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My Dog's Breath is Bad - What Can I Do?

My Dog's Breath is Bad - What Can I Do? 0

Dogs shouldn't have bad breath. If your canine friend is healthy and eating the right things, there should be little or no odor. While doggy halitosis can be a sign of an underlying health issue, it's usually a result of poor dental hygiene.

The good news is that, in most cases, the solutions are simple. But if you're going to take the best course of action for your dog, you need to know about the possible causes of their bad breath.

The Main Causes of Bad Breath in Dogs

While there are many potential causes of your dog's bad breath, here are a few of the most likely:

Teething

When a puppy is teething, food (and bacteria) can collect along the gumline. This causes bad breath, but the problem usually disappears over time.

A gastrointestinal problem

While rare, a potentially serious problem in the stomach, gut or esophagus may be to blame for your dog's bad breath.

Gum disease

A range of diseases that affect the gums and mouth can be the cause of bad breath in dogs. On ailment that may be to blame is stomatitis -- inflammation of the gums and oral tissues. Other diseases that may be causing the problem include growths and gingival hyperplasia (overgrown gums).

Periodontal disease

A large percentage of dogs suffer from periodontal disease during their lifetime. This painful condition is caused by the build-up of plaque and bacteria.

What to Do if Your Dog's Breath is Bad

The simplest way to prevent or eradicate your dog's bad breath is to brush their teeth at least once a week. It's always best to start brushing from day one. This gets the dog used to the procedure over time.

Brush Your Dog's Teeth Regularly

Do not use human toothpaste -- it can be harmful to dogs. Go to your local pet store, and ask for a toothpaste specifically formulated for dogs. You will also need a special toothbrush with a long handle and soft bristles.

Start by giving your dog a little taste of the toothpaste. Lift the upper lip gently, and brush your dog's teeth and gums gently -- in the same way you brush your own. Once you've cleaned every upper tooth, move to the lower set. And be sure to reach the molars at the back of the mouth.

Your dog may hate this process at first. However, you should persist with it as often as possible. At the end of every clean, reward your dog with a tooth-friendly treat.

Give Your Dog Healthy Treats

Ask your vet or local pet store owner about treats that aid good dental hygiene. Some of the products available today actually help to minimize plaque, tartar and bacteria accumulations. Use these treats to reward good behavior -- which should include sitting still for teeth-brushing sessions.

Ask Your Vet About Supplements and Additives

There are a few food supplements and water additives that can improve dental hygiene over time. The great thing about these products is that they can be hidden, and don't involve wrestling your dog to a standstill.

If the Problem Persists, Speak to Your Vet

Try the steps listed above for a week or two. If your dog's bad breath persists -- or it's accompanied by other symptoms -- speak to your vet as soon as possible. A vet will examine your dog, check its mouth and ask you about the dental hygiene steps you take at home. It may be necessary to take a biopsy from the dog's mouth to rule out more serious problems.

If your dog has bad breath, don't ignore the problem. It could be a sign of a serious health problem.

  • Dana S
Hard at Woof: Dogs in Your Office

Hard at Woof: Dogs in Your Office 0

People tend to marry late and delay having children these days. Consequently, they choose pets to keep them company. They feel more secure and happier when they are able to bring them to work. Along with other incentives, such as flexible working hours, people now look forward to working in pet-friendly work environments.

Seven in 10 millennials own pets and over half of them own dogs. The companies that have allowed dogs at workplaces say that the benefits are worth the special efforts made in doing so.


Benefits of Dogs at Office

Dogs help improve employee wellness and overall growth at workplaces.

Health

Research found a significant decline in the stress levels of employees on days when their dogs were present in the office. Several studies have shown that petting dogs can increase levels of the happy hormone oxytocin and decrease the stress hormone cortisol. They often bring levity in tense situations.

Dog owners need to take their dogs outside and walk them. If you own a dog, this means you have to take a break and do so. Walks provide you with good exercise and boost creative thinking.

Productivity

Lower stress means you are healthier and can work better. Banfield Pet Hospital's PAWrometer 2017 findings showed that 73 percent of employees believe having pets at work benefits them.

It also revealed that people prefer working at pet-friendly workplaces and that 82 percent of employees at pet-friendly offices are more loyal to their companies. Another study showed that dogs promote unity, bonding, and trust among teammates.

Also, if you bring your dog to work, you need not worry about him/her being alone at home. You will be able to work comfortably until you finish what you were doing. Moreover, it saves you money you spend on dog day care.

