Written by Doris Donnerman (last updated February 17, 2009)
When I was growing up, my grandparents owned this little poodle and she was so cute and we all loved her, but she had one major and hugely significant flaw: she had the worst dog breath I've ever smelled. It was simply rancid. One way this could have been prevented is if my grandparents had taken better care of little Coco's teeth when she was younger.
Breath is not the sole issue at hand when it comes to oral hygiene; did you know that keeping plaque off your dog's teeth can add two or three years to their life? And that's in people years! Here is a tip explaining that your dog can live longer with good oral hygiene.
When dogs have poor oral hygiene, their mouth becomes a central place for bacterial growth fueled by leftover food. The bacteria will grow and fester, and given enough time, will start to spread to other parts of the dog's body. This bacteria is rarely ever fatal in itself, but it can and will affect the various functions your dog's body performs. The bacteria will rarely be the cause of an organ failure, but it can weaken and damage the internal organs enough so that the organs are more susceptible to other infection.
So, how then can you prevent internal infection and prolong your dog's life? The answer is simple: take care of your dog's teeth. Brush your dog's teeth regularly and take your dog to the vet regularly as well, so the vet can spot any problems, oral or otherwise. By staying on top of your dog's oral hygiene, you'll be doing it a favor and prolong its life for up to three years!
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