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Bad breath of our dog

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Tisoy, our 9-year old spitz has an issue with oral health. He has gingivitis, a disease of the gums, which gives bad odor. When Tisoy is near me, I could smell a rotten odor coming from his mouth. The vet had recommended cleaning of the teeth that would help cure the problem but I don't want our dog to be sedated. What if he wouldn't wake up? There are cases like that where the sedated dog did not wake up anymore. I don't want that to happen to Tisoy.

For now, we clean Tisoy's gums with cotton swab that is dipped in iodine. And then we also use the spray breath freshener to at least deaden the smell. The vet said that regular cleaning of the gums can help it heal faster.
I have the exact same problem with my little Tomás, except that he hasn't been diagnosed yet... it's of course not really nice to smell his bad breath, but we take him to the vet regularly for a bath and he gets his nails cut and his teeth brushed, the odor leaves for a couple of days after that visit but them it always comes back.
I don't think that it's such a big deal, but I think that it would be a good idea to ask to the vet what's really the problem.
Dogs are also likely to suffer from dental problems and this is one of the most neglected area of dog health. Luckily, their teeth are quite strong and thats why they are able to chew bones which gives them the right exercise for their jaws. I posit that putting some garlic cloves into the food would kill most oral bacteria since garlic has bacteriocidal properties. They should be cooked a bit to mellow their sharp taste.