It is hard to miss when your pet dog suffers from bad breath — which is also called halitosis — most especially if you love to cuddle with them all the time. Bad breath is caused by the buildup of bacteria that produces foul odor in your dog’s mouth, lungs or gut.
When the foul breath of your dog is persistent, it means he needs better dental care or that maybe there is something wrong with his gastrointestinal tract, liver or kidneys. In almost all cases, halitosis must be investigated further.
Cause of bad breath in dogs
More often than not, canine bad breath is a result of gum or dental disease, and some dogs — with special attention to small ones — are prone to plaque and tartar. However, persistent foul breath may also be an indication of a bigger medical issue in the mouth, gastrointestinal tract or organs, or the respiratory system.
Determining the cause of your dog’s bad breath
The best person who can determine the cause of your pet’s bad breath is your veterinarian. You can bring your dog to the vet to get a physical examination and laboratory work. You should be ready to answer queries regarding your pet’s hygiene, diet, exercise habits, and general behavior.
When should your dog visit the vet?
In the event you notice that your dog’s breath suddenly has an unusual smell, then it is time that you consult your veterinarian. Below are some of the signs that your dog has a medical problem that needs treatment as soon as possible:
- Unusually fruity or sweet breath may indicate that your pet has diabetes, especially if he has been drinking and urinating more often than usual.
- Breath that smells like urine may be a sign of kidney disease.
- Unusually foul odor accompanied by lack of appetite, vomiting, and yellow-tinged corneas and/or gums may indicate a liver problem.
How is bad breath in dogs treated?
The treatment for your pet’s halitosis depends on the diagnosis of your veterinarian. If plaque is the cause of the foul breath, then your pup might need some professional cleaning. In case it has something to do with the diet, you might be required to change the regular food of your dog. But if the bad breath is caused by gastrointestinal or an abnormality in your pet’s liver, kidneys or lungs, you should talk to your vet about the options and steps you can take.
Preventing your dog from having bad breath
A lot of people think that bad breath in pups, specifically at a certain age, is already “given.” However, that is not the case. Rather, when you are proactive regarding your pup’s oral health, not only will it make your life and your pet’s life pleasant, it is also a form of preventive medicine. Below are some of the tips to prevent your dog from having foul breath.
- Bring your pup to the vet to have regular checkups to ensure that he has no underlying medical problem that may cause the halitosis.
- Make sure that your vet tracks and monitors the state of your pet’s teeth and breath.
- Give your dog only high-quality, easy-to-digest food.
- Provide your pup with well-researched treats specially created to improve breath odor.
- Give hard, safe-to-chew toys that allows your pet’s teeth to be cleaned using the natural process of chewing.
- Brush your pet’s teeth frequently — everyday is ideal. Make sure to use toothpaste specially made for dogs as human toothpaste can upset a canine’s stomach.
- Talk to your veterinarian about oral health products that are for home-use to know if there is a type he or she may recommend.
Keep in mind that these products only cover the foul breath of your dog and do not treat underlying medical issues.