We love our dogs. We pet them when they've been good, cuddle them when we've had a bad day and fall asleep on the sofa with them curled up close by.

But if the thought of your loyal companion breathing on you makes you reel in disgust, then something needs to be done.

Many people dismiss their dog's halitosis as just being something normal, thinking that the natural state of a dog's breath is to be smelly.

But there are a number of things you can do to improve your pet's breath, while making a positive change to his overall health as well.

Just like people, dogs can get cavities, tartar build up and gingivitis. Left untreated, these conditions can lead to tooth loss and infections.

So what can you do to prevent such problems? Again, just like with people the secret is to brushing your dog's teeth.

That's right brush your dog's teeth at least twice a week and you could improve his health and cut down on the number of dental cleanings he'll need from the veterinarian.

Of course, brushing your dog's teeth is something that you'll both need to practice - remember that it's a strange feeling for your pet. But with a bit of patience and some positive reinforcement, it can quickly become an activity you both enjoy.

Here are a few things to remember when you start a doggy dental hygiene regime:

First, don't use human toothpaste, as it's not good for dogs. Instead, use a product specially formulated for pets. It will have the right ingredients and they're usually meat flavoured.

Start by just putting a bit of toothpaste on our finger and rub your dog's teeth with it. This will get him used to the experience. Eventually you can move on to an actual brush.

Special dog tooth brushes are available - these fit on the end of your finger, and are ideal for the mouths of smaller dogs. They can also be used on cats, who also need regular dental care.

Finally, remember to feed your pooch a high-quality dog food. The raw dog food diet has been known to improve pet's breath, and is one more way to make sure your dog is happy and healthy.

Written by: Hannah