Your Dog’s Bad Breath Could be a Warning Sign

It’s important to take dog’s bad breath seriously; it could be a pointer of poor diet, or even that they have a health problem that needs vet attention.

Wagging tails, plentiful enthusiasm, and loving companionship are some of the things that come to mind when we think of dogs. However, these lovely characteristics are sometimes undermined by something small but high impact – bad breath. Many dogs, and their humans, are pestered by this nasty situation and a pungent odour from your pet’s mouth can be an indication of substandard health.

Unpleasant dog breath is called halitosis, which can be caused by poor diet, bacteria in the mouth, dental diseases like gingivitis, or systemic disease. At the first sign of a very strong odour in your dog’s mouth, you should take them to the vet. Your vet will usually ask questions about what type of treats, food, and toys you’ve been giving to your pet to help get to the bottom of the problem.

According to CareVets, good dental health begins with a proper diet, as the wrong kinds of food can cause dental distress in pets. Feeding your dog a dry food rather than a moist, canned one will, through its mild abrasive action on the teeth, help remove the bacterial plaque that can harden into tartar. Dry food also provides adequate chewing exercise and gum stimulation.

Avoid giving your pet sweets and table scraps as they may also increase plaque and tartar formation.

Your vet may recommend the use of special dry foods designed to reduce plaque and tartar build-up, especially if your pet is prone to dental problems due to their breed or individual genetic history.

Canine periodontitis is another potential cause of bad breath in a dog. This is a dental disease caused by a bacterial infection in the dog’s mouth. There are various stages to this problem, starting with minor plaque and inflamed gums, progressing to gum disease (gingivitis), and – in severe cases – periodontitis, which may involve tooth or bone loss.

This is caused when plaque and mineral deposits aren’t cleaned off the dog’s teeth and gums frequently enough. The severity of the dental disease can be determined by a vet and it can be prevented, treated, and even reversed if you catch it quickly enough.

Two actions that can help overcome this situation are to brush your dog’s teeth regularly with dog toothpaste and to visit your vet for professional dental cleaning. In addition to this, giving your dog chew toys and food specifically designed to alleviate tartar can help reduce its formation.

More severe internal issues are less common, but can also cause bad breath in dogs. Conditions of the mouth, such as cancer, fungal overgrowth, and bacterial infections can cause halitosis, as can systemic disease. Kidney and diabetes are examples of systemic diseases that can cause bad breath, as they affect the internal systems of your dog. The good news is that most of these causes are treatable if caught early enough.

If your dog is displaying signs of sickness, accompanied by bad breath, your vet will be able to give you advice to help you resolve the problem. Getting to the root of the issue with your vet’s help, then getting a treatment plan, is the best and quickest way to help get rid of your dog’s malodour.