Social Connections

Dogs help de-stress you as well as your customers and increase camaraderie between you and your clients. This is especially so in customer-facing businesses, such as shops, where customers are attracted by them.

Bringing dogs to work can help promote a sense of community and improve business growth.

Unconditional Companionship

Dogs don't need chargers or cables. They are not distracted by social media. They don't care about data, applications, algorithms, or reports. Although they are least interested in your jobs, they make great collaborators.


Making Your Office a Dog-Friendly Place

Many companies, including Amazon and Google, allow dogs at work. However, making workplaces dog-friendly can be daunting. Many employees have allergies and phobias. Besides, work environments can be full of potential safety hazards. The following are some measures that make the transition smooth.

Survey employee opinions anonymously: You need to know if there are serious objections to bringing dogs to your workplace.

Review your insurance terms: Since you are responsible for any injury or damage caused by your dog, check if your policy covers any pet-related event at work.

Spread awareness: Discuss the advantages of bringing dogs. Mention acceptable and unacceptable pet and human behavior. Set clear rules.

Prep your workplaces: Designate dog-free zones for your colleagues who are allergic to them or uncomfortable around them. Pet-proof your workplace by securing loose wires, placing equipment and cleaning supplies out of dogs' reach, ensuring that all trash cans have lids, etc. Also, invest in carpet cleaners and dog pens.

Offer basic necessities to dogs and their owners: Insist on flexibility for owners to tend to their dogs' needs. Dogs should have access to food, water, litter boxes, and health checks. Ensure that they are comfortable around other humans and animals.

Check periodically: Schedule regular checks to ensure that everyone is happy with having dogs around, nobody has had any bad experiences, and that you comply with all necessary legal regulations.


Many businesses have successfully integrated dogs into the workplace. By doing so, they have given their employees soothing workplaces and themselves, greater chances of success.

  • Jennifer M
Meet the Heroic Pups Who Have Saved Lives

Meet the Heroic Pups Who Have Saved Lives 0

Dogs are so much more than man's best friend. They are family, and when push comes to shove, dogs often respond heroically to rescue their beloved family members. Some dogs fight back when their family is threatened by dangerous wildlife. Others sense the signs of a major medical event, such as a seizure, well before their humans experience symptoms. And other pups are known to have rescued their loved ones from burning buildings. So many dogs have behaved heroically. Those included in this quick rundown are just a small sampling.

1. Angel, the Aptly Named Golden Retriever

On a winter day in 2010, 11-year-old Austin Forman of Boston Bar, British Columbia was gathering firewood in his backyard. He was accompanied by Angel, who had stuck closely to the boy's side. Dogs can often sense danger well before humans can, and Angel knew there was a wild animal nearby. When a cougar charged out of the woods at the child, Angel literally leapt into action. She jumped over a lawn mower to intercept the cougar and save her human.

Angel kept the cougar busy while Austin ran into the house for help. When the RCMP arrived on the scene just minutes later, an officer shot the cougar. Austin was completely unharmed. Angel suffered bite wounds but survived the attack. Austin had high praise for Angel, telling CBC News, "She was my best friend, but now she's more than a best friend--she's like my guardian now."

2. Khan, the Doberman Pinscher Who Took on a Snake

Doberman pinschers are powerful, muscular dogs who are fiercely loyal and protective of their families. Khan, a shelter pup, exhibited those qualities perfectly. He was rescued from a shelter in 2007. His new family, who lives in Atherton, Australia, set Khan and 17-month-old Charlotte down to play in the garden one day. The play date was progressing well until Catherine, Charlotte's mother, looked up to see Khan grab Charlotte by the diaper and fling her away.

Horrified, Catherine began to run to her daughter. But then, she noticed a large king brown snake--one of the most venomous snakes in Australia--bite the dog. Heroic Khan put himself in harm's way to rescue his young playmate. Charlotte was unharmed, and Khan was saved by a timely dose of anti-venom.

The family is forever grateful to Khan for saving the life of their daughter. "If Khan wants a gold bowl, Khan gets it. We owe him for the rest of his life," Catherine told reporters.

3. Poppy, the Seizure-Detecting Labrador

When a seizure is occurring, one of the greatest concerns is that the person will fall down and suffer injuries, or get into some other harmful accident. Thanks to sweet, lovable Poppy, one Northern Ireland resident no longer has to worry about that. Shannon Locke has been suffering from seizures since she was 17. One day, she realized that Poppy was in the habit of exhibiting distress about 15 minutes before a seizure would happen.

This early warning system gives Locke enough time to get to a safe place before the seizure happens. During the seizure, Poppy even tries to help by clearing away excess saliva from Locke's airway. Locke also credits Poppy for helping her come out of the last stage of the seizure.

