Who can resist those adorable doggy kisses? You come back home from work, and your dog comes to greet you. But if your pet has bad breath, it can be hard to cuddle. In some cases, dog bad breath is caused by health issues, or by something they’ve eaten.
In some cases, your dog’s breath can smell bad because he has been eating feces. Yes, that is very much possible, especially with little puppies and older dogs. Your dog also grooms himself around his anal glands, and that can also produce fishy or dead smell in his mouth.
In most cases, however, dog bad breath is caused by health issues. For example, intestinal problems or worms. In older dogs, when teeth start falling and need to be pulled, they also produce bad breath.
Bad breath in dogs is not normal, and should be checked. If you suspect your dog ate some feces, then just let him drink water afterward and his breath will improve. But if you suspect a health issue, make sure to schedule a visit to the vet.
Causes of Bad Breath
We briefly touched on the common causes of bad breath in dogs. But let’s get deeper into the problem. Before we get to the natural remedies for doggy breath, we have to cover the causes. Let’s break them down.
The most common cause of bad bread in pets is periodontal disease. All of that plaque buildup can cause gingivitis, and turns into periodontal disease if left untreated. It is the same as in humans, if you do not brush your teeth, you can expect bad breath. Dogs do not brush their teeth, but there are many chewing toys and treats designed for that purpose.
Teething puppies also have a fishy smell, because they chew on anything they can find. This applies to food, strings, wood, and even feces.
If your dog has eaten feces, the logical expectation is for him to have bad breath.
Back to health issues, kidney and liver disease can affect your pet’s breath. Odor producing bacteria in the gut of your dog, lungs, or mouth, can build up and produce a fishy smell. Persistent odor in your pet’s breath is a sign something is not right in his kidneys, liver, or gastrointestinal tract. You should schedule a visit to the veterinarian. Other symptoms of liver disease are vomiting, no appetite, and yellow looking gums.
Diabetes is another health condition that can produce a sweet smelling breath or a fruity breath. Now, while fruity is far from fishy, but it is still a different type of breath that is not normal. Pets with diabetes are always thirsty, and they urinate more often.
Rare, but still possible causes of bad breath in dogs can be an abscess in the mouth, inflammation of the nasal passage or the nose, tumors, cancers, skin disease, and inflammation of the sinuses.
Last, but not least, a poor diet will also lead to bad breath. You need to feed your dog high-quality food, which has a low amount of grain or no grains at all. High-quality food prevents plaque buildup and ensures your dog’s breath smells normal.
How to prevent bad breath
The simplest way to prevent bad breath in dogs is to brush your dog’s teeth on a daily basis. Now, dogs are not as calm as we are when their teeth are brushed. Luckily, there are other ways to prevent plaque buildup, bad breath, and make sure your dog’s teeth are brushed.
- Give your dog chewing toys or treats that are designed for oral hygiene
- Feed your dog with a high-quality and easy to digest food
- Provide safe toys that allow your dog’s teeth to be cleaned
- Make sure your dog consumes water regularly
- Schedule annual dental cleanings for older dogs
- Make sure your vets examine your dog at a regular checkup to see if there are any underlying medical issues
As mentioned, there are special oral health produces like canine toothpaste. But in most cases, providing safe and clean chewable toys and treats is more than enough so your dog can clean his teeth naturally.
Natural Remedies for Dog Bad Breath
Carrots and apples
Dogs love human dog treats. Carrots are among the most popular veggie treats for dogs. And yes, both of these are safe for eating. Carrots and apples can help prevent tartar buildup on your dog’s teeth. Tartar buildup usually leads to bacteria that smell fishy.
A toothbrush cannot reach back of the teeth and along the gum line. But crunchy carrots or apples can help your dog clean their teeth.
Kong treat with toothpaste
The kong toy is one of the best things on the market. You can use it to help your dog consume his daily dose of food, use it as a mental activity stimulator, and help fight off boredom. But you can also use it to brush your dog’s teeth.
Put a thin layer of doggy toothpaste in and an on the Kong. As your dog licks and chews the kong, he will brush his teeth.
As mentioned previously, one of the main causes of dog bad breath is bacteria and inflammation in the gut. Probiotics are the logical solution to the problem. Probiotics support good bacteria in our body, and can be found in many human foods.
For starters, yogurt is an excellent source of probiotics. And in the summer days, when the weather is hot, yogurt can also be great for hydrating your dog and fighting off the heat.
Mint and parsley
Chances are your dog might not love chewing these herbs. Yes, dogs eat grass, but they do not like other herbs. You can try masking them by sprinkling some mint and parsley on the dog bowl. Both of these herbs are natural breath deodorants. And they prevent bacteria in the mouth.
Apple cider vinegar
Be careful, you do not want to give your apple cider vinegar on a daily basis in large amounts. However, just half a teaspoon of ACV in your dog’s water bowl is enough. Apple cider vinegar serves as a natural disinfectant and great way to fight off bacteria. Bonus: most dogs love the taste of ACV.
The simplest way to fight off dog bad breath is to make sure your dog drinks enough fresh water. Make sure to wash and dry the bowl every day before refilling it with fresh water.
Coconut oil has become a cure-all remedy lately. You can use it to fight bad breath in dogs. Just a spoon of this healthy fat to your dog’s treat will fight off inflammation and support healthy digestion. And you can use it as a toothpaste alternative. If you want, you can add coconut oil to the kong toy, for example.