Bad Dog Breath? It Could Be Serious. Here’s What You Should Do

Andrea A.

We quickly get used to dog breath. Love doesn’t just make us blind but also inbits our sense of smell. Since your companion never brushes their teeth, we think it’s normal. But that’s wrong.


SourceBad breath in dogs is a serious warning sign. It could be a symptom of bad health. The culprit? Tartar. This nest of bacteria develops around your dogs teeth. Over time, as well as causing bad breath, they risk developing periodental (gum) disease.


SourceAnd that should worry you: oral bacteria can travel in the blood and harm different organs such as the kidneys, heart, liver, pancreas… In short, bad breath and tartar are the tip of the iceberg.Here’s 9 pieces of advice to ensure your dog has fresh breath and avoids illness.

1. Brush their teeth often.


Source It’s the best remedy. In an ideal world you should do so three or four times a week. It’s normal for them to put up a fight at first. In the end they will accept it. Ideally they will become used to it as soon as possible. You can find special dog dental kits at your vets.

2. Give them fruit.


SourceSome fruit makes an excellent snack for you to give to your dog regularly. Be careful, however there are some you shouldn't give them. Apples are perfect for good oral hygeine. They help keep you dog’s breath fresh and eliminate dental plaque and tartar (make sure you remove the pips though).  

3. Give them bones. But be careful…


SourceBones help eliminate tartar and ensure strong gums. They make an excellent snack. But be wary as some bones are very dangerous, particularly when they are cooked(as discussed here). In all cases, make sure you don’t give your dog bones small enough to be swallowed...

4. Spoil them with special chew toys.


SourceDogs love chewing things. But even better, chewing strengthens and cleans their teeth. Instead of an old shoe, it’s better to give them a more suitable toy. You can find lots of different ones. Rope toys are excellent because they displace food scraps between the teeth.

5. Why not floss their teeth?


SourceIt’s one for the keener dog owner. A good brush regularly will generally be enough. But why stop there? If you floss your teeth why shouldn’t your dog benefit from the same? If they don’t mind it, it won’t do them any harm.

6. Regularly check their mouth.


SourceCheck every nook and cranny. Look for bits of food that get stuck in between teeth as they can cause bad breath. If you notice an infection or suspect swollen gums, take your dog to the vets straight away.

7. Take them for an examination from time to time.


SourceYour vet is the best place for your dog’s mouth to be examined. Ideally go once or twice a year. If your dog goes for an occasional check up your vet will be able to check your dogs dental hygiene.

8. Biscuits are best. Wet food = tartar.


SourceAlthough nothing can beat home cooked food, biscuits are usually a better idea than wet food. Wet food causes tartar. Dry food, such as biscuits forces them to chew more which is very good for their teeth. Of course, choose good quality food.

9. Don’t give them too much meat.


SourceToo much meat is often the reason for bad breath. Dogs need a balanced diet. A home cooked meal is often better for their health than the ‘special dog food’ you buy in the supermarket. Rice, fruit and veg are an excellent starting point. Find more ideas about what fruit and veg your dog will love.