Generally speaking, we don’t expect a dog’s breath to smell like roses. That being said, extra stinky breath is something that all dog owners should be concerned about. If your dog’s mouth is especially odorous, it could actually be a sign of periodontal disease or another potential underlying problem.
The best thing that you can do in this situation is to schedule a vet appointment right away. That way, you’ll have an expert opinion and professional diagnosis for your dog’s unique set of health issues. In the meantime, it’s helpful to become educated on the causes of bad breath and how you can help your dog maintain a healthier mouth.
What Have They Gotten Into Lately?
Dogs will eat just about anything, especially when left unsupervised. Even if your dog has passed the puppy phase, a dog owner’s home should always be puppy-proofed. Make sure that your yard is free from poop, dead animals, and garbage. Your kitchen trash should also be stored somewhere that is inaccessible to your pup.
If you have cats, it’s also important to make sure your dog isn’t eating your cat’s poop and to pay special attention to what they are sniffing out during their walks. Supervising your pup’s grazing is the first important step towards a healthy mouth.
What Does It Smell Like?
Next time you get a whiff, pay attention to what it smells like. If you can detect a sweet or fruity smell from your dog’s mouth, this could be a signal of onset diabetes. In contrast, kidney disease can cause a urine-like smell to develop in the mouth. Furthermore, liver disease can cause especially foul breath, along with yellowing gums and a lack of appetite. Before you jump to conclusions, talk to your vet first to help rule out any serious health issues.
Do They Have an Upset Stomach or Yeast Infection?
Another cause of bad breath could come from their gastrointestinal tract or as a result of a bacterial imbalance. If your pup is experiencing irritation or inflammation in their mouth, esophagus, stomach, or intestine this may be the reason behind their halitosis.
Look for cracks on the corners of their mouth. It might display as painful and swollen red patches on their gums, and a yellowish-white coating on the inside of their mouth. Again, see a vet right away to test for a yeast infection.
If you think they are having digestive issues, you can look at giving your pup a daily probiotic supplement. It will help support the good bacteria in their gut while suppressing the bad bacteria that contribute to infection.
When Was The Last Time They Brushed?
As a human, if you didn’t brush your teeth, you could develop gingivitis and maybe even periodontitis, which is an infection of the teeth and gums caused by plaque. Your dog’s mouth isn’t much different, which is why regular brushing their teeth is the first step you can take today for a positive effect on their oral health.
You can even incentivize your pup to have good behavior by choosing a special meat-flavored toothpaste and using specially designed toothbrushes. It’s important to never use human toothpaste, as xylitol is toxic to dogs and can cause liver failure.
DIY Natural Remedies
There are a handful of vegetables, fruits, and herbs that can be given to your pup which will freshen up their mouth while posing as a special treat. Carrot and apple slices are an approved snack for your furry friend, plus loads of fun to crunch on which will help to scrape tartar off their teeth. Both are low in calories and high in dietary fiber, as well as vitamins A and C. You can also try adding wheat-grass to their food, which is high in chlorophyll and great for neutralizing stinky breath. Dill and parsley are antibacterial and odor-neutralizing herbs that you can sprinkle on their kibble.
Dental Treats Your Pup Will Love
If it’s difficult to get your dog to cooperate for daily brushing, you can also try dental treats that work to combat tarter as well. Some popular brands include Greenies®, Dentastix, Bright Bites, and OraVet® Dental Hygiene Chews. However, doggie dental treats come in many shapes and sizes. Rawhide bones can be helpful for banishing plaque as well, however, they also come with a set of risks. Make sure to keep an eye on your pup and don’t allow them to break off a piece they could potentially swallow. Another product you can purchase for your dog is an enzymatic water additive that freshens their breath and cleans their teeth while they drink.