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How to Fix Bad Dog Breath

Being smothered by your puppy’s kisses sounds amazing, right? Not necessarily if he has stinky, bad breath. Bad breath in a dog is not only gross, it can be an indicator of other health issues.

fix dog breath

Why Your Dog’s Breath Stinks

Let’s start out by understanding the reasons for your dog’s smelly breath and how you can stop the problem at the source.

Your Dog is Eating Stinky Things

There are a few reasons why your dog’s breath might be on the smelly side. For one, he could be eating things that should not be eaten like feces, animal carcasses, or garbage. Make sure your trash can lid is tightly secured to prevent garbage munching. Also, pay attention to your pup when he’s outside to make sure he doesn’t find a dead animal to play with. Eating feces is a condition known as coprophagia. Just keep a watchful eye on your dog while he’s out and try to deter the behavior. If you have a cat, put the litter box out of reach so your dog can’t get into it.

Periodontal Disease

A second reason for bad breath is poor oral hygiene and periodontal disease. When plaque and tartar build up on the teeth and gums, it can allow bacteria to grow. If your dog isn’t into chewing, make sure to brush his teeth regularly to prevent bad breath.

Without brushing and chewing, the build-up can lead to periodontal disease. The teeth pull away from the gums leading to inflammation, cavities, infection, pus, and tooth loss. In a study by the American Veterinary Dental College, the majority of dogs show signs of periodontal disease by three years old. There is even research showing that puppies as young as three months old are showing inflammation, an early sign of oral disease.

Diseases Like Diabetes, Kidney or Liver Disease Are Making Your Dog’s Breath Stink

There are also a few diseases that can cause stinky breath. If it smells bad, but sort of sweet or fruity, that’s an indicator that your dog could have diabetes. It is treatable, but a veterinarian needs to be consulted to confirm.

If your dog’s breath smells like urine, it’s unlikely that it’s because he consumed some. In fact, it could mean your dog has kidney disease.

If her breath is just totally unbearable and there are other symptoms including lack of appetite or vomiting, she may have liver disease. As with diabetes, a veterinarian needs to be visited immediately if you think your dog has any of these diseases.

Fixing Bad Breath in Dogs: Get a Teeth Cleaning By A Veterinarian

So how do you fix that bad breath? If the issue is oral hygiene or periodontal disease, make sure you’re regularly cleaning her teeth. Some cases will be bad enough that you will need to enlist the help of your veterinarian for a professional teeth cleaning.

dog stinky breath

You will need to take your dog in for a pre-screening so that the veterinarian can confirm if they are approved to handle anesthesia. This is done with a quick blood test. While the cleaning is being performed, the veterinarian can also remove damaged or loose teeth if necessary. For diabetes, kidney, and liver disease, the bad breath should go away as the underlying issue is taken care of.

How to Prevent Your Dog from Having Bad Breath

Prevention is always the best option. You’ll save money in the long run by stopping bad breath problems before they start.

Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

The best way to prevent the disease is to brush your dog’s teeth frequently. Ideally, you would brush your dog’s teeth twice a day as you would do your own. However, the minimum is three times a week. Use a toothbrush and toothpaste specifically for dogs since human toothpaste is harmful to pets and brush for 30 seconds. You can also get a brush that fits on your finger if your dog prefers that. After some training, it should be easy for him to sit still and let you brush.

Make Sure Your Dog Has Something to Chew On

Make sure your canine friend has plenty of good chew toy options. This will help naturally prevent build-up and boredom. A bored dog can often get into trouble with garbage and other things he shouldn’t be getting into.

Small Dogs Are More Likely to Have Stinky Breath

It’s good to note that small dogs are more prone to dental issues than large breeds. Their teeth are closer together and this encourages plaque and tartar build-up. It’s best to train these smaller breeds from the time they are puppies to allow regular brushings. Also make sure to have your vet do a dental checkup at least once a year.

Natural Remedies for Bad Dog Breath

For those of you that prefer natural remedies for your pup, there are a bunch of really good options to try along with regular brushings.

Plain Yogurt

A couple of teaspoons of plain yogurt with no added sugar can help eliminate bad breath. Be careful though, as some dogs are lactose intolerant same as some humans.

Parsley or Dill

Another option is to add a little bit of parsley or dill to your dog’s dry food. These are natural breath fresheners and have antibacterial qualities. Who knew that your herb garden would come in handy for your dog’s bad breath!

Chlorophyll Drops

Adding chlorophyll to food or water is also a natural treatment that can help with freshening breath. You can get chlorophyll drops or you can just add some wheatgrass to your dog’s food, just like with the herbs.

Cinnamon

Try sprinkling a touch of cinnamon on your dog’s food with each meal. It will be like chewing a stick of Big Red gum!

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil improves digestion, their immune system, and other metabolic functions. Not only that, it improves tooth health. A teaspoon each day is enough to see a difference.

Ginger

A final option would be making a ginger “tea” for your dog. Simply add a slice or two of ginger to hot water and then allow it to cool down. Remove the ginger slices and give one or two teaspoons of the “tea” to your dog.

Feed Your Dog a Balanced Diet

It is equally as important to make sure your dog is given a balanced diet and is healthy in all aspects of their life. Dry food is recommended because the texture helps remove the build-up on his teeth. By taking care of their digestive health and keeping them in shape, you are enabling them to live their best lives and preventing other diseases.

Regular walks and visits to the veterinarian are highly encouraged in maintaining your BFF’s health.

Make Your Dog’s Bad Breath Go Away for Good

While bad breath can be a nuisance, remember that it could be an underlying health issue or periodontal disease. The best plan of action to fix your dog’s bad breath is to treat the underlying cause, brush regularly, provide chew toys, and try out some natural remedies.

Additionally, add regular check ups with your veterinarian and make sure your dog is fed a balanced diet and is regularly exercised. By following these easy steps, you can help your dog live a long and happy life free of bad breath.

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About The Village Vets

The Village Vets is a network of three animal hospitals based in Atlanta, GA and the surrounding area. We offer honest, excellent service to our clients in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. To learn more about our locations and how we can better serve you and your pet, click the button below.

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About The Village Vets

The Village Vets is a network of three animal hospitals based in Atlanta, GA and the surrounding area. We offer honest, excellent service to our clients in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. To learn more about our locations and how we can better serve you and your pet, click the button below.