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Bad dog breath
Dental health is such an important aspect of keeping our dogs healthy. Bad dog breath is not only unpleasant to us, it can indicate underlying dental disease in your dog. There are a number of options to address dental care at home such as dental diets and dental chews.
Frequently Asked Questions
What causes bad dog breath?
Bad breath in dogs can be caused by several issues, but the most common by far is dental disease.
Dental plaque, which is made up of bacteria, saliva and food particles, adheres to the tooth surface. This can trigger an immune response in your dog's mouth, which can result in damage of the tissues that support the tooth. This process is referred to as periodontal disease and is a common cause of bad breath in dogs. Some dogs are more prone to developing dental disease with overcrowding dentition or misaligned dentition.
To try and prevent dental disease in your dog, brushing your dog's teeth daily with a dog safe toothpaste and toothbrush has been found to be effective in removing dental plaque. Additional dental health care strategies include:
- Dental foods
- Food additives
- Water additives
- Dental chews
Even humans will accumulate plaque with twice daily brushing will still need a scale and polish at the dentist. It is the same with our dogs, which is why regular dental checks with your veterinarian are an important part of your dog's dental care. Other possible causes for bad breath include:
- Foreign body in the mouth, this can include bones or sticks
- Oral tumours
- Chemical burns from toxin ingestion
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Scavenging behaviour, including eating poop
- Raw diets can give your dog bad breath
Author info: Dr Nicole du Plessis - Pet Circle In-House Veterinarian