My dogs dental care

Dog Bad Breath Causes & Remedy

Why Does my Dog Have Bad Breath?

The most common causes of a dog’s bad breath are oral health issues. Although there isn’t any evidence that suggests certain dog breeds are more susceptible to halitosis; there are some specific dog breeds, such as toy breeds that have higher chances of suffering from gum diseases. This thereby increases the chances of them having dog bad breath issues. Persistent dog breath smells increase their chances of having an underlying health concern.

Read the following to know more about the causes of bad dog breath and how to remove bad breath from dogs.

Dogs breath smell causes

Persistent bad breath in dogs can be due to several health issues. Some causes of dog bad breath include: 

  • Gum diseases:

    Bad breath alongside inflammation and redness of the gums are symptoms of gum disease. It can result from tartar build-up leading to tooth decay or even tooth loss. Too much plaque and tartar can move the gums away from the teeth, allowing bacteria to grow in new places. Plus, if your pup is not a chewer and you don’t get its teeth cleaned regularly, then plaque accumulation can result in your dog having bad breath. Hence, regularly check your dog’s mouth for signs of gum disease and try to establish a daily oral care regime at home.

  • Kidney diseases:

    If dog’s breath smells like ammonia, it may be suffering from a kidney disease. This happens when your pup’s kidneys aren't operating properly to filter and digest waste materials and toxins. The buildup in their body could be contributing to a terrible breath odour as well as causing health problems to your canine friend. Other than dog’s bad breath, urine odour is another symptom of underlying kidney disease. Kidney disease is a dangerous condition that needs immediate healthcare assistance. Hence, these symptoms prompt you to consult a veterinarian at the earliest.

  • Diabetes:

    This is noticeable when dog breath smells sickly sweet and fruity due to ketones building up in its bloodstream. This sweet, fruity breath is a key symptom of diabetes. Frequent drinking and urination are other signs of diabetes that you should look out for. If you notice these signs in your pet, please consult a veterinarian to get your dog’s health evaluated.

  • Liver disease:

    Another prominent reason for dog bad breath is improper liver functions. Foul breath, constant vomiting, repulsion towards food, lack of appetite and a yellow tint in the gums are some signs that hint towards liver conditions in dogs. Liver disorders are serious health hazards. Therefore, you should immediately take your dog to the nearest vet or emergency care to get them diagnosed and treated.

  • Unhealthy eating habits:

    Dogs poor eating habits can sometimes directly result in foul breath. If your dog has regular access to garbage or decomposing animal remains, its foul breath could be the consequence of unsupervised eating. Dogs seem to love cat feces in general and having cats in the house can make it difficult for your dog to refuse. This unhygienic habit is both smelly and unsanitary for the pet and the caregiver. Besides, there is also a disorder called coprophagia that compels some dogs to consume their own or other dogs' feces. Therefore, unsanitary eating habits can result in bad breath.

Dog bad breath remedy

Once the dog’s bad breath reason is identified, you can begin treating it. But before you start the treatment, it is necessary to understand the importance of oral hygiene for dogs.

  • Keeping your pup’s teeth and gums clean will help in preventing dental disease or oral aches. 
  • When the bones supporting your dog’s teeth become contaminated or damaged, they may loosen or fall out. It is here that good dental care for dogs keeps their teeth-supporting structures healthy.
  • Keeping your dog’s mouth clean will also prevent organ damage. The plaque bacteria can enter the bloodstream and travel to a dog’s kidneys, heart, and liver. This bacterial spread can harm affected organs and make them sick. But with good oral hygiene, organ damage can be avoided.
  • Finally, the most important reason to keep your dog’s mouth clean is to prevent the nasty whiff of your pup’s breath. This is an indication that bacteria are accumulating due to improper dental care. Cleaning your dog's teeth on a regular basis can help avoid odour development.

Treating bad breath in dogs

The source of poor breath in dogs must be addressed, and luckily there are several treatment options available.

If your dog's foul breath is caused by plaque, tartar, or periodontal disease, the best thing you can do is make an appointment with your vet to check if your dog is suitable for a dental cleaning. Your veterinarian will do blood tests to ensure that your dog is healthy enough to undergo anaesthesia. Moreover, this appointment is a good time to rule out any other possible explanations for your dog's bad breath. Depending on the extent of the periodontal disease, your vet may have to extract loose or damaged teeth during the cleaning.

Covering the waste and limiting your dog's access to undesirable outside finds, such as roadkill, will eliminate the problem of unattended munching. Unless the cats are also pooping outside, placing the litter box out of your dog’s reach is a simple remedy that prevents cat feces intake, and cleaning up right away after your dog poops can help stop coprophagia.

Diabetes as well as liver and kidney diseases are severe conditions that necessitate veterinary care. Your dog's bad breath should go away after the underlying issue is remedied.

Prevention of bad breath in dogs

If your dog’s breath smells due to a dental issue such as gum disease, try any of the following tips as treatment or prevention: 

  • Brush your dog’s teeth:

    Dental hygiene is equally important for your dog as it is for you. It is the best remedy for your dog’s bad breath. In fact, this is the very best way you can care for your dog’s teeth and gums daily. Start by gradually introducing a daily tooth-brushing routine to help remove plaque from the teeth which is the root cause of gum disease. However, remember to use a toothpaste and toothbrush made exclusively for dogs—don't give your dog your toothpaste! It contains toxic substances for dogs.
  • Dental treats:

    While brushing your dog's teeth daily is one of the best practices, giving them dental treats is an additional technique to improve their dental health. Dental treats may contain ingredients that promote your dog’s oral health or assist in physically eliminating plaque while your dog chews on them. Other products like dental water additives can help keep bad breath at bay while also improving oral health. These are usually unflavoured, and all you have to do is put a small quantity in your pet's water bowl every day.
  • Quality and balanced diet:

    Feeding species-appropriate food cooked with high-quality ingredients can keep your dog and its digestive system healthy. 
  • Dry Diet

    - The abrasive texture of dry food can also help keep teeth clean. For best results, you can give your dog PEDIGREE® Dentastix™ Daily Oral Care. This dry dog treat contains active ingredients like Zinc Sulphate and Sodium Tripolyphosphate that help keep your dog’s teeth clean and healthy. It reduces tartar build-up by 80%. In fact, the 'X' shape and textured surface scrape all the plaque and tartar away. PEDIGREE® Dentastix™ are available for large, medium, and small dog breeds. 

Feeding guideline: Dog treats like the PEDIGREE® Dentastix™ are good for oral hygiene, however, they must not be used in place of a regular dental care routine. Brush your dog’s teeth once a day to keep its teeth and gums healthy. Make sure you use dog-specific toothpaste.

To prevent bad breath in dogs, it’s essential to be proactive about your dog’s dental health and to look into their mouth regularly. Establish a daily oral care regime at home and schedule regular visits to the vet.

Frequently asked questions on dog’s bad breath

How can I freshen my dog’s breath without brushing?

You can freshen your dog's breath by adding half a teaspoon of raw organic apple cider vinegar to its water bowl. Adding a probiotic made exclusively for dogs to your pooch’s daily meal will help balance healthy dental bacteria and keep its breath smelling fresh.

Should you brush your dog's teeth?

What happens if you do not get your dog's teeth cleaned?

Does PEDIGREE® Dentastix™ really work?

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