Your dog comes close or smooches you and you immediately want to run; you simply cannot withstand the bad breath. What should you do? We have you covered with tips on how to get rid of bad dog breath including natural home remedies that rely upon ingredients that are easily available.
What Causes Dog Bad Breath?
To better understand what it takes to eliminate stinky breath in dogs, it is important to understand what causes it in the first place.
Also known as dog halitosis, dog bad breath most commonly results from an accumulation of odor-producing bacteria in your pooch’s mouth, gut or lungs.
Persistent cases may, however, be indicative of a more serious medical problem such as liver disease, kidney disease, or diabetes.
Among the factors underlying bad breath in canines are:
- Periodontal disease: This is the most common culprit for bad breath in dogs. It is associated with plaque and gum irritation (gingivitis). Small dogs are especially prone to buildup of plaque and tartar. As bacteria continues to build up with the progression of the disease, bad breath may result. It may also cause teeth loss.
- Eating garbage: Halitosis may also occur because your pooch has been eating garbage and other inappropriate stuff such as stool.
- Respiratory problems: Respiratory conditions such as rhinitis (inflammation of nasal passages) and sinusitis (inflammation of sinuses) can also cause foul-smelling breath.
- Teething: when teething (shedding their milk teeth), puppies tend to develop foul-smelling breath. This is because of the associated build-up of bacteria along the gum-line as milk teeth are edged out by the sprouting adult teeth.
- Gastrointestinal conditions: Any disease involving the intestines, stomach, or esophagus can as well lead to bad breath in canines. This is, however, a far less common cause of halitosis than periodontal disease.
- Metabolic disorders: Any condition that impacts on your pooch’s natural metabolic balance and thus allows an accumulation of certain toxins in the body could, in turn, lead to foul-smelling breath. Kidney and diabetes are the two main metabolic disorders that are known to cause bad breath.
How to Get Rid Of Bad Dog Breath
Persistent or really bad dog breath warrants the attention of a veterinarian to rule out any more serious underlying medical problem. As for exactly how to get rid of bad dog breath, the precise intervention will vary depending upon the factor responsible for the problem.
However because dental disease is most often the cause of bad breath in dogs, dental cleaning is paramount to combating the condition.
What Dental Cleaning Does
The chief aim of dental cleaning is to remove the plaque bacteria accumulated on the teeth and in the area beneath the gum line. Dental cleaning is not only an effective dog bad breath cure but also helps to improve the overall health of your canine’s teeth and gums and thus get rid of the stinky breath.
Once your dog’s teeth have been cleaned, it is advisable to get it examined once or twice every year. It is also important to follow it up with a good home-care routine as outlined in the next section.
Dental Sprays, Mouthwashes, and Treats
You might consider getting your dog one of the various dental treats and mouthwash products available on the market today. These are usually designed to give your dog fresh breath, but may not address the underlying cause.
Just make sure that the product you choose is free of xylitol as it can be very toxic to dogs. A chemical antiseptic known as chlorhexidine is on the other hand an accepted for treatment of dog halitosis.
Greenies Original Natural Dog Dental Care Chews (Amazon) have been on the market for some time and it is very popular. Greenies products are made in the USA, and widely available in pet stores.
Bad Dog Breath Home Remedies
As for what to do about bad dog breath at home, below are some of the best intervention measures that you may want to consider:
Brush your pooch’s teeth: Brushing your dog’s teeth takes the top position in the list of dog breath remedies and you haven’t been doing it, it is high time you started.
Brushing helps to curb plaque and tartar build-up. Ideally, you should brush your dog’s teeth once every day but if that is not possible, try brushing it not less than 2 times each week.
Keep in mind however that human toothpaste is toxic to dogs. Instead, use a toothpaste brand that is specifically formulated for dogs alongside any doggie toothbrush. One of those brands with appetizing flavors .g. chicken flavors are especially great for the purpose.
If you find any foreign object stuck in between your pooch’s teeth, be sure to remove it as it can easily cause – and could, in fact, be the reason for – bacterial buildup. If you ever notice a tumor growing on the inside of your dog’s mouth, have it examined by a vet right away.
Give your dog something to chew on: This is yet another very effective at-home dog bad breath remedy.
Chewing on an appropriate chew toy helps to clean your dog’s teeth naturally which in turn helps to improve the breath.
One popular chew toy is a Kong which is usually made from hard rubber. You can get one in your local pet store. As the dog chews on the hard Kong, the plaque accumulated on her teeth and gum-line will loosen and hence help to fix the stinky breath.
Rope toys are as well as good choices for chew toys.
Add parsley to your dog’s food: As a natural breath freshener, parsley can also help to make a dog breath smell better. It is, in fact, one of the best natural remedies for this common doggie problem. All you have to do is to add a small amount of this herb to your pooch’s food.
Raw Carrots: The abrasive nature of raw carrots also goes a long way toward fixing dog bad breath naturally. They help to clean-off plaque building up on the teeth and gum-lines. An added benefit of carrots is that they are rich in vitamins which serve as an added benefit for your dog or puppy’s health. All you have to do is to cut carrots into small pieces (or use baby carrots) and give them to your pooch. Don’t overdo it though as over-feeding your dog with carrots can cause weight gain due to their sugars.
Lemons: Adding lemon juice to your dog’s drinking water can also help to stop bad breath naturally. All you have to do is to squeeze some lemons into the water. Keep in mind though that too much lemon may actually be counterproductive when the dog refuses to drink it.
Extra Tips to Eliminate Stinky Dog Breath At Home
- Provide your dog with clean, fresh drinking water every day
- Floss your dog’s teeth occasionally if it will allow you. Try introducing your dog to flossing early on in their life.
Dog food for bad breath
Your dog’s diet goes a long way in influencing its breath and oral health in general. For starters, you will want to check that your dog’s diet doesn’t contain too much meat and garlic as these are common contributors to bad breath.
Ideally, you should give your dog only high-quality food with snacks contributing no more than 10%.
Dried food, as opposed to canned food, is a good starting point.
For dried kibble, give it dry to your dog (without adding any form of liquid) as this helps to fight plaque and tartar build-up on your pooch’s teeth.
According to WebMD, fruits such as banana slices, apple slices, berries, and watermelons, and vegetables such as broccoli and carrots (baby carrots or small slices of carrots) also constitute good choices for doggie snacks and treats.
An equally important point is to ensure that your dog is not eating food that is meant for cats or any other pets. Trash, feces and other inappropriate materials will also do no good for your dog to ensure that they are not within its reach.