As proud and happy pet parents, we love to get snuggles and love from our furry best friends. Every so often though, we’re accosted by that “Oh my gosh! What did you eat!” breath!
While many times, doggie halitosis is a temporary thing, it’s important to heed the red flag and determine if your best friend needs more than a couple dental chews!
Plaque and Tartar build-up (dental or gum disease):
Regular dental visits and cleaning by your veterinarian are important for your dog’s oral health. It’s difficult, if not impossible to remove tartar buildup at home so it’s important to establish a good routine to try to prevent plaque to begin with.
- Encourage your dog to chew! Toss your favorite boots in the crate and let him have at them! I’m sure you scoffed at that, but seriously, she does need to chew to work that plaque off her gorgeous canines. Dental hygiene treats or rubber chew toys (BPA free please) are terrific alternatives.
- Brush those teeth! If your dog is anything like mine, he becomes a super angry pro-wrestler when you go after him with the toothbrush but do your best to get in there and scrub. His teeth and your nose will thank you.
Bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, liver or kidneys:
Unfortunately, this isn’t something that may be easy to diagnose on your own. The process of elimination is best in this case. Try the home remedies like those mentioned above and keep giving your dog the sniff test. If the bad breath doesn’t subside, gets worse, has a fruity smell (a sign of diabetes) or if you notice other symptoms developing such as vomiting, lack of appetite, or yellowing eyes, make an appointment with the vet for a professional opinion.
Regular checkups with your vet is important so that the doctor can discover any changes in your pet. Catching a problem early on can prevent extensive suffering or treatments for your pup. Just as we get regular dental checkups, your dog deserves them too.
Eating something gross (don’t pretend your dog hasn’t):
I would tell you the really disgusting thing our dog ate once (twice, no, maybe three times), but you may have just finished dinner or currently be snacking on something and I don’t want to gross you out that much. Suffice it to say, dogs eat some pretty nasty things. Their gross-out threshold is non-existent apparently. It’s quite possible, your puppy dog just had a nice delicious meal of “you probably don’t want to know” and it’s where the green wafting mist of horrid breath is coming from. Throw some of the dental hygiene chew sticks at her and hope it works.
Natural Bad Breath Remedies
Beyond the upfront and personal in your face issue of the smelly mouth and teeth, many times the diet itself can help with the odors above. Here are some pet friendly and safe foods that may help with that breath problem!
- Coconut Oil: Add a teaspoon to your dog’s food or use it as a toothpaste when brushing their teeth.
- Lemon juice added to drinking water can limit the bacteria growing in your pet’s mouth.
- Carrots act much in the same way as a chew toy. The abrasive quality of the carrot helps remove plaque from the teeth.
- Brown rice which is high in fiber helps to keep the gastrointestinal tract clean and aids in digestion.
- Fresh herbs such as mint, cilantro, sage, parsley and garlic used in moderation help to naturally freshen breath or kill bacteria.
Once you’ve ruled out that a serious health issue is the cause of your Fido’s breath problem, let him know how special he is to you with any of these tasty homemade breath freshening treats like these Pumpkin Apple Treats, Doggie Breath Mints or Puppermint Treats!
With a little bit of attention, care and of course, some spoiling, you’ll be back to nuzzling and getting puppy dog kisses in no time!