What causes bad breath in dogs?
"Why do dogs have bad breath?" you may be wondering. There's a reason why 'dog breath' is such a common phrase when describing something unpleasant, and it's because our dogs frequently have bad breath. While it's normal for your pup to have some odor on their breath from eating, playing with toys, and just living their lives, this odor can sometimes develop into a stink that repels all but the bravest pup parents.
And while you may be tempted to just grin and bear the smell, more often than not stinky dog breath is a sign of an underlying health issue that is causing the smell. There are several different possible causes of bad breath in your dog, but the most common are kidney disease, liver disease, and oral health issues.
If your dog's bad breath smells like feces or urine, it may be a sign that they have recently eaten poop (which is something you should look into on its own) or a symptom of kidney issues.
If your dog's kidneys aren't working properly to filter and process toxins and waste materials, their buildup in the pup's body may be contributing to the bad smell of their breath, as well as causing health problems!
If your dog has recently developed seriously bad breath and their new scent is accompanied by symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea, they may have liver disease.
Oral Health Issues
The most common cause of bad breath in dogs is oral health issues, which are a catch-all term for a variety of health issues ranging from tooth decay to gum disease and oral infections. Bacteria and food debris accumulate in your dog's mouth over time if not regularly cleaned away, resulting in plaque and a persistent odor.
If your dog's breath smells a little funny, it's most likely due to emerging oral health problems. However, if left unchecked, the odor will become much stronger, and your pet's oral health and wellbeing will continue to deteriorate.
How to Treat Bad Breath in Dogs?
The cause of your dog's bad breath will have a large impact on the type of treatment they require. Because bad breath is a symptom of an underlying health condition rather than a health problem in and of itself, it should go away once the underlying condition is successfully treated.
That being said, if you notice a change in the smell of your dog's breath, don't assume it's caused or normal. Bring your dog to the vet as soon as possible for an examination and diagnosis, as several causes of bad breath can lead to serious health problems.
Treatments at your veterinarian may include prescription medications, specialized diets, therapies, and even surgery to help treat your pet's condition, depending on which part of their body is affected and the severity of the condition. Your veterinarian can advise you on the best course of treatment for the underlying health problem that is causing your dog's bad breath.
Why does my dog's breath smell so bad and how can I treat it?
While you can't treat kidney or liver disease at home, one thing you can do to help treat or prevent bad breath in your dog is to make sure they get the routine oral hygiene care they need every day, in addition to annual professional dental cleanings.
Brush your dog's teeth every day, taking the time when they are young to help them become accustomed to the experience of tooth brushing.
In addition to this, or if you are unable to train your dog to tolerate brushing, there is a wide variety of dental chews and dog food designed to promote oral health available.
Inquire with your veterinarian about the types of oral health products they recommend for preventing bad breath in your dog.
When it comes to preventing internal organ failure or disease affecting your dog's liver or kidneys, there are a few simple steps you can take to assist your pup in avoiding these causes of bad breath.
Some human medications, houseplants, and foods that are safe for humans are extremely toxic to our pets. Make a list of any substances in your home that may cause organ disease or failure in your dog and keep them as far away from him as possible.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.