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My dog has bad breath, causes and solutions

March 28, 2022


Bad breath in dogs is a very common problem. On many occasions, we make the mistake of considering that it is something normal and we do not take any type of measure to remedy it. But there are very serious problems that can be the cause of a dog manifesting bad breath problems, among these inconveniences stand out stomach, digestive and respiratory problems. However, it can also be due to old age or decaying teeth.


Some possible causes of bad breath in dogs are:


  • Feeding. Some foods, such as wet canned food or soft diets, stick more to the teeth and therefore bacterial decomposition is greater. Bad breath occurs when bacteria from food that accumulates in your dog's mouth begin to break down and release sulfur compounds. These produce a bad smell. Check out our article where I explain the difference between dry and wet food.


  • Formation of dental plaque or tartar. The main cause of this problem is the lack of hygiene in the mouth, which allows the formation of plaque on the teeth. Dental plaque is the layer that is deposited on the teeth made up of bacteria, components of saliva, food debris and cells of the oral mucosa. These bacteria, as said above, are responsible for bad breath in dogs. 


  • Symptom of a disease. It can be one directly related to the oral cavity, such as gingivitis or periodontitis, or a completely independent pathology, such as diabetes, kidney failure, digestive problems... For this reason it is very important that if you notice bad breath in your dog, contact a pet expert to rule out that it could be a symptom of a disease.


  • Trauma. Due to a fall or fight, many dogs suffer broken teeth, as well as injuries to the gums or mouth. These are an open door for the entry of microorganisms, whose action can cause bad odors.


Treatment of bad breath in dogs


To eliminate bad breath in dogs, it is highly recommended to contact a pet expert or go to your vet. This way, a professional will be able to diagnose your dog and choose the best treatment for it. Other ways to prevent or treat bad breath in dogs are:


  • Brush its teeth daily. Applying the toothpaste with the help of a toothbrush daily will help reduce the number of bacteria, and it contains certain products that reduce bad odor. Check out our article where I explain how to brush your dog's teeth.


  • Use dental hygiene snacks. There are some snacks for dogs on the market that help maintain good hygiene and dental health. They tend to have a rubbery but strong texture, so that when the dog chews them, they help to drag the remains of food and plaque. In addition, they serve as a reward.


  • Take care of its diet. The risk of bad breath in dogs is greatly reduced if the diet is balanced and of good quality. Choose one that is easily digestible to avoid stomach problems and preferably dry, as chewing also helps clean teeth.


  • Use mouthwashes. In the same way that we have mouthwashes to improve breath and promote teeth cleaning, we find these products specifically designed for dogs and cats. These are solutions for daily use that can be mixed with water to facilitate their administration.


  • Use chew toys. Playing with toys that encourage chewing helps prevent tartar and strengthen teeth. The combination of the acid in their saliva with the friction of the toy causes the plaque to come off.


  • Use algae supplements. It has been shown that certain algae, such as Ascophyllum nodosum, help reduce bad breath in dogs by up to 60%, which is why we currently find several products that include them in their ingredients. Some of these products are marketed in the form of dietary supplements that are mixed with the animal's usual food, while others are found in the form of snacks or treats.

For more information, talk to one of our Pet Experts and get customized advice by submitting a request in our Mavyn app or Mavyn Pet page.