Bad Breath In Dogs

How bad breath in dogs can be a problem…

No matter how much we care and look after our beloved pet dogs, there are certain issues that we can find hard to detect. Bad breath in dogs is definitely not an uncommon issue but knowing its root cause can have you scratching your head no matter how you try to combat it or how much research you do.

There are many possible reasons for your dog’s bad breath. Below we are going to list the main causes and how you can help to keep their breath as neutral as possible. We will also provide links to some great products that can help them to keep their breath fresh!

Owner checking for bad breath in dog

Open wide! A dog getting his breath checked.

Reasons for a dogs bad breath

Let’s go through some of the most common causes for bad breath first. Some of these may seem obvious but actually eradicating the smell is a problem all on its own. Luckily we have some great solutions for you.

Dental or gum disease: One of the most common causes for bad breath in dogs comes from a disease that is also an issue with humans. Halitosis, a periodontal disease, is usually caused from a build-up in plaque and tartar. The smell comes from the bacteria that eventually decays and releases an un pleasurable odour. This tartar and plaque build-up can be treated by brushing your dog’s teeth regularly.

There is something in their mouth: As a dog owner I understand how difficult it can be to keep an eye on them at all times. Whether they are chewing on a rag they may have found or picking up remnants of food, there are lots of things that can become lodged within their teeth. When these foreign objects are unable to be moved they will inevitably decay, bacteria will grow and a dogs bad breath becomes an issue.

Eating something bad: As mentioned above: it is really difficult to keep an eye on your furry friend at all times and whilst they evade your attention for even a few seconds they could possibly be eating something they shouldn’t. There are certain plants that have certain levels of toxicity and may be responsible for bad smells.

View our article on which plants are toxic to dogs here.

Let’s stay on the subject of what your dog has been eating for a minute. When my Cockapoo (Woody) was a puppy he used to forage in the garden and had a bad habit of eating cat poo (Gross, I know). It may have been a protein hit for him but for us it resulted in an extremely unpleasant smell. We would spend a long time trying to brush his teeth and make him drink water to try and neutralize the smell.

Whilst he was in this phase we decided to order an additive for his water from a great company called Felix & Fetch. It works almost as a mouth wash would work for us, neutralizing smells but it also has the added benefits of strengthening the gums and helps to remove plaque and reduce tartar building. Here is a link to the product which will promote oral health.

Diet: Depending on your breed of dog you may have received advice in regards to their diet and how specific it should be for their growth and general health. Some dogs are put on things such as a fish diet and inevitably their breath will resemble as such. The same goes for raw diets. When a dog consumes raw food, especially poultry, bacteria will grow within the stomach and this can impact their breath.

Whilst the above causes for bad breath in dogs can be resolved fairly easily there are other conditions that could be potential cause for concern. Certain underlying health conditions can attribute to bad breath. Let’s explore some of the most common.

Kidney disease: If you notice an ammonia or urine type smell from your dog’s breath then this could be a sign of kidney disease. The kidney is the filtration system for the body and when it doesn’t function properly toxins called Urea can build up in their blood. It is advised to consult a vet if this is a concern.

Liver disease: Just like the kidneys the liver acts as a filter for the body. When it isnt functioning as it should then there can be a build-up of toxins, this is a health problem which can also lead to bad breath.

How to resolve bad breath in dogs

Brushing regularly: The first step to a dogs dental care is to ensure their teeth are brushed on a weekly basis. There are plenty of toothpastes on the market, some you can even apply with just your finger which makes teeth cleaning a much easier task.

Other dental products: Maintaining your dog’s oral health can also be achieved through supplements and additives. There are a variety of dental chews that can reduce plaque and tartar building.

Health Concerns: If you are concerned that your dog may have any underlying health issues then consult with a professional as soon as possible.

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