Halitosis is the medical term used to describe an offensive odor that comes from the mouth, producing bad breath. A number of causes may be responsible for this condition, notably periodontal disease, a disease resulting from bacteria in the mouth. Bacteria is also associated with plaque and cavities. It might help too look into the mouth. Dogs especially are prone to deposition of debris like impacted hair, food and foreign materials between the teeth which acts as a nidus for bacterial accumulation. No amount of dental chews or breath-fresheners will help if you dog or cat has dental disease. Some animals seem predisposed to developing dental disease and small dogs are definitely worse than the larger breeds. Giving small dogs pellets and not only soft food, to get them chewing helps. A variety of chews are available, rawhide and synthetic, which will maintain oral health due to their abrasive action.
If you had your dogs teeth cleaned (by the veterinarian) you can try premium diets. The premium diets contain a substance which retards the build up of tartar by binding calcium present in the saliva thus reducing tartar formation. Special prescription diets with high fibre pellets have been developed to promote dental health, these encourage chewing and do not just shatter when bitten also. Brushing the teeth is effective only if performed consistently. These measures will delay the build up of tartar, but routine dental treatments may still be required.
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