How to improve your dog’s bad breath

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Is doggy breath normal?

Bad breath in dogs is not normal, but it is common! Puppies always have sweet smelling breath because they do not yet have a build-up of the bacteria that causes bad breath. If you have a dog that likes kissing you, you will soon notice if their breath is a bit whiffy!

So let’s take a look at the things that might make your dog have smelly breath, and what you can do about them.

  • Tooth and gum disease – This is by far the most common reason for bad breath in dogs. As dogs age, these problems get worse, which is why we encourage all owners to brush their dogs teeth. A scale and polish will dramatically improve the smell as it will get rid of the plaque and tartar that are causing problems. If the breath is very bad, then there may be tooth decay and a lot of infection present. In this case, extractions may be needed to improve the smell and your dog’s health.

Other things that can cause bad breath in your dog:

  • Fishy diets – Some diets can cause more smelly breath than others. Try one that is not fish based as these do tend to lead to fishy breath in some dogs.
  • Things stuck in the mouth – If something gets stuck in your dog’s mouth, a stick or bone for instance; it will cause an infection and will cause a smell as it starts to rot. You may also see your dog pawing at their mouth.
  • Kidney, liver disease and diabetes – If your dog is unwell or is drinking more than normal as well as having bad breath, then they may be poorly. Take them to the vet as soon as possible.
  • Gut problems – A gut infection or blockage will often make your dog’s breath smelly. You will often notice other signs such as vomiting, or diarrhoea before you notice the bad breath.
  • Mouth tumours – You may notice a really nasty smell and your dog may have blood stained saliva and have difficulty eating. This requires an urgent trip to see your vet.

How to avoid bad breath ruining Valentine’s Day with your beloved pooch!

To make sure you have that Valentine’s Day cuddle; there are lots of things you can do that your dog would thank you for if they could!

 Here are a few – from the doggy point of view!

  • Take me to the vet if I have bad breath and ask the kind people there to examine my teeth and gums regularly.
  • Buy me a tooth brush and some lovely meaty toothpaste. Watch a video on how to clean my teeth.
  • A professional scale and polish at the vets please! I have a nasty taste in my mouth and I can’t clean my own teeth!
  • Buy me a special veterinary dental diet which will help remove plaque and bacteria from my mouth, keeping my breath smelling sweet!
  • Give me some nice dental chews – ones from the vets are better for me and don’t make me put on as much weight!
  • Give me lots of cuddles, playtime and walkies – reward me with affection and my normal food instead of sugary treats which might be bad for my teeth.

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day and don’t hesitate to contact your veterinary practice if you need any advice about any health or pet care issue.

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