Imagine walking through the door after working all day. Your pet runs up to you and greets you with some ‘doggie kisses’, but the revolting smell steaming from their mouth is enough to make you gag.
Contrary to common belief, your dog’s breath shouldn’t smell bad. A dog with good oral hygiene and no other major health concerns should not have bad breath. Often bad breath is an indicator that something more serious is going on. In reality, dog’s get into all sorts of things and sometimes the smell of their breath is a result of eating some unpleasant recently.
So, how do you determine if your dog’s breath is a cause for concern?
A dog with consistent bad breath is not something to ignore. Halitosis, or chronic bad breath, is mostly caused by poor oral hygiene health. The causes of halitosis are relatively easy to fix while other causes are far more serious and will require a trip to the vet for some specialised treatment.
Causes of Chronic Bad Breath
When puppies go through their teething stage it is not uncommon for puppies to have bad smelling breath. This is usually a result of bacteria building up along the gumline, ready for when the baby teeth are pushed out and their adult teeth come through. This stinky breath phase usually lasts for just a few months.
2.The build-up of plaque and tartar
This is the most common cause of halitosis, if your dog is not a chewer and does not have a teeth cleaning regime in place, then the most likely cause is this build-up. The good news is that it’s easy to resolve in the early stages.
3. Periodontal Disease
A more serious build-up of plaque can lead to this disease. Dog’s over 3 years can show signs of this condition, which can become both painful to the dog and chronic in its smell.
4. Oral disease
Other diseases of the mouth (gum disease, mass growths both benign and malignant) can become a breeding ground for bacteria.
5. Other more serious causes
Gastrointestinal disease, liver or kidney disease and diabetes have symptoms of bad breath.
How do I fix my dog's bad breath?
1. Brush your dog’s teeth.
There’s no getting around it, just like you do, dog’s need daily oral hygiene. This is both a manageable and preventable option to keep your dog’s oral health in top condition. Be sure to use a pet-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste!
2. Regular Vet Check Ups
Each visit at the vet should include an examination of your dog’s teeth and gums.
3. Provide a high-quality diet that’s appropriate for your dog’s overall health.
Proper nutrition is a key to good health for your pet. Unfortunately, most foods sold in a supermarket will not have enough nutritional value for your pet. Read each packet to see what your dog is ingesting.
4. Dental Chews & Toys
These are not only great for your dog’s teeth but are a boredom breaker too. Dental toys are an easy addition to their toy basket, and it will stimulate teeth and gum health!
Hot Tip: Smaller dog breeds require more dental care. Due to their smaller mouths, their teeth are closer together which is easier for plaque and tartar to build-up.
As the age old saying goes, prevention is better than a cure. Resolving oral issues can become a costly endeavour. Good oral hygiene is achieved by doing a little each day. By keeping up to date with your dog’s health, you can say goodbye to that gag-worthy dog breath smell and enjoy those ‘doggie kisses’ when you walk through the door!