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Bad Breath In Dogs

Bad Breath In Dogs

Foul breath is a frequent occurrence in canines, particularly as they age. In this article, our veterinary experts at Brentwood will shed light on the potential causes of your dog's bad breath and offer valuable advice on how you can effectively treat or even prevent it.

What Causes Bad Breath In Dogs?

The phrase "dog breath" has become a common expression to describe something unpleasant, and that's because our dogs often experience a degree of bad breath. It's natural for our furry companions to have a certain odor on their breath due to their diet, playing with toys, and simply living their lives. However, this odor can sometimes escalate into a repulsive stench that even the bravest dog parents find hard to tolerate.

Although you might be inclined to endure the smell without complaint, more often than not, the foul odor in your dog's breath is a sign of an underlying health problem. Several potential causes contribute to bad breath in dogs, with the most prevalent being kidney disease, liver disease, and oral health issues.

Kidney Disease

Should your canine companion's breath carry an unpleasant odor reminiscent of feces or urine, it could indicate two potential concerns. Firstly, it may suggest that your pup has consumed feces recently—an issue worth investigating on its own. Secondly, it could serve as a symptom of kidney problems.

When a dog's kidneys fail to effectively filter and process toxins and waste materials, the accumulation of these substances within their body can not only compromise their overall health but also contribute to the offensive scent emanating from their breath. Addressing this matter promptly is crucial for safeguarding your dog's well-being.

Liver Disease

If you've noticed a sudden onset of severe bad breath in your dog, coupled with worrisome symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea, it could be indicative of an underlying liver disease as the underlying cause.

Oral Health Issues

The primary culprit behind bad breath in dogs is oral health problems, which encompass a wide range of issues such as tooth decay, gum disease, and oral infections. Regardless of the specific cause, bacteria and food particles accumulate in your dog's mouth over time if not properly cleaned, leading to the formation of plaque and a persistent odor.

If your dog's breath has a slight unpleasant smell, it is likely a result of early-stage oral health issues. However, if left unaddressed, the odor will intensify, and your pet's oral health and overall well-being will continue to deteriorate.

How To Treat Bad Breath In Dogs?

Since bad breath is a sign of an underlying health condition rather than a health problem itself, it should dissipate once the underlying problem is successfully treated.

That being said, whenever you notice a change in the smell of your dog's breath you shouldn't assume its cause or that it is normal. Bring your pup to your vet as soon as possible for examination and diagnosis, since a number of causes of bad breath can be very serious health issues. 

Prescription medications, specialized diets, therapies and even surgeries can help treat your pet's condition. Your vet will be able to advise you on what the best course of treatment is for the health issue underlying your pup's bad breath. 

What Can I Do To Treat My Dog's Stinky Breath?

While you aren't able to treat kidney or liver disease at home, one way you can help to treat or prevent bad breath in your dog is ensuring your pup gets the routine oral hygiene care they need every day in addition to annual professional dental cleanings.

You should brush your dog's teeth every day, spending the time when they are young to help them get used to the experience of tooth brushing.

Either in addition to this or if you aren't able to train your pup to tolerate brushing, instead of brushing, there are also a wide variety of dental chews and dog food designed to promote oral health available.

Ask your vet what kinds of oral health products they recommend for helping your dog to stave off bad breath.

When it comes to preventing internal organ failure or disease affecting your dog's liver or kidneys, there are also a couple of easy measures you can take to help your pup avoid these causes of bad breath.

Some human medications, common houseplants and foods that are safe for our consumption are actually quite toxic for our pets. Make sure you are aware of what kinds of substances you have in your home that could cause organ disease or failure in your pooch and keep them out of reach as much as possible.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Have you noticed an odor from your dog's mouth? Are you finding you dread kisses from your pet? Contact Brentwood Veterinary Clinic to book an appointment as soon as possible to have the cause of their bad breath diagnosed and treated.

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