Does Your Dog Have Bad Breath?

We put in a lot of thought in keeping our dogs healthy and fit with quality food and exercise.  Dogs can still develop problems like tartar and plaque buildup and gingivitis. But it’s not just bad breath and yellow teeth you have to worry about. As with humans, these canine dental problems can actually lead to life-threatening infections and issues including heart, liver, and kidney disease.

Start early with your dog as a puppy!

Grown dogs can learn to become comfortable with dog teeth cleaning, but make things easier for yourself by working with your dog as a puppy

How to brush your dogs teeth

Your dog might not take to tooth brushing at first, but hopefully, you can make it a reasonably pleasant experience for both of you. Try and choose a time when your dog has had a decent amount of exercise, so he’s more inclined to sit still for the procedure. Don’t overdo it the first few times. Start slowly and quit if your dog gets agitated, even if you don’t brush the whole mouth. You can

Tooth Brushes For Dogs
Tooth Brushes For Dogs

increase the time every day as he gets used to it. Also, make sure to speak soothingly and pleasantly during the brushing and reward your dog with a treat afterwards. Before too long, your dog should start looking forward to the event.

If not every other day stick to a target of doing it once a week where you brush your dog.


One of the best ways to insure optimum oral health is to provide the dog with a well-balanced, meat-based dog food. Meat assists in keeping the mouth environment healthy. Actively encouraging the dog to utilize chew treats that require some “exercising” of the teeth, such as is provided by compressed rawhide chewies, hard rubber or nylon chew toys, can assist in keeping the mouth structures vital.

There are many synthetic bones and chew toys that are specially designed to strengthen your dog’s gums and teeth. While i don’t particularly like the rawhide ones because of hygiene issues if you have one that your dog has been gnawing on lying around the house for a while. It is  time to  sanitize it by boiling it and then putting it in to your deep freezer to cool.Just make sure you’re providing safe objects for your dog to chew on. Hard objects can cause broken teeth.

Giving your dog a good mutton hollow marrow bone to chew on can help get rid of build up and keep teeth strong, Chicken bones are not advisable especially when they are cooked because they splinter easily and could hurt your dogs gums or gut.

Dental issues that plague your dogs

  • Gingivitis: Inflammation of the gums
  • Periodontists: Disease of the oral cavity that attacks the gums and bone and tissue around the teeth.
  • Pyorrhea: Inflammation of the gums and tooth sockets, often leading to loosening of the teeth and accompanied by pus.
  • Plaque: The first buildup of material adhering to tooth enamel. Composed of a mix of inter-cellular matrix of bacteria, salivary polymers, remnants of epithelial cells and white blood cells, it can cause caries, calculi buildup and periodontal disease.
  • Calculus (Tartar): Calcium carbonate and calcium phosphate combined with organic material, deposited on the surface of the tooth.

When to see a veterinarian

Whether you brush your dog’s teeth or not, you should have a look inside his mouth every week or so. If you notice any of these signs of dental problems, then take your dog to the vet:

  • Bad breath
  • Change in eating or dog chewing habits
  • Pawing at the face or mouth
  • Depression
  • Excessive drooling
  • Misaligned or missing teeth
  • Discolored, broken, missing or crooked teeth
  • Red, swollen, painful or bleeding gums
  • Yellowish-brown tartar crust along the gum line
  • Bumps or growths within the mouth

Cons of poor oral hygiene

The adverse effects of periodontal disease are when the toxins the bacteria secrete and the damage these toxins cause to delicate kidney, cardiac, and brain tissue. The toxins from periodontal disease are absorbed into the dog’s blood stream.  As the kidneys, liver, and brain filter the blood, small infections occur causing permanent and at times fatal organ damage.

Before & After
Before & After

When my Prince was 13 years old i had to put him through surgery for wart removal and decided to get his teeth cleaned at the same time but to my dismay because i had not paid attention to his oral hygiene. The surgeon had to knock of 11 teeth 🙁

Prevention is better than cure after all. You might never know that your pet has a serious dental problem until it’s very advanced.




54 thoughts on “Does Your Dog Have Bad Breath?”

  1. Great tips on prevention and dental care. My mom actually told me last week she wanted to start brushing the teeth of her dog. I will share these tips. I think she’ll be glad to hear. Because she was doubting on how to do it.

  2. Sanitizing your little buddy’s chew toys is an excellent suggestion that most people don’t think about. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I didn’t know dogs can have so many dental problems, almost similar to mine.
    Good coverage on the issue. I need to share this with my friend who has just got a pup for herself.

  4. I love that 1st picture with the toothbrush in his mouth! ? bless him. Yes dogs hygiene is so important. It used to be so funny when we had to brush out dogs teeth. The faces she pulled ? ree love30

  5. My friend has been complaining about her dog having bad breath, but she doesn’t think it’s actually anything serious. Thanks for sharing, again great advice! I’ll let her know what she can do 🙂

  6. I adopted a Pomeranian from the local shelter. He was trying to bite everyone. I took him to groom him because the poor baby was such a mess. He was about 9 yrs. old. When I groomed him he was very good until I got near his head. He was trying to bite me. I stepped back & talked to him. He was panting & I saw a mouth full of rotten teeth. I let the shelter know this poor thing was in pain & defending himself before anyone got near his painful mouth. He had 12 teeth removed. He was an excellent dog that may have been put down at the shelter because they said he was a biter. I fostered & adopted him. I just lost him 4 days ago because of congestive heart failure & kidney failure. I do believe his bad teeth played a big roll in his condition. I had 3 short years with him & miss him terribly.

    • I am so sorry for your loss Catherine but at the same time he got 3 years of good life with you. At least you were able to help him by knowing what was triggering the biting behavior. That is very observant of you.

  7. Thanks for sharing these tips and information. My Mom is a one is know who is good dog trainer, and she always tells us that if your breath smells foul, means you didn’t brush your teeth and mouth, or you have an internal problem. Turns out she’s right. Good thing our dogs loves their dentist 🙂

  8. Who will belive that we go through as much pain and health troubles as animals do. Thanks for this as I never had such ideas. Carherine sorry for your loss.

  9. This is a blog post that every dog owner should read. Dental and oral hygiene is always so easy to disregard. I have an experience where our dogs would always smell so bad even after thorough bath, lately did i realize that it all had something to do with their breaths. You wouldn’t believe how fast we rushed to buy a doggy toothbrush. Hehe

  10. I didn’t know that dogs could have a bad breath. Like literally, I only know is that only us, humans get to experience oral health issues. Anyhow, how would we know if our dog have bad breath when we don’t even know how to distinguish it in the first place? Just curious, though. Anyhow, I will ask our vet about it. Good think I was able to check this post of yours.

  11. People keep trying to insist we clean our cats’ teeth but I think they are quite mad. You can do this to a dog, or a kitten before it grows up but I would not try to clean a currently adult cat’s teeth.

  12. I’ve tried really hard to get my dogs used to the brush – I tried a finger brush, but they hate it! I have to rely on other methods to help keep their teeth in good shape. This is very good information & good tips, thank you!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them


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