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Bad Breath in Dogs - Causes and Cures

Bad Breath in Dogs
Bad Breath Dogs

Why does my Dog's Breath smell bad?

Common Causes of bad breath in dogs:

1 Plaque and tartar build up

2 Broken, Decayed or Abscessed teeth

3 Bone or foreign body stuck between the teeth

4 Sinus infections

The most common cause of bad breath in dogs is dental disease.

Check your dog's mouth for tartar build up, bad teeth and unhealthy gums.

If you notice tartar build up and inflamed gums as shown in picture on right it is important to consult with your vet. Your dog may be in pain.

An annual dental exam and professional scaling is recommended to maintain healthy teeth and gums



Bad Breath Dogs-Tatar and dental gum desease
Picture above. Tartar build up on dog's tooth which causes bad breath

Less Common Causes Bad Breath in Dogs

Gastrointestinal disease including cancers and obstructions

Kidney Disease

Mouth tumors



Ask yourself if there are any other symptoms associated with the bad breath.

* Does your dog seem to be in pain around the mouth area?
* Is there a reluctance to eat?
* Does your dog try to eat but drops the food once it gets into the mouth?
* Does your dog run to the food bowl eagerly then cannot eat.
* Is your dog pawing at the mouth?
* Is your dog drooling?

These could be signs of a bad, broken or abscessed tooth or gum disease. If possible, check your dog's mouth for foreign bodies such as splinters of bones lodged between the teeth. Check to see if the gums look normal and that there are no signs of swelling or bleeding. An abscessed or damaged tooth may not be noticeable to you so if in doubt get your vet to check your dog's mouth. Look for brown staining on the teeth, this could be a sign of plaque build-up. See picture above




Some underlying conditions that cause canine bad breath can only be successfully diagnosed by your veterinarian.


Dog ToothbrushAvoid expensive dental bills by caring for your dog's teeth. Remember the old adage that prevention is better than cure.

 Dental disease is one of the most common symptoms of bad breath in dogs. Tartar build up caused by plaque should be avoided by either cleaning your dog's teeth yourself or having an annual scaling by your vet.

There are specially formulated toothpastes and specially designed toothbrushes for dogs.

Brush your dog's teeth daily. You may have some difficulties when you first begin to do this but many dogs end up enjoying the procedure. You may wish to use a regular dog toothbrush or a finger brush. A finger brush is a rubber cap that you place over your finger. It has soft rubber bristles and is useful for getting into hard to reach areas. Many dogs who won't let you brush with a toothbrush will allow you to put your finger in their mouth using the finger brush.

Never use human toothpaste on your dog. Your dog will invariably swallow whatever you clean his teeth with. There are many flavored dog toothpastes on the market which are designed to be swallowed. Finding the flavor your dog likes will make brushing all the easier. Toothpastes come in many flavors including beef, chicken, malt, vanilla and many more.

Preventative measures

Preventative measures such as plaque sprays, dental chews and special prescription diets can be purchased to prevent tartar and plaque build-up. Chewing is important! Bones, rawhide chews, dried pig's ears etc are a great way to avoid plaque build up.

Persistent Bad Breath should be checked by your vet

Bad Breath can also be caused by underlying medical problems such as liver or kidney disease. Gastrointestinal disease including cancers and obstructions may also cause bad breath. Consult your vet if your dog's bad breath is persistent.



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This article article is provided for informative purposes only. Always seek veterinary advice for any medical problem


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