When you come home every day, you’re greeted by your best friend barking at the door. That’s all fine and dandy unless your dog’s breath smells like he just ate a dead animal. Now, there is always the possibility that your dog did, in fact, eat a dead animal. However, if your dog stays inside all day, while you’re at work it’s more likely that your dog has gingivitis. Here’s a few ways to spot gingivitis in your dogs.
What Is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is a disease caused by plaque build-up on the teeth that causes inflammation in the gums. Simply put, it’s the beginning stage of bigger problems for your dog’s mouth. Plaque is the sticky stuff on your dog’s teeth that damages their teeth and gums, just like it does in humans.
Gingivitis causes really bad breath, extra drool, swollen gums, stained teeth, loose teeth, bleeding gums, and can even cause your dog to be reluctant to eat. Dogs typically get gingivitis with poor dental hygiene. Gingivitis can be prevented altogether by brushing your dog’s teeth every day, just like a person. It’s normal for dogs to have some plaque on their teeth, but it should not be an excessive amount of plaque building up over time. In the early stages of gingivitis, it’s typically reversible. However, if you wait until it progresses, it will be more difficult or even impossible to treat.
How to Treat Gingivitis at Home?
First, you will want to check your dog’s teeth to make sure that the disease is not advanced and has not progressed beyond mild gingivitis. Home remedies have proven very successful when used for mild gingivitis, but you will want to take your dog to the vet if it has progressed past that point. Next, if you don’t already, you will want to start brushing your dog’s teeth daily to avoid more issues in the future.
When it comes to preventing gingivitis in dogs, it is very important that you take care of their teeth, as they are not capable of doing it themselves. Chlorhexidine rinse is the most common way to treat gingivitis. This rinse is basically a mouth wash that disinfects and kills the gingivitis. Your dog probably will not like this option because it tastes terrible, but it’s safe to use. Most pet stores carry this product.
You’ll want to buy a .2% rinse and squirt a small amount in the dog’s cheeks twice a day. Another option you have without going to the veterinarian is to combine aloe vera and 3% hydrogen peroxide evenly. Put the mixture on a cotton swab and use it as a paste to wipe on your dog’s teeth. The best time to do this is after your pet has finished eating for the day, before bed. You will need to do this for a couple of weeks in order for it to be effective. The Aloe will sooth your dog’s teeth, and the peroxide has antibacterial ingredients that can kill the gingivitis.
Now that you have treated your dog’s gingivitis, you can look forward to returning home at the end of the day to be properly welcomed by your happy and healthy fur baby. When he licks you this time, you won’t be horrified by the dead animal smell anymore, unless he actually got into something while you were gone this time.