Chihuahua kisses can be very nice, unless your dog suffers from the heartbreak of halitosis. Then maybe not so nice. But most of the time this is a solvable problem.
Chihuahuas are notorious for stinky breath. It isn’t the dog’s fault. The breed is prone to all sorts of dental problems, including plaque (which hardens into tartar), gingivitis (gum inflammation), and tooth decay and infection. There are also specific medical conditions that can exacerbate these tendencies.
Chihuahua puppies may have especially bad breath during their teething process, which generally lasts from three to six months of age. Fortunately, this period passes; and luckily too, it offers a good opportunity to get you and your dog onto the track of good dental care habits.
What Habits You Should Establish
Brush your dog’s teeth. Yes, I know you didn’t want to hear this. But hey, brushing a chihuahua’s teeth is nowhere near as challenging as brushing a bigger breed’s. Buy a high quality canine toothpaste (not the cheap variety), canine toothbrush, and finger brush (which attaches to your fingertip and is especially useful with small breeds such as chis). Ask your vet for tips on the proper brushing technique. Or watch this video on how to brush your Chi’s teeth:
Consider what your dog eats. Everyone is agreed that when it comes to bad breath, dry kibble is better for your dog than moist food, because chewing the dry food helps scrape off plaque. But that doesn’t mean you have to forego moist food altogether, and in fact, for digestive purposes and to prevent constipation, it is good to offer a mix of both types.
Watch what your dog eats when she thinks you’re not looking. Specifically, stuff on the ground, which seems irresistible to the dog but can cause problems far more serious than halitosis. And, if you have a household with felines, cat poop, which dogs consider a kind of candy. You may have to position the cat litter pan in a way that the dog can’t get at it.
Some people swear by this for dogs who like to eat cat poop: Outta my Box
Make sure your chihuahua has plenty of great chew toys, especially ones that are marketed for breath issues.
A reader told me about these:
I have been giving them to my Lucas for his stinky breath. I give him 1 treat every morning and after about a month, I noticed his breath smelled much better. I still give him this treat every morning and he loves them. His stinky breath smell hasn’t come back. You can get them off Amazon here.
Add a few drops of unsweetened lemon juice to your dog’s drinking water.
Try offering your chihuahua some parsley or peppermint leaves, which have a delightful effect on the breath, and also baby carrots, which help both the breath and the teeth and gums.
When you visit your veterinarian, he should always take a look at the dog’s mouth, and if he then recommends a professional cleaning, swallow hard and pay for it.
What Else Should You Do
If you notice a really foul smell, get your dog checked by a vet as soon as possible as it may be an infection.
So is there anything I forgot? Anything you have found that helps with your dog’s stinky breath? Please do tell in the comments!