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Bad Breath in Dogs: Causes & Remedies

Bad Breath in Dogs: Causes & Remedies

Bad breath is pretty common in dogs, as many owners know, but this doesn't mean it is healthy or normal. Here, our Seattle vets discuss the potential causes of bad breath in dogs, what health issues it could allude to, and how to treat it with at-home remedies or with your veterinarian.

What causes bad breath in dogs

Bad breath in dogs can be caused by a number of things, including chewing their toys and eating food. However, it can sometimes be an indication of an underlying health problem, such as kidney or liver disease or oral infection. It is important for owners to be able to recognize the differences between these issues in their dogs.

Oral Health Issues

Dog bad breath is commonly caused by oral health issues, which can include tooth decay, gum disease, and oral infections. These issues create a buildup of bacteria and food debris in your furry friend's mouth, leading to plaque and persistent odor. 

It's important to take care of your dog's oral hygiene, as neglecting it can lead to stronger odor and worsening health problems. To prevent this, make sure to take your pet for regular professional dental cleanings and maintain good oral hygiene practices at home.

Kidney Disease

Does your dog have stinky breath that smells like feces or urine? It could be a result of them eating their own poop (which is concerning on its own) or it could indicate a problem with their kidneys.

When the kidneys aren't functioning correctly, toxins and waste materials can accumulate in the body, leading to unpleasant breath and potentially serious health issues for your furry friend. So, if your pup has smelly breath, it's best to get them checked out by a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health problems.

Liver Disease

If you've noticed that your dog's breath has become unpleasant and they are also experiencing symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea, it's possible that they could be suffering from a liver disease that is responsible for these issues. This is something that should be taken seriously and requires prompt veterinary attention to determine the root cause of the problem and provide appropriate treatment for your furry friend's wellbeing.

Treating Bad Breath in Dogs

The cause of your dog's bad breath will determine the type of treatment they need. Bad breath is usually a symptom of an underlying health problem that should be treated to make the bad smell go away.

Therefore, it is important to take your dog to the vet as soon as you notice a change in their breath's smell. Several causes of bad breath can be serious health issues, and early diagnosis is crucial.

Your vet will determine the best course of treatment based on the severity and location of the underlying condition, which may include prescription medications, specialized diets, therapies, or surgeries. So, don't wait and take your pup to the vet for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Home Treatment for Bad Breath 

Although you can't treat kidney or liver disease at home, you can still help prevent bad breath in your dog. The key is to provide routine oral hygiene care and professional dental cleanings annually. To achieve this, you should get your dog used to tooth brushing when they are young.

However, if your dog doesn't tolerate brushing, you can provide dental chews and dog food designed to promote oral health. Consult your vet to find the best oral health products for your dog. Additionally, you can take some easy measures to prevent internal organ failure or disease in your dog's liver or kidneys, which can cause bad breath. Make sure to keep toxic substances, including human medications, common houseplants, and foods safe for our consumption, out of your pet's reach.

By being aware of what is toxic to your pet, you can help keep your furry friend healthy and free from 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.

If you have noticed excessively bad breath in your dog lately, contact our vets at Aurora Veterinary Hospital today.

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