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Does your dog have bad breath? These Arizona researchers might have a solution

If your fur baby has bad breath, there's new hope on the horizon. A new product in development right here in Arizona could change all that.

PHOENIX — University of Arizona researchers have developed a harmless bacteria strain to help battle bad breath in our furry friends.

We all love our fur babies, they're always happy to see us when we get home and they never talk back! However, their breath can be "ruff" because of halitosis but not to worry, UArizona researchers Eric Lyons and Scott Zentack are finding new ways to ward off bad breath for pets. 

Zentack is the CEO of uPetsia, and he along with Dr. Lyons explained that the idea stemmed from a moment we've all experienced.

"A bunch of were sitting around after dinner with a bunch of dogs in our laps and invariable after Thanksgiving dinner they were happy to be licking our faces," Dr. Lyons said.

But the question of who's dog had the worst breath remained up for debate.

"Was it the big dogs, the little dogs, the slobbery dogs, but at the end of the night we all agreed dogs have bad breath," he added.

Now, after months of screening naturally occurring bacteria in dog's mouths, the two, coming up with a minty fresh solution.

"We wanted ones that were safe, had no ability to cause disease and so we found a handful of these, from that we developed a very small genetic program to get a mint smell which is a particular molecule called methyl salicylate," Dr. Lyons said.

One local veterinarian Dr. Karin Sullivan with the Arizona Animal Welfare League says, this could be a game-changer.

"We'll often recommend combining and brushing with dental chew treats, and so this new treat can help people and another level of home care which can help prevent the care they need from their vets," Dr. Sullivan said.

Dog owners praising the early stages of the product idea according to the uPetsia team and are anxious to try out the pet products once they're incorporated into treats.

"We'll work with partners to incorporate our product into theirs to make a premium product that when fed to dogs will allow their pets to have fresh breath for hours on end," Zentack said.

There's no specific timeline on when this new minty method could hit the market.

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