Dog breath is never pleasant, but most times, it can be fixed with simple tooth brushing. However, if the halitosis persists, it is probably time to visit the vet because unusually smelly breath is often a red flag for deeper health issues in the oral cavity, gastrointestinal tract, respiratory system, or internal organs.
The five most common reasons for bad breath are listed below.
- Gum Disease. Tooth decay, plaque, tartar, or gum disease is the most frequently occurring causes for halitosis in pets. This can be easily prevented by brushing your pet’s teeth regularly, using a vet-recommended toothpaste that is specifically formulated for pets. Another easy way to ensure oral hygiene is to give the pet a chew toy, as the process of mastication naturally cleans the teeth.
- Diabetes. Metabolic disorders like diabetes can cause an unusual fruity smell in your dog’s breath. If not treated in time, the condition could cause the bacteria to proliferate. Increased thirst and urination are positive indicators of diabetes.
- Kidney issues. When kidney function is sub-optimal, your pet’s breath could smell of ammonia. The body’s inability to eliminate waste products causes the blood stream to carry these products and eventually, shows up in the breath of the animal.
- Liver disease. If your pet’s rank breath is accompanied by vomiting, loss of appetite, and yellow-tinged corneas, s/he could be suffering from a liver disease. Make sure to get him/her a thorough check up from the vet.
- Ingesting foreign, toxic substances. Pets are notoriously unfussy eaters. It is quite possible that they ingested something that does not agree with them and is potentially toxic. Sometimes, they also attempt to eat indigestible, non-edible things that could get stuck in their teeth or esophagus, which, in turn, could lead to bad breath.
Most times, bad breath can be fixed by establishing a daily gum and dental care routine. High-fiber diets that can be easily digested and a balanced mix of dry and wet foods will also keep the bacteria in your pet’s oral cavity in check.
It is important to be aware and observant of your pet’s symptoms. Visit your local vet for a professional consultation on ways to improve your four-legged friend’s breath odor and resolve any underlying health issues. It will save your pet a lot of discomfort and you will no longer have to love him/her from a distance.