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5 Ways to end bad breath in your dog

Written by: Buddy and Lola Admin



Time to read 3 min

Explore the causes of your dog’s stinky breath, what you can do about it, as well as preventative measures to help keep your relationship closer than ever.

Curling up, snuggled with your best fur-friend is one of life’s pleasures - it’s the best start and the best end to your day. However, if your dog has bad breath, then a slobbery kiss can make you turn away pretty quickly, gasping for air in the face of the stench! So why is your dog’s breath so bad? Well, there could be a number of reasons, and it’s not necessarily related to something they just ate.

Why does my dog have bad breath?

Oral Hygiene

Your dog’s bad breath could easily be the result of underlying dental disease. And with over two thirds of dogs experiencing dental issues, it’s not surprising that bad breath is so common amongst dogs. The build-up of harmful bacteria is one of the primary causes, and the bad smell is being created by colonies of bacteria breeding in your dog’s mouth. These bacteria, when mixed with slimy food residue on the tooth surface, are known as plaque. If it is not regularly removed, it then hardens to form tartar, which can only be removed by a professional.

If left untreated, these nasty oral bacteria can cause:

  • Tooth decay,
  • Gum infections
  • All types of periodontal diseases

So, cure it now, and you’ll spare your dog from other potential health issues. Consistent smelly breath means your dog’s oral hygiene routine probably needs attention!

Did you know? Smaller dogs are more susceptible to plaque and tartar build up.

Can bad breath in dogs be a sign of illness?

Unfortunately yes, bad breath in dogs can be the result of an illness or underlying condition.

Underlying Ailments

Underlying health conditions can also predispose your dog to bad breath, such as kidney disease and diabetes. These can contribute to gum inflammation, increased susceptibility to infections and poor oral health. These conditions weaken the immune system or disrupt normal bodily functions, making the mouth more vulnerable to dental issues.

Autoimmune disorders

Autoimmune disorders are conditions where the immune system mistakenly attacks the body's own healthy tissues. Some of these can affect the mouth and contribute to dental problems.

Conditions like pemphigus or systemic lupus erythematosus can cause ulceration, inflammation and lesions in the mouth which can cause bad breath and other oral problems.

Xerostomia (dry mouth)

Xerostomia refers to a condition where a dog's mouth doesn't produce enough saliva. Saliva plays an essential role in oral health by washing away food particles, maintaining a healthy pH balance in the mouth and having natural antibacterial properties. If your dog has xerostomia, the lack of saliva can lead to dental problems because food particles and bacteria aren't cleared away effectively. Without enough saliva, your dog may be more prone to dental plaque, tartar buildup, gum disease and bad breath.

If you think your dog could be suffering from an underlying condition or autoimmune disorder, please seek advice from your vet.

5 ways to tackle bad breath in your dog

  • Give your dog something to chew on. We recommend avoiding real bones as they can easily cause cracked teeth or splinter, especially if cooked. There are other effective natural chews which are much safer, such as deer antlers or dried beef tendons. Alternatively, you could offer your dog a chew toy designed especially for cleaning teeth.
  • Explore an alternative diet for your dog. Harder foods provide some abrasion against the teeth as they are chewed upon, resulting in plaque being scraped off. Dried food with large kibble pieces is ideal. There are even balanced diets designed specifically for dental purposes.
  • Prevent your dog from entering your bathroom! Yes, an open door can mean an invitation to drink bacteria-laden water from the toilet. This goes the same from any stagnant water outside lying around.
  • Clean their teeth often with a toothbrush or use an alternative daily solution such as our to help prevent the plaque and tartar build up. Remember, dog toothpaste, tooth gel and mouthwash should always be used, rather than the human alternative. There are many ingredients in human oral hygiene products which are toxic to dogs.
  • Schedule regular dental check-ups to ensure that you keep on top of their oral hygiene – plus, if an infection is spotted early, you have time to take appropriate action, such as your vet undertaking a dental scale and polish for your dog.

Top Tip: We recommend Clean Canines tooth powder for dogs - the rich combination of vitamins and minerals will fight plaque and tartar buildup, so you can keep your dog’s mouth healthy and fresh stress-free! Just sprinkle it onto their food.

Keep your dog's breath fresh

Remember, it’s super important to keep on top of your dog’s oral health. Neglected teeth and gums can lead to complicated and serious health issues if bacteria enter the bloodstream. And if you’re proactive about keeping your dog’s mouth in top condition, your dog may go their whole life with a full set of sparkling white teeth and no more bad breath. They’re sure to thank you for that!

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