You might have noticed that your dog has bad breath, and you’re less than keen to receive their affection, particularly when they want to lick you!
If your dog has bad breath, you should visit your vet to rule out any serious causes, such as gum disease or decay. However, it may be normal for your dog to suffer from bad breath even if there are no problems with their gums. Every dog is different, and some may just have smellier breath than others. This can vary according to the food they eat, how much water they drink, and even their unique differences!
If your dog is healthy and happy but their mouths smell less than pleasantand your vet has ruled an underlying condition out, there are a number of steps you can try at home to help reduce your dog’s bad breath. These steps may also help a dog who has been diagnosed with gum disease, though it’s important that you check with your vet before trying anything yourself.
Brushing your dog’s teeth – Cleaning your dog’s teeth with a toothbrush can help a pooch with bad dog breath. Cleaning your dog’s teeth can be done easily at home if you have the right equipment. There are a number of different brushes and toothpastes specifically for dogs for you to choose from; we advise you check with your vet to find out which is best for your dog. Find more information on brushing your dog’s teeth here.
Adding parsley to food – Parsley is a great way to improve your dog’s bad breath, as it’s a natural breath freshener. If you chop a small amount up and add it to your dog’s food it could help to improve the condition.
Remember, you should be feeding your dog a complete and balanced diet in the form of dry or wet dog food, so parsley isn’t vital for their nutritional needs. Only use a small amount, even if only because they’ll be confused by the taste!
Diet – Feed a good quality complete diet, a poor diet could be a cause of bad breath – as well as nutritional deficiencies. Many dogs with bad breath tend to get fed sugary or fatty food and snacks as treats. These snacks encourage the growth of bacteria on a dog’s teeth, and if left can cause a whole host of dental conditions, including bad breath.
If your dog has bad dog breath, consider the snacks and treats your dog might be enjoying, especially when you aren’t looking. The best treats are always ones designed specially for dogs, as they will be nutritionally safe and may even help improve dental hygiene.
DentaLife® – Feeding your dog a stick of DentaLife® a day is a great way to help reduce their bad breath. Chewing on a DentaLife stick can help reduce the build-up of plaque from your dog’s mouth, even on those tricky teeth right at the back. Plaque is a major cause of bad breath, so keeping it under control is also a good method of ensuring your dog’s breath is as fresh as possible.
Take a look at our Benefits of DentaLife® article to find out more about how DentaLife® can help your dog.
Ask the vet Some methods of reducing bad breath in dogs are difficult to carry out at home. The following methods are best left to a vet, who will be able to help you clean your dog’s teeth and freshen their breath.
Veterinary teeth cleaning – If you’re having trouble cleaning your dog’s teeth at home, or cleaning doesn’t seem to help, ask your vet if they can clean your dog’s teeth for you. They may be more practised at getting at those hard-to-reach places, and can often offer a more thorough clean than one you can do yourself.
Flossing – Flossing is a great way to help reduce the plaque build up on your dog’s teeth. This in turn can help to reduce their bad breath. This is because some teeth grow so closely together you can’t get a brush between them, whereas a piece of floss can get into the small gap.
This method of reducing bad dog breath isn’t always helpful, as most dogs have larger gaps between their teeth than humans anyway. However, if your dog has teeth that are close together, it can be a useful method of dental care. Your vet will be able to advise if they can carry out flossing, or if it will be helpful.
Bad dog breath can be a condition many owners have to face. Whilst it is normal for dogs to have bad breath, it could be a sign of a more serious issue. Before you look at methods of reducing bad dog breath it is important to understand what might be causing it, so check out our article on the causes of bad dog breath for more information.