Do you smell something unusual from your dog’s mouth? Maybe it’s time for your dog to have its dental check-up. Your dog may be experiencing halitosis or stinky breath. Bad breath in dogs is caused mainly by bacteria buildup. There are some cases that halitosis is treatable, but if left just like that, it may lead to severe complications.
Bad breath is rarely fatal unless the bacteria has already spread to different parts of the body. Halitosis may be a sign of having a health problem, or there are just some food particles left in between the teeth. This condition is easily acquired, especially if the dog is not adequately hydrated, has poor hygiene, and eats unhealthy foods.
How Do You Distinguish Bad Breath In Dogs?
Bad breath in dogs looks easy to diagnose but, in reality, is not. It is hard to distinguish the typical odor of a dog’s breath, primarily if a dog is used to eat anything around the environment. Halitosis is like eating a dead rat or rotten meat and then sitting in your mouth for several hours. One thing that makes distinguishing halitosis hard is when other health conditions accompany it. Like for example, halitosis with diabetes will have a fruity or sweet breath odor.
A dog with halitosis can also have a trace of blood, especially if it has a high oral infection, and for some cases, it may experience excessive drooling. As mentioned earlier, hydration plays a significant role. Dogs that have dry mouths are prone to having bad breath because more bacteria can live here. One sign of halitosis is having a white surface on the tongue and thick saliva. Dog’s breath has a mild pungent odor usually that is noticeable but not that horrible. In contrast, a dog with bad breath has a rotten fish-like smell or a dead animal.
How To Freshen Up Your Dog’s Breath
Bad breath in dogs is curable. But it is better to prevent your dog from having one than treating it. Dogs are vulnerable to many health problems, and bad breath is one of the most common disorders that a dog can have. It is essential to take care of your dog’s overall oral health because they are known to be licking anything. If their mouth is infected, the bacteria can be transferred to your skin once your dog starts licking you. Here are some ways to freshen up your dog’s stinky breath.
? Brush Regularly
Brushing your dog’s teeth is the most basic way to fix and avoid having a bad breath. Depending on your dog’s aggressiveness, you must try to brush your dog’s teeth to remove the yellow film-forming plaques. Brushing your dog’s teeth is a bit challenging; you must calm your dog first to avoid biting while brushing. Praising your dog is also effective so that your dog will know that there is no threat in brushing. You can also give treats after you brush your dog’s teeth to train it that it can have a reward only after it allows you to brush its teeth.
? Visit The Vet
If you can not brush your dog’s teeth or you are afraid that it might bite you, it is better if you go to the vet. Regular consultation is a must to maintain a healthy mouth. Early detection of a dental problem has a higher chance of cure than that of some developing complications. The vet will also be responsible for educating the owner on what to do at home and what to give to your dog. Aside from vets, there are also pet shops that offer dog grooming, including brushing of teeth. They also have special toothbrushes and toothpaste for plaques and tartar in dogs.
? Give Dental Treats and Toys
Dental treats are now popular if you really can’t brush your dog’s teeth. These dental treats have unique ingredients that can kill bacteria once chewed. At the same time, dental toys are things that have a unique design that can reach in between the teeth and scrape that leftover food. These things are just alternatives, but there are still precautionary measures you need to follow before giving dental treats and toys, like do not give to the dog unattended because it can might cause choking.
? Give Dental Spray
If your dog has awful breath, you may want to try dental sprays. This is just a temporary treatment for bad breath, but it helps, especially if you still don’t have time to go to the vet. They are like emergency weapons whenever you have a surprise visitor who wants to play with your dog. You can choose from different scents like mint and lavender. There are also dental sprays that have anti-bacterial properties, like the regular human mouthwash, that also help to reduce the plaque buildup.
? Include Coconut Oil and Green Tea Extract
One homemade treatment for a dog’s bad breath is a combination of coconut oil and green tea extract or just use them separately. These are safe for dogs but with minimal use only. Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that help to fix bad breath. It can also be used as toothpaste gel to dissolve the tartar. Green tea is also great for a dog’s oral health because of its anti-inflammatory properties also. It is most effective for dogs with gingivitis to remove inflammation and dissolve the pus that produces a foul odor. Just use a small portion of green tea as this is a stimulant that can be fatal if overdosed.
Reason For Having Bad Breath
Remember that the breakdown of food starts in the mouth. But, if there are still food particles left, they may decay in between the teeth captivating bacteria and other foreign bodies. So, aside from food particles, here are the possible reasons why your dog has a stinky breath.
Dogs also need care for their oral health. They are prone to developing bacteria because most of the owners do not pay attention to their dog’s teeth. Dogs’ teeth must be brushed because if food particles are left in between the teeth, dental disorders may develop, causing bad breath. If you are confident that your dog has an excellent oral hygiene because you brush it once a week, take note of these signs. Your dog has a bad oral hygiene if it has bleeding gums, damaged and swollen gums, broken jaw, discoloration of the tongue and teeth, some warts-like growth, and tooth pain that is very difficult to observe.
