why do puppies have such bad breath
Oh sweet puppy breath! Enjoy it while you can, because that distinctive odor will disappear by the time your roly-poly pet is four to six months old. б Just what is that smell and why canБt it stick around a little longer? Turns out thereБs more involved than motherБs milk and clean teeth. БThereБs a lot of things involved in breath, some of it is going to be from the mouth,Б says Dr. Mary Buelow, Assistant Professor of Clinical Dentistry and Oral Surgery at the. БSome of it is the GI (gastrointestinal) tract, some of it is just the bacteria that are normal in there. Б
This change in breath odor coincides with both teething and weaning. Puppy mouths go through a lot of changes over their first six months, and all of this accounts for puppy breath. Week two or three: Baby teeth start coming in. Week five or six: All 28 baby teeth are in. Week 12-16: Puppies begin to lose those tiny, razor-sharp teeth as adult teeth start growing in. 6 months: They should have a complete set of 42 adult chompers. During this period, Бeverything in the GI system and mouth is still developing,Б Buelow says. БEspecially as teeth start to erupt. Б Buelow doesnБt think the type of puppy food you use makes much of an impact, because she sees a lot of young puppies and they all have basically the same breath.
БThatБs another theory that maybe puppy breath has to do with the (mother dogБs) milk, but I think it continues in some dogs past weaning,Б she says. Puppies explore their world face-first and use those new teeth to chew on just about anything. They like to chew, Buelow says, not only because they re teething, but because they re puppies and have too much energy. She recommends that puppies get a lot of exercise to alleviate some of that chewing behavior. Teething should not involve a lot of pain, but a frozen washcloth or soft frozen chew toy can be soothing. Be careful when choosing chew toys. БAs a dentist I like to avoid things that are really hard, because I see a lot of dental fractures,Б Beulow says. БAvoid things like the really hard bones that have no give, and ice. For teething itself, the Kong toys, rubbery toys that you can put stuff in are really good, and softer chew toys. Б The American Kennel Club suggests avoiding cooked bones that could splinter, rope toys that can be pulled apart, and rawhides with large knots that can cause blockage. Their roundup of best and worst chew toys for puppies can be found.
If your puppyБs normally sweet breath suddenly has you backing away, thereБs no need to panic. They do get into everything. A bad smell is probably temporary, due to something they should have politely avoided eating, like poop. б Or it could be the unpleasant, but normal, metallic smell of blood that comes with losing teeth. Pieces of sticks or other scraps could get caught in a young dogБs mouth and cause a problem, so if an atypically bad smell happens and doesnБt resolve quickly, do call your vet. Dogs past the age of three are more at risk for serious periodontal disease or other serious mouth issues. The American Veterinary Medical Association has a list of to be taken seriously, including: YouБll save yourself a lot of trouble and expense down the road if you start brushing teeth when puppies are small. Begin by just getting them used to having your fingers or a brush in their mouths, and work up from there to brushing daily, or at least severalб times a week. If you donБt know how to brush a dogБs teeth, check out the American Kennel Club video below, where Dr. Andrea Tu demonstrates on a Boston terrier with the pearly whites of a beauty pageant contestant.
БThe number one things you can do for a dogБs teeth is brush, just like in a human,Б Buelow says. The second thing is chewing and the third things is additives and things like that. Б Buelow recommends products approved by The Veterinary Oral Health Council. Their list of food, treats and water additives to help dogs avoid tarter buildup and plaque can be found. We can t say exactly why puppies have that special breath. You can, however, help keep their mouths and teeth healthy, and breath relatively fresh, byб brushing and buying the right snacks and. Hero image:б Bad breath (known medically as halitosis) in dogs can occur when your dog has a dental condition from gum disease or infection to tooth decay. A lot of times you can lift up the dog s lip, look at their gums, [and see that] they re very red and inflamed, says Dr. Jeffrey Stupine, VMD, Head Veterinarian, Wellness of the Pennsylvania SPCA. You can see the tartar build up on the teeth. He notes that some issues can t be seen though, including cavities below the gum line. Although your vet looks for obvious signs of dental disease during your dog s annual checkup, it s a good idea to make an appointment in between visits if you suspect a dental issue.
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