More than 80 per cent of dogs develop gum disease by the age of three. Bacteria that causes bad breath can enter a dog's bloodstream, leading to serious health issues. It is possible to prevent or at least slow dental disease by ensuring that your dog receives veterinary and home dental care, including tooth brushing and using a mouthwash that can be added to your dog's water or applied directly onto her gums and teeth. Dental care products for dogs are available for purchase, but some people prefer to use homemade mouthwashes and toothpastes for their dog's oral care.
Fill a cup with warm water.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Salt is not antibacterial, but salt water mouthwash can increase the alkalinity of your dog's mouth temporarily and create an inhospitable environment for bacteria.
Stir well to dissolve the salt in the water.
Wet some cotton balls or a washcloth with the salty mouthwash solution.
Swab solution gently onto your dog's teeth and gums.
Pour 237 ml (1 cup) water into a saucepan.
Add a teaspoon of fresh echinacea root or 1/2 teaspoon of dried echinacea root.
Boil the echinacea root and water in a saucepan for 10 minutes.
Cover and remove the saucepan from the stove.
Let the mixture steep and cool for one hour and then strain.
Pour the strained mixture into a squirt bottle.
Squirt the echinacea solution onto your dog's gums.
- Mouthwashes meant for humans can be dangerous for dogs. For example, some mouthwashes contain boric acid, a substance highly toxic to dogs. Symptoms of mouthwash poisoning include vomiting, drooling, seizures and possibly coma.
- Some toothpastes and mouthwashes, even herbal products, contain Xylotol. Do not use products with Xylotol in them for pets, because it is toxic even in very small amounts.