wrapped in a cotton pad.
Water additives, chew toys, dental chews and even a product like Plaque Off sprinkled on her food can all make a difference.
It’s okay if you aren’t able to incorporate all these options, do what you can and it will definitely help.