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Bad Breath in Dogs: Causes & Remedies

Bad Breath in Dogs: Causes & Remedies

Bad breath is fairly common in dogs, but that doesn't mean it's healthy. Especially in older dogs, stinky breath can be an indicator of underlying health issues. Here, our Groton vets discuss the causes and remedies of bad breath in dogs.

Why does my dog's breath smell so bad?

Dogs often have a noticeable smell to their breath from playing, chewing, and eating their kibble. However, if you've noticed a turn for the worse in your dog's breath, it could be because of a health issue they are experiencing.

Our Groton vets have listed below some potential serious causes of bad breath in dogs.

Kidney Disease

Kidney issues can lead to your dog's breath smelling of feces or urine.

When a dog's kidneys aren't functioning properly they have trouble filtering toxins and waste materials which can cause them to build up in their body. Bad breath is a common symptom of kidney problems in dogs, especially when combined with pale gums or mouth ulcers. 

Liver Disease

If your canine companion's bad breath is coupled with other symptoms, such as diarrhea, vomiting, or weakness, it could be because of a diseased liver. Bad breath is a common symptom in several types of organ diseases.

Oral Health Issues

Oral health issues are the most common cause of bad breath in dogs. Used as an umbrella term, oral health covers a range of issues from tooth decay, to gum disease and oral infections. 

Most cases of bad breath in dogs are caused by a build-up of bacteria and food debris over time and can create an unpleasant smell if your pup's mouth is not regularly cleaned. If left unchecked, minor oral health issues can progress into larger problems and negatively impact your dog's overall health. 

How is bad breath in dogs treated?

The reason why your dog has bad breath will largely influence the kind of treatment they will require. Since bad breath can be a sign of an underlying condition rather, it is important to treat the root cause of the problem. 

If you notice a change in the smell of your dog's breath, it's always important to bring your dog to your vet so they can receive a proper examination, diagnosis, and treatment options. 

Medications, specialized diets, therapies, or even surgeries could be recommended by your vet to help treat the underlying condition causing their bad breath.

How do I prevent bad breath issues in my pup?

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, in addition to annual professional dental cleanings.

You should brush your dog's teeth regularly. It is important to start this process as a puppy if possible to help get them used to the experience of tooth brushing. In combination with tooth brushing, or if your pup is intolerant to brushing, there are a wide variety of dental chews and food options that help promote oral health. 

Ask your vet what kinds of oral health products they recommend for helping your dog to stave off bad breath.

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 have particularly stinky breath? Contact our Groton vets today for a dental exam!

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