Bad breath, also called “halitosis” is a sign that there is something wrong with either the oral cavity or the digestive system, and should be immediately investigated.
There are many afflictions which can favor excessive bacteria growth inside the mouth or the respiratory system. This can be caused by hepatitis or other diseases which can be kidney or lung-related and must be viewed as possible causes. The most common ones, however, are:
Tartar and bacterial plaque formation
Bad breath is most commonly caused by tartar and bacterial plaque. Dogs develop bacterial plaque around their teeth, which is a normal occurrence when daily teeth cleaning doesn’t occur as it does with humans. Bacterial plaque will then affect the dog’s gums, leading to inflammation and bleeding. Try cleaning his teeth at least once a week to maintain decent hygiene.
Rotten or decayed teeth
Tooth decay is inevitable. You should be very careful about what your dog is chewing. If he spends a lot of time outside, make sure to not let him chew on visibly dirty objects. Your dog’s poor oral hygiene will lead to a weakening of his teeth.
Nutrition and digestive problems
Food is another important factor to consider when trying to determine the possible causes of bad breath. If you feed him leftovers or other fat foods, he might exhibit digestive issues and constipation. If you excessively feed your dog or if he doesn’t drink enough water, the food might not be properly digested. Your dog should be taken out to eliminate feces at least once or twice a day. Avoid feeding him leftovers, especially those that are rich in fat. The daily influx of calories should be constant because it will help your dog stay constant in weight.
The solution might be easier than you think
There are high chances that merely cleaning your dog’s teeth on a regular basis (2 times a week) is enough to get rid of bad breath.
- Water and baking powder
If you mix warm water with sodium bicarbonate, you can help your dog get rid of bad breath. Don’t use too much water, as you’ll be wanting to get a paste out of the mix. Use a towel and rub the mixture on your dog’s teeth. This process helps in removing bacterial plaque and tartar, instantly improving your canine’s oral hygiene.
- Mentholated treats
Most pet shops sell mentholated treats that help solve bad breath issues. There are many treats that help maintain healthy oral hygiene, but remember, these kinds of treats only help treat the effect, not the underlying cause.
- Chewable toys
There are lots of chewable toys that can help with your four-legged friend’s oral hygiene. Some are especially designed to remove plaque as they are chewed.
- Baby carrots
Feeding your dog baby carrots is another efficient way to fight halitosis. Baby carrots help in removing plaque and are also rich in vitamins.
- Talk with your vet
Remember that the above remedies for curing halitosis are merely tips and should not substitute a visit to the vet. If your dog’s foul breath persists, you might have to take into consideration that he might be suffering from a serious disease. Don’t put off taking your dog to the vet. He will thank you for it!
Troy works a marketing manager for Premierpups.com, a dog adoption service that specializes in small-breed pups. He has an affinity for writing about dog wellness and psychology.