Bad Breath in Dogs: Causes, Treatment and Prevention

breath Buster dog woman

Dog parents are no strangers to bad breath in dogs. From waking up to smelly kisses to being held captive in a car with their stinky breath, you’ve probably had your fair share of not-so-fresh breath encounters. Many pet parents think bad breath is an inevitable part of owning a dog. But foul-smelling breath isn’t normal or healthy.


What Causes Bad Dog Breath?

Bad dog breath could be a bad sign. Causes of bad dog breath range from poor oral hygiene to less-than-savory eating habits like eating garbage, roadkill or even the cat’s — or their own — poop!

Bad breath could also be the first sign of a more serious oral health problem, such as the early onset of gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) or periodontitis (oral disease). 

Regular activities, such as eating meals and fetching slobbery toys, can cause plaque to form on your dog’s teeth. If this plaque isn’t removed daily from brushing, it will begin to form tartar, or filmy deposits containing harmful bacteria that can irritate your pet’s gums and cause bad breath.

Plaque can lead to gingivitis, which can eventually lead to oral disease. Oral disease damages the tissue and bones that support your dog’s teeth and can cause tooth loss and potentially create long-term issues for your dog’s health.


How to Help Treat Bad Dog Breath

The first step to addressing your pup’s bad breath is to visit the vet for a dental cleaning. During the appointment, your vet can rule out any underlying health issues as the cause.

As humans, we have a general dental routine that includes brushing our teeth daily. So it makes sense that regularly brushing your dog’s teeth is a great way to remove tartar before it can lead to bad breath or oral disease.

If unsavory snacking habits are causing your dog’s stinky breath, it’s time to secure the trash, move the litter box out of reach and monitor your pooch more closely when they’re outside to make sure they don’t munch on dead animals or their own waste.


Tips for Preventing Bad Dog Breath

So what can you do to help minimize the risk of bad breath in the first place? Practice a dental care routine with your dog and take the right preventive measures to keep your dog happy and healthy for a lifetime.

Here are three easy ways to care for your dog’s mouth:

1.    Schedule regular veterinary exams and cleanings. Your vet can help spot and treat problems before they become more serious issues.

2.    Avoid feeding your dog table scraps. Your dog may love table scraps, but human food may increase the buildup of plaque and tartar on their teeth.

3.    Feed your dog crunchy kibble. It helps remove tartar as they chew.


Bonus Tip: Give Your Dog Dental Treats

Between your regular veterinary exams and cleanings, feed your dog specially designed oral care treats, such as GREENIES™ Dental Treats. These treats are accepted by the Veterinary Oral Health Council to help control tartar buildup. Giving your dog a GREENIESTM Dental Treat once a day is a great way to help promote oral health. Plus, dogs love the taste of GREENIESTM — they’ll enjoy getting a tasty reward that’s also good for their teeth and breath.

Say goodbye to bad breath and smelly kisses by developing a dental care routine for your dog to help keep their mouth clean and fresh.

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