Capone, the Mutt Who Saved 10 Lives

There are countless stories of dogs who have alerted their families to house fires, like Capone, a miniature pinscher, Chihuahua, and whippet mix. Angela and Isaac Fullmer of Des Moines, Iowa had rescued Capone after finding him wandering dangerously close to a highway. Late one night, while Isaac was out of town driving a big rig and Angela was trying to get some rest, Capone began barking nonstop from downstairs.

When Capone refused to stop barking, Angela went down to the kitchen to see what was wrong. She found an electrical fire. Angela immediately got her nine kids out of the house and called 911, by which time, the kitchen was fully engulfed in flames. Capone saved himself, walking out once he knew his family was safe. The house had a smoke alarm, but Capone's early warning system gave the family the extra time they needed to get out safely. Now, the family has a new home with a fenced-in yard for Capone to romp around in.

Do you personally know a dog who has saved someone's life, perhaps your own? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

  • Dana S
Exercise Can be Good For Dogs With Arthritis

Exercise Can be Good For Dogs With Arthritis 0

It's not uncommon for members of the family to experience the pain and stiffness of arthritis -- and that goes for your non-human family members as well. Up to 30 percent of pets may experience arthritis symptoms that limit their ability to move comfortably. If your pet hobbles instead of walks, prefers sitting to standing, and has become a spectator instead of a participant, he may need some help getting his quality of life back. Fortunately, exercise can go a long way toward getting your pet back on his feet again.

How Arthritis Affects Comfort and Function

What is arthritis? Arthritis isn't one particular disease; instead, it's a blanket term for joint pain -- joint pain which may stem from a wide range of health problems. Some pets develop rheumatoid arthritis due to autoimmune conditions, for instance, while certain breeds of dogs are particularly prone to a form of arthritis called hip dysplasia. But for most older dogs, "arthritis" means osteoarthritis. In this condition, the protective layer of cartilage within the joints wears out and breaks up. This degeneration allows the bone ends to rub together painfully.

How can you recognize the telltale signs of arthritis? You may notice that your dog:

  • Has a lot of trouble standing up or lying down
  • Refuses to climb or descend stairs
  • Limps when he walks
  • Walks instead of runs
  • Cries, whines, or generally signals that he's in pain when he moves
  • Shows signs of depression or irritability

Arthritis doesn't just cause pain for your dog. The enforced lack of motion can allow his muscles to deteriorate and his weight to climb to unhealthy levels.

Gentle Exercise Can Yield Big Results

If your dog is limping around the house (when he moves at all), you might assume that making him move those painful joints will only make his discomfort worse. But the truth is that gentle, light exercises can help preserve or even improve his long-term joint function. It can also help your pet maintain his muscle mass, weight, and sense of balance. Best of all, the time your dog spends with you will lift his spirits even as it improves his health.

Of course there's a right way and wrong way to exercise a dog suffering from arthritis. Make your first step a consultation with your veterinarian, who will examine your dog and recommend specific kinds of exercises. Many arthritic dogs can benefit from low-impact exercises such as:

1. Swimming

Swimming can offer huge benefits even for arthritic dogs. The water supports the body, taking the weight off of the joints and allowing your pet to get the most out of his exercise session. Ask your vet whether the clinic offers hydrotherapy, a form of supervised exercise therapy which combines a water-filled tank with a treadmill.

2. Walking

Short, easy walks can help your dog stay mobile. Start with brief ventures around the yard or neighborhood-- whatever your pet seems to tolerate. As your pet moves on to more demanding exercises, you'll want to keep up these daily walks as a gentle warm-up for the joints.

3. Hiking

If your dog is doing well with gentle walking, try taking him out on an easy, level trail for a more extended hike. Let's your pet's comfort level be your guide. Keep an eye on your pet's symptoms following the hike so you'll know whether to try a less ambitious journey next time.

4. Play Sessions

Once your dog's joints are properly warmed up, try playing some simple games of fetch or tug-of-war with him. Even elderly dogs may still be puppies at heart.

A Helpful Part of Your Pet's Holistic Pain Management Routine

Exercise can complement other techniques for managing your dog's arthritis. With your vet's blessing, try supplements containing fish oils, glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, or other dog-friendly anti-inflammatory agents. You might even look into advanced techniques such as acupuncture or cold laser therapy depending on the severity of your dog’s arthritis. Whatever steps you take, you're likely to find that your dog is taking those steps more easily!

  • Jennifer M