What Causes Doggie Breath?

What you smell could tell you about your dog’s health.

By | Posted: June 26, 2014, 5 a.m. PST

Dog Breath

Dog breath may smell a little different from human breath (depending on the dental hygiene of the company you keep.) While it may offend those with sensitive noses or people who are not accustomed to close encounters with dogs, canine breath should never smell foul. If something doesn’t smell quite right, it means that something could be wrong.

3 Reasons Your Dog’s Bad Breath is Making You Cringe

1. Excess Plaque and Calculus

The primary cause bad breath, says Paul Orsini, DVM, diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College and director of veterinary anatomy at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in Philadelphia. Plaque and calculus build up when you don't brush your dogs' teeth regularly. Imagine what your breath would smell like if you took a toothbrush to your mouth just once a month.

The Fix: Brush your dog's teeth regularly.

5 Easy Steps for Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth>>

2. Your Dog at Something Gross

Yup. Sometimes dogs do disgusting things. Maybe it was something tasty from the litterbox, a poop from the park or delights from the garbage, but eating something nasty will stink up your dog’s breath.

The Fix: Keep an eye on your dog’s access to things to poop or the garbage. If raiding the litterbox is a regular habit consider putting up a gate, if it’s poop, keep him on leash for potty time.

Bake up a Batch of Breath-Freshening Dog Treats>>

3. Health Issues

Less common, but far more serious, mouth infections or kidney disease can create smelly breath.

The Fix: If you notice a change in your dog's breath, and it's not due to something he ate, Orsini reccomends a veterinary physical to check for dental problems and to rule out other health concerns.  


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