By Mackenzie Grove
A blast of dog bad breath can be repulsive, no matter how much you love your dog.
The good news is you can work to determine the cause of dog bad breath odor and then formulate a plan to get rid of it.
Causes of dog bad breath
Dog bad breath is usually caused by dental issues, diet, gastrointestinal problems and oral and metabolic diseases.
Dental plaque is the chief cause of dog bad breath. Plaque is the thin brownish-yellow stratum that develops on the sides of teeth when partly decomposed food particles get stuck between your dog’s teeth. Bacteria grow on the food particles and mix with minerals in the food and the decomposing food to create the plaque, which gives off a powerful unpleasant smell.
Your dog’s diet also can cause bad breath. Some canned pet foods — especially ones high in fish oils or that are difficult to digest — can contribute to the problem.
More worryingly, bad breath can be an indicator of a medical problem such as a gastrointestinal disease of the stomach, liver, esophagus or intestine. In these cases, the digestive tract gets infected, which leads to bad dog breath.
Stinky breath also can reveal oral tumors or gum inflammation, which can eventually lead to bleeding gums. Bleeding gums provide an easy route for bacteria into the blood stream.
Another possibility is kidney disease where the abnormal presence of toxins in the blood provokes sour smelling breath.
With all these possible causes it is clear that you should consult your veterinarian immediately if your dog’s breathe starts to have an unusual smell.
Most likely, there will be a simple cause and solution; however, bad dog breath may be a telltale sign that something serious is wrong and that urgent action is required.
Prevent dental diseases in dogs
As with humans, good oral care for your dog can help prevent dental diseases.
Allowing plaque to remain on the dog’s teeth for a long time will encourage dental disease. Brushing is the most useful way to remove plaque.
You should start at an early age and make teeth brushing part of your dog’s routine.
Only brush your dog’s teeth when he is relaxed to avoid conflict. As you know, dogs love attention, so brushing can be an enjoyable part of your relationship.
Always inspect your dog’s mouth and gums during brushing, checking for unusual growths or inflammation.
Improve diet to reduce dog bad breath
Your dog’s diet significantly affects his general health and fitness.
In particular, a poor diet can cause bad breath. Avoid canned food and table scraps. Only give your dog dried food unless your vet has recommended otherwise.
Also be sure to keep cat food out of reach and make certain that your dog cannot get into the trash.
Dog bad breath treatments
Here are some natural remedies you can use to get rid of or reduce dog bad breath:
1. Coconut oil
The oil contains various anti-fungal and antibacterial properties that can help reduce bad dog breath smells. Coconut oil has a broad range of beneficial impacts including helping the digestive, immune and metabolic systems, and in preventing or reducing yeast infections.
Add one teaspoon of coconut oil to your dog’s food or use the oil to brush his teeth. The oil tastes sweet and dogs love it.
Everyday use not only helps fight bad breath, coconut oil also can help reduce dry skin and boost brain functions.
2. Lemon juice
Add a few drops of lemon juice to your dogs drinking water.
In addition to having a pleasant smell, lemon juice’s citrus properties help stop bacteria from growing in your dog’s mouth. It’s simple, but effective.
Obviously, a carrot is an all round good food, but feeding your dog raw carrots also can fight bad breath. The abrasive quality of the carrot can help remove plaque.
Yogurt also helps fight bad dog breath. Research has shown that eating yogurt contributes to reducing hydrogen sulfite, which can cause bad breath.
Conclusion: Take your dog’s bad breath seriously. Look after his diet and his oral health. Schedule regular check-ups with your vet. Also make an appointment if there is a change in his breath because that can indicate serious health issues.