How to Freshen Dog Breath

Dog Health April 12, 2024
How to Freshen Dog Breath
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How to Freshen Dog Breath

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How to Freshen Dog Breath

Do you ever wonder why your dog’s breath smells so bad? As much as we love dog kisses, it’s the breath we can’t live without.

Bad breath may be a sign of an underlying health condition and should be treated. This means that if your dog’s breath has recently changed for the worse, you should not assume it is normal.

In this article, we will give you some reasons for your dog’s bad breath and discuss how to get rid of it.

Why Your Dog’s Breath Smells

More than two-thirds of all dogs suffer from dental disease, and bad breath is an early indication of it. There is more than likely a build-up of smelly bacteria in his mouth, gut, or even his lungs. If your dog’s breath is consistently bad, he most likely needs dental care, or there may be something wrong with his kidneys, liver, or digestive tract.

Oral Health Issues

The most common cause of bad breath in dogs is oral issues. Oral health issues that cause bad breath in dogs range from tooth decay, to gum disease, and oral infections. Bacteria and food debris build up over time in your dog’s mouth when not regularly removed, which causes plaque and a constant odor.

Kidney Disease

If your dog’s stinky breath smells like poop or urine, it could mean he just ate poop, or maybe it is a symptom of kidney issues. When your dog’s kidneys are not working properly, he is unable to filter, process toxins, and waste materials correctly. This can lead to a buildup of waste in your dog’s body, which is both harmful for your dog’s overall health and a likely cause of bad breath.

Liver Disease

If you notice your dog has recently been having bad breath and it is accompanied by other symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea, you may want to have him checked for liver disease. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

How To Prevent Bad Breath In Dogs

Bad Breath in dogs is definitely something we can get a handle on. Staying on top of your dog’s oral hygiene will help your dogs wellbeing and make it easier to accept those doggie kisses. Here are some ways to be proactive about your dogs breath.

Use a Dog-Friendly Mouthwash

There is more that you can do for your pup than just brush his teeth. As humans, we use mouthwash products to help freshen our breath and improve our oral health. This also works much the same for your dog and can be added right to his water bowl. Obviously, you do not want to use human mouthwash, but you can use some natural ingredients, such as apple cider vinegar, in small amounts.

Brush Your Dog’s Teeth on a Regular Basis

Bad breath in dogs is not normal and can be a sign of an unhealthy mouth. If this is left untreated, bad teeth and gums can lead to other health problems. It is a good idea to brush your dog’s teeth weekly, at the very least or every other day if possible.

Brushing your dogs teeth is a little bit different than brushing our own. You only need to brush the outside surface that faces the cheeks of their teeth. You will want to do this in a downward direction.

Dental Chews Can help With Your Dogs Oral Health

Humans chew gum to help with bad breath, which is a quick way to loosen plaque. The dog-friendly version of gum would be dog dental chews. If your dog is a chewer, then he will most likely love this idea. The active ingredients in these chews can help fight gum disease, plaque and bacteria while serving as a tasty treat.

Feed Your Dog a Well-Balanced Diet

Giving your dog a well-balanced diet is the first step in fighting bad breath. Feeding your pup a quality diet will ensure they are receiving complete nutrition from their food and will be less likely to eat things they should not. If you catch your dog eating fecal matter, it is a sign that he may not be getting the nutrients he needs from his diet.

Add Some Fresh Mint to Your Dogs Meals

Mint is a fresh-scented herb that contains chlorophyll, which has natural healing properties. It is rich in Vitamins A and C, which also supports healthy bones, skin, and vision. Mint will help promote healthy digestion in both your dog and in humans.

Give Your Dog a Healthy Snack

Offer your pup carrot sticks or slices of apples because the crunchy texture helps remove plaque buildup on your dog’s teeth and gums in a natural way. You can also offer these snacks to puppies in frozen form to help with teething.

What Kind of Toothpaste Should I use on My Dog?

Dog toothpaste is available in several different flavors, including poultry, beef, malt, and mint. If you choose a flavor your dog likes, he will be more cooperative when it comes time to brush.

Human toothpaste contains ingredients that, if swallowed, can cause an upset stomach or digestive problems. Human toothpastes can contain high amounts of sodium, which may even make your pup sick, and others may contain xylitol, which is toxic for dogs.

Some people ask if baking soda can be used to brush your dog’s teeth. The answer is no, because it has a high alkaline content. If swallowed, it can upset the acid balance in the stomach and digestive tract. Also, baking soda just does not taste good, which will make your dog not want his teeth brushed.

What Kind of Mouth Wash Should I Use on My Dog?

Doggy mouthwash is added to your dog’s water bowl to help fight bad breath. The main ingredients are supposed to kill bacteria and reduce plaque, with the advantage of being a liquid that can reach areas brushing might not. These products not only help reduce bad breath but can also keep teeth looking cleaner.

Before buying a dog mouth wash check for xylitol in the ingredients. Xylitol is a sugar-alcohol, commonly used as an artificial sweetener in products such as sugar-free gum, toothpastes, and some medications.

Xylitol is, of course, toxic to dogs that rapid release of insulin, leading to acute low blood sugar. It can also be associated depression, weakness, wobbliness, seizures and coma. Higher doses have led to liver failure, presenting as vomiting, depression, jaundice and death.

Final Thoughts

Your dog should get a dental checkup from your veterinarian every year. If your dog has chronic bad breath see your vet as soon as possible for an examination and diagnosis to rule out serious health issues. Treatment may be a prescription medication, a specialize diet, therapy or surgery depending on what the cause is.


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Amy Towry is a Certified NAVC Pet Nutritionist and pet lover. She is the proud owner of two rescue cats and a rescue dog and her love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care, nutrition, and product reviews.
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