The other day I was walking on the streets of Washington, D.C. when I saw a billboard promoting scientific knowledge among children. The billboard featured the a young person stating that she knew her Golden Retriever’s bark was transmitted as vibrations through the air. She then, however, made a confession: “But I still don’t know what causes his stinky breath.”
It appears that the organization promoting scientific knowledge among children is itself somewhat lacking in scientific knowledge. The cause of bad breath in dogs and cats is very simple. Bad breath is caused by bacteria growing on the teeth and releasing malodorous waste products.
The bacteria that cause bad breath will, if allowed to grow unchecked, cause dental disease, dental abscesses, gum loss, and tooth loss. They can spread to the heart, kidneys, and blood. They may contribute to cancer, arthritis, and premature death.
Fortunately, the best way to prevent bad breath also prevents the other negative consequences of dental disease. And, the products involved are affordable and available without a prescription: a toothbrush and veterinary toothpaste.
Brushing your pet’s teeth is, by far, the best way to prevent bad breath and dental disease. Several other products (doggie breath mints and certain chew toys, for instance) may temporarily cover up bad breath. But only tooth brushing reliably prevents dental disease.
I recommend that you brush your dog’s teeth. It will help his breath. It will also help his health.
Photo: Leo‘s teeth are looking good.