Don’t you just love coming home after a long day and seeing your dog? We bet you even get some kisses! Sometimes those kisses might be not so fresh. While this may not seem like an urgent problem, it could be a sign of something much worse. According to Canine Journal, 78% of dogs suffer from dental disease, and bad breath is an early warning sign. Certified Pet Advisor Roberta Gleicher agrees, saying” bad breath can be an indication of a serious medical or dental problem, so pet parents should have their vet examine any dog that develops breath with an unusual or stinky odor.”
However, if your vet determines that periodontal disease (gum disease) is not the leading cause of the stinky dog breath, there are a few remedies that you can find lying around your home.
Gleicher says, “Healthy dogs can develop bad breath from food particles stuck in the teeth and from bacteria growing in the mouth”. Essentially, plaque turns to tartar and tartar buildup can lead to bad dog breath. The best way to get rid of plaque and tartar? Daily toothbrushing. While many pet parents have experienced how difficult it can be to actually get a toothbrush into their dog’s mouth, others are experiencing the Bristly, by Empawer, which allows your dog to brush his or her own teeth. Just add toothpaste and they’re ready to brush and play the plaque (and stink) away.
2. Share a Snack
Did you know? Some “human foods” also are beneficial for pups. “Feeding a small sprig of parsley may help bad breath because chlorophyll is actually a natural deodorizer. Parsley can also help aid digestion, which itself can be the cause of bad breath. If you look on the back of the breath-freshening products you normally buy for your dog, they’ll probably list parsley as the main ingredient. That’s because mixed with other ingredients, it’s almost tasteless and sweet when boiled; it immediately freshens breath.
Find out what other snacks you can share with your pup to freshen their breath here.
3. Keep bowls clean
You may not realize it, but your dog’s bowl should be kept clean, according to Gleicher. Bacteria can grow anywhere and cause digestive upsets along with bad breath.
4. Change Diet
Your dog's diet may actually be the cause of stinky breath. “Since poor-quality dog foods contain ingredients that are hard for dogs to digest, they’re more likely to cause digestive upsets that lead to bad breath,” according to Gleicher. If your dog is otherwise healthy, but exhibiting some stinky breath, it could be time to try a different, higher quality brand of dog food.
5. Be Mindful of Your Dog
Dogs will be dogs, which means that they will eat whatever they find on the ground. “Sometimes dogs will eat feces or old food they find on the ground, which will cause disgusting breath and can lead to health problems,” says Gleicher. As pet parents, we’ve all had to wrestle something out of our dog’s mouth, so it’s important to be mindful of your dog and try to clean up the areas they spend time. If your dog goes potty in the yard, try to clean it up as often as possible so that they can’t eat it later on.