Do you shy away from dog kisses or feel embarrassed about your dog's bad breath? It's important to know that bad breath is common in dogs and can indicate serious health problems. Our vets in White House explain the possible causes of your dog's bad breath and provide tips on prevention and treatment.
What Causes Bad Breath in Dogs?
It's no secret that dog breath can be unpleasant, especially as dogs get older. While it's normal for your furry friend's breath to vary depending on their recent meals or playtime activities, it can become overpowering and repulsive to even the toughest of dog owners.
Rather than ignoring the smell, it's important to recognize that bad breath can indicate an underlying health issue. Common causes include kidney disease, liver disease, and oral health problems.
Oral Health Issues
Oral health issues are the most common cause of bad breath in dogs. This umbrella term includes health problems from significant tartar building and tooth decay to oral infections or gum disease. Regardless of the exact cause, your pet's breath smells from bacteria and food debris that build up over time in their mouth unless regularly cleaned away, creating plaque and a persistent smell.
If your dog's breath smells a little bit, it is likely caused by emerging oral health issues. Although if they are left unchecked, the smell will become much stronger, and your pet's oral health and well-being will continue to decline.
If your dog's breath has an odor similar to urine or feces, it could indicate that they recently consumed poop. It's important to investigate this behavior. Alternatively, it may be a sign of kidney health problems.
When the kidneys fail to filter and process toxins and waste materials effectively, they can accumulate in your pet's body, cause bad breath, and harm their overall health.
If your dog has been experiencing seriously bad breath lately and is also showing symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea, it could be due to liver disease as the underlying cause of their symptoms.
How to Treat Bad Breath in Dogs?
If your dog has bad breath, the type of treatment they need will depend on the root cause. Bad breath in dogs is usually a symptom of an underlying health issue instead of a problem on its own. Once the root issue is resolved, the bad smell should go away. However, it is important not to assume that a change in your dog's breath smell is normal or harmless. It could be a sign of a serious health problem, so it's best to take your dog to the vet as soon as possible for examination and diagnosis.
Your vet will recommend a treatment plan based on the cause of your dog's bad breath and the part of their body it affects. Treatment options may include therapy, prescription medications, dietary changes, or surgical procedures. Your vet's diagnosis will guide the best course of action for your pet's specific situation.
What Can I Do To Treat My Dog's Stinky Breath?
You can do a few things as a pup parent while at home to help prevent your pet from developing bad breath by helping to prevent the underlying conditions that cause it.
One way you can prevent bad breath in your dog is by ensuring your pup gets the routine oral hygiene care they need every day in addition to annual professional dental cleanings.
It would be best if you brushed your dog's teeth every day, spending the time when they are young to help them get used to the experience of tooth brushing. There are also a wide variety of dental chews and dog foods designed to promote oral health that is available to you.
It's a good idea to consult with your vet about the best oral health products for your dog to keep their breath fresh. Additionally, there are simple steps you can take to prevent internal organ failure or disease that can contribute to bad breath in your furry friend.
Beware that some human medications, houseplants, and foods that are safe for us can be harmful or even toxic to dogs. Be mindful of these substances in your home and keep them out of your dog's reach to prevent organ damage or illness.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.