What is bad breath in dogs?
Bad breath is something that can occur in all mammals, including dogs. It can be short-lived, and the dog has bad breath all of a sudden, because they have eaten something unpleasant, or it can persist and become an ongoing problem.
The simplest way to avoid dog bad breath becoming a problem is to feed a well-balanced diet and keep a good oral hygiene routine. If a dog is eating well and appears to have clean, healthy teeth and gums but still the dog has bad breath, they should go to the vet. There may be oral health issues that the owner cannot spot, such as cavities below the gum line or gum infection. Untreated gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) can, if not dealt with, let bacteria into the bloodstream and then the organs, such as the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys. There they may set up infections that can interfere with organ function, potentially causing serious issues like heart disease.
Some diseases have bad breath as a symptom, such as diabetes or kidney disease. All of these illnesses require veterinary treatment. If you realise ‘my dog has bad breath’ and can see no obvious cause, as the first step a vet should rule out illness.
Here we look at how to tell what might cause your dog to have bad breath and ideas on how to get rid of dog bad breath.