Bad breath in dogs is a common problem many pet owners deal with, but have no fear; you can do plenty of things to remedy the issue.
Halitosis in dogs and other pets is often due to poor oral hygiene and periodontal disease, better known as gum disease. While we humans brush and floss our teeth daily to prevent and reduce plaque and tartar buildup and bad breath, our furry friends need a way to, in a sense, brush their teeth.
Bad breath, in most cases, is caused by bacterial growth that comes from poor dental hygiene. So, you might wonder what you can do, so here’s everything you need to know.
When to be Concerned About Dog Breath
Puppy breath is normal, and while it may be bothersome for a young pup to have stinky breath, it’s not something that you should worry about right away. As dogs grow up and get new teeth, the puppy breath should disappear.
If you have an adult dog, just know that a dog’s bad breath goes beyond the smell of their dog food lingering after they ate– if you know, you know. It’s common for a dog to have various smells coming from its mouth after consuming, playing, or chewing. Bad breath or halitosis in dogs is an unpleasant or even foul smell that comes from their mouth that is unrelated to the activities they have been participating in.
More often than not, bad breath in dogs is associated with some kind of underlying health problem. If you’re noticing it, don’t shrug it off. Monitor your pup’s breath for the next few days. If the smell persists, make an appointment with your veterinarian.
Health Problems Related to Oral Health in Dogs
As mentioned before, poor oral hygiene leads to bad breath in dogs and gum disease. Oral hygiene is enough to be concerned about, and talking to a veterinarian would prove to be extremely helpful. However, there are other health issues that your dog might be experiencing that presents themselves as halitosis.
Dietary Issues - As we mentioned earlier, your dog’s breath has a lot to do with what it’s eating. For example, if they are only eating dog food, their breath should smell like dog food. However, your dog may be getting into the trash or other unknown areas that are not only stinky but can be hazardous for their health. Look around. What could your pet potentially be getting into that could harm them? Keep your trashcans where a pet can get into it, and watch your pet when they go outside to ensure they aren’t eating grass or getting into animal droppings.
Diabetes - Dogs with diabetes are more likely to develop worsening periodontal problems. And while veterinarians are not sure which came first, the two conditions can worsen when both go untreated. Essentially, bacterial infection and inflammation in a dog’s mouth can poorly affect the blood-sugar metabolism and exacerbate the severity of diabetes.
There are reports that a slightly sweet or fruity scent to a dog’s breath is a sign of diabetes, so that is one indication you should be looking out for, among others. Just know you can manage and treat diabetes with the right help, so contact your veterinarian if it’s something you suspect.
Heart and Liver Disease - Like in humans, periodontal disease is directly linked to cardiopulmonary diseases in dogs. A dog with inflammation in the liver and heart is more than likely demonstrating oral health issues. Studies have found that bacteria from infected heart valves are the same as those identified in the mouth. One disease might not always cause the other; however, the two are simultaneously present in the body. And while it can difficult to notice the more subtle signs of heart or kidney disease in your dog, stinky breath is a sign that’s too hard to miss.
Bad Breath Remedies for Dogs
When you visit your vet and determine whether or not your dog has underlying health issues, one of the first things your vet might recommend is professional teeth cleaning for your pup. Cleaning goes beyond brushing the teeth but is a full-blown process involving x-rays, anesthesia, and scaling, similar to how we humans get a cleaning. The vet may also recommend removing dead or highly diseased teeth, which can be one of the causes of the foul odor.
Medically treating the cause of the smell is the best way to make sure that your dog’s breath returns to normality. After that, the best way to keep it at bay is to take preventative measures.
Preventing Bad Breath in Dogs
There are plenty of things you can do to help your dog maintain better oral health. Here are a few tips:
- Have your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned routinely, about once a year
- Buy some chew toys that are clean their teeth
- Brush your dog’s teeth at home once a month or have their teeth brushed at the cleaner
- Provide your dog with dental chews as a treat now and then
- Try water additives, gels, dog foods, oral sprays, and other products that assist in maintaining a healthier mouth
Call your vet or refer to the Veterinary Oral Health Council list if you’re hesitant to give your dog an unfamiliar product that claims dental benefits.
Plush Paws Products is Here for You and Your Pets
At Plush Paws Products, we know that your pets are your family, and that’s why we care about their health and safety. So whether it’s questions about bad breath in dogs or how to best travel with your pet, we have you covered.
And speaking of having you covered, cover up your car seats with our luxurious liners that will keep your dog safe and your car clean during all your travels. You can also check out our line of pet health products that your pups are sure to love. We ship throughout the United States and internationally, so shop with us today!