You are one of those proud dog owners with a bumper sticker that reads “I Love my Dachshund.” You fell in love with this tiny breed at first sight, but you didn’t fall in love with his breath! Your Dachshund, Rufus, although sweet and cute, has breath that could tame a rhino, and you are not sure what to do about it. You begin to wonder if his bad breath is more than something to joke about. Should you be concerned? Should you be doing something to prevent it? Do all dog breeds have such bad breath? You whip out your phone and search Google for answers and are more than surprised at what you discover.
The Root of the Behavior
Although Dachshunds are a breed that doesn’t have the distinct doggy smell of other breeds, they make up for it through their smelly doggy breath. One reason for this is that Dachshunds are more prone to tartar build up and gum diseases than some other breeds. Bacteria that surrounds Rufus’s teeth is referred to as periodontal disease, and according to Dachshund Rescue Australia, 80% of all dogs suffer from this by their third birthday! Dachshunds need to lay off the ice cream even more than other breeds because they have 42 adult teeth in that tiny mouth that causes overcrowding and can lead to more dental issues than other breeds. Especially compared to larger dogs that have more space in their pie hole. Sometimes Dachshund baby teeth do not always fall out on their own, and owners do not know that this can cause dental issues in the future. This is why it’s essential to take your Rufus to the vet regularly and make sure they check his teeth. A vet will remove any baby teeth that do not fall out on their own. Dachshunds may also irritate their teeth further by chewing on toys. If you ever see bloody gums and smell incredibly bad breath, it's time for a trip to the vet's office.
Rufus’s nasty Dachshund breath might also be caused by Gingivitis, which is a disease caused by leftover food around the gums that builds up and causes plaque and bad breath. Just like in humans, plaque can cause serious issues. If not treated properly, plaque can get into the bloodstream and even affect the heart. In addition to dental issues causing bad breath, Dauchshunds panting can also contribute to this problem. Because of a Dachshunds small size, they can’t keep up with humans and larger dogs although they may try. This overactivity can result in excessive open-mouth panting, which also causes bad breath in your small, furry friend. Be aware of this behavior especially when it is hot outside. Another cause is what you feed Rufus. Certain food affects your Dachshund in the same way it affects your partner. Keep these pointers in mind to keep Rufus’s stinky breath at bay.
Encouraging the Behavior
Since Daschunds also have to get dental checkups more than other dogs, owners can start touching and examining their Dachshund’s teeth beginning when they are young. Yes, a Dachshund's stinky breath sounds like a joke, but it is the result of multiple issues: breed, crowding teeth, plaque buildup, diet, and other factors. Although these are all common with Dachshunds, Pets WebMD warns that there are some instances in which persistent bad breath in dogs causes more serious concern. Bad breath could be a result of gastrointestinal issues, respiratory problems, or serious concerns with the mouth or internal organs. Keep an eye on Rufus, and although it sounds strange, take a whiff of his breath every once in a while. Believe it or not, this could benefit his doggy health.
Other Solutions and Considerations
Similarly, with humans, many dental issues can be prevented with a nutritious diet, regular checkups, and good dental hygiene. Knowing that your Dachshund is more susceptible to dental issues is the first step to helping him. Because of this new-found awareness, you are more apt to keep up with Rufus’s dental hygiene and regular checkups. Try your best to best to brush your Dachshund's teeth daily. If the problem persists, then take him to your vet for a dental checkup. And set reminders for these regular dental checkups. Also, be aware of what Rufus chews. Is he outdoors chewing on rocks, which leads to cracks teeth and possible infections? Or, does he only chow down on his organic dog food? His habits-positive or negative-may have an impact on his breath. Also, know that one symptom of kidney disease is bad breath. If Rufus’s breath all of a sudden has an ammonia-type smell to it, don’t rule out issues with kidney function. Take his smelly breath seriously. You know your furry pal best, so do your best to observe any changes in Rufus’s breath as an extra precaution for his well being.
After your new awareness, you bring Rufus to the vet just to be safe. Luckily, it’s nothing serious, but you are advised to be more vigilant with his dental hygiene; you breathe a sigh of relief and schedule another check-up on your way out. You are then sent home with a doggy toothbrush, toothpaste, and a brochure on the importance of dental hygiene for Dachshunds. You breathe another sigh of relief and schedule another checkup soon. You also vow to keep a closer eye on Rufus and what he chews and eats. No more sneaking into the kitty litter, Rufus!