How To Fix Your Dog's Bad Breath
Dog breath isn’t meant to smell bad. Does that come as a surprise to any other dog owners, or just me? Their breath won’t naturally smell minty fresh, but your furry friend shoving their face in yours shouldn’t make you gag! Doggy halitosis can be caused by a number of health problems, so read on to find out what might be causing it and how to fix it.
What causes your dog’s bad breath?
The most common medical reason for whiffy dog breath is dental disease, or periodontal disease. Bacteria and plaque build up when dogs eat, turning into tartar which causes inflamed gums (gingivitis). Untreated, this starts to affect the tissue around the tooth, allowing infection-causing bacteria in. That's not just gross, it's painful too!
Other signs of dental disease include red or inflamed gums, a build-up of brown tartar, and wobbly teeth. Your dog will likely show signs of being in pain, for example by eating on one side of their mouth or pawing at their face. Breeds with small or narrow mouths (like Yorkshire Terriers, pugs, and Greyhounds) are especially prone to dental disease.
Sometimes dogs get things stuck in their mouth or throat, like bones or sticks. When this object starts to decay, it will cause a bad smell and maybe even an infection. Look out for your dog gagging, drooling excessively, or coughing. They’ll probably lose their appetite, too.
Doggy bad breath can also be a sign of a serious health problem. Kidney disease, diabetes, liver problems, and cancer can all cause your dog’s breath to smell. Each will affect their breath differently, so it’s best to go to the vet to make sure your dog gets the treatment they need.
Of course, diet can also be the culprit! Dogs are renowned for trying to eat any disgusting thing they find on the ground, including faeces and animal remains. If their whiffy breath is a one-off, this is a likely explanation. Ongoing bad breath can also be caused by their normal diet, especially if it’s high in fish.
Remedies for bad dog breath
If we didn’t brush our own teeth every day, we’d probably expect our own mouths to smell pretty bad. The same goes for your pooch! Daily brushing with a pet toothbrush and doggy toothpaste is the best way to keep their teeth and gums healthy. Just don’t use human toothpaste – the fluoride in it is poisonous to dogs. Regular cleanings at the vet are also a good idea.
Dental treats are another great way to cure your dog’s bad breath. They’ll probably enjoy them more than the brushing, too! A Whimzees® BRUSHZEES® is specially shaped to remove tartar and plaque from even the small spaces between your dog’s teeth. They’re low fat and high in fibre and vitamins, with no artificial ingredients, preservatives, gluten, or grains.
Our own new treats, Treat’Em, were also designed with your dog’s oral health in mind! These all-natural dog treats are a tasty, crunchy kibble that help break down plaque and maintain squeaky clean teeth. They contain real meat and nutrient-rich potato to contribute to a balanced diet that’ll keep their breath fresh. (They're available by telephone order for now, but they'll be coming to our website soon!)
A durable rubber chew toy will assist in removing plaque and tartar from your dog’s teeth too, and they’ll also stimulate saliva production. Nobody loves dog drool, but extra saliva helps wash away bacteria. It’s one reason people chew gum before a date! For an extra quick fix for bad dog breath, try our Mint Flavoured Tug Toy. The rope handles will help dislodge food debris from between your dog’s teeth too - kind of like dental floss!
Keep your dog’s mouth healthy for teeth that sparkle and breath that doesn’t send you running for the hills!