Bad dog breath is a problem. Most dog owners will be familiar with the situation where your furry friend comes in for a cuddle, gets a bit excited, tries their hardest to lick your face to show you some love and then woosh; you are hit in the face with a wave of foul smelling doggy breath.
Bad smelling dog breath is an extremely common problem and can be very unpleasant for anyone in the dog’s vicinity. It is most commonly caused by a build up of bacteria in your dog’s mouth, lungs or gut and persistent foul breath could indicate that your dