For many of us, dogs are our best friends. Sometimes we even like them more than people. But one thing that is absolutely not loveable is dog bad breath. There is nothing more cringeworthy than your pooch jumping up at eye level and breathing an atrocious drooly breath directly in your face.
When this happens, you’re likely to go into immediate crisis mode and ask a ton of questions. What did she eat? What caused this? How do I get it to go away as soon as possible? Do I need to start brushing his teeth? Have no fear, in this article, we will explore all the ins and out of your pooch’s bad breath so you can be informed and, on the road, to helping your beloved pet get on the road to having a healthy and hygienic mouth.
The first step to treating your dog’s bad breath problem is identifying the cause. Sometimes it is as simple as tartar build-up and other times it can be a sign of a more serious condition such as periodontal disease or even liver disease. It’s important to identify any other symptoms like yellowish eyes or fruity-smelling breath that accompanies your dog’s bad breath, as they might be connected, and a veterinary consultation may be necessary. Today’s best dog insurance companies can help cover some of the vet costs and offer useful preventative measures that can save you tons in the long run.
Causes of Bad Breath
Tartar and Build Up
A common cause for many dogs’ bad breath is a bacterial buildup of tartar and gunk. If you observe tooth discoloration along with their bad breath, this is likely the culprit. Usually, you can start to combat the tartar and build-up by introducing regular toothbrushing using the best toothpaste for dogs as well as dental treats. We will explore this more in our solution section.
Pale gums in dogs or a strong smell of ammonia or urine radiating from your pooch’s mouth can be an indicator of kidney disease. If you notice your dog is drinking more water than usual this is a symptom as well. Kidney Disease is a serious condition and it’s strongly advised to seek medical help for your pet, from your veterinarian. The veterinarian can help to determine the best course of action moving forward, which may include a diet change, to a specialized dog food that is designed to help manage kidney disease.
Another serious illness that your dog may be facing is diabetes. If your dog has a sweet or fruity-smelling breath, this may be a sign that they are battling high blood sugar levels. Diabetes may also be the cause if your dog is urinating more often than usual or drinking more water than is normal for them. If you suspect diabetes, it is important to seek the help of your vet to help you develop an individualized health care plan. Diabetes is a manageable disease for your pet, but it is something they will always have. It’s important to follow a strict diet and health care plan to ensure your pet will live a long healthy life.
Your dog’s liver filters out toxins and keeps your dog’s system clean. If you notice that their eyes or gums are becoming yellowish and they seem unusually tired, there may be an underlying liver problem. Vomiting, diarrhea, and other digestive issues usually accompany liver disease as well.
Excessive heat and infections are two causes of liver malfunctions, and it is best to consult your veterinarian to address any concerns.
Cures to Bad Breath
Now that we have discussed all the reasons why your dog’s breath may be extremely smelly, it’s time to offer some solutions, so you and Fido can be back on cuddle status!
Sanitize and Clean All of your Dogs Bowls and Toys
Anything that your dog is regularly putting its mouth on can harbor unhealthy bacteria. Take some time to deep clean their food and water bowls. Gather up all of their favorite chew toys and give them a good cleaning as well. This will rid all their belonging of bad bacteria which may be stimulating tartar buildup on their teeth. Check the dog play yard for old bones or dirty chew toys and replace them with new ones. Grab the dirty bowls and give them a thorough cleaning.
If you’re like most pet owners, you may have never considered giving your dogs food bowls a good scrubbing, but the effort is well worth avoiding a trip to the vet. Find helpful tips on when and how to clean your dog’s bowls. You can handwash with regular dish soap, to regularly clean your dog’s food and water bowl. You can even pop them into the dishwasher for convenience if you are short on time.
Stainless steel bowls are generally dishwasher safe, and plastic dog bowls are usually top-rack safe. Make sure to look for a sticker on your dog’s food bowl for further directions.
Regularly Brush Your Pooch’s Teeth
Yup, that’s right, grab a dog-friendly toothbrush a minimum of three times a week. Leading vets even recommend brushing your dog’s teeth twice a day, just like us!
To be proactive, it is ideal to introduce the routine of toothbrushing to your pup at an early age. This helps your dog to develop healthy gums and avoid gingivitis from an early age, and to learn to expect and welcome the process. Add this to your puppy care plan, in addition to healthy puppy food for a healthy start to a long life for your favorite furry friend.
You can shop around for dog toothbrushes virtually anywhere, local pet stores, or chain stores like Amazon and Walmart.
- Dual-Ended Tooth Brush- Dual-ended toothbrushes are useful for reaching those difficult angles in your dog’s mouth, especially if your pooch is reluctant to brush their teeth.
- Multi-Head Tooth Brushes- Work smarter, not harder with a toothbrush that cleans around the entire tooth at once for a deep clean in no time.
- Finger brush- For doggies who are not a fan of toothbrushes, you can try a finger brush for a quick clean that your dog may be more likely to accept. The soft rubber design is non-threatening that will not distract your pet from cleaning time.
Find out more about canine oral care and brushing your dog’s teeth .
Dental Bones and Toys
For an ongoing preventative measure to cleaning your dogs’ teeth, grab some of the best dental chews and bones. Try to find Vet approved toys to best support your pooch’s long-term oral health
- KONG Classic toys are an excellent choice for super chewers. Whether you have a feisty Chihuahua or a strong-jawed Rottweiler who demolishes toys in a few minutes, KONG chew toys are designed to withstand the best chewers. They will supply your dog with ample opportunity to remove plaque and tartar on a regular basis.
- Milk-Bone Dental Chews These specially designed chew bones promote chewing and activate your dog’s natural self-cleaning instinct. By chewing, your dog is breaking up plaque build-up and the refreshing scents of each bone, help to leave your pet with a freshened breath. Plus, the brush designed helps to scrape tartar from the surface of your pooch’s teeth each time they chew.
- Pedigree Denta Stix comes in lots of flavors, for every size dog. Including these chew sticks into your dog’s oral hygiene routine can help to manage tartar buildup. But be sure to monitor your pet, as with any edible treat dogs can choke or create hazards if not monitored appropriately.
How can I get rid of my dogs’ bad breath?
Regularly brushing your dog’s teeth is the single best way to improve bad breath. In addition, routinely cleaning your pet’s food and water bowls will eliminate bad bacteria that lead to bad breath in dogs.
Why does my dog’s breath smells so bad?
There are many causes of a dog’s bad breath, including the top culprits: Plaque and Tartar buildup. When paired with other symptoms like yellowish gums or eyes, or digestive issues it may also be a sign of something more serious such as periodontal disease.
What home remedy can I use for my dog’s bad breath?
Grab a toothbrush and some dog-safe toothpaste and build the habit of brushing your dog’s teeth daily. Use regular dish soap to rinse and sanitize their food and water bowls to keep unhealthy bacteria at bay.
Does bad breath in dogs mean infection?
Bad breath in dogs can mean infection when other symptoms are present as well. If your dog seems to be drinking water, urinating more frequently, or is lethargic, these could be signs of a medical condition for which you should seek veterinary consultation.