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How we handle old dog problems

Stank breath and puddles. Both have been synonymous with Scooby since I met him.

Because he’s an old dog — and has always been an old dog to me — I try not to hold these things against my novelty-sized canine. Also, I understand that toy breeds are notorious for having teeth problems, due to having so many teeth crammed into such tiny heads. And, frankly, most of the miniature pinscher people I’ve met also struggle with the weeing problem.

But sometimes, you just get enough of fetid kisses and ruined bathroom rugs.

So, when a representative from MrChewy.com recently contacted me to offer me a $50 credit to the online pet food outlet, I made sure to order some dental treats.

We got Pet Naturals Breath Bites, a product that’s supposed to help minimize the pungency coming from both ends of a dog. According to the directions, these special treats are intended to be given between meals, on a daily basis.

It’s too soon to tell if they’re working, but Scooby eats these treats happily.

He’s a bit less enthusiastic about accepting breath spray.

Rupert's Simply Smoochable Doggie and Kitty Mouth Spray

As mentioned on Monday, Emily from Our Waldo Bungie and I attended The Great KC Pet Expo over the weekend and came home with a lot of dog products to try.

One of those products: Rupert’s Simply Smoochable Doggie & Kitty Mouth Spray, a clove oil-based spray manufactured and marketed right here in Kansas City. (Read all about this product line and enter to win some at Emily’s post.)

I love the packaging, which features original art by Kansas City artist Charlie Podrebarac, and I love the scent even more.

Clove is earthier and not quite as intense of a scent as peppermint. For that reason, I feel like clove might be more appetizing to the dogs. Scooby licked his teeth a lot after we sprayed them, but he didn’t rush off to the water fountain, so he must not have hated the taste. He probably even felt soothed, since clove oil is supposed to help relieve tooth and gum pain.

Again — it’s too soon to tell what kind of overall effect this product will have on Scooby’s stank breath. But I can say this: Immediately after the application, and for a few hours following, the Rupert’s spray did mask the rotten mouth. We will keep using it.

On to the other issue!

Because it’s clear that Scooby’s ability to “hold it” is weakening all the time, we are facing an embarrassing fact. For the sake of our home and sanity, our dog is going to have to start wearing diapers. At least when he’s running loose without an attentive human in the house.

I’ve tried belly bands in the past, but he seemed able to wriggle out of them. So, yesterday, I bit the $15.99 bullet at Brookside Barkery and procured a pair of PoochPants.

We’ll see if they help…

How do you handle old dog issues at your house? Do you have any awesome product or DIY recommendations for solving stank breath and piddling?

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About crystalwayward

I live with two formerly wayward dogs. I care deeply about the environment, and I think gardening is a revolutionary act.

Posted on April 18, 2012, in Dogs, Reviews, Scooby and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Great reviews! Harley isn’t “old” but he is the “old dog” and always has bad breath! We make homemade treats with parsley, chives, mint, etc. and he loves them 🙂 Since we always have foster puppies in the house, we always have a pee-pee pad down– and the big dogs relieve themselves sometimes! We don’t have piddling issues but credit may be due to the pads!

    • If I ever find the time and courage, I will have to try your treat recipe. Most of that stuff already grows in my garden…

      I’m glad to hear the pee-pads work for you. I got some a few years ago when I lived in a loft downtown, but Scooby didn’t seem to understand what they were for.

      Overall, I’m just grateful that the big dogs in our house have never followed Scooby’s example of weeing wherever.

  2. Ahhhh for the love of an old dog. Scooby is a handsome gentleman, even if he is of a certain age.

    We’ve been through several rounds of senior dog troubles at our house. On the piddling front, I’ve had good luck with Belly Bands. I currently get mine custom made, but there is an ebay seller I’ve used in the past with good luck. No wriggling out of those.

    Bad breath is more of a concern with the senior foster/refuge dogs than it is my own. I don’t buy into breath masking products. I think they are a bunch of bunk and dont get to the root of the problem, which is compromised oral hygeine. Although yummy treats are always a plus.

    I try to get all dogs, even old ones, on weekly raw recreational bones to get those teeth scraped into shape, and I’d also recommend a kelp supplement for their food. Kelp is naturally antimicrobial to help kill some of that plaque causing bacteria. Supposedly, it also stimulates the production of pre-digestive enzymes in the mouth, which again discourages plaque. My pug (who is not a senior) has to have kelp just because the shape of his mouth is not conducive to proper bone chewing. He still gets his bone and give it a good try, but pug mouths are like the bermuda triangle!

    • I was hoping you would reply, Dogs or Dollars! You are the expert in this case! I will have to check out the kelp supplement. As soon as I got Scooby, he needed seven teeth extracted. I think about nine have come out since then. Fortunately, he stil likes chewing on bones (for a little while), and we’ve been making a point to have more real (aka not rawhide or rubber) ones around the house lately.

      That also seems to be helping with our middle-aged golden retriever’s tartar problems. My goal is to not have to take them for expensive dentals treatments while still maintaining/improving their dental health.

      • Some of those little dogs just got the short end of the stick genetically when it comes to dental health. Poor kids! Our ancient old man has exactly three left in his head, and appears to have been primarily toothless for sometime. Tell Scooby to count his lucky stars, erm teeth. 😉

        Not getting dentals is totally do-able and a great goal! Of my way too many dogs, we have never paid for a dental. Although the pug might break that streak, if I don’t stay on top of things.

  3. Poor Scribble Dibbles!

    I agree with Dogs or Dollars – the kelp supplement helps a lot with breath issues – they sell it at Brookside Barkery too – it’s called PlaqueOff. You just sprinkle it on their food.

  4. Good review on the products. We don’t have any problems with stinky dog breath (yet), but as the dogs get older the tides could turn. On another note, I got an offer from Mr.Chewy as well. Wasn’t sure if I wanted to take them up on it. What kind of information did they want from you?

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