Does your dog have breath that could knock you down? While many pet parents may simply think this is due to eating stinky dog food, this is likely not the case. In fact, stinky dog breath could actually be a symptom of a serious problem which could potentially cause tooth loss for your dog! Fortunately, horrible dog breath is something you can treat at home with a number of products. In this article we’ll explore a dog breath remedy or two that you can use, and we’ll even discuss what gives dogs this problem in the first place so you can take preventative measures!
What causes bad breath in dogs?
Much like in humans, when you find that your pup has really bad dog breath, you are looking at a symptom of something larger. Bad breath is typically caused by bacteria that is present in the mouth. Many pet parents do not provide any kind of dental care to their dogs, and with more and more pet foods including sweet things that can easily lead to tooth decay, it’s no wonder that your dog has stinky breath.
You should take a moment to inspect your dog’s mouth to make sure that he doesn’t have any serious dental issues. If he does, then you may need to visit the vet to save his teeth! Your dog may also need to have his teeth professionally cleaned if you can see excessive tartar and plaque build up present. Dogs with severe tooth decay can have trouble eating in their older years.
What to give dogs for bad breath?
While there are breath sprays and other items which will make your dog’s breath more tolerable, the fact is that these are simply covering up the symptoms. You should instead be focusing on treating the root of the problem, and the first step is to provide better oral care to your pup. There are a number of products you can use to do this, and with only a few minutes of time invested everyday, you can help your dog to live a happier and healthier life. Not tending to his dental health now could leave him in an unfortunate position in old age where he has very few teeth left and may have difficulty eating. Here’s what to do to help your dog’s teeth clean and healthy.
Get him some dental treats
There are some dental treats on the market that actually clean your dog’s teeth while you reward him. Most pet parents give their dogs one of these every morning, and the dog happily chews on it while cleaning his teeth. These are convenient, as it keeps you from needing to brush your dog’s teeth which can be a difficult experience. A dog obviously does not understand why his human is jamming a tiny brush into his mouth and will likely resist the activity. A dental chew puts less stress on both you and your dog, making dental care a pleasant experience instead of a perceived punishment.
Pictured: TropiClean makes an excellent, all natural dental chew for dogs.
While Greenies are popular in supermarkets, the ingredients used in them are a little iffy. If you’d like to offer your dog a dental treat that’s actually good for him at the same time, then TropiClean offers a superior product that is made with all natural ingredients, and it’s better at fighting bad breath thanks to a combination of ingredients such as coconut oil, green tea and natural minerals meant to counter act your dog’s stinky breath. These treats are made in the USA, and they don’t use any low quality junk components like cheaper treats do. They come in several flavors, and some of them include supplements for hips and joints as well, which are beneficial for older dogs or certain breeds like German Shepherds or Great Danes that may be prone to bone and joint issues.
Add a freshener to your dog’s water
You could also try adding some oral care to their drinking water. There are several additives available that help fight off tartar and freshen your dog’s breath in the process. All you need to do is add a cap full to your dog’s water dish. He continually drinks from the dish, helping to add a protective barrier to his teeth and keep bacteria from popping up.
Pictured: TropiClean also offers an all natural water additive for fresh breath.
Yet again, TropiClean makes an excellent product for this. Everything is all natural, and you don’t have to worry about giving your dog any nasty chemical products. This makes it an excellent choice for pups who may sensitive to certain things as the ingredients are very limited. Keep in mind that this will change the taste of your dog’s water, and they may refuse to drink it. If this is the case, then try adding a few drops instead of the whole cap. Gradually increase the amount until your dog is used to having the fresh breath in his water dish, and he should adjust fine.
Change their food
Part of your dog’s bad breath issue may actually be related to their food, but not for the reason you think. It’s possible that your dog is actually having a hard time digesting their food, and that is giving him bad breath and possibly gas as well. If your dog has allergies to certain foods or is simply sensitive to them, then you may need to find a brand with ingredients that agree with them better. Your dog may be allergic to his food or having trouble with digestion if you have noticed any of the following symptoms.
- Excessive itchiness
- Diarrhea or loose stools
Even if your dog is not allergic to his current food, it’s likely that he will still benefit health wise by eating an easier to digest and higher quality food. To aid your pup in digestion we recommend Halo’s brand of dog food. They make foods that are super friendly to your pup’s digestive track, all natural, and they only feature whole meat, human grade ingredients.
If your pup is older, then it’s possible that they may have acquired some type of ailment that is negatively impacting their ability to adequately digest food at all, leaving them lacking in nutrition. If this is the case, then you may want to consider offering them a supplement that will help with their natural enzyme production or perhaps a probiotic. These are popular with humans as well who are looking to help their “good gut bacteria”. These bacteria appear naturally in the body, but due to certain medical conditions, or even from using antibiotics, the number of these good bacteria can be reduced. Using a product such as Enzyme miracle or Probiotic miracle can help to replace them.
Could there be a more serious cause to bad breath?
While the most common cause of bad breath in dogs is related to bacteria and gum disease, there could be other causes as well. Sometimes bad breath can be a symptom of more life threatening problems such as liver damage, diabetes or kidney disease. If you see any of these symptoms in your dog, then you should schedule a visit with your vet for a professional diagnosis. If your dog has excessive plaque build up or is losing teeth, then you should also talk to your vet. When your dog’s dental deterioration has progressed to a certain level you may not be able to handle it on your own. Here’s what to look out for if you’re worried it may be a more serious issue.
- Signs of diabetes
Since you’re at this article, this is likely not the case, but if your dog’s breath is fruity or sweet, then they could need to be checked for diabetes. This is particularly true if they also are urinating frequently or drinking a lot more than usual.
- Signs of liver damage
Breath that has a urine smell could be a sign of liver damage, and you should be sure to tell your vet about it. They will be able to check out your dog and see if something serious is going on.
- Signs of kidney disease
If your dog has bad breath but also has severe issues with vomiting, lack of appetite or yellow looking gums, then liver failure could be in progress. Schedule an appointment with your vet immediately, because your dog likely needs medical attention very soon if this is the case.