Do you ever get a whiff of your dog’s breath and are shocked by how bad it smells? Maybe it is just post-dinner kibble breath, or your pup got into something while walking, but bad breath can also be a sign of other health problems. If a simple tooth brushing doesn’t take the unpleasant smell away, bad breath can be the sign of a more serious problem that can require veterinary care.
Here are some of the dangers of bad breath in dogs so that you can protect your four-legged furry friend.
Dental or Gum Disease
Bad breath in dogs can occur when your dog has a dental condition—from gum disease or infection to tooth decay. Lift up your dog’s lip and take a peek at their gums. If you see they are very red and inflamed, or there is a lot of tartar build up on the teeth, there may be a more serious dental issue going on.
Metabolic diseases like kidney disease or kidney failure can cause bad breath. In fact, a decrease in kidney function can make a dog’s breath smell like ammonia.
Just like people, all dogs are different, but many dogs will eat anything, including things that are bad for them. There are lots of toxic and/or foreign substances outside that you may run into while on a walk (e.g. everything from antifreeze or a rodenticide, to feces or bones). If you suspect your dog has ingested a potential toxin, call your vet immediately.
Diabetes, specifically diabetic ketoacidosis, can also make a dog’s breath smell unusual, giving it a more sweet smell. Diabetes can also suppress the immune system, allowing bacteria in the mouth to grow unchecked.
When bacteria builds up in dead areas, an oral tumor can develop. The bacteria is what causes the foul odour in your dog’s mouth. These should be visible if you peek in your dog’s mouth. Oral tumours can vary in shape and size (e.g. masses or discolourations).
Different types of foods (i.e. dry or wet) both have pros and cons when it comes to how they affect breath. Some types of dry food can be better for teeth and help keep the mouth clean overall, but wet food has more water content which is also good for a dog’s mouth.
If you have any concerns about your dog’s dental health, book a dental exam with us.
In June we are offering FREE (yes, FREE) dental exams and 20% off professional sedation-only pet dental cleaning.
Call the clinic at 250-339-6555 to book your appointment!