Has your pet's breath begun to smell? Bad breath is quite common, especially in older dogs. In this article, our Placentia vets explain the causes of your dog's bad breath and how you can help to treat it.
Bad Dog Breath
The expression 'dog breath' is widely used to describe something unpleasant and for good reason. It's not uncommon for our canine companions to have a slight case of bad breath. While it's natural for dogs to have a mild odor on their breath due to their eating habits, playing with toys, and simply living their lives, this smell can sometimes escalate into a foul odor that even the bravest dog parents find repulsive.
Instead of merely tolerating the smell, it's important to recognize that the unpleasant odor in your dog's breath often indicates an underlying health problem. Various factors can contribute to bad breath in dogs, with the most frequent culprits being kidney disease, liver disease, and oral health issues.
When your dog's breath smells like feces or urine, it may be a sign that they have recently eaten poop. This is something you should look into on its own as it may be exactly that or a symptom of kidney issues.
If your dog's kidneys aren't working properly they are unable to filter and process toxins and waste materials. This causes buildup in a dog's body and contributes to the bad smell of their breath on top of harming your dog's health!
If your dog has recently developed seriously bad breath and their new scent is accompanied by concerning symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea, they may have a liver disease at the root cause of their symptoms.
The veterinarian will perform a comprehensive examination, including blood tests and possibly imaging techniques like ultrasound, to diagnose the specific liver disease affecting your dog. Prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment are essential for managing liver diseases effectively and improving your dog's overall health and well-being.
Oral Health Issues
Oral health issues are the primary culprit behind bad breath in dogs, encompassing a range of conditions such as tooth decay, gum disease, and oral infections. Irrespective of the specific cause, bacteria and food particles accumulate in your canine's mouth over time if proper cleaning is neglected, leading to the formation of plaque and a persistent odor.
If your dog's breath has a mildly unpleasant smell, it is indicative of early-stage oral health problems. However, if left unaddressed, the odor will intensify, and your pet's oral health and overall well-being will gradually deteriorate.
Why Bad Breath in Dogs Occur
The treatment required for your dog's bad breath will largely depend on the underlying cause. Since bad breath is typically a symptom of an underlying health condition rather than a standalone problem, it should improve once the root issue is successfully addressed.
Therefore, it is important not to dismiss or consider any change in your dog's breath smell as normal. It is advisable to promptly bring your pup to the veterinarian for examination and diagnosis, as several causes of bad breath can indicate serious health issues.
The treatments provided by your veterinarian may include prescription medications, specialized diets, therapies, or even surgeries, depending on the specific body part affected and the severity of the condition. Your veterinarian will guide you on the most suitable treatment plan for addressing the underlying health issue causing your dog's bad breath.
What Can I Do To Treat My Dog's Stinky Breath?
Another way you can help to treat bad breath in your dog is ensuring your pup gets the routine oral hygiene care they need every day in addition to annual professional dental cleanings. You should brush your dog's teeth every day to help prevent bad breath. Spend the time when they are young to help them get used to the experience of tooth brushing.
Instead of brushing, there are also a wide variety of dental chews and dog food designed to promote oral health available. Ask your vet what kinds of oral health products they recommend for helping your dog to stave off bad breath.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.