dogs

Sweet Puppy Breath by Larry Saavedra

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Little puppies have such sweet smelling breath, and I discovered that much of a dog’s freshness comes from good oral health, and dear old mom.

Puppies that are still weaning off their mother have sweet breath because of the milk she produces. Puppies teeth and gums are mostly free of the bacteria and periodontal diseases that cause the breath to stink. As the dog ages they tend to develop plaque between their teeth and gums and that leads to bad breath.

Ways to Freshen the Breath of an older dog: One of the best ways to freshen a dog’s breath is to examine what you are feeding him or her.

My wife and I started feeding our 11 year-old Labrador raw meals for several reasons and one of those reasons was her general oral health. Within weeks of this new raw diet, her breath smelled so much cleaner, seriously, whereas before it smelled terrible. I think bland dry kibble was the root cause.

Even the appearance of the dog’s teeth improved after her diet was changed, and she seemed to have much more energy.

The new raw diet included fresh raw chicken, eggs, vegetables, yogurt, cottage cheese and supplements among other yummy things that dogs love to eat.

I’m not suggesting that you run out and buy raw chicken and such, and start feeding your dog something new and improved. The first thing you should do is ask your Vet for advice.

But making your dog’s breath smell more like that adorable puppy… well it isn’t rocket science to improve your dog’s oral health.

Just remember, you are what you eat rings true in the dog world too!

Pepsi Saved My Dog's Life by Larry Saavedra

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Pepsi and Coke may not be good for the teeth, but they can save a dog’s life.

In the world of working dogs Retrievers are some of the most physically fit breeds on the planet. Not all Retrievers of course, but specifically those that are involved in AKC or HRC Hunt Tests, Agility and other forms of activity.

These working dogs seldom lack for energy, and they can swim a body of water faster than you or I. But all dogs are susceptible to the dangers hiding in open fields, or even your own backyard.

I had just aired my dog in a nearby field before an AKC working dog test when I heard her sneezing and hacking terribly. It sounded painful and I saw drops of blood coming from her nose.

I noticed the foxtails around us (pictured here). They were everywhere. Apparently she had been sniffing the ground and snorted up a #foxtail, now the dry barbed weed was lodged in her nose. And I couldn’t extract it.

She was trying to sneeze it out. But that was making the situation worse. I knew that eventually it could snake its way into her body, where it could potentially pierce a vital organ if I didn’t act fast.

Foxtails are extremely dangerous to dogs. I’ve read about dogs dying after ingesting them, or becoming permanently disabled once they pierce the skin. Whenever I set up an AKC Hunt Test I try to ensure that there are zero foxtails in the field before the test can proceed. They are that potentially dangerous.

The biggest single problem with foxtails is that when they are ingested they are difficult to pull directly out because of their design. They implant themselves into a dog’s paws, ears, mouth, etc… and then by design continue to dig down into the skin or through the dog’s stomach.

If you suspect that your dog inhaled, or has come in contact with foxtails and they can’t be easily dislodged get to your Vet as fast as possible. The day my dog sniffed up the foxtail, I made another decision that possibly saved her life.

I’m not Vet, but what I’m about to tell you is my truth and it worked for me.

I happened to have a can of soda in my vehicle the day Jetta snorted up a foxtail. I remember my friend Wendy telling me to use a carbonated soda if my dog ever sniffed up a foxtail. I grabbed the soda and gently poured a teaspoon full of it directly into Jetta’s nose until she sneezed the foxtail and soda out. She didn’t like it naturally and shook her head in protest, while continuing to sneeze. Then she stopped and looked at me with a toothy grin.

Apparently a carbonated soda (Coke, Pepsi or whatever brand) coats the dry barb enough to make them go limp. Once it gets soaked by the soda it will slide out of the snout with a sudden sneeze.

After that little episode, Jetta was 100 percent fine, she entered the test and got a ribbon. I don’t drink much soda, but from here out I will always carry a can of it in my vehicle… just in case Mr. Foxtail rears its ugly head again.

To read more about your Foxtails and the seriousness of a dog inhaling one check out this working dog website, where others share similar stories of foxtails: https://www.retrievertraining.net/forums/archive/index.php/t-89759.html