Bad Breath in Dogs: Get The Odor in Order

Bad Breath in Dogs

If your dog has bad breath, it may not just be because of the foods that they eat. There are actually quite a few causes of halitosis in dogs, which is also known as bad breath in dogs. Periodontal disease is actually the leading cause of this condition. Plaque buildup, cavities and bacteria are all culprits when it comes to oral health issues and periodontal disease. It is important to keep your dog’s teeth and gums clean, but there are other things that you can do as well.

What Breeds are Most Prone to Bad Breath?

Since bad breath is usually a symptom of periodontal disease, it makes sense that some breeds would be more prone to it than others. Small breeds with short noses and flat faces are much more prone to this condition than other breeds. These breeds include, but are not limited to:

  • Pugs
  • Boston Terriers
  • Pekingese

The reason that they are more prone than others is because their teeth are closer together and their mouths are not very small.

Symptoms and Types of Halitosis


Generally, the symptoms of halitosis are limited to bad breath; however, there are other symptoms that may accompany the bad breath, such as inability to eat, pawing at their mouth, loose or wiggly teeth, excessive drooling, and possibly even bleeding from the gums. If you notice any of these symptoms, it may be time to make an appointment with your veterinarian to see if there are any underlying conditions.

Other Causes of Bad Breath in Dogs

While periodontal disease is likely the most common cause of bad breath, there are other conditions that can lead to it as well. Typically, metabolic disorders like diabetes, respiratory conditions like rhinitis and sinusitis, and certain gastrointestinal conditions can lead to bad breath. Other possible causes include trauma, viral infections, bacterial infections and fungal infections. Certain dietary problems can lead to it as well, such as coprophagia, which is a condition where dogs eat feces. This can definitely result in some pretty rank breath.

Milk-Bone Dental Treats

Milk-Bone Dental Treats

Diagnosing Halitosis in Dogs

Generally, diagnosing halitosis is not too difficult. It is determining whether or not there are underlying conditions that cause this problem that is actually a bit tricky. If your pet has bad breath, make them an appointment at the veterinarian. By doing this, you will be able to determine the root cause and also get tips for treating the condition. Typically, your veterinarian will do x-rays and examine their mouth before recommending any sort of treatment options.

Your Treatment Options

Once you determine the cause of the condition, you will then be ready to treat it. If periodontal disease is the cause, then they will probably start with doing a thorough cleaning of your dog’s teeth. They may even need to do some extractions just to ensure that their teeth are in tip top shape. This is especially true if you have neglected your dog’s oral health care in the past. Aside from this, there are certain medications that can be used to tone down bad breath in dogs. Your vet will be able to point you in the right direction and offer a solution that is sure to help your pup have better breath.

Bad Breath in Dogs – What You Can Do

Once you make sure that there is nothing to be alarmed about, you will want to focus on keeping your pet’s teeth clean and healthy at home. You can do this by brushing their teeth regularly, and feeding them dry kibble that is designed to scrape away the plaque and tartar that has built up on their teeth around their gum line. You can also give them certain dental treats that help to keep their teeth clean. Focusing on good oral health care is probably the number one thing that you can do as a pet owner to prevent and treat bad breath and periodontal disease.

As you can see, bad breath in dogs can really be a pesky problem, but it doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything that you can do to overcome it. Use this information to help you keep your pet’s oral health in tip-top shape.



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I've been a dog lover since the day I was born but it's the current four legged love of my life, Phoebe who inspired me to create the Munch.Zone.We moved together from Israel to New York in 2013, love hiking together, and never pass up a trip to the dog park. Watching her over the years sparked so many questions about dog behavior and health needs, and it wasn't always easy to find answers. Thus, the Munch.Zone was born.On any given day you'll find me watching Netflix originals, eating popcorn, and thinking about how to get into house flipping.
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