Dogs are not really animals known for their good breath…let’s face it. They can knock us out with their pongy panting, but it isn’t their fault! All those licks filled with love can get a little smelly, and leave quite a nasty scent on your face or hands. Extremely bad breath could also be a sign that something isn’t right with your pup, so it's always something to keep aware of.
As their puppy parent, you need to make sure that your dog is healthy and happy, supporting them in the best way possible – and that includes getting rid of their bad dog breath! So, unless you’re brushing your pup’s teeth every morning and night, you may want to find out how to get rid of the horrible odour and learn some proactive ways of how to treat and prevent the smelly issue.
Take a look at some of the ways you can combat your pup’s bad breath and help make sure they’re healthy, happy and scent-free…
It is very easy to just dismiss bad breath as a normal dog trait, but there is usually a reason your pup’s mouth is producing such an odour...
Before you start to panic that something is wrong with your furry friend, start with the most common reason for bad breath – poor oral hygiene. This could be caused by either not enough oral care or may be due to periodontal disease .
Unfortunately for our four-legged pals, they can suffer from a build-up of tartar and plaque, just like us humans, resulting in overdevelopment of bad bacteria which causes smelly breath.
If you do not regularly brush your dog’s teeth or provide a chew toy/food, this could be the cause to your bad breath problem and if not treated may result in your pup suffering from gingivitis or worse.
When there is too much tartar or plaque, over time, the build-up can force the gums to recede from the teeth, leaving new areas open and vulnerable to bacteria. The gums will become inflamed, which could lead to more serious conditions like cavities, tooth loss, and infection resulting in some bad odours emitting from your pup's mouth!
Read up on why canine dental hygiene is so important here!
Once again, just like us humans, your pup could be suffering from an illness such as diabetes. If there is a sweet/fruity undertone when they exhale, you need to make an appointment with your vet ASAP.
Similar to us humans, a dog suffering from diabetes will produce a sweet smell from their mouth – along with frequent drinking and urination, you may have a poorly pup on your hands. Seek professional help as soon as possible...The sooner you know the severity of diabetes, the easier it will be to treat.
Although less likely, the cause of the bad breath could be a serious disease in one of their vital organs. A key indicator of a life-threatening problem is the smell itself. For example, when you find your pup tucking into a piece of faecal matter, you can very much smell it on their breath… Gross! However, this isn’t the same for urine.
If you discover a smell of pee on their breath, take your pup to the vets as soon as possible! This does not mean they have been drinking urine, instead, it could be an indicator that they’re suffering from kidney disease. Your vet will test your pup to see if their kidney is the issue, but you may find that kidney disease is just a symptom of something larger.
When the breath is unbearable and is accompanied with other symptoms; vomiting, yellow gums or little appetite, your pooch could be showing early signs of liver disease. Similar to kidney disease, difficulties with the liver could be relating to a bigger problem, so it is incredibly important that you seek advice from your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Sometimes the cause of the bad breath is simply down to what your pup has decided to put into their stomachs. Dogs can choose to eat a lot of unhealthy and abnormal things, burying themselves in the garbage or finding something disgusting whilst on your walk! We have all found our furry friends chewing on a questionable object and let’s not forget the strange behaviour of extremely enjoying consuming other animal's poop! This unsupervised, unhygienic snacking could be the reason your pooch is producing a smelly pong. If you know you have a poop-eating dog in your family, they could develop a condition called coprophagia , resulting in the bad breath that you may have noticed.
Treating your pup’s odorous breath is simple…find the cause, and work from there. There are many treatments available to help combat the reason for the bad dog breath, but only if you take a visit to your vet or begin changing a few things in your home. Simply removing items and temptations from your pup could solve a lot of the problem. Try to make sure you’re securing the trash and keeping on top of poop pick-ups in the garden, as this will reduce the chance of bad breath.
The best way to prevent bad breath is to keep up with a regular dental hygiene routine. Keeping on top of brushing those pearly whites will help reduce plaque and tartar build-up, helping to stop gum or tooth decay. It may take some time and patience, but eventually, your pup will learn to enjoy having their teeth brushed…especially if you pair it with a positive reward.
Your dog’s oral hygiene is extremely important – not only to avoid bad breath but also to make sure that they’re healthy and well. It is common for your pup to have bad dog breath but anything worse is probably a sign of something more sinister going on.
Once you have discovered the cause of the odour, you can support your pup in the correct way, helping to reduce the side effects, improving your pup's happiness, health and freshen that breath!