Your Dog is Cute but His Breath Isn’t…
29 October, 2012

As a pet owner, we love our cats and dogs and sometimes don’t recognize when things are, well, not right.   I was visiting and petting one of my neighbors dog, Lucy, and I almost had to jump back.  Her breath was horrendous!   Her owner sort of laughed it off, but I sensed there was a bigger problem than simply smell.

There are many reasons, besides hygiene, that your dog has bad breath.   As always, bring your dog to your veterinarian, if you think your dog’s breath is unusually bad.

Dental Problem

If your dog has “doggy halitosis” – the first place to look is in his or her mouth. If your dog’s teeth are not white, but have yellow and brown marks, this usually means that there is plaque build up that needs to be scraped off.  If your dog’s plaque is dark yellow and hard, he or she could have a type of periodontal disease. The bacteria that harbors in the plaque and calculus can cause bad breath and if left untreated can multiply and migrate.


Other Common Medical Conditions Caused by Bad Breath

If your dog’s breath has an unusual smell, it is important to look out for some other medical conditions.  Sometimes an unusually sweet or fruit smelling breath is indicative of diabetes in dogs.  Your dog might also be drinking and urinating more often than usual.

Breath that smells like urine can be a sign of kidney disease.  An unusually foul odor accompanied by vomiting, lack of appetite, and yellow-tinged corneas and/or gums could be symptomatic of a liver problem.

Preventing Bad Dog Breath

Many people assume that bad breath in dogs, especially at a certain age, is normal, but that’s not the case. In fact, being proactive about your pup’s oral health will not only make your life together more pleasant, it’s smart preventive medicine.

Bring your dog in for regular checkups to make sure that he or she has no underlying medical issues that may cause halitosis.  It could be as simple as brushing your dog’s teeth and/or your veterinarian can give you a plaque remover.  If you do try to brush your dog’s teeth on a daily basis, make sure that you use toothpaste that is formulated for dogs and not humans.

Feed your dog a high-quality, easy-to-digest food.  As in children, if you give them high –sugar content food, it is more likely they will have dental issues and/or other medical ailments.

Try giving your dog a hard, chew toy that allow your dog’s teeth to be cleaned by the natural process of chewing.  You can purchase chew toys at your local pet store.

Give your dog high quality treats that are formulated to improve his or her breath.  Again, there are many treats on the market that can help your dog with his ‘breath’.

I hope the above tips help.  Just remember that occasional bad breath in dogs is normal.  However, if the bad breath lasts for more than a couple days, make sure to bring your beloved canine to the vet.

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