Three Causes Of Chronic Bad Breath In Dogs

Posted on: 2 September 2016

While you may think that it's normal for your dog's breath to smell bad, this is just a myth. Chronic bad breath can be a sign that your dog requires veterinary attention, so don't ignore it. Here are three possible causes of your dog's terrible breath.

Poor Oral Hygiene

If you never brushed your teeth, your mouth would smell pretty bad, and the same is true for your dog. Brushing helps to remove bits of food from your dog's teeth, and if this debris remains in place, it will break down and cause a bad odor. Plaque, the white film on your dog's teeth, is a bacterial film that will also smell if it's not removed with a toothbrush.

Your dog's teeth should be brushed every day to keep their teeth healthy and their breath fresh. Try to get into this habit when they're a puppy, while it's still relatively easy to train them to do new things.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is the most common condition that dogs develop, and most dogs have it by the time they're three years old. It develops in response to plaque and tartar that accumulate along and underneath the gum line. These substances irritate the gum tissue and make it inflamed and infected.

The main sign of gum disease in dogs is bad breath. Since many people think that bad breath is normal for dogs, gum disease is usually undertreated. If your dog's breath is smelly, take them to a vet to have their gums examined for signs of disease. If gum disease is detected, a thorough cleaning can be performed to clear it up.

Blocked Anal Glands

In some cases, bad breath isn't a sign that anything is wrong inside the mouth. Their bad breath may be a sign that their anal glands are impacted. The anal glands produce a smelly, greasy substance that helps other dogs identify your dog, but if they get impacted, this smelly substance will accumulate.

When these glands get impacted, dogs lick or chew at their rectums to try to release the anal fluid. Understandably, this leaves their breath with a terrible, fishy odor. A veterinarian can drain your dog's impacted anal glands to solve this problem for you.

Bad breath isn't normal for dogs, so if your dog's breath is foul, take them to a vet to find out what's going on. Bad breath can be caused by treatable conditions like poor oral hygiene, gum disease or blocked anal glands. For more information, contact an animal hospital in your area.