Many people put up with their dog's bad breath, calling it "doggy breath" and laughing it off. Dog bad breath that is caused by the dog eating something foul can be easily addressed. These episodes of bad breath cause by food generally improve in a couple of days.
Persistent bad breath that does not improve one or two days after changing the diet, cleaning the dog's teeth. improving mouth hygiene, usually means that something is wrong, either in the mouth or somewhere else in the body.
Dog bad breath is known as halitosis. It is mostly caused by a build-up of odor-producing bacteria in the dog’s mouth, gut or lungs. It can also be a sign of problems with the dog’s liver, kidneys and several metabolic and intestinal problems such as diabetes, kidney disease and various aliment of the gastrointestinal tract.
The most common causes are poor diet, gum disease, tooth decay, unclean teeth, and a build up of plaque or food residues in the mouth.
This article provides a guide to the diagnosis of the common cause of bad breath in dogs, natural home remedies, prevention strategies.
There is particular emphasis on cleaning teeth, mouth and dental hygiene, which are the most frequent causes of halitosis in dogs.
Don’t put up with 'doggie' breath any longer. Fix it now!
Dog bad breath can be caused by a lot of reasons, from a poor diet, dental and gum problems to more serious health issues such as diabetes, kidney disease. Sometimes it occurs intermittently. It is when it persists that solutions beyond changes in diet, herbal remedies and better dental hygiene may be required. Many people get used to it and regard it as something that is common as dogs get older, but this is not the case.
If your dog suffers from chronic bad breath even when you are feeding it a high quality diet and there are no signs of tooth decay or build up of plague it may be time to visit your vet. Chronic bad breath may be an early warning sign of some underlying potentially serious health problem.
The common causes of bad breath in dogs are:
Diet - Many dogs on poor-quality diets may develop bad breath. Switching to natural, whole foods and organic diets can often alleviate the problems. Check that your dog is not eating rubbish and other foods that you may not be giving them. Your vet will be able to recommend a diet that will fix the problem for your dog considering age, type and size.
Dental, Gums and Mouth Problems - Dental decay, plaque and simply food that gets caught between the teeth can often cause bad breath. Cleaning teeth properly and using dental snacks is one of the first things to try to eliminate bad breath symptoms. If there are signs of detal decay or gun disease you may need to visit the vet. Technique for cleaning dog teeth are described below.
Diseases - Some common diseases that can cause bad breath in dogs are:
The following signals are warnings of potential medical problems that may require a visit to the vet:
Bad breath caused by indigestion, even after a change to a healthy diet, can often be alleviated using simple herbs added to the dog’s food. This can alleviate indigestion and can act as a mouth freshener.
Dill - has antibacterial properties and can help freshen the mouth by inhibiting bacterial growth. It can also help with gum disease problems. Dill can be added to the dog’s food or an extract can be added to the dog’s drinking water.
Parsley - is another excellent herbal remedy due to its anti antimicrobial properties, help with digestion and it provides a good breath freshener for your dog. Sprinkle chopped fresh parsley on your dog's food. You can also add parsley to any homemade food you may prepare.
Ginger - is widely known to aid digestion in humans and dogs. Finely chopped ginger can be added to the dog’d food. Soak a few slices of ginger in hot water. Let it cool and then add to the dog’s drinking water.
Dietary Supplements - If the bad breath is caused by poor digestion you can try one of the various supplements that are available that include enzymes and herbal extracts.
Snacks and Dental Treats - Your dog’s bad breath may not be caused by the general food but by the snacks fed to the dog. Many snacks are bad choices as they contain sugar, flour, preservatives and are hard to digest. Switch to better quality snacks that are sugar free, have low carbohydrate and help to clean the teeth of dogs. There are many sugar-free hard biscuits that contain herbs such as parsley and mint are good for your dog’s teeth and breath. Many dogs will also eat hard fresh fruit and vegetables such as carrots and apples
Hard Chew Toys – These toys can also be very effective in helping to clean dogs' teeth and promote healthy gums.
The most common cause of dog bad breath is related to dental hygiene. Plaque and tartar build-up can be addressed by regularly cleaning your dog’s Teeth. The following tips will help:
Dog Tooth-Brushing Kit - Buy a toothbrush and toothpaste specifically designed for dogs. Or you can make your own toothpaste using baking soda and water. Don’t use human toothpaste, which can cause stomach upsets. Special mouthwashes and mouth fresheners are also available for dogs.
How to clean Dog’s Teeth - Use the following steps as a guide:
Brushing Technique - Position the brush or your gauze at an angle of about 45-degrees and clean the teeth using a small circular motion. The side of the tooth adjacent cheek usually has the most tartar and plaque and needs the most cleaning. It may take time for your dog to get used to the routine. Try to treat tooth cleaning as a game.