Bad breath can be common in Boxers and can be caused by numerous issues. A common reason for bad breath is the round shape of the Boxer’s head. Round heads are often characterized by teeth crowding which can result in an irregular gum line and a higher risk of developing periodontal disease. Periodontal disease (also very common in humans) is a swelling of the tissues surrounding the teeth. If it’s not taken care of, periodontal disease can be very painful to your dog or result in very serious health problems.
Why should I care if my Boxer has bad breath?
Similar to humans, bad breath in dogs can be an indicator that something is wrong within the body. Far too many people disregard bad breath in dogs as a common occurrence and do not think anything more of it. According to the American Animal Hospital Association, two-thirds of dog owners do not take care of their animals’ teeth. Eighty percent of dogs show signs of oral disease by age three, with many problems starting at a younger age. Like humans, a dog’s oral health impacts everything else in his body.
Simple Mouth Care
Keeping your Boxer’s mouth in tip-top shape is easy. It all starts with brushing his teeth. You can find a dog toothbrush and toothpaste at any pet store for cheap. Be sure that you buy toothpaste designed specifically for dogs because human toothpaste has fluoride which can cause painful stomach upset. Just like you’d brush your own teeth, use circular motions and brush the teeth and gums. Your dog’s mouth can be closed to brush, making it easier on both of you. One minute of brushing every day will do the trick.
Aren't chewy treats the equivalent of brushing?
Although many chew toys and treats claim to be equivalent to brushing, most of these claims are not backed up with actual medical proof. So do not rely strictly on chewy treats and toys as a means of dental hygiene. Along with brushing, the best treats to give your Boxer to aid in his oral health are dental sticks and bully sticks. It’s always better to go with a larger chew toy or treat than a smaller one so that your Boxer really has to work his teeth on it and therefore removes more plaque from his mouth.
When to See a Vet
Your Boxer should have his teeth and gums regularly checked by his vet. Each time he has a vet visit, you can ask the vet to look at his mouth to make sure everything is okay. If you notice that your Boxer’s bad breath is not going away after continued brushing of one or two weeks, don’t hesitate – take him to the vet right away to rule out periodontal disease or some other illness.
Dental disease in dogs can progress very quickly, so it’s vital that you get him checked out if you suspect something is wrong.
Signs of Dental Disease
Aside from persistent bad breath, other signs of possible dental disease include:
- Swallowing food whole
- Bleeding along the gums after brushing or chewing
- Receding gums
- Inflamed gums
- Excessive drooling
- Removing food from the bowl and eating it somewhere else
- Inflammation or pus around a tooth
- Pawing at the mouth
- Chewing only on one side of the mouth
- Making a mess of crumbs while eating
- Depression or irritability
- Stomach upset
Always err on the side of being cautious and take your beloved Boxer to the vet when you suspect something like bad breath could be the sign of something more serious.
Get a Boxer!
There’s no better time than now to add endless joy and companionship to your life than by adopting a Boxer in need! Visit the websites of one of these excellent Boxer Rescues and adopt one today: