One of the cutest dogs I ever met was Buffy, a scruffy little blonde terrier mix. She was adorable and the moment I met her, I wanted to hug her. That is, until she got close enough to breathe on me. Buffy had horrible breath, and I do mean horrible! Her owner thought she was providing only the best for Buffy when she gave her a diet of wet, moist dog food. We sent her to the veterinarian who diagnosed gum disease and instructed her owner to start feeding dry kibble. The gum disease cleared up like magic, and so did the bad breath.
Many people automatically think dogs have bad breath, but that is not the case! A build up of odor-producing bacteria in your dog’s mouth, lungs, or gut is what causes the foul smell. If your dog persistently has bad breath, known as halitosis, it could mean that he needs better dental care or he has a problem in his gastrointestinal tract, liver, or kidneys. Here are some tips for treating and preventing canine halitosis.
- If your dog’s breath has a strange smell, consult your veterinarian so the cause of the bad breath can be determined.
- If your veterinarian finds that plaque is casuing the unusual odor coming from your dog’s mouth, a professional cleaning might be in order.
- If diet is the issue, changing your dog’s regular food can do the trick.
- If the underlying cause is a gastrointestinal, liver, or kidney problem, your vet will determine the proper course of action.
- Regular checkups with the veterinarian will rule out medical issues that could cause bad breath.
- Brush your dog’s teeth regularly. Use canine toothpaste because human toothpaste can upset his stomach.
- Feed a high-quality, easily digestible food.
- Provide your dog with hard, safe chew toys. The teeth are cleaned by the natural process of chewing.
Have you had an experience with canine halitosis? How do you ensure your dog’s breath is fresh? Do you brush his teeth regularly? Share your tips in the comments.