Dog bad breath is a real thing, but that shouldn’t worry you too much. There are ways that you can remedy this pet problem and keep your dog’s breath smelling fresh all the time. These methods have been proven to be very effective.
Causes of Bad Breath in Dogs
It’s easy to identify a case of dog bad breath or halitosis in dogs, but what causes it? Here are some of the more common causes:
- Dental disease
- Gum disease
- Kidney disease
- Toxic substance
- Foreign substance
- Oral tumors
While diseases are the most common cause of dog bad breath, there are other causes too. Since dogs love to put things in their mouth, they might swallow something which can cause the unpleasant smell. Oral tumors too can play a hand in causing the smell.
What to Do When Your Dog Gets Bad Breath
When you notice that your dog has suddenly developed an unpleasant smell on its breath, it’s suggested that you take it to the vet right away. The veterinarian will be the one to diagnose what’s causing the unpleasant smell and the best way of treating it.
These are signs which could indicate your pet has a medical treatment which needs immediate attention:
- Your dog’s breath smells sweet. This could mean that it has diabetes, especially if you see that it has been peeing a lot.
- Breath that smells a lot like urine could mean that the dog has kidney problems.
- Foul odor that goes with vomiting could mean liver ailment.
How to Naturally Freshen Your Dog’s Breath
The vet will be the one to determine the cause of bad breath in dogs. If it is accompanied by other symptoms then the vet may require some tests in order to determine what’s wrong. You just have to be ready to answer any questions which the vet might ask in connection with the diet of the dog, it’s dental hygiene, and how much exercise it is getting.
Now, there are several proven ways that bad breath in dogs can be treated at home. These are expert suggestions which you can try:
Search Your Dog’s Mouth for Foreign Objects
In the list of causes of bad breath, foreign objects which have been lodged in the mouth is included. If you suddenly notice that your dog’s breath has suddenly gone bad, it could be caused by something that’s stuck in its mouth. Check it physically and see if there is any foreign object which has to be removed immediately and if there is something there, once it’s removed the animal’s breath should go back to normal.
Search Your Dog’s Mouth for Unusual Growth
Unusual growth like tumors can also cause bad breath in your pets. You have to search the mouth visually in order to check. If you do see a tumor there, you need to take your dog to the vet in order for it to be treated or removed. A growth or a tumor should not be taken lightly.
Brush Your Dog’s Teeth Daily
Brushing is the most basic dental hygiene step that you can take and that should be the same thing for your dogs. You should do it once daily. There are just a few things to keep in mind when you are brushing your dog’s teeth.
It is important to take note that you should not use your toothpaste on your dog as its formulation can be harmful to animals. You should only use toothpaste which is specially formulated for use on pets or you can also create a homemade toothpaste formula. A DIY doggy toothpaste can be just as effective as one which you can buy.
When brushing your pet’s teeth, you need to focus on the upper part. That is where plaque starts to buildup. Make sure that you brush the tongue too. According to experts, it is best to start brushing your dog’s teeth while it is still quite young so it can get used to the activity as it gets old.
Brushing your teeth is not enough. Your dentist always tells you that you should also floss in order to dislodge the food particles that gets stuck in between your teeth. The same thing is true for your dog. While brushing will clean its teeth, and prevent the buildup of plaque, it might not be enough to remove pieces of food stuck in their teeth which can cause stinky dog breath.
Flossing could be a bit tricky though, which is why you should start doing it while the dog is still small so, it will get used to it. When it grows older, it could be difficult to get them used to the practice.
Give Your Dog a Safe Chew Toys
The natural act of chewing will actually help in cleaning the teeth. The problem of course is that sometimes, your dog might chew dirty things which will make things worse. What you can do is to get safe toys which have been made for chewing and give it to your pet.
Kongs are particularly good toys for your pets. These are made from rubber which are sold in many pet stores.
It’s a good idea to smear some meat flavored pet toothpaste on the toy. Your dog will get used to the taste of the toothpaste which will help in making them used to brushing and hardness of the Kong will loosen the plaque. Another good type of toy is the kind that is designed to resemble ropes. Your dog can practice chewing on that.
Give Your Dog Dental Treats
On top of brushing and flossing, you also use mouthwash as part of your oral and dental hygiene. While your dog cannot use mouthwash, there are other dental treats available for them. Just make sure that you will not use anything that contains xylitol, as this kind of ingredient can cause harm to dogs.
Some dental treats which are available today for pets are charcoal-based which are actually beneficial for removing bad breath. Look for these products when you go shopping.
Give Your Dogs a Rawhide Bone
Rawhide bones can also work in keep your dog’s breath fresh in the same way that chewing toys are beneficial. It works towards reducing the buildup of plaque. Just make sure to monitor the rawhide bone. You need to throw it away once it becomes worn out and there is a risk that your dog might be able to swallow it.
Cooked bones are never good for your dog. Real bones can splinter which could damage your dog’s intestines. This is why, rawhide bones are better for your dogs than real ones.
Use Products with Chlorhexidine.
If you want your dog’s breath to stay fresh all the time, you should be on the lookout for some ingredients which can be found in the products. There are also certain materials which can actually help in keeping your pet’s breath fresh.
One such material which can be beneficial to your dog’s breath is chlorhexidine. This material acts as an antiseptic. Look for products which contain it. Chlorhexidine will work towards preventing the buildup of harmful bacteria which leads to bad breath.
Give Your Dog’s a Healthy Diet
Bad breath in your dogs can also be caused by improper diet. Make sure that your dog eats a balanced diet and that you stay away from the foods which can contribute towards the development of bad breath. Another common cause of bad breath in pets is eating too much meat. Do not give them more meat than what is needed for their diet.
Don’t Leave Their Bowl of Food Full
It’s never a good idea to leave your dog’s bowl of food full so it can eat whenever it wants to. This would just feed the bacteria which can be found in the mouth and could cause bad breath. The best thing to do is to have specific times when your pet will eat.
Have Professional Cleaning for Them
No matter how careful you are in following proper oral and dental hygiene, that’s still not enough. You still need to visit your dentist to have your teeth professionally cleaned. The same thing is true for your pet.
Even if your brush your dog’s teeth and floss on a daily basis plaque would still build up, you still have to bring your dog to a vet for professional cleaning. This is a way to remove plaque and tartar buildup there.
Proper care will help to keep your dog’s fresh all the time. The problem really starts when the bad breath is caused by some underlying health issue like a kidney or liver disease. The main aim then would be to cure the ailment rather than just to take care of the bad breath. It’s best not to go for home remedies when your dog has a serious sickness.
Some of the products that are available in the market will only mask the bad breath of your pet. These products may not do anything in order to treat the underlying cause which is the bigger problem. Keep your dog healthy and its breath will stay fresh and pleasant.