From the Archives of Dog World: Enjoy this all-access pass to dog history from the pages of the longest published dog magazine. This content remains in its original form and reflects the language and views of its time. Health and behavior information evolves and only the most current advice should be followed.
Dogs often have exceedingly offensive breath from tartarous and decayed teeth, rendering them wholly unfit for the house companions for refined people, who themselves avoid offense on such account in their mouths as they do death or smallpox. When the dog’s teeth are merely coated with tartar and the gums inflamed, the tartar should be removed with scrapers (some of those used in human mouths satisfactory for the purpose) if the operator has not forceps and other instruments especially provided. Cleanse the mouth with strong soap and water, and then wash with this solution:
Chlorinated line—1 part.
It may be sufficient after removing a decayed tooth or an accumulation of tartar, to restore the breath and improve the gums, to wash dog’s mouth well two or three times daily with a small quantity of this mixture:
Tincture of myrrh—1 part.
Tannic Acid—4 drachms.
Application of this wash maybe made with a swab. If the dog’s mouth and teeth become so sore that he cannot eat, he will usually be able to lap milk. Little attention need be given to his costiveness, as that will take care of itself when he is in a condition to eat vegetables and other food.
Excerpted from Dog World magazine, June 1923, Vol. VIII, No. 6. For back issues of Dog World, click here.