Does your dog have smelly breath? Has this been going on for a while? Bad breath is often due to periodontal disease, but can also be caused by other, more serious conditions. Don't ignore your dog's bad breath. In this article, we cover the most common causes of bad breath in dogs and what you can do to prevent it.
Gut problems : Infections, vomiting bugs and gut blockages can often create bad breath in dogs. Oral or gut microbiome imbalances can also create gut problems that often lead to bad breath.Most healthy adult dogs have a stable gut microbiome. However, age and other environmental factors can change this.Dogs suffering from various diseases are found to have an imbalanced gut microbiome. The imbalance or overgrowth of bad bacteria, particularly in the small intestine, can cause gas build up and being absorbed into the bloodstream, causing nasty breath.
Food or objects stuck in the mouth : Pieces of food or bone can easily get stuck between your dog's teeth for a few days. This can cause your dog's breath to smell badly.
Plaque build up and bacteria : The most common cause of bad dog breath is the build-up of plaque and bacteria. If not checked early, this can cause periodontal disease. Long term tooth loss can be a result of periodontal diseases. Damage to the dental ligaments allows bacteria to enter the bloodstream and be carried to the heart, liver and kidneys, causing serious illness.
Diet : There are some foods that can result in bad breath if your dog's teeth are not brushed regularly. Fish diets are an example.
Kidney diseases : 10% of all dogs will develop kidney disease in their lifetime and one of the chronic signs is bad breath with a chemical odour. The toxins that build up in the blood can be emitted on the breath, coming up from the lungs through the mouth.
Liver diseases : Liver diseases can often cause foul, sweet, musty breath. When the liver stops ridding the body of toxins, sulphur compounds make their way to the lungs, making your dog’s breath smell mouldy, or worse, like a rotting animal.
Diabetes : One of the signs of diabetes is when your dog's breath smells sweet (similar to pear drops or nail polish remover). If you observe this in your dog and you know that they haven’t been eating anything that smells fruity, then perhaps it’s time to consult the vet.
How to Prevent Bad Breath in Your Dog
Most dogs with stinky breath suffer from gum disease so it’s important to establish good dental hygiene for your fur baby. Small changes to their diet can also do wonders in improving their oral and gut health.
- Regular teeth brushing : By regularly brushing your dog’s teeth regularly is the best way to remove the buildup of plaque. If your dog finds traditional doggy toothbrush uncomfortable, there are alternatives such as silicone brushes that can fit on your finger for a more comfortable experience.
- Give your dog dental chews : These yummy “treats” are not just for keeping boredom at bay for a few minutes - they are actually good for your dog’s dental health. The chewing action helps eliminate plaque on the teeth’s surface and it also increases saliva production which helps clean out bacteria in the mouth. Examples of excellent natural chews include dehydrated cow ears, hooves, and various animal tendons are great single-ingredient and healthy chews.
Dog Dental Spray : Takes bacteria head-on, destroys tartar and plaque, promotes gum health, and freshens your pet’s breath. For best results in the shortest possible time, we recommend using the spray twice a day in combination with brushing your dog’s teeth.
- Adding high-quality kibble : Dry dog food can help in scraping away build on your dog’s teeth.
- Regularly checking your dog's teeth : One of the most useful but often overlooked this is making a habit of checking your dog’s mouth for signs of dental and gum issues. Take note of any unusual smells, growth, or colour that you encounter.
- Supplements : Consider supplementing your dog’s diet with probiotics. These additions to your dog’s usual diet will not only help eliminate bad odours in the mouth but can also improve overall health.