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Dog Breath Explained

               Dog Breath. We have all fallen victim to its stench at one time or another. Many of our clients believe that this is to be expected and is uncontrollable as their dogs age. At TCAP, we know that this doesn’t have to be true. Today we will examine dog breath and reveal how you can drastically improve it.

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Common Causes

Most often, bad breath is caused by dental or periodontal (gum) disease. It should also be noted that small dogs are especially prone to plaque and tartar build up. In rarer cases, bad breath can be a warning sign of a possible kidney disease or foreign (non-food) substances. A decrease in kidney function can make a dog’s breath smell similar to ammonia. This is a result of waste product, normally filtered by the kidneys, accumulating in the canine’s bloodstream and then eventually revealing itself through bad breath.

Dogs love to chew and your dog’s teeth can hold elements of foreign substances such as bones, toys, and sticks. Dogs are also notorious for eating things that they shouldn’t such as feces and long-dead animals. Wet food in particular can stick to pet’s teeth and cause quick plaque buildup.  All these items can contribute to your dog’s bad breath.

Periodontal Disease

Like with humans, dental care is vital to keeping your pet healthy. If periodontal (gum) disease is left untreated it can lead to health complications such as heart, lung, and kidney disease.  The keys to your pet’s oral health are professional veterinary dental care and attentive home care. If your dog receives regular teeth cleaning and still has bad breath, you should visit your full service veterinarian to find its cause.


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              TCAP recommends dental cleaning on an annual basis when a pet reaches three years of age. TCAP uses light anesthesia to keep pets asleep during the cleaning procedure that includes techniques and tools similar to your own dentist. During a TCAP dental cleaning, your pet’s teeth will receive a supragingival cleaning (cleaning above the gum line), subgingival cleaning (cleaning under the gum line), polishing, antibacterial or saline flush, and fluoride treatment. These steps clean your pet’s teeth, remove and prevent plaque, and harden your pet’s teeth to help protect them in the future.

              The subgingival cleaning or cleaning below the gum line removes subgingival plaque and calculus which are the causes of periodontal disease. Subgingival cleaning is not possible through home remedies so it is recommended that you have your pet’s teeth cleaned even if they receive regular brushing or teeth-cleaning toys/snacks.  Click here learn more about TCAP’s dental program. If you wish to have your pet’s teeth cleaned, you may Request an Appointment online or call (940) 566-5551.

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