Most dog owners wonder about curing bad breath in their dogs at some point. My puppy mill rescue Pomeranian mix, Ketty, will eat stool from time to time, an old habit from her pre-rescue days, which leads to devastatingly bad breath.
Halitosis (bad breath) is caused by bacteria presence in your dog’s mouth, lungs or intestines. As you wonder about curing bad breath in your dog, consider also whether this is a warning-sign of an underlying health danger.
Curing Occasional Bad Breath in Dogs
Curing bad breath in dogs that only suffer from it occasionally is easier of course. When a dog eats something that leads to bacterial build up in the mouth (as my Ketty does), he will have bad breath. Certain plants, weeds and grasses will also lead to bad breath in dogs, especially if some portion remains stuck between the gums and cheeks, where bacterial build-up will occur.
In this case, curing bad breath in your dog is a matter of predicting his habits. I watch Ketty when she and my other rescue dogs go out to do their business on the lawn. I typically try to scoop up any pet waste immediately and dump it in the homemade pet waste dispenser I built in a corner of my backyard (here’s how to build a pet waste dispenser). You may also enjoy reading my article about how to stop your dog feasting on poop.
Another way to cure bad breath in a dog that only seems to get it after spending time outside is to check his mouth for grass or plant deposits. Slip your finger between the gum and cheeks along the upper and lower teeth.
Curing Increasing Bad Breath in Dogs
If you notice that over time your dog’s bad breath is growing worse, consider the state of his oral hygiene. In fact, the most common cure for bad breath in dogs revolves around removing plaque and tartar buildup from teeth and addressing gum disease.
Curing bad breath in dogs with better oral hygiene should begin with a yearly cleanup at your vet’s office. Your pet will be sleeping through the procedure, allowing the vet not only to clean the teeth but look for cavities and signs of gum disease. You don’t have to give up on curing bad breath in dogs through dental cleaning because of cost concerns. Here’s how I found an affordable, good vet to treat my four rescue dogs for a price I could afford.
Curing bad breath in dogs with regular home care is also a good idea. You can buy a dog tooth brush and toothpaste at your local pet store. Because of their appealing flavor, dog toothpastes make the job easy. The daily brushing will reduce tartar and plaque buildup and increase fluoride protection. This, in turn, will cure bad breath in your dog by preventing gum disease.
Curing bad breath in dogs using hard, teeth-cleaning snacks (like Greenies) is something I am leery of, because if a dog accidentally swallows these hard snacks they may cause an obstruction in his stomach that may require surgical removal. There have been causes when smaller dogs died as a result.
Curing bad breath in dogs using herbal drops is yet another simple solution; however, it is important to first eliminate any medical concerns before masking away what might be a symptom of bad breath.
Curing Persistent Bad Breath in Dogs
Curing bad breath in dogs becomes a secondary concern when the problem is continuous. Then it is first and foremost vital to uncover the cause of the problem. Lung disease, kidney disease and liver disease can all cause persistent bad breath in dogs.
In latter stages of these disease, other symptoms will accompany the bad breath in the dog. Drooling or oral discharge, difficulty eating or swallowing and depression may all occur. The type of bad breath in your dog can also serve as a clue.
Bad breath in dogs that smells sweet may be a sign of diabetes. Bad breath that smells of urine may indicate kidney problems. While overwhelmingly bad breath accompanied by loss of appetite and vomiting may be caused by liver disease.
Curing persistent bad breath in dogs is not something a pet owner should attempt on his own. It’s best to consult your vet, who will perform a physical and oral examination and submit stool and urine samples for a lab test. If you can bring such samples with you to the visit, that will be helpful. Keep them in the fridge if you cannot collect them just before your vet visit.
Common Ways of Curing Bad Breath in Dogs
Most likely, your vet will re-evaluate the diet your dog is on. Even the best organic food way not fit every dog. To become better informed about dog food types, I recommend reading my article on The Facts Behind Dog Food Labels, which will teach you the various criteria and acronyms by which dog foods are labeled. In addition, consider reading my article with 5 tips for choosing the best dry dog food for your dog’s lifestyle. In curing bad breath in dogs, dry dog food plays the important role of keeping the teeth clean by abrasion. This is especially important if you do not brush your dog’s teeth.
Curing bad breath in dogs can also be addressed through their snacks. A dog that may be on a perfect diet, may be eating snacks that are too rich for his digestive system. As a rule, be sure that the snacks your dog eats each day make up no more than 10% of his diet.
Herbal Ways of Curing Bad Breath in Dogs
If your dog is healthy in every way but his bad breath persists regardless, brushing his teeth and treating him with herbal drops should help cure the bad breath in your dog.
Parsley has been found to cure bad breath in dogs (and humans) and you can find snacks made with parsley at specialty pet stores. Drops containing herbs that will cure bad breath in dogs can be found in pet stores or through your vet. Finally a diet specially fitted to your dog’s physical needs will likely make the food easier to digest and cure his bad breath.
For more dog health concerns, I invite you to visit my 30 Important Dog Health Questions for All Dog Breeds.
1. Web MD: Bad Breath in Dogs
2. Pet Palace: Halitosis (Bad Breath) in Dogs
3. Home Remedies: Halitosis