There are several causes for a dog’s breath to smell, a condition known as halitosis. Animals with an underlying condition, such as kidney disease or diabetes, may have foul breath. Halitosis can also be caused by a poor diet or food allergies. Your dog should get a full physical check by a veterinarian to establish the underlying reason of any stinky breath. However, dental disease is the most common cause of foul breath in dogs. By the time they reach the age of three, 80 percent of dogs have evidence of dental disease.
The following are a few of the most common:
Periodontal disease: Periodontal disease (poor breath) is the most common cause of foul breath (halitosis) in dogs. Dogs with crowded teeth or crooked, misaligned teeth (malocclusions) are more likely to acquire secondary dental disease, similar to people; nevertheless, most dogs will develop tartar or plaque buildup (dental calculus) or gingivitis at some point in their lives. Dental disease occurs when bacteria in the mouth overgrow and create plaque, which leads to tartar development. Tartar can irritate the gums and cause irritation (gingivitis). Hair and other debris can become lodged between a dog’s gumline if enough tartar builds up, contributing to the formation of bad breath.
Kidney Disease : Kidney disease is a condition in which the kidneys filter the blood. When a dog’s kidneys stop working due to an underlying disease or renal failure, urea toxins build up in their blood. Urea can cause a dog’s breath to smell like ammonia or urine, which could indicate severe renal disease. Uremia (excess urea) can also cause ulcers in the mouth, which your veterinarian may notice during an inspection.
Liver Disease: Bad breath, yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice), weight loss, poor appetite, and vomiting are all signs that your dog’s liver is malfunctioning. The liver, like the kidneys, serves as a filter for the body’s poisons. Toxins can build up when your dog’s liver function is compromised, and this can manifest as unpleasant breath.
Diabetes: When diabetes is left uncontrolled or untreated for a long time, the body begins to break down fat, producing chemicals known as ketones. The breath of dogs who are creating ketones as a result of diabetes may have an acetone or sweet odour. Other symptoms of diabetes in dogs include weight loss, changes in appetite, and increased thirst and urination.
Oral Tumors: Oral malignancies or tumours, which are more common in older animals, can cause poor breath. As the masses expand, they can get contaminated, and sections of the tissues can begin to die (necrose), resulting in foul breath that persists despite proper oral hygiene. Melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and peripheral odontogenic fibromas are the most frequent oral malignancies in dogs.
Dietary Deficiencies: The normal balance of germs in your dog’s mouth or intestines may be disrupted if you feed him raw or home-cooked food. Raw foods may promote bacterial imbalances and an increased risk of Salmonella overgrowth in a dog’s intestines, which may contribute to poor breath. If you’re feeding your dog a raw or home-cooked diet, seek advice from a veterinary nutritionist (or, if that’s not possible, your normal veterinarian) to avoid dietary deficiencies.
How to Get Rid of Your Dog’s Bad Breath
Regular Brushing: Brushing using canine toothpaste and toothbrushes on a weekly to daily basis can be the most efficient strategy to avoid plaque buildup. Many dog toothpastes come in a variety of flavours to appeal to dogs.
Dental Treats and Products: Dental treats may contain additives that promote a healthy oral environment or assist physically eliminate plaque as your dog chews. Other products, such as dental water additives, can help hide bad breath while also improving oral health. These are usually unflavored, and all you have to do is put a small quantity in your pet’s water bowl every day.
Dental Diets:There are dental diets made for dogs that can help reduce plaque buildup. They use a larger kibble size and a course texture to scrape along the tooth and remove plaque as your dog chews.