It's quite common for dogs to have bad breath. However, this may point to some serious health issues. Today, Sacramento vets discuss potential causes of your dog's bad breath and how you can help to remedy and prevent it. 

What Causes Bad Breath in Dogs?

The phrase 'smells like dog's breath' is a popular one when describing something a little off-putting. Dogs often have a bit of bad breath, and it's perfectly normal for your pooch to have some scent on their breath from playing with toys, eating or just generally living their doggy lives. That said, this smell can sometimes grow into a stink that repels all but the bravest and most resolute pup parents. 

And, while you may be tempted to just grin and bear it, and love your dog through the smell, more often than not a strong stink on your dog's breath is an indication of an underlying health issue that's causing the smell. there are a number of potential causes for bad breath. The most common are liver disease, kidney disease and oral health issues. 

Kidney Disease

Does your pup's breath smell like feces or urine? This may indicate that they've recently eaten poop (which is something you should look into on its own). It can also point to kidney issues. 

If your dog's kidneys aren't functioning properly to filter and process toxins and waste materials, these can accumulate in your pooch's body and contribute to that bad breath small, on top of harming your dog's health. 

Liver Disease

If your dog has recently developed seriously bad breath and their new scent is accompanied by concerning symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea, they may have a liver disease at the root cause of their symptoms. 

Oral Health Issues

The most common cause of bad breath in dogs, oral health issues is an umbrella term including health issues ranging from tooth decay to gum disease and oral infections. Regardless of the precise cause, bacteria and food debris build up over time in your pooch's mouth if not regularly cleaned away, creating plaque and a persistent smell. 

If your dog's breath smells a little bit, it is likely caused by emerging oral health issues. Although if they are left unchecked, the smell will become much stronger and your pet's oral health and wellbeing will continue to decline. 

How to Treat Bad Breath in Dogs?

The reason why your dog has bad breath will largely influence the kind of treatment they will require. Since bad breath is a sign of an underlying health condition rather than a health problem itself, it should dissipate once the underlying problem is successfully treated.

That being said, whenever you notice a change in the smell of your dog's breath you shouldn't assume its cause or that it is normal. Bring your pup to your vet as soon as possible for examination and diagnosis, since a number of causes of bad breath can be very serious health issues. 

Treatments at your vets can range from prescription medications, specialized diets, therapies and even surgeries to help treat your pet's condition depending on what part of their body it affects and its severity. Your vet will be able to advise you on what the best course of treatment is for the health issue underlying your pup's bad breath. 

What Can I Do To Treat My Dog's Stinky Breath?

While you aren't able to treat kidney or liver disease at home, one way you can help to treat or prevent bad breath in your dog is ensuring your pup gets the routine oral hygiene care they need every day in addition to annual professional dental cleanings.

You should brush your dog's teeth every day, spending the time when they are young to help them get used to the experience of tooth brushing.

Either in addition to this or if you aren't able to train your pup to tolerate brushing, instead of brushing, there are also a wide variety of dental chews and dog food designed to promote oral health available.

Ask your vet what kinds of oral health products they recommend for helping your dog to stave off bad breath.

When it comes to preventing internal organ failure or disease affecting your dog's liver or kidneys, there are also a couple of easy measures you can take to help your pup avoid these causes of bad breath.

Some human medications, common houseplants and foods that are safe for our consumption are actually quite toxic for our pets. Make sure you are aware of what kinds of substances you have in your home that could cause organ disease or failure in your pooch and keep them out of reach as much as possible.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Have you noticed that your dog seems to have bad breath? Contact South Sacramento Pet Hospital to book an appointment for your canine companion to have this oral health issue diagnosed and treated.