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Includes Expert Content
Dog breath
An_221303 posted:
Our 12 yr old toy poodle has teeth problems and horrible breath. We give him doggy mints and doggy breath sprays which help minimally and they are expensive. He is a constant licker too, not licking himself as much as licking people to the point of rediculous, but our vet can't come up with a solution for us.
Bonnie Beaver, BS, DVM, MS responded:
Toy poodles and other small dogs are known for what is affectionately known as "muck mouth" because they develop dental tartar so quickly. For many, twice a year dentals are the only way to keep them healthy. Dental disease is the primary cause of bad breath. It definitely sounds like it is time for your veterinarian to do a dental.

Licking is common for many dogs. It is actually a sign that the dog respects you because that is exactly what puppies (and wolf cubs) do toward their mothers. Getting them to stop is difficult but with patience you can teach them "no lick" to use most of the time, and set specific situations (such as when you sit on the floor) that it is acceptable for them to lick you. You can't stop the behavior completely, but you can control it a lot.

Thanks for asking.


William Draper, DVM, better known as "Dr. Will," is a well-known small animal practitioner in the Atlanta, GA area. He grew up in Inglewood,...More

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