Many of us have experienced the regretful moment when we let a dog with stinky breath get too close to our face. While the stench could just be lingering from their breakfast, it might also be caused by serious health conditions. Our veterinarians in Rochester discuss the possible causes of your dog's bad breath and what to do about it. 

Why does my dog's breath smell so bad?

Many pet parents find themselves asking 'Why do dogs have bad breath?'. this is because it's common for dogs to have some bad breath, which can sometimes develop into a stinky smell. This can be caused by various factors, such as eating, playing with toys, or just living their lives.

However, this foul smell can also indicate an underlying health problem, such as kidney or liver disease or oral health issues. It's important to address your pup's bad breath because it may be a sign of a serious condition that needs attention.

So what causes bad breath in dogs? Here are some of the most common causes:

Oral Health Issues

Dog bad breath is commonly caused by oral health issues, which can include tooth decay, gum disease, and oral infections. These issues create a buildup of bacteria and food debris in your furry friend's mouth, leading to plaque and persistent odor. 

It's important to take care of your dog's oral hygiene, as neglecting it can lead to stronger odor and worsening health problems. To prevent this, make sure to take your pet for regular professional dental cleanings and maintain good oral hygiene practices at home.

Kidney Disease

Does your dog have stinky breath that smells like feces or urine? It could be a result of them eating their own poop (which is concerning on its own) or it could indicate a problem with their kidneys.

When the kidneys aren't functioning correctly, toxins and waste materials can accumulate in the body, leading to unpleasant breath and potentially serious health issues for your furry friend. So, if your pup has smelly breath, it's best to get it checked out by a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health problems.

Liver Disease

If you've noticed that your dog's breath has become unpleasant and they are also experiencing symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea, it's possible that they could be suffering from a liver disease that is responsible for these issues. This is something that should be taken seriously and requires prompt veterinary attention to determine the root cause of the problem and provide appropriate treatment for your furry friend's wellbeing.

How can I treat my dog's bad breath?

The treatment that your dog will need to tackle their bad breath will vary depending on the underlying cause. Because bad breath is usually a symptom, it means that the health problem needs to be treated to make the bad smell go away.

Therefore, it is important to take your dog to the vet as soon as you notice a change in their breath's smell. Several causes of bad breath can be serious health issues, and early diagnosis is crucial.

Your vet will determine the best course of treatment based on the severity and location of the underlying condition, which may include prescription medications, specialized diets, therapies, or surgeries. So, don't wait and take your pup to the vet for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Treating Stinky Dog Breath at Home

While some conditions are more complex and can't be treated at home, you can still help prevent bad breath in your dog. The key is to provide routine oral hygiene care and professional dental cleanings annually. To achieve this, you should get your dog used to tooth brushing when they are young.

However, if your dog doesn't tolerate brushing, you can provide dental chews and dog food designed to promote oral health. Consult your vet to find the best oral health products for your dog. Additionally, you can take some easy measures to prevent internal organ failure or disease in your dog's liver or kidneys, which can cause bad breath. Make sure to keep toxic substances, including human medications, common houseplants, and foods safe for our consumption, out of your pet's reach.

By knowing the foods, plants, and substances that are toxic to your dog, you can help to ensure that they stay far out of their reach.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Have you noticed your dog's breath getting increasingly worse? Contact our Rochester vets to book an examination for your pup.