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Bad Breath in Dogs: Causes and Treatments

Bad Breath in Dogs: Causes and Treatments

Smelly dog breath is something that we've likely all encountered at one point or another. Here, our Nashville vets talk about the cause of your dog's bad breath and what can be done to help treat it and get their mouth smelling fresh again.

Why does my dog's breath smell bad?

We all know that sometimes dog breath can be very smelly and some dogs more than others. The smell may be the result of your pup eating their dinner, chomping on nature while exploring or the more serious concern of dental issues.

while we may think bad breath is normal and try to just live with it, it is actually an issue that requires veterinary attention. There are a number of different possible causes of bad breath in your dog, but the most common are kidney disease, liver disease and oral health issues.

Kidney Disease

Sometimes you may find that your dog's breath smells like poop or urine and sometimes this may make sense. Perhaps your dog is a notorious poop eater. There is a chance that your dog may actually be experiencing the symptoms of kidney disease.

If your dog's kidneys aren't working properly to filter and process toxins and waste materials, their buildup in the pup's body may be contributing to the bad smell of their breath on top of harming your dog's health! 

Liver Disease

If your dog is suffering from liver disease then their breath may be foul smelling along with more serious signs like vomiting and diarrhea. If these occur you should reach out to your vet as soon as possible.

Dental Disease & Oral Health Concerns

When it comes to smelly dog breath, the leading cause is dental diseases and decay. These are issues that, aside from causing bad breath, can also lead to a number of other more serious conditions. Regardless of the precise cause, bacteria and food debris build up over time in your pooch's mouth if not regularly cleaned away, creating plaque and a persistent smell. 

If you notice that your dog's breath is terrible, you should consider the fact that they may likely be experiencing oral health concerns. Although if they are left unchecked, the smell will become much stronger and your pet's oral health and wellbeing will continue to decline. 

Treating Stinky Dogs Breath

The treatment that your dog receives to manage and 'cure' their smelly breath will depend on the underlying issue. This is because bad breath is usually the symptom and not the condition. Once the health concern has been properly treated you should notice a significant improvement in your dog's breath.

That being said, whenever you notice a change in the smell of your dog's breath you shouldn't assume its cause or that it is normal. Bring your pup to your vet as soon as possible for examination and diagnosis, since a number of causes of bad breath can be very serious health issues. 

Veterinary treatments can range from prescription medications, specialized diets, therapies and even surgeries to help treat your pet's condition depending on what part of their body it affects and its severity. Your vet will be able to advise you on what the best course of treatment is for the health issue underlying your pup's bad breath. 

Preventing Your Dog's Bad Breath From Occurring

While you aren't able to treat kidney or liver disease at home, one way you can help to treat or prevent bad breath in your dog is ensuring your pup gets the routine oral hygiene care they need every day in addition to annual professional dental cleanings.

By brushing your dog's teeth every day you can help prevent serious oral health concerns from developing. You can help make this process easier if you begin the oral hygiene routine when your pup is still young.

Either in addition to this or if you aren't able to train your pup to tolerate brushing, instead of brushing, there are also a wide variety of dental chews and dog food designed to promote oral health available.

There are a number of oral careproducts on the market that can help manage smelly breath in dogs. Speak with your vet to see which products may be right for your dog.

When it comes to preventing internal organ failure or disease affecting your dog's liver or kidneys, there are also a couple of easy measures you can take to help your pup avoid these causes of bad breath.

Some human medications, common houseplants and foods that are safe for our consumption are actually quite toxic for our pets. Make sure you are aware of what kinds of substances you have in your home that could cause organ disease or failure in your pooch and keep them out of reach as much as possible.

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.

Does your dog suddenly have very smelly breath? Contact Belle Forest Animal Hospital to schedule a dental examination and cleaning today.

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