Let's face it no matter how sweet the dog looks there are times when a well meant doggy kiss is not so welcomed due to bad breath. Chances are that the culprit is plaque build up, the same stuff that humans experience when they do not brush well. It's a foul smelling stench that can easily be prevented.
When I started painting the portrait of this cute Shih Tzu the bone in the painting was a reminder that giving your dog a bone not only keeps them busy, but helps to fight plaque as well.
The best way to attack plaque in your dog is to introduce them early when they are still puppies to a routine of brushing.Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Triple Action Puppy Dental Kit $5.45 Nylabone
There are many products like the one above available for young dogs that make the task easier. Begin by gently stroking your dog's mouth for a few minutes each day. After a few days lift the up and with a piece of soft cloth or gauze, start gently wiping your teeth. Don't force the action, but with reassurance begin brushing in circular or back and forth motions. Start with a few teeth and increase the time spend brushing this way for a few days until your puppy lets you do this to all teeth. Offer reassurance and a treat letting your dog know that they did well.
Then it's time to graduate to an actual brush. With my miniature Yorkie I used a finger brush next.
Pet Republique ® Cat & Dog Finger Toothbrush Set of 6 - Dental Hygiene Brushes for Small to Large Dogs, Cats, & Most Pets $8.66 $15.99 Pet Republique
Tickle their taste buds
Pet tooth paste comes in flavors, so why not find something that your dog might look forward to tasting while sitting patiently through a tooth brushing session. You can choose poultry or meat flavors, but avoid toothpaste meant for humans. Your pet can not spit out the foamy toothpaste and swallowing that foam can upset their stomachs.
Brush through play
Buy hard rubber toys that has grooves in it. You can smear some toothpaste into the grooves and have your pet have a go at it. The friction against the teeth takes care of some plaque.
Most dogs like carrots and given as a treat, carrots act as a mild tooth scraper.
Change Your Pet Food
Soft pet food has a way of settling in hard to reach areas. It is better to give your dog dry food that scrapes the surface of the teeth as well.
Aim for Better Digestion
Whole grains like cooked brown rice help food move along the digestive tract. Better digestion also means better breath.
Rawhide bones require a lengthy chewing and is a great way to scrape off harder plaque build up.
I hope you found these tips useful. If you do something else to fight plaque let me know and I will add it to this list.