Why does my dog have bad breath? This is a common question among pet owners when their favorite dog kisses turn into odor nightmares. If your dog’s breath has been stinkier lately than normal, there are some things you can do to reverse the problem or eliminate it completely. Let’s take a look at why your dog may have bad breath and what you can do to fix it.
Teething and Puppy Bad Breath
Around four months of age, a puppy loses his baby teeth for a set of full adult teeth. This is similar to human children losing their teeth. The only difference here is that your dog is liable to have terrible smelling breath when his teeth start to fall out. This process lasts for about four weeks, and then your dog’s breath should return to a somewhat normal state. It won’t have the sweet smell of “puppy breath” like you may be used to, but it won’t smell foul like it will during teething.
Other Causes of Bad Breath in Dogs
If your dog is far out of the teething state, his bag breath could be the result of odor-causing bacteria. This can build up in your dog’s mouth just like it can in your own mouth. Some serious medical conditions may also result in bad breath, but typically the issue lies in poor or limited dental care. You may need to get these issues corrected at the vet’s office, or you may be able to tackle them on your own. The suggestions that follow will point you in the right direction.
How to Fix a Dog’s Bad Breath
Here are some ways to improve your dog’s bad breath:
- Brush your dog’s teeth. You should do this at least once a week to keep your dog’s smile looking and performing its best. You can buy special dog toothpaste and toothbrushes at your local pet store.
- Make an appointment with the vet. Let him or her examine your pet’s teeth to see if there are any issues that need to be corrected. Some dogs need to have a professional cleaning at the vet’s office to get rid of excessive plaque and tartar buildup. If there are other health issues at play, your vet can check for those as well during your appointment.
- Examine your pet’s mouth. Something as simple as a piece of food lodged in your dog’s teeth could be causing bad breath. Look for anything out of the ordinary. If you notice something that looks like a tumor, have him checked at the vet’s office immediately.
- Give your dog plenty of rubber chew toys. Chewing encourages saliva production, which helps keep your dog’s breath fresh and clean. The process also brushes your dog’s teeth naturally as the teeth interact with the rubber on the toy. As an added bonus, you could put some dog-safe toothpaste on the toy so that he brushes his own teeth as he chews.
- Invest in dental treats. These are dog treats that double as dental cleansers. You must be careful about how much you give your dog in a day or week, but that information is listed on the outside of the treat bag.
- Keep your dog on a healthy diet. The food your dog eats will play a large role in the way his breath smells. With a healthy, well-balanced diet, your dog will have the right nutrients to keep his body strong and his teeth looking great.
With proactive and preventative dental care, you can avoid stinky dog breath and enjoy more fun with your dog.