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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Pet owners, when was the last time you brushed your pet’s teeth? Carol Erickson, an animal advocate with the Pennsylvania SPCA, joins Eyewitness News to discuss the importance of brushing your pet’s teeth.

Erickson say this is something most pet owners don’t properly do, but it is extremely important.

It is especially important to brush the teeth of smaller dogs and the ones with pushed in faces because they are vulnerable to decay.

Some veterinaries say you should brush smaller dogs teeth every day, where bigger dogs should have their teeth brushed at least once a week.

Regardless of how often, it is important to brush their teeth with toothpaste because if you don’t it can cause bigger problems.

How To Effectively Communicate With Your Pet

You can get professional dental cleaning done where your pet will go under anesthesia but within day the plaque will come back – so be sure to keep up with brushing.

You can also keep your pet’s breath smelling fresh by giving them dental chews, the ones with chlorophyll, cinnamon, and cloves in them.

There is also special drinking water you can give your pets that has chlorophyll and enzymes in it.

Dog probiotics will also help.

If your pet consistently has bad breath you should have it checked out by the vet.

Bad breath can also be a sign of many problems including liver and kidney issues. Sweet breath can be a sign of diabetes.