What Can I Give My Dog For Bad Breath? Bad breath in dogs can be extremely distressing, especially if it’s persistent. Fortunately, bad breath can be an easy problem to solve. There are several home remedies for bad breath, with treats and regular brushing generally leading the list.
Bad breath in dogs is often caused by poor dental hygiene. If you suspect your dog has bad breath, take them to the vet for a check-up. In the meantime, there are some things you can do at home to help freshen their breath.
Causes of Bad Dog Breath
Bad breath in dogs can be caused by a number of different things, from tooth problems to respiratory infections:
1. Teeth and gum problems:
Dental problems in dogs are common, especially as they get older. They can also be more likely to develop bad breath if they’re experiencing periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is an infection of the supporting structures that hold your dog’s teeth in place. Bacteria in plaque create an acidic environment that can lead to inflammation and infection. The infection can spread to the gum and bone, resulting in bad breath. Periodontal disease can be an ongoing problem that affects your dog’s teeth and gums, or it can affect their ability to eat and lead to more serious health problems.
2. Respiratory problems:
If your dog is struggling with a respiratory condition, their breath can become foul as the condition causes inflammation and build-up of secretions in the throat. Signs of a respiratory problem include coughing, sneezing, lethargy, and difficulty breathing. If you notice these symptoms, take your dog to the vet immediately.
3. Summertime troubles:
In the warmer months, bad breath in dogs is often attributed to things like pollen and fungal infections in the mouth. These can cause an overgrowth of bacteria that are then released into the air when they breathe. A summertime cold or sinus infection is another common cause of bad breath in dogs. This can be caused by a build-up of mucous in the sinuses that then spills into the lungs when your dog breathes.
Just like people, some dogs suffer from food or environmental allergies. When this occurs, their bodies respond by overproducing mucous and other secretions to protect themselves. These can result in bad breath as well as nasal congestion and itchy eyes.
The side effects of many common antibiotics can cause bad breath. Trimethoprim, amoxicillin, and others are known to contribute to foul breath in dogs. If your dog has had a reaction to an antibiotic, you may be able to prevent similar reactions by changing the medication or dosing schedule.
How Do I Know If My Dog Has Bad Breath?
Bad breath in dogs is often fairly subtle. You may not notice it at all until something happens that makes you notice. Most of the time, your dog will let you know when they have bad breath. They may lick their lips or rest their muzzle on the ground with a strange-smelling odor.
You might notice they’re reluctant to eat or have lost interest in their favorite food. In some of their cases, they might seem to be having trouble breathing, which can lead to more serious health problems if not addressed immediately.
Dental Treatments for Dog Bad Breath
A check-up from your vet is always a good idea, especially if your dog is experiencing any of the above symptoms. Your vet will examine your dog and look for any obvious health issues.
Your vet will also look for underlying conditions that could be causing your dog’s bad breath. They might recommend testing for any of the above conditions, as well as looking at your dog’s teeth and gums to see if there’s any periodontal disease or another issue.
Once your vet has made a diagnosis, they can then recommend a course of action. Some of the most common treatments include:
Since antibiotics can cause bad breath, your vet might prescribe an antibiotic specifically formulated to treat bad breath. Your vet may also suggest taking your dog off the antibiotic completely to see if it causes any issues. If your dog is experiencing inflammation due to an allergic reaction, your vet might recommend an antibiotic rinse that’s designed to combat bacteria.
2. Oral anti-inflammatory medication:
If your dog’s bad breath is caused by a bacterial infection, your vet might recommend an oral anti-inflammatory medication like meloxicam or Rimadyl. They might also recommend an oral antibacterial medication like amoxicillin or azithromycin.
3. Antibacterial rinse:
If your dog is experiencing bad breath as a result of food or environmental allergies, an antibacterial rinse may help reduce the odor. This will depend on what’s causing the problem and the specific product used.
Some products might have side effects that are harmful to your dog. Talk to your vet if you’re not sure what’s right for your dog.
4. Antibacterial toothpaste:
Applying a paste containing essential oils or other antimicrobial ingredients to your dog’s teeth can help fight bacteria that cause bad breath. Do your research to find one that doesn’t have too many side effects.
10 Natural Ways to Freshen Your Dog’s Breath
1. Honey and essential oils:
Mix a tablespoon of honey with two drops of lemon or orange essential oil. Brush your dog’s teeth with the mixture and let it sit for about 30 minutes before rinsing with warm water. Repeat once per day.
2. Apple cider vinegar:
The natural acidity of apple cider vinegar is helpful in killing bacteria that cause bad breath. You can apply it directly to your dog’s teeth and gums, or you can use toothpaste made from it. Alternatively, add a drop of ACV to your dog’s drinking water each day.
The antibacterial properties of garlic make it effective at eliminating bad breath. You can feed your dog raw or cooked garlic treats every day, or include garlic oil in his dog food. Talk to your vet before giving your dog any type of garlic-based supplement or food, as side effects can be dangerous.
Take your dog’s daily vitamins to help promote good oral health.
5. Cayenne pepper:
One theory behind the ability of cayenne pepper to freshen up a dog’s breath is that it neutralizes odors. Add two tablespoons of cayenne pepper to one quart of water. Soak a cotton ball in the mixture and place it in your dog’s water bowl. Alternatively, you can add a pinch of cayenne to his daily food or a teaspoon of cayenne oil to his drinking water. Do this twice per day.
Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to your dog’s drinking water each day to freshen his breath. You could also mix it into a homemade chew bone.
Mix two tablespoons of fresh mint and leave with one tablespoon of honey and one teaspoon of water. Chew the mixture daily to freshen your dog’s breath.
8. Banana peels:
You can also make a chew bone or rawhide treat out of banana peels to combat bad breath. 9. Orange peels: Use the peels from one orange to make a chew bone or rawhide toy for your dog.
10. Dental floss:
Dental floss is a tried-and-true way to eliminate tartar buildup in your dog’s mouth.
The Top Four Foods That Cause Bad Breath In Dogs
The following are the top five foods that cause bad breath in dogs:
- Dairy products: Milk, cheese, and yogurt are all high in lactose, which is a sugar that can cause bad breath. Switch to a meat-based diet instead.
- Vegetables: Veggies like carrots, beets, and onions contain a compound called indole, which can cause bad breath.
- Grains: Refined grains like white bread and pasta can cause bad breath because they contain fermentable carbohydrates, which can lead to the production of bacteria.
- Sugar: Too much sugar in your dog’s diet can lead to bad breath. Try to feed him treats that are made from healthier sources of sugar, like fruits and vegetables.
Five Simple Tips For Keeping Your Dog’s Breath Fresh
Dental problems in dogs are on the rise, but you can take steps to prevent them. Here are some tips:
- Brush your dog’s teeth regularly with a toothpaste made for dogs. Look for products without fluorides or sodium lauryl sulfate. Chewing on bones that have been dipped in water or baking soda can help freshen his breath.
- Give your dog a variety of chew toys to keep his teeth and gums healthy.
- Make sure your dog gets enough exercise and mental stimulation. Take him for walks and play “fetch” or “chase the squirrel.”
- Avoid feeding your dog dry foods, as they tend to lead to dental problems.
- Don’t overfeed your dog. Limit treats to twice per week. If you’re worried about your dog is overweight, consult your vet. The more overweight your dog is the higher his risk of developing dental issues.
Conclusion: What Can I Give My Dog For Bad Breath?
Bad breath in dogs is a common problem that can be caused by a variety of factors, but you can take steps to prevent it. Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly and providing him with chew toys and exercise are two simple ways to keep his breath fresh.