Ahh…face time with your best friend. Who doesn’t do this from time to time? You pet your pooch behind the ears, tell him he’s the greatest and give him a loving “boop” on the nose.

Then it hits you.

“EEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWW!!!”

Bad breath in humans is terrible. Bad doggie breath feels like torture.

While your pooch’s bad breath is gross, embarrassing and sometimes a punchline, it should be taken seriously. A dog’s bad breath could be the symptom of dental disease, leading to worse dental health, as well as overall health, down the road.

The good news is that bad breath is easily preventable with a variety of methods. Many of these methods also improve dental hygiene, which is very important to your dog’s health in the long term. Below are just a few of many effective ones out there!

Brushing

Makes sense, right? What’s healthy for you is healthy for your pup. Sites like Chewy.com sell a wide variety of toothbrushes and toothpaste that are suitable for dogs of all sizes and ages. Your dog may resist at first, but after a few gentle but forceful brushes by you, he will start to love the experience. Also helpful is the fact that dog toothpaste is available in many flavors, including London broil (seriously!), vanilla, peanut and mint.

Dental Treats

Sometimes dogs can be stubborn, and they simply refuse to sit still for a tooth-brushing. If that’s the case, offer your pooch a special doggie dental treat. Look for treats that remove tartar and plaque. These treats will go a long way in keeping your dog’s teeth cleaner, making his breath fresher.

Dental Toys

You can also buy a toy that your dog will love, as well as help get rid of that pooch halitosis. Look for chewy toys with grooves and ridges that get between teeth, acting as floss, making those teeth even cleaner. Companies such as Kong offer an entire line of toys created specifically to assist in oral hygiene.

Many of these toys are hollow, so you can fill them with some of that tasty dog toothpaste that you know he loves. London broil, anyone?

Diet

Often overlooked, a poor diet can certainly contribute to your pooch’s bad breath. Take a good look at your dog’s regular diet. Are you feeding him sugary or fatty foods? These types of foods promote bacterial growth; this bacteria can cause a whole host of serious dental issues, the least of these being bad breath.

We know that you know this, but the best treats are those specifically designed for dogs. Feeding your pooch human leftovers is bad for both his dental and overall health.

Parsley

Just about everyone has this in their pantry. Why not add some to your pup’s dinner? Parsley is a natural breath freshener, and the herb is also antibacterial. A sprinkling of parsley in your pooch’s dog dish will go a long way in keeping his breath fresh.

February is the month of love, and on the 14th many people will celebrate their favorite human. But don’t forget to celebrate your pooch on Saturday, February 20th. This is National Love Your Pet Day!

Of course, you don’t need reminding to love your best friend. But isn’t it nice to know that there’s a day to celebrate your good buddy and faithful family member? Do something special and fun for your dog on the 20th. He’ll love you even more for it!!