Dealing with Doggy breath and Doggy teeth

1 Mar

We all love it when our dogs run down the hallway to lick our cheeks and say hello as soon as we get home. Most dogs get so excited, they lick our whole face and leave us in dog drool and slobber. Every time I arrive home, my shih tzu Osi jumps on the couch near my door to lean closer towards my face and plant kisses. He’ll whine and bark until he says hello properly. However, behind all the charm and lovability, Osi can sometimes not have the best smelling breath, making his hellos something to avoid.

Many of us often cringe and grimace when we smell our dog’s breath and notice it doesn’t smell peachy and great. Though some of us think the smell came from something our shih tzu ate, in reality, bad breath is the result of bacteria-lade plaque in teeth. When owners don’t brush their shih tzu’s teeth, plaque begins to form and leads to gum disease, giving off a foul odor.

By brushing your dog’s teeth twice a day (just like humans) you can easily get rid of the smell. When I first noticed Osi’s breath, I couldn’t stand it, so I got him chicken-scented toothpaste and a toothbrush. I also bought breath spray to finish the job. Osi squirmed every time I used the toothbrush so I ended up buying a finger brush (a toothbrush you can put over your finger) to wipe his mouth.

Giving your shih tzu dental treats and chew toys can also help eliminate bacteria from his mouth. Also, if you can’t find a tooth paste your shih tzu likes, you can always make your own. With baking soda and water mixed together, you can clean your shih tzu’s teeth and leave it smelling fresh.

If you notice that your dog’s breath has still not gone away, then it may be time to see the vet. Foul breath is also a symptom of kidney disease, liver problems and diabetes. Also, if you have trouble brushing your shih tzu’s mouth and taking the plaque away, then you can visit a local dog dentist to clean your pet’s teeth. The average cost for the procedure is $250.

Nowadays, I brush my shih tzu’s teeth once in the morning after I brush mine and once at night when he’s finished eating his food. The result is I don’t push Osi away every time he tries to lick my face. The only problem now is getting him to stop slobbering over me.

More useful tips on dental hygiene:

  • Do not use human toothpaste to brush your shih tzu’s teeth since it can irritate your dog’s stomach
  • To get your shih tzu used to having his/her teeth brushed, massage his/her lips with your finger then move on to her teeth and gums.
  • Brush using small circular motions, and brush harder around the teeth that touch the cheek.

Source 1: ASPCA, Ten steps to your dog’s dental health,

Source 2:, How much does dog teeth cleaning cost?,

Source 3: ASPCA, bad breath,

Source 4: Matthew Hoffman, Bad Breath, Dogs The Ultimate Care Guide


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