Canine Bad Breath - An Overview

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Tess Thompson

A dog’s breath is not the best smell in the world but dog owners usually get used to the smell. However, there are times when the smell is so offensive that the first thing that you think of is to buy a dog breath freshener. A dog and bad breath go hand in hand and breath fresheners are good for getting rid of bad dog breath but the matter does not end there - the condition can be a bit more serious than that.

If your dog has offensive breath and is reluctant to eat, rushes to the food bowl but cannot eat or drops food (especially large chunks or hard foods) while eating, you have every reason to suspect that a dental condition is the cause of pain in the mouth and bad breath. Drooling and pawing at the mouth are other indications that all is not well within his mouth. Just like humans, dogs too need dental care like cleaning, brushing or scaling.

Generally dogs can suffer from a dental disease due to certain factors like improper diet, genetic predisposition and improper dental care. All these factors can lead to canine bad breath. Sometimes bad breath can also be an indication of a metabolic disease, gastrointestinal disease or obstruction, oral cancer or stomatitis.

Lack of proper dental care is the major reason behind accumulation of tartar on the teeth, inflammation of the gums and receding margin of the gums. These cause bad breath and are also a potential risk for the development of a condition known as periodontitis. Periodontitis may lead to secondary infections or spread of pathogenic bacteria to other organs.

Young dogs often get bad breath during the process of shedding teeth. This is a temporary condition that may be accompanied by fever. This specific condition can be taken care of by brushing teeth with diluted baking soda. A dog oral breath spray can be more convenient if the young dog has not yet learnt to accept the toothbrush.

Older dogs, especially thin and frail ones, with bad breath should be checked for kidney or liver disease, especially since bad breath is one of the symptoms that accompany failure of these organs. Dogs with signs of organ failure or severe periodontitis require extra special care while tending to their teeth. In such cases a specialist is the right person to provide dental care as the process may require anesthesia and subsequent treatment, if required.


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