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Why does my dog have bad breath, and how can I fix it?

This is an all too familiar scenario for most dog owners. Your beloved pet joyfully leaps up to greet you and breathes pungently in your face. Their breath is terrible, and you find yourself wondering whether this is a bad sign. Is your dog’s health suffering? Thackerys Highly recommends Activated charcoal Treats - It can act as a natural tooth whitening ingredient for dogs, as the activated charcoal binds and absorbs stains on your dog's teeth. It also acts as a breath freshener for dogs, which makes activated charcoal a perfect ingredient to add into your dog's teeth cleaning regimen!

Bad breath is never pleasant, and in a dog, it can indicate health issues. It could be as simple as halitosis, or something more serious. “Dog breath” isn’t as normal as you might think. In fact, a dog’s breath should smell neutral.

If you’re concerned, it’s important to take your dog to the vet for a check-up. A vet can properly establish the cause and how to fix it. However, there are some common causes of bad breath in dogs. You may well be able to deal with the problem at home.

  1. Poor Dental Hygiene

Dogs need to have their teeth cleaned, too. The most common cause of bad breath in dogs is dental disease. Just as a human with a poor teeth-cleaning regimen will have bad breath, dogs can also develop similar problems.

This can lead to other issues. Bad breath is just the tip of the iceberg; your dog could later suffer from tooth decay and gum disease. This in turn brings a host of other problems. Your dog may need to have teeth removed as well as risking painful abscesses, infection, and difficulty eating.

As always, prevention is better than a cure. Dental diseases can be avoided in dogs the same way humans avoid it; regular and thorough tooth brushing.

This is easier said than done. Dogs tend not like having their teeth brushed. However, you can buy a variety of flavoured toothpastes, designed for dogs, as well as a rubber toothbrush you can fit on your finger.

If your dog absolutely will not allow you to brush their teeth, you could try a dog toothpaste chew or toy specifically designed to help clean your pet’s teeth. Alternatively, seek a vet’s advice for how best to keep your dog’s mouth healthy.

  1. Oral Disease

Bad breath can also be a sign that poor dental hygiene has already taken a toll. Remember, it’s difficult for our dogs to let us know that they’re in pain. Tooth rot, gum disease, inflammation and even abscesses can cause your dog’s breath to smell terrible.

Often, there will be other signs of these problems. Does your dog seem to be in pain? They may be losing weight due to difficulty eating, or even losing interest in playing and chewing their toys.

A quick veterinary examination will show whether your dog has dental issues, by lifting the dog’s lips and inspecting the teeth and gums.

  1. Diet and Allergies

Dog food tends to smell a little unpleasant, so it’s likely that this can affect your dog’s breath. Similarly, a fishy diet will make your dog’s breath smell accordingly!

Many dogs have a bad habit of eating faeces. Of course, this is going to affect your dog’s breath. In fact, since dogs are scavengers by nature, allowing your dog to hoover up whatever they find on the ground means their breath will smell worse than usual.

Dogs often lick themselves, too. This can contribute to the unpleasant fishy smell you might notice from time to time.

Allergies can also affect your pet’s breath. If you’re not sure about whether your dog is suffering from allergies, a trip to the vet can help you deal with this issue.

  1. Other illnesses

Certain illnesses can cause your dog’s breath to smell. However, the scent does tend to change a little. For example, you may notice a sweet, musty scent, like pear drops. This can indicate diabetes. A scent like ammonia can indicate kidney problems. Infected masses in the mouth and throat also smell differently to regular bad breath. Here are some illnesses that could cause bad breath:

  • Diabetes

  • Gut problems

  • Kidney disease

  • Liver disease

  • Infections in the throat, lungs, etc

If you suspect that your dog’s bad breath could be caused by something more serious, it’s important to take your dog for a check-up and mention your concerns to the vet.

Chances are that your dog’s bad breath can be improved by some dietary adjustments and regular tooth cleaning. Since the scent of your dog’s breath can be a good indicator of their health, it’s a good idea to pay close attention again such as -

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