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As a pet owner you don't have to live with and tolerate your dog's bad breath. A few simple changes in his daily routine can leave you with a healthy, happy pooch with fresh breath.

1. Limit Carbs & Sugar
Foods high in carbohydrates and sugar are not just unhealthy, but are likely to stick in between your dog's teeth. They’re an easy food source for germs, and tend to cause plaque build-up, which results in nasty breath.

If you like giving your pooch a bite of your snack, do resist this urge for the sake of your dog's health and his teeth.

2. Close The Toilet Lid 
When you’re not home, it’s quite likely that your pooch is drinking drink the toilet bowl. Curbing this habit will lead to a cleaner mouth for Fido, resulting in better breath. You can do this by keeping the lid of your toilet bowl closed.

However, if you've got a clever dog who's figured out how to get the lid up, just close the toilet door instead.

3. Alternative Food 
Go easy on the grains and carbohydrates — wheat and rice can cause bad breath. If possible, switch to an appropriate meat-based diet. 

While fresh, raw meat is ideal, diets made out of freeze-dried meat is a good alternative. Those without artificial additives will give your dog the nutrition that he needs, while leaving his mouth fresher than traditional kibble.

4. Visit The Vet 
A medical professional should be able to help determine the root cause of your pooch's bad breath. He'll be able to examine your dog's mouth and advise if thorough dental cleaning or treatment is necessary.

Your dog may be suffering from periodontal disease, which requires medical attention.

A vet will also be able to give you targeted tips on how to keep your dog's mouth healthy and breath fresh, as he'll have insight to his existing health conditions.

5. Brush His Teeth  
While it may be tricky to brush your dog's teeth, it is the most important and effective way to help him maintain healthy teeth and gums. If you have never done this before, be gentle and patient with your pooch.

First, examine and touch your canine's mouth daily. Once he has learnt to tolerate that, move on with a pet dental spray to help remove and reduce plaque build-up. If he’s fine with that, go ahead and use a soft cloth or gauze to gently scrub his teeth.

* The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified pet health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Always make a pet health care decision in partnership with a qualified veterinary or pet health care professional.

*This article was updated on 22 Dec 2020. It first appeared in on  24 May 2016.