Bad dog’s breath: what can be done about it?

Med. vet. Fulya Şafak

Bad breath in dogs can be a symptom or  sign of a health problem. The main cause of bad breath is the presence of dental plaque (sticky film on the teeth) and the deposit of tartar on the dog’s teeth. To remedy this, limit wet foods, brush your dog’s teeth every day if possible or give special kibbles to improve your dog’s oral health. Other than that, it can be a sign of a general disease such as fungal infections, kidney disease, diabetes. In every case, you might consider going to a Veterinarian. 

Bad breath in dogs

The main cause of bad breath in dogs: Tartar

Dental plaque affects a dog’s dentition from the age of 2-3 years. It consists of food debris and bacteria that create a yellowish deposit. Inevitably, the mineralization of dental plaque causes the deposition of tartar, the primary cause of a dog’s bad breath. Therefore, it is necessary to prevent tartar deposition as quickly as possible: this limits the risk of tooth loosening and bacterial infection.

What to do?
You can brush your dog’s teeths daily to reduce tartar.

Dental cleaning dogs
Healthy teeth of a dog

How to fight against tartar and bad breath of the dog?

Start to improve your dog’s breath

Prevention is the ultimate weapon against dental hygiene problems in dogs. Even if it is not always easy, preventing tartar and bad breath can help you to ensure your dog’s daily well-being. In order to prevent tartar build-up, it is essential to limit carbohydrate (sweet). The most effective prevention system is still tooth brushing, which must be carried out daily (or worse every 2 days). A fluoride-free dog toothpaste will probably be your dog’s best ally. Hygiene care of this kind will significantly reduce the deposit of tartar on his teeth.

Another solution is a special food supplements for mechanical cleaning

There are other means of prevention such as certain food products which, thanks to their disinfectant action, can reduce the formation of tartar and more generally limit the dog’s bad breath. Chewing products such as raw carrots, dried cow skin will work well. Other special chewing treats make the dog’s teeth work. Most of the special products are also spreading enzymes that are very effective in removing food waste from the mouth.

Special kibbles designed to restore the dog’s dental hygiene

Some dog kibbles specially formulated to improve your pet’s oral health, prevent tartar that build-up on his teeth. Other kibbles even take on a special shape, so that the process of rubbing on the teeth is enough to effectively combat tartar build-up (example: Hill’s t/d)

Approved remedies: Antiseptic sprays and liquids

Known for their effectiveness, antiseptic sprays and liquids provide long-lasting disinfection of your dog’s mouth. These products, which are usually poured directly into the dog’s water, are composed of prophylactic agents that eliminate the vast majority of bacteria. This treatment is very effective, as the proliferation of bacteria is one of the main causes of persistent bad breath in dogs. As an example (Virbac Hexagel is a good product for pets)

Emergency treatment: Dental cleaning at the veterinarian 

When you cannot get rid of his dog’s bad breath, it is always possible to take your dog to the vet. The veterinarian will check all the teeth and perform a scaling under light general anaesthesia. This method allows the dog’s teeth to be optimally cleaned. This treatment is also helpful to find out the reason if your dog has any other problem with the teeth such as: 

  • Infection of gums
  • Foreign body in the mouth
  • Cancer of the mouth
  • Dermatological problems

Because they have small teeths that are closer to each other. Small, toy and brachycephalic breeds (example: bulldogs) are more prone to have a mouth problem.

Avoid the consequences of tartar as quickly as possible

In summary, it is necessary to fight tartar as soon as it appears. Bad breath in dogs can be synonymous with current or future health problems. To avoid infection or inflammation, it is best to act quickly. Tartar build-up can lead to the contamination of more sensitive areas of the dog’s body, such as the eyes and nasal cavities.

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