It is not hard to recognize bad breath, either human or animal, but not everyone understands what causes it. Bad breath is caused by bacteria building up in the mouth, gut or lungs. You know your dog has bad breath when you smell a foul odor coming from their mouth. Bad breath that lingers may indicate that good dental care is in order or that there is something going on in the intestinal tract, kidneys or liver. Halitosis is always a red flag that you should be investigation what is going on.

What is the Cause of Bad Dog Breath?

Typically, your dog has bad breath due to diseases of the gums or teeth, and some dogs are more prone to tartar and plaque build up, but sometimes your dog has bad breath that is caused by other medical problems in the respiratory system, mouth, or organs of the intestinal tract.

Determining the Cause of Your Dog’s Bad Breath

The best way to determine why your dog has bad breath is to take them to your veterinarian. A through physical examination and some lab work may be ordered to help get to the bottom of the problem. The vet is sure to ask about your dog’s diet, exercise habits, and oral hygiene and behavior.

How to Know When it’s Time to Take Your Dog to the Vet

You should take your dog to the vet if you suddenly notice an unusual odor. They will look for the following signals that something is seriously wrong. If your dog has been urinating more frequently and drinking more water, and has a fruity or sweet smell to the breath they may have diabetes. Kidney disease is often indicated when the breath has the smell of uring. If your dog has experienced a lack of appetite, corneas and or gums with a yellow tinge to them, has been vomiting, and has an unusually foul smell to their breath, this could indicate a problem with the liver.

Treating your Dog’s Bad Breath

It will depend on the diagnosis from your vet as to how to treat them if your dog has bad breath. Plaque and tartar can be cleaned away if this is the cause. If the diet is the culprit you may be advised to change it. If other health problems are the cause your vet will instruct you in how to take care of that, and often medications will be prescribed.

How to Prevent Bad Dog Breath

If your dog has bad breath or you want to prevent it, there are some things you can do. Not only will you be helping your dog to be more pleasant to be around, but you will be preserving their health. Here are some things you can do.

* Take your dog to your vet for checkups regularly to catch health issues before they can get out of hand.
* Have your vet monitor the condition of your dog’s breath and teeth.
* Brush your dog’s teeth every day with toothpaste that is made specifically for your dog, not for you.
* Keep hard chew toys and natural treats on hand to help clean your dog’s teeth naturally, and freshen their breath.
* Discuss with your vet options you can use to maintain your dog’s oral health.

All of these steps are designed to help you maintain the health of your dog, and help them to remain pleasant to be around. Just like any other family member, our pets are very important to us, and there is no excuse for not keeping them as healthy as possible. If your dog has bad breath, don’t panic. Most of the time bad breath is just a signal that your dog needs a good teeth cleaning, and if you can do that for them that will save you money, but if you have a feisty little guy that is more likely to nip you when you are working on their mouth, taking him to the vet is the best option.