Does Your Dog Have Bad Breath? Here’s What Lake Zurich Pet Owners Should Know

There are various explanations for why your dog may have bad breath. Your dog could be suffering from something serious. Most of the time, you can correct your dog’s bad breath. The big misconception is that it is normal for your dog to have bad breath.

Your dog may have bad breath for many reasons. It could be anything from poor oral health or poor diet to disease. Fortunately, if you clean your pup’s teeth from an early age, there is a good chance they will not develop periodontal disease.

dog bad breath in Lake Zurich, IL

Bad breath in dogs is a typical occurrence. However, your dog’s breath is not naturally foul or stinky. You may need to take your pup to the veterinarian to determine the cause of the problem. Continue to read below to learn what you should know about your dog having bad breath.

Why Does My Dog’s Breath Smell Rotten?

Poor Oral Health

There could be a plethora of explanations for why your dog’s breath smells rotten. It could be tartar/plaque buildup, gum disease, or an underlying health issue. You need to have a regimen in which you take care of your pup’s teeth and gums.

The American Veterinary Association says that about 80 percent of dogs develop gum disease by three. The most common cause of your dog’s bad breath is the accumulation of bacteria in your dog’s mouth. Plaque buildup in your dog’s mouth is unhealthy, and it needs to be corrected.

The plaque in your pup’s mouth emanates a foul odor. If you do not take care of the situation, your dog will have inflammation around the gums, which is gingivitis. It is a poor condition of the gums and teeth.

Besides gingivitis, your dog could also have an imbalance of oral and gut microbiome, which affects the bacteria in the gut. The harmful bacteria outweigh the good bacteria, and the small intestine will create a smelly gas. The outcome is bad breath.

Underlying Health Issues

Sometimes, even if you do everything to prevent these problems, your dog can still have bad breath. This situation is when you need to consider that your dog may have an underlying health issue.

A tumor could be present in your dog’s mouth. Diabetes can also make the breath stink. It entices the foul odor-producing food to remain present in the mouth.

Kidney disease leads to high levels of urea. It can make your dog’s breath smell putrid. Liver disease can cause your pup’s breath to smell like a dead animal because the liver is not successfully detoxifying. This disease allows the sulfur compounds to be distributed into the lungs.

Yeast infections can smell like bread or beer. Fungal infections can smell like dirty socks. A bacterial infection may have a strong odor of urine that often lingers long after your dog licks your cheeks.

There are so many reasons for your dog’s bad breath. You need to pay attention to the smells you are exposed to and tell your veterinarian.

Poor Diet

As reported by the American Kennel Club, your dog may be eating items you do not see or know about. Some dogs like to eat garbage if their pet parents are not around. Some pups will even eat their fecal matter or the fecal matter of another animal.

It could also be a problem with their actual food. They may not be eating enough or drinking enough water, which can also contribute to your pup’s bad breath. Your dog should also be avoiding dinner scraps and table food.

If your dog is not eating a diet of high-quality food, it can cause bad breath. Canned food is another culprit. You should only be giving your dog dry food unless your vet has recommended otherwise. It would help if you also were mindful to keep cat food away from your dog.

What Does a Dog’s Stinky Breath Smell Like?

Your dog’s breath can reek from a wide array of different odors. These smells can be overpowering and quite potent. These are some of the awful smells your dog may be experiencing from bad breath:

  • Fish
  • Fecal matter
  • Urine
  • Acetone
  • Ammonia
  • Sewer
  • Garbage
  • Dead animals
  • Rotting cheese
  • Blood

If you smell any of these odors coming from your dog’s mouth, you should immediately make an appointment with your veterinarian. Bad smells in your pup’s mouth can often be linked to disease and disorders.

What Should Dog Breath Smell Like?

Many studies indicate that most dogs have at least some degree of dental health issues. Unfortunately, this means that it is all too common for dogs to have bad breath. If a dog’s teeth and gums are healthy, their breath should not have any particular odor, and it should not smell strong.

Some dogs have a naturally sweet scent. It should not be an issue as long as your dog has had a sweet smell since the day you met. A dog should strictly have neutral-smelling breath. A healthy dog’s mouth will have all white teeth with a pink, shiny gum line.

If your dog’s gums are one of the following colors, you should contact your veterinarian immediately:

  • Pale
  • White
  • Blue
  • Yellow

Contrary to popular thinking, it is not normal for your dog to have bad breath. It is common in many dogs, but it is not normal.

How Can You Prevent Dental Infection in Your Dog?

Puppies should be taught early on to withstand a good tooth brushing. The best way to prevent halitosis and periodontal disease (see video) altogether is by regularly brushing your dog’s teeth. This routine can be accomplished with a special dog toothbrush, or you can even use a soft bristle human toothbrush.

You should brush your dog’s teeth using a soft circular motion over each tooth. Do not forget about the ones in the back of their mouth.

Make sure you are gentle enough not to upset your dog but thorough enough to clean their teeth properly. Put this practice into action every day, and you can prevent oral disease in your dog.

If your dog cannot tolerate you brushing their teeth, you can have a vet do it, or your vet can recommend other products that will help their oral health, such as gels and water additives.

It can be challenging to choose the correct teeth cleaning product for your dog. There are so many options out there, and you want to do what is best for your pup – talk with your veterinarian to find the best solution for your dog.

You should also have your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned at least once per year by your vet. You can learn more about teeth cleanings and when you should get them done in our article.

When in Doubt, Contact Your Vet About Your Dog’s Bad Breath

If your dog’s breath is foul or offensive, you need to get to the root of the problem. Your fur baby deserves your care and attention when it comes to their oral health and their overall health in general.

At Companion Animal Hospital of Lake Zurich, we’re here for all your pet care needs. If you ever have any questions regarding your dog’s health, give us a call!

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About Companion Animal Hospital Lake Zurich

Located just a stone’s throw away from beautiful Lake Zurich, Companion Animal Hospital, formerly Lake Zurich Animal Hospital, has warmly welcomed pets and their families since 1973.