Dogs love to get cozy – giving sloppy kisses are one of their favorite things to do. Dogs aren’t exactly known for having minty fresh breath either.
Doggy breath isn’t the most pleasant thing to get a whiff of but foul-smelling breath could be a sign of something more serious.
Regular teeth brushing and a proper diet can help make their breath a bit more tolerable. However, bad breath could be a sign of a medical problem that may require a veterinarian’s care.
Read more to find out about the common causes of bad breath to help keep your dog in tip top shape.
5 Common Causes of Bad Breath
- A Toxic or Poisonous Substance
Our dogs are curious creatures and unfortunately that may lead to them eating or drinking things that they shouldn’t. Poisons, such as antifreeze or rat poison, can have a potent smell and in turn give your dog the same foul-smelling breath. Call your vet immediately if you suspect this is the case.
A tell-tale sign of doggy diabetes is a sweet and almost “fruity” smell to their breath. Undiagnosed and uncontrolled diabetes lowers the function of their immune system causing more bacteria to grow. If you suspect your dog might have signs of diabetes – contact your vet to help you monitor their health and get the disease under control.
- Dental Issues or Gum Disease
Bad breath can easily be caused by lack of dental care or treatment. The medical term for this type of bad breath is called halitosis. Gum disease, tooth decay or infection can all cause bad breath. Check your dog’s gums to see if they are red or inflamed – this could be the first sign of gum disease. Start a regular dental cleaning routine at home as well as making sure to get professional appointments a couple times a year.
- Kidney Disease
Does your dog’s breath have a distinct “ammonia” scent to it? This could be a sign of kidney disease or failure -very serious issues. Kidneys help rid the body of waste and when these functions are compromised – the toxins build up in the body and can show up in bad breath. See your vet immediately if you suspect this is the case.
Different types of dog foods and ingredients could be the simple cause of your dog’s bad breath. There are pros and cons to both wet and dry foods, however, one could be causing more issues than another. Try switching up your dog’s diet to see if it helps improve the smell of their breath. Your vet can also help you find a dog food that works best for your particular dog.
Common Sense and Awareness
It’s unreasonable to think that your dog will have great smelling breath – after all, they’re dogs. However, noticing subtleties or differences in their breath could mean the difference between a bad diet, poor oral hygiene or perhaps something more serious.
Pay attention to your dog’s health and call your veterinarian if you’re ever in doubt. Keep those pups safe and healthy!