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Bad Breath in Dogs: Causes & Remedies

Bad Breath in Dogs: Causes & Remedies

Are you finding that your dog has stinky breath and are wondering why your dog's breath smells so bad? Today, our vets in Lincoln discuss why your dog may have bad breath, how you can prevent it, and when to take them to the vet if it's caused by an underlying health condition.

The Causes of Bad Breath in Dogs

Have you heard the expression "dog breath" used to describe bad odors? This term refers to the unpleasant breath that some dogs may have. Although it's common for dogs to have a distinct smell on their breath due to their diet, physical activity, and playtime, it can become quite potent and concerning for their owners. 

It's not advisable to simply tolerate the foul smell, as it's often caused by an underlying health issue that requires medical attention. Some of the conditions that may lead to bad breath in dogs include kidney disease, liver disease, and oral health problems.

If you detect a foul odor emanating from your dog's mouth, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian. This will help identify the underlying cause and enable prompt treatment to commence.

Kidney Disease

If your puppy's bad breath smells similar to urine or feces, it could be a sign that they have just ingested poop (which is something you should look into on its own) or a symptom of a kidney problem. 

If your dog's kidneys aren't working the way they should to filter and process toxins and waste materials, they can build up in your pup's body and add a bad smell to their breath, on top of harming your dog's health!

If your dog is exhibiting additional symptoms of kidney disease, such as excessive thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, blood in urine, and loss of appetite, in addition to bad breath, it is important to contact your veterinarian right away.

Liver Disease

If your dog has recently developed seriously bad breath and their new scent is accompanied by concerning symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea, they may have a liver disease at the root cause of their symptoms. This condition requires urgent veterinary care.

Oral Health Issues

Dogs often have bad breath due to oral health problems like tooth decay, gum disease, and infections. This happens because bacteria and food particles can accumulate in their mouth if not cleaned regularly, leading to plaque and a lingering odor.

If your dog's breath smells a little bit, it is likely caused by emerging oral health issues. If a veterinarian doesn't treat these issues, the smell will become much stronger, and your pet's oral health and wellbeing will continue to decline. 

How to Treat Bad Breath in Dogs

If your dog has bad breath, it's important to determine the underlying reason in order to provide the appropriate treatment. Typically, bad breath indicates an underlying health issue rather than a problem on its own. Your dog's bad breath should go away once your veterinarian successfully treats the underlying issue.

If you detect any changes in your dog's breath odor, it's crucial to book an appointment with your veterinarian. They can diagnose the issue and suggest appropriate treatment options. Don't ignore bad breath in your dog, as it may be a symptom of severe health problems that could negatively affect your dog's life span and quality of life.

The treatments your vet provides you with could consist of prescription medications, specialized diets, therapies, and even surgeries, depending on what part of their body is affected and the severity of the condition. Your vet will be able to advise you on what the best course of treatment will be for your pup's bad breath. 

What Can I Do To Prevent My Dog's Breath From Stinking?

One of the best ways you can help prevent your dog from developing bad breath is to ensure that they get the oral hygiene care they need every day, in addition to annual professional dental cleanings.

It is advisable to brush your dog's teeth daily, starting when they are young, to ensure they are accustomed to toothbrushing.

In addition to this, or if you aren't able to train your pup to tolerate brushing, provide them with dental chews or/and dog food that is designed to promote oral health.

It's a good idea to seek guidance from your veterinarian about which oral health products are most appropriate for your dog in order to prevent bad breath.

To safeguard your furry companion from internal organ failure or diseases that could harm their liver or kidneys, there are simple precautions you can take. One of them is to be mindful of the substances you have in your home that may lead to organ disease or failure and keep them out of your pet's reach. These substances can include human medications, common houseplants, and foods that are safe for us but can be poisonous to pets.

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.

Contact our vets at Lincoln as soon as you can if your dog has bad breath to schedule a veterinary appointment. Your vet will be able to diagnose and treat the cause of your puppy's stinky breath.

New Patients Welcome

Critter Creek Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of pets in Lincoln and the Greater Sacramento Area. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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