? Periodontal Disease = this type of dental disorder intensifies if it is not treated as soon as possible. It is a complication to having so many bacterial infections that damage the whole oral cavity, including the bones and gums that support the teeth. Periodontal disease is the severe tartar buildup accompanied by inflammation and tooth loss. This dental problem is fatal to some dog breeds, especially to canines. Inflammation can spread as fast as five days, and then, if left untreated, periodontal can start developing.
? Gingivitis = this is also a dental problem targetting mainly on the gums. If your dog has severe inflammation in the gums, it may have gingivitis. The inflammation occurs if there is a developing pus around the gum area because of some bacteria. When the pus has been pricked or popped out, it may produce a very foul odor. Stomatitis = this disease is also an inflammation, but it is more generalized than the gingivitis.
? Stomatitis = produces a very foul odor because of the inflammation not only in the gum area but all corners of the mouth. This oral disorder occurs as a result of certain medications like antibiotics, allergies, or infection. The safest way to stop the spread of the inflammation is to remove the infected tooth.
? Tartar = this is a very familiar dental disorder to anyone. If you notice hard crystals around the teeth of your dog, that is called tartar. There is also unusual discoloration of the teeth from deep yellow to brown-black. Tartar form because there are too many food particles left in the teeth and attract bacteria.
? Plaque = this dental disorder is typical to animals and humans. However, if not attended to very well, it can develop into more severe conditions like the ones listed above. Plaque develops when the food particle, chemicals from saliva, and bacteria mix together, forming a slightly yellow film covering the teeth. It can be easily scratch off my fingers, depending on the aggressiveness of your dog.
? Liver Disease = hepatic disease in dogs means the bacteria from the mouth has been spread throughout the body. It may be accompanied by foul yellow stool, vomiting, lack of appetite, and bad breath. It is associated with bad breath because the liver is unable to process and excrete the toxic waste in the dog’s body. As a result, reabsorption of toxic substances happens to cause bad breath.
? Lung Problem = lousy breath can also occur if your dog has lung problems. This is because infected secretions may flow to the mouth, especially if the nose is blocked. Dogs can also have chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases or COPD. This lung problem develops if there is too much blockage because of inflammation in the dog’s airways that causes secretions as the body’s response to a developing infection. The secretion is sometimes mistakenly observed as a sign of the simple flu. But if your dog has too many sticky secretions, accompanied by cough and wheezing, it may be a sign of COPD. Take note also that the COPD secretions have a foul odor, so this proves that having a bad breath is possible.
? Abdominal disease = having a gastrointestinal problem in your dog is also a leading cause of bad breath. It develops because of bacteria and parasites that damage the stomach, intestines, and the esophagus. The damage can lead to severe cirrhosis or like rotting that produces a very foul odor.
? Cancer = this will be the worst reason why your dog has a bad breath. It may be a tumor type of disease that grown in the lining of the lips or anywhere in the oral cavity. Not only bad breath, but a dog with cancer can produce a very foul odor all over its body. It will also have pale red gums and shortness of breathing and vomiting. Regardless of where the cancer point is, bad breath is a sign of having one.
Inappropriate Dog Food
Those who do not have any idea about dogs have a misconception that dogs can do anything because they are dogs. But, there are appropriate foods for dogs to maintain their active life. Such foods that are bad for your dog are chocolates, rotten dairy products, fatty meals, onions and garlic, gums and candies, and many more. These foods can not only cause bad breath but also can threaten the life of your dog.
Licking of Anal Area
Dog’s anal area is also the home of many bacteria. Itching is a sign that dirt or feces is hanging on the anal fur. There may also be the presence of some parasitic eggs. When your dog licks its bottom, the particles may attach to its tongue and spread it to its mouth, causing bad breath. Licking its bum is also a sign of infection because the secretions from its glands have potent properties that make your dog itchy.
How To Prevent Your Dog Having Stinky Breath
Prevention is still better than cure. It is advisable to give attention to your dog’s mouth because it uses its mouth to interact with you. Regardless of the breed of your dog, it needs regular check-up with the vet to maintain its healthy body. Give also nutritious foods, especially those that are rich in vitamin c, zinc, calcium, and other nutrients responsible for its teeth and gums. Lastly, if you want to roam around with your dog, it is advisable to put a mouth guard to your dog’s mouth to prevent picking up unnecessary things found on the road.
Dogs’ health is important as human health. It is advisable to avoid letting your dog roam anywhere, especially if you are unsure what your dog is hiding in its mouth. Taking your dog’s health seriously is a sign of great responsibility because it also has health maintenance to avoid fatal conditions.