how to get rid of bad breath in older dogs

How To Get Rid Of Bad Breath In Older Dogs

Many dog owners are concerned about how to get rid of bad breath in older dogs. To find the best solution, we must first identify the source of the odor.

Determine the source of the odor:

In general, bad breath in dogs comes from teeth, gums, nasal cavity, intestines and stomach, but this is not necessarily the root of the problem. You must carefully identify different odors when smelling your dog’s bad breath. Different odors represent various causes or symptoms. Let’s look at what the different smells mean to the dog.

  • The dog’s breath smells very sweet, or smells like rotten apples or moldy (because yeast grows in the mouth), which indicates that the dog have diabetes.
  • Smells like ammonia or urine. It indicates that the dog’s kidney function is failing, which is caused by the accumulation of unfiltered toxins and waste in the kidneys.
  • Smells like garbage or sewers. This may be bad breath caused by respiratory diseases such as sinusitis and nasal infections. The root cause of the odor is the pus produced in the nose (dead, dying and decomposed white blood cells, bacteria and blood), which drips into the back of the throat and gives off a bad smell.
  • There is a very pungent smell of metal and blood. If there is no trauma in the mouth, it may be the unique smell of oral tumor and nasal tumor bleeding.
  • Smells like raw pork. This halitosis may be caused by gastrointestinal diseases, such as esophageal swelling and dilatation, intestinal obstruction, and gastritis.

▲ If your old dog’s breath smells like these listed above, it is recommended to go to the vet for a physical examination to rule out diabetes, kidney disease, tumors and other serious diseases.

▼ If your senior dog does not have the above major diseases, then his bad breath is likely to come from the mouth and stomach. We should fix the dog’s mouth and stomach, which will take some time and some patience.

Here is the steps for how to get rid of bad breath in older dogs (without serious diseases):

Step 1: Use hydrogen peroxide to clean

  • Dilute hydrogen peroxide to 0.5%, dip it with a cotton swab and gently smear the gums and teeth on one side of the dog.
  • After cleaning, throw away the cotton swab, take a new cotton swab, dip it in hydrogen peroxide solution, and clean the gums and teeth on the other side.
  • Note: do not dip too much hydrogen peroxide, it is appropriate that hydrogen peroxide will not drop from the cotton swab, so as not to swallow too much hydrogen peroxide by the dog.
  • A small amount of hydrogen peroxide gradually breaks down into water and oxygen in the mouth, which can kill a variety of harmful oral bacteria without causing damage to the dog’s mouth.
  • Usually the concentration of hydrogen peroxide you can get is 3%. Diluting it to 0.5% means you need to take 1 part of hydrogen peroxide and then add 5 parts of clean water. For example, take a bottle cap full of hydrogen peroxide, then use the same bottle cap to fill clean water for 5 times and mix them together. Here is a table of how to dilute different concentrations of hydrogen peroxide to 0.5%:
Original Package Concentration3%2.5%2%1.5%1%
Volume of Hydrogen Peroxide11111
Water to Add (volume)54321
how to dilute different concentrations of hydrogen peroxide to 0.5%

Step 2: Add propolis to drinking water

  • Propolis is a natural bacteriostatic and a safe and friendly supplement for dogs.
  • Propolis added to the water, through each drinking process into the dog’s mouth, can continue to inhibit oral bacteria, at the same time propolis can also play a role in inhibiting gastrointestinal harmful bacteria.
  • The bacteriostatic mechanism of propolis is different from artificial antibiotics and does not cause drug resistance of bacteria.
  • It is recommended to choose non-ethanol water-soluble propolis, which can be added every day or every other day.
  • Recommended dose for dogs: 4.5-9.0mg/lbs (10-20mg/kg) body weight.

Step 3: Remove tartar

If your old dog has serious tartar, this is a top priority to clean up a source of odor. You can take her to the veterinarian for a dental wash. you can also try to clean the tartar for him at home if your dog trusts you very much. I know it seems difficult, but as long as you use the right method and with a little more patience, you can clean the tartar for the dog at home. The most important thing is there is no need to anesthesia when clean the tartar at home, which saves the old dog a lot of risks from anesthesia.

  • Items to prepare:
    • Dental scaler
    • 75% alcohol
    • Disposable gloves
    • Tissue
    • Towel
    • Wet wipes
    • Anti-tartar toothpaste or gel
  • Apply anti-tartar toothpaste or gel to your dog’s teeth daily for a week to make the tartar loose on the tooth surface before removing tartar. The gel is easily available online, and there are many brands to choose from.
  • Put on your gloves and disinfect your hands and the dental scaler with alcohol.
  • Let your dog lie on its side.
  • Let your dog bite the towel tightly to protect the dog’s gums and lips. The towel will protect the lower gum when cleaning the dog’s upper teeth and the upper gum when cleaning the lower teeth.
  • Always scrap the tartar from the upper gums to the tip of the teeth. Clean the scaler with tissue when needed.
  • Use wet wipes to clean dog’s gum and teeth after scraping all the tartar.

Step 4: The final and most important step is to keep brushing your dog’s teeth every day after tartar cleaning

Oral bacteria, the culprit behind tartar, can cause dense tartar in just 48-72 hours if without teeth brushing.

Brushing your dog’s teeth daily seems to be the most effective way to inhibit the oral bacteria. Once you stick to this good habit, you won’t need to take your dog to the vet for tartar cleaning in at least one year.

Unfortunately, brushing a dog’s teeth every day appears to be a difficult task to maintain for most people. People would rather spend hundreds of dollars on dental chews and drinking water additives than brushing the dog’s teeth even if they don’t work well.

Why not rely on dental chews or drinking water additives?

There are numerous dental chews and drinking water additives on the market, and their claimed excellent tooth cleaning efficacy and convenient “feeding can clean teeth” method is intriguing.

Most people, including me, have tried these products on their senior dogs, in my experience, there is no denying that they have some effect, but it is a very minor effect on the senior dog’s dental and oral health.

When a dog chews, not all teeth will be completely covered by dental chews, which makes it impossible to completely remove the debris and bacteria on the teeth.

For drinking water additives, its main function is inhibiting bacteria rather than cleaning. Although it looks smooth, there are many tiny holes on the surface of the teeth, which enables oral bacteria to adhere firmly to the teeth. As a result, drinking water additives can only slightly reduce the reproduction rate of bacteria, but not completely scrape them off the teeth. When the effectiveness of the additives wears off, bacteria and bacterial secretions will continue to grow and deposit.

The effect of brushing teeth is to brush the bacteria off the teeth before they deposit, and then use the bacteriostatic ingredients in toothpaste to inhibit the reproduction of bacteria. When the bacteriostatic ingredients are about to lose, it’s time for the brush to perform again. This makes it impossible for bacteria to form dense deposits on the surface of teeth.

Look at my 8-year-old golden retriever. I brushed her teeth every day for 18 months after last tartar cleaning. You can see how clean her teeth are.

How to get into the habit of brushing the dog’s teeth?

The key to keep brushing a dog’s teeth is that the dog owner to breaks through the psychological barrier, that is, feels too troublesome to act when thinks of brushing the dog’s teeth.

Here are some tips for psychological construction before teeth brushing:

  1. You have to admit and accept from the bottom of your heart that it is really difficult for most of us to keep brushing a dog’s teeth day by day.
  2. Accept that you are a regular person in terms of willpower, no one, including yourself, has any reason to blame you if you occasionally forget or avoid brushing your dogs’ teeth.
  3. Let your family be your cheerleaders. Let your family watch every time you brush the dog’s teeth, when you finish brushing the dog’s teeth, your family gives you words of encouragement and affirmation.
  4. Change the goal of the task from brushing the dog’s teeth to the recognition and encouragement you get when you get the job done. Brushing the teeth of a dog is troublesome, but words of approval and encouragement are everyone’s favorite.
  5. Make a 7-day trial plan for yourself. Tell yourself to try brushing your dog’s teeth for 7 days, just 7 days, and let’s see how it works after seven days.
  6. Send photos or videos of the dog’s teeth after brushing for 7 days to your vet, friends, or to your favorite forums or social media to receive praise.
  7. If you get a lot of praise, encouragement and joy during the preceding process, I believe you must be motivated to continue. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get enough motivation. At least you’ve been brushing your dog for 7 days, which is fantastic!

How to brush

It is important to choose a right toothbrush. please buy a human toothbrush and try it on your gum, one that will not cause pain but will provide you massage-like comfort when it is hard on your gums is the best one for your senior dog.

Here are some steps and tips for brushing teeth:

Items to prepare:

  • Cell phone alarm clock
  • Toothbrush
  • Dog toothpaste
  • 75% alcohol spray
  • Disposable gloves

Time required:

  • The whole process only takes about 10 minutes.

Brushing Instructions:

  • First of all, set the mobile phone alarm clock 30 minutes before the dog usually goes to sleep at night, and set it to ring every day.
  • Put on your gloves and disinfect your hands with alcohol.
  • Apply a piece of toothpaste and brush the gums and teeth on one side.
    • Please brush the dog’s gums first. Compared to the teeth, toothpaste is much easier to stick to the gums. The toothpaste won’t fall off if brush the gums first.
    • Brush the dog’s teeth from the molars to the incisors.
    • After brushing one side, apply the toothpaste again and brush the gums and teeth on the other side.
  • Brush the dog’s tongue. Apply a small pile of toothpaste, point the bristles at the dog’s tongue and let the dog lick the bristles.
  • Gums and tongues which are easy to breed bacteria, are often ignored. It is necessary to brush them while brushing teeth.
  • Finally, clean the tooth brush.
    • While rinsing with clean water, rub the bristles with your gloved fingers until the dirt in the toothbrush is completely washed.
    • After rinsing, dry the bristles and handles with a tissue, then sterilize the bristles and handles with alcohol spray, and put the toothbrush in a cool, dry place. If you don’t use alcohol to sterilize toothbrushes, the next brushing will contaminate the dog’s teeth and mouth with a germ-laden brush.

The most effective way to maintain oral hygiene in dogs is to brush their teeth on a daily basis. A clean mouth can significantly reduce the chances of dogs developing canine cognitive impairment. See this blog post for more information.

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