While you may think all dogs have bad breath, a gross odor can be a sign something is wrong. Use these tips to keep you dog's teeth and mouth in good health and prevent dog breath.
Since dogs are constantly gnawing on gross things, like old tennis shoes, mud, and whatever else they find outside, we usually just accept dog breath as a fact of life.
But bad breath can actually be a symptom of something more serious, like dental or intestinal issues.
What causes bad breath?
Dog breath is caused by dental or gum disease, such as gingivitis or periodontal disease. Many dogs, particularly small breeds, are susceptible to building up plaque and tartar on their teeth.
If their breath gets really repellent, that can mean there is a larger health issue, such as a problem in the internal organs.
Is it necessary to see a veterinarian?
If your pup has persistent bad breath, it's worth a trip to the vet to rule out any serious issues. Your veterinarian may check for diabetes, kidney disease, or liver problems, just in case.
If your pup has severe plaque buildup, he may need professional cleaning, where he is put under general anesthesia and goes through a full dental treatment like you get at the dentist.
If the buildup is minor and no major issues exist, your vet will likely recommend you start a dental care regimen.
How can I prevent dog breath?
To keep your dog's teeth in good health and prevent bad breath, taking care of his teeth at home is important. You can try the following to keep him healthy and smelling fresh:
- Brush his teeth: Brush your dog's teeth every day using a canine-specific toothpaste and a regular toothbrush. The bristles and paste will help keep plaque at bay and freshen his breath.
- Use a breath spray: As an add-on to brushing or for dogs who won't tolerate a toothbrush, use a breath spray on the teeth and gums. It can help tartar and plaque from developing and maintain the health of the gums.
- Add to his water: You can use a water additive in your pup's bowl to help maintain healthy gums and freshen breath. Many come in a peppermint or spearmint flavor, making your pet smell fresh and sweet.
Dog breath can be gross, but it sometimes can signal something more serious is going on. Talk to your vet and use these tips to maintain your pet's dental health.