Does Your Dog Have Horrible Breath? Here’s What To Do
Because doggy kisses don’t have to be stinky.
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While doggy kisses are one of life’s greatest pleasures, getting close to a pup with bad breath is not.
And believe it or not, bad dog breath isn’t as normal as you’d think.
In fact, if your dog suffers from obnoxiously stinky breath, it’s a good idea to get him checked out by your vet for any underlying health issues.
Why does my dog have bad breath?
“A dog’s bad breath is not normal and may be a clue to underlying oral disease — such as periodontal disease or a tumor in the mouth,” Dr. Ann Hohenhaus, a veterinarian with Animal Medical Center in New York City, told The Dodo.
A serious case of bad breath should send you and your dog to the veterinarian’s office ASAP, she said.
While the issue could be a simple plaque buildup, it’s always better to make sure.
Your vet might check your dog for a variety of issues including:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Dental disease
- Gross dietary habits (like eating poop)
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
How do I help my dog's stinky breath?
If you’ve gone to the vet and your dog has been cleared of any serious underlying health issues, there are other ways that you can help get his breath a bit more tolerable.
1. Brush his teeth regularly
“Veterinarians recommend daily brushing,” Dr. Hohenhaus said.
Just like with people, brushing your dog's teeth will help to combat his breath. Find a toothpaste flavor that your dog will love to make it a better experience for you both.
We recommend: Virbac CET Vanilla/Mint Toothpaste. Buy it now from Amazon for $23.99.
2. Get some dental chews
Dental chews are a great way to help your dog’s breath — and they can be mistaken for treats!
“Chewing helps prevent plaque and tartar buildup and assists in boredom relief,” Dr. Stephanie Austin, a veterinarian at Bond Vet in New York City, told The Dodo. While there are a lot of dental chews on the market, make sure to look for ones that contain breath-freshening chlorophyll or delmopinol for the best results.
We recommend: OraVet Dental Hygiene Chews for Dogs. Buy them now from Amazon for $14.99+.
3. Sprinkle cinnamon on your dog’s food
Believe it or not, cinnamon is actually a great trick for freshening breath!
We recommend: McCormick Ground Cinnamon. Buy it now from Amazon for $5.78.
4. When in doubt: coconut oil
Coconut oil isn’t just beneficial for humans — it can also help your dog’s breath! You can drizzle some over your dog’s food in the mornings, or even use it in combination with his toothpaste and brush his teeth with it.
“Just be careful of the fat content in any oil supplement!” Dr. Austin said.
We recommend: Viva Naturals Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. Buy it now from Amazon for $13.22
5. Add probiotics to his diet
Probiotics work by introducing good bacteria into your dog's mouth, helping to combat the ones that cause bad breath. Get a probiotic specifically made for dogs, and you’ll likely see (or smell) an improvement.
We recommend: Zesty Paws Probiotic Bites. Buy them now from Amazon for $25.97.
6. Give your dog some wheatgrass
A great source of chlorophyll, wheatgrass helps to neutralize odors to fight off bad breath. You can chop up some fresh wheatgrass to sprinkle on his food, or try a shelf-stable powder. You can even freeze some into ice cubes to use as a treat.
We recommend: Amazing Grass Organic Wheat Grass Powder. Buy it now for $19.99.
While bad breath is something to look into with your vet, once your dog is given a clean bill of health, these tips will help you get your sweet-smelling pup back!