Regular dog breath isn’t exactly pleasant. But sometimes our furry friends’ breath gets really out of control. If you’re noticing particularly bad breath, it’s time to take action. Really bad breath is an indication that your pooch might have a health problem. Here’s our guide to bad dog breath.
What Might Be Causing Bad Dog Breath
Regular doggie breath isn’t enjoyable, but it’s tolerable. If you find that your dog’s breath suddenly changes for the worst, there are a variety of potential causes:
Eating Something Gross
Sometimes the cause of your dog’s bad breath is as simple as they simply ate something they shouldn’t have. Maybe your pooch got into the garbage, ate some cat poop or even feasted on a dead animal they found outside. Another possibility is your dog is eating their own poop.
Bad Oral Hygiene or Periodontal Disease
Unfortunately, the most likely cause of your dog’s bad breath is poor oral hygiene or periodontal disease. Just like humans, dogs need their teeth cleaned so tartar and plaque don’t build up on their teeth and lead to bacteria growth. So if you haven’t brushed your dog’s teeth in a while, or your dog isn’t much of a chewer, this is the most likely explanation for your pup’s foul breath. Bad oral hygiene doesn’t just lead to plaque and tartar, but dogs can develop mouth infections, cavities, tooth loss, pus formation and tissue destruction. All of this causes bad breath.
Other Health Issues
Bad breath may also signify that your pet has other underlying health issues. If your dog has breath that smells like pee, this could indicate that your pup has kidney disease. If your dog’s breath smells sweet or fruity, this could mean that your dog has diabetes. If your dog has really terrible breath and a yellow tinge to their gums and is vomiting and not eating, your pup might have liver disease.
How to Get Rid of Dogs’ Bad Breath
How to get rid of dogs’ bad breath all depends on the cause of it. Here are some potential solutions:
- Check to make sure your pup hasn’t eaten anything they shouldn’t have. Secure your trash cans and litter boxes and check your yard for dead animals. Click here to learn more about getting your dog to stop eating their own poop.
- Brush your dog’s teeth. If that doesn’t fix the problem immediately, you need to call the veterinarian. They’ll likely do a deep cleaning of your dog’s teeth.
- When in doubt, contact your vet. Diabetes and kidney and liver disease are distinct possible reasons for bad breath, and all three conditions require veterinary care.
How to Prevent Bad Dog Breath
Since the most common cause of bad breath is bad oral hygiene, the best way to prevent foul breath is to regularly brush your pup’s teeth. Many dogs even enjoy having their teeth brushed since there are many yummy toothpastes on the market for them. You can also give your dog dental chews and chew toys meant to help with plaque and tartar build-up. There are even water additives that help with bad dog breath. You can help prevent other causes of bad breath by feeding your dog a balanced diet and giving them plenty of exercise. You should also regularly take your dog to the vet for check-ups.