You love your fur-baby, and there's nothing quite like coming home to a happy dog who has been waiting all day to see you. But nothing stops a warm embrace with your favorite canine faster than a whiff of nasty dog breath. Even the most avid of dog lovers tend to steer clear of an extra-stinky pup mouths.
Many of us own these smelly offenders and are desperate to be nose to muzzle with our favorite mutts once again. Even more motivation for beating the stink is the fact that nasty breath is often an indication of a bigger health problem in your pup. So just how do you banish bad dog breath?
Causes and Prevention of Bad Breath in Dogs
The best way to combat the worst breath is to figure out exactly what's causing it. For some pooches, a combination of habits and health problems may be to blame. Below are some of the most common culprits behind smelly dog breath.
Poor Dental Hygiene
Although it may surprise you, dogs actually need just about as much oral care as their owners! If a dog's mouth gets too dirty, plaque and tartar build up and then break down the gums and teeth. This is especially the case for the smaller breeds, whose teeth are much closer together. If you think your pup’s mouth has gotten kind of gross, ask your vet to do a dental cleaning at your next appointment. Removing all of the gunk that's accumulated over time can get rid of what's been causing the rank smell coming out of your four-legged friend's mouth. You can also beat tartar by giving your pooch lots of crunchy snacks like bones, dental treats or carrots. These work by scraping the bacteria-filled plaque off of your dog's teeth. The very best way to keep your dog's mouth glistening is to implement regular cleaning from the start. You can actually buy dog toothpaste and toothbrushes made specifically to keep your mutt’s mug lovely! If you never let the nasty stuff build, your pooch will not suffer from tooth decay or gum disease caused by poor hygiene.
Throat and Mouth Infections
Sometimes, there are bugs behind the bad breath. Bacteria, fungi, and viruses can set up shop in your pup's mouth or throat and cause all kinds of unpleasant symptoms. If you think that your dog has picked up an infection of some kind, the first thing you should do is head to your vet to ID what's making your pup sick. Medication can be used to get rid of fungal or bacterial infection. A course of antibiotics or antifungal medication can last from a few days to a few months, depending on how severe the infection is. To help get rid of a virus, you can give your dog various immune-boosting supplements so his body will kick the sick quicker. Preventing an infection is usually less of a hassle than dealing with one. Keep your pooch away from other dogs who are sick and always quarantine a new dog before introducing him to your other pets. This can stop infections from spreading from pooch to pooch, stopping bad breath before it ever happens.
Yep, you read that right. Sometimes your dog's mouth smells like there's poop in it because there is! Canines are infamous for their turd munching, or “coprophagia” if you're being fancy. It's not too hard to see why this less-than-desirable habit leaves your pooch’s breath absolutely terrible. If your pup has been sneaking brown treats, there are several natural ways to freshen his breath. You can squeeze lemon right into his water dish for a fast breath improvement, and drinking extra gulps in itself should help get rid of the bad smells sooner. If your dog isn't a fan of lemon, you can try out dog-friendly breath mints! Just as they sound, these mints were made to be a yummy bite that helps get rid of odors. However, the best thing that you can do when dealing with a poop eater is cut off his resources. Monitor trips outside and make sure your yard is clean of droppings. Move any litter boxes to an area that your pupper can't get to. It really is a matter of health too, as poop is often full of parasites and bacteria that can cause a lot of harm to your dog.
Importance of Prevention
Catching a problem before it happens really is your best bet when dealing with any health issue. If you've recently got a puppy, now is the time to start making dental cleaning a part of your dog's regular routine. It may be a bit of a pain at first, but your efforts will pay off when your pooch's smile sparkles. Avoiding infections does way more than stop bad breath, it can help save your pup's life! Many viruses can be devastating to dogs, so it's better to just not get them in the first place. And it may be obvious, but not letting your dog eat any kind of poop can help keep him free of all sorts of icky parasites and worms, saving you money on vet bills!
It's worth the extra effort to get rid of bad doggy breath! Foul odors from your canine’s mouth can be a sign of a more serious health problem. It's always best to let your vet determine what's causing the stinky breath. Doing a bit of preventative work can save you time and money and stop your pup from going through undue pain. But the best thing about fixing your pooch's breath by far is the unlimited doggy smooches you'll be getting from your happy, healthy dog!