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Why Does My Dog Have Bad Breath? (And how to Prevent It!)

by | Aug 14 2020

Any dog owner knows the feeling of enthusiastic, slobbery kisses from their furry loved one. But, even if your dog isn’t a licker, there’s nothing quite like the sensation of a dog panting in your face and bestowing the best of their hot, wet, often smelly breath to you.

Yes, it’s a symbol of love. Yes, this closeness and eagerness to nuzzle near your face is a sign of adoration. Unfortunately, this doesn’t make dog breath any less stinky!

Some cases are worse than others, of course. While some dogs don’t have any offending odours in their breath at all, others may have breath so bad that even the most loving dog parents can hardly bear it.

So, why does this happen, and what can you do to prevent it?

 

The reasons behind bad dog breath

“Why does my dog have bad breath?” – It’s a question that’s asked a lot. There’s no singular reason for it, but bad breath is often linked with dental hygiene. Just like humans, plaque begins to form on a dog’s teeth not long after eating. This plaque is actually a bacteria and, if left alone, it will continue to build up until it has solidified into what is known as “tartar”.

Tartar is often visible on dogs’ teeth as brownish discolouration or buildup, and it can lead to a number of problems including producing unpleasant odours and that all-too-familiar bad breath.

 

How To Prevent Bad Dog Breath - Mark + Chappell

Banishing bad dog breath

When your dog’s breath becomes too noxious for even a puppy parent to love, there are several things you can do at home to alleviate the severity of the smell and even to eliminate it altogether.

 

1. Use a dental water additive

Use a dental water additive. Just follow the package directions and do a bit of measuring, and you’ve got yourself an effective weapon against bad doggy breath. This fortified water has all the ingredients necessary to banish bad breath. Replace normal water with this for a few days for quick results.

 

2. Brush your dog’s teeth

Brush your dog’s teeth at home. Dogs are just like us in many ways, and one of these is that they need to brush their teeth, too! Using a dog toothbrush and a toothpaste made for dogs, brush your dog’s teeth to remove tartar build up and freshen up that nasty breath. You can also use a soft-bristled toothbrush made for humans!

 

3. Give your dog coconut oil

Feed coconut oil to your dog. Not only is this a delicious treat for your dog, but it can help their breath smell sweeter, too. You may even choose to brush your dog’s teeth with coconut oil, or just put a spoonful of it into their food.

 

4. Try giving them parsley

Add a bit of parsley to your dog’s food. It’s a simple, all-natural breath freshener! And it can also help soothe an upset tummy too!

 

 

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How to prevent bad dog breath

When it comes to getting rid of bad dog breath, prevention is key. There’s only one thing better than getting rid of your dog’s bad breath, and that’s not having to experience it in the first place! And there’s some overlap here, as quite a few of the methods used to prevent bad breath before it starts are also effective against pre-existing bad breath.

 

Annual Dental Cleanings

Firstly, make sure to ask your veterinarian about yearly dental cleanings. Your vet will use professional tools to do a more thorough job cleaning your dog’s teeth and gums than you can do at home, making for a fresh start each year.

 

Probiotics

Embrace the benefits of probiotics. Prevent bacterial buildup that leads to bad breath by making probiotics a part of your dog’s diet. This replaces the worst kinds of bacteria with healthy bacteria (and even works for humans).

 

Dental Chews

Include raw bones or dental chews in your dog’s diet. Avoid giving your dog cooked bones at all costs, though, as these can break and splinter in your dog’s mouth, causing injury.

Make teeth brushing a habit, particularly for smaller dogs. The mouths of small dogs are built a little differently than larger breeds, making them more susceptible to plaque and tartar buildup.

Be particularly proactive in these cases!

 

When does bad breath mean more?

It’s totally normal for dog owners to wonder when slight abnormalities might be indicative of something more serious, which is exactly why plenty of people have ask the question, “Does my dog’s bad breath mean there’s a bigger health problem I should be concerned about?”

Much of the time, a case of bad breath is nothing to worry about and can be easily fixed with some of the remedies and prevention methods discussed above. There are other times, however, when chronic bad breath that won’t go away no matter what you do could be a symptom of a larger issue.

As mentioned above, the most frequent cause of a canine’s stinky breath is gum disease or another dental problem, particularly if you own a small dog that is even more prone to the buildup of plaque and tartar than other breeds. However, stubborn cases of bad breath might also be a sign of respiratory or gastrointestinal problems. It can also be an indicator of cancer cells growing along the lining of your dog’s mouth or nose.

If you’ve tried everything and your dog’s bad breath persists, schedule an appointment with a vet to ensure that it’s not a sign of something more serious.

 

 

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Denticare 2 in 1 chews - Mark and Chappell

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Senior Dogs and Bad Breath

As your pup gets older, you may notice that their bad breath becomes worse or occurs more frequently. This is because, over time, the plaque and tartar that build up to cause bad breath will increase. In general, this means that senior dogs will have more tartar caked on their teeth, particularly if annual dental cleanings weren’t pursued when the dog was younger.

Not to fear, though! It’s never too late to embrace better dental hygiene for your dog. If your senior dog has bad breath, follow the same tricks for bad breath prevention and elimination above.

While anaesthesia may be recommended in some cases to assist vets in removing particularly heavy tartar buildup, just remember that anaesthesia may be riskier for these older animals. Chat with your vet to weigh the pros and cons of a procedure like this one—your vet will know what to do!

 

Wrapping Up

Whether you’re aiming to eliminate your dog’s stinky breath or prevent it altogether, many of the strategies are the same. Keep those teeth clean, and your pup will thank you later! Plus, many of the dental chews and other natural remedies like coconut oil taste great, too, meaning the experience doesn’t even have to be an unpleasant one.

 

 

VetIQ Dental Range

2in1 Gum Shield Spray - Mark and Chappell

Gum Shield Spray

Read more >

Denti-care 2 in 1 - Mark and Chappell

2in1 Denti-Care Liquid

Read more >

Denti-care Edible Toothpaste - Mark and Chappell

2in1 Denti-Care Toothpaste

Read more >

Denticare 2 in 1 chews - Mark and Chappell

2in1 Denti-Care Chews

Read more >

2in1 Denti-Care Granules - Mark and Chappell

2in1 Denti-Care Granules

Read more >

 

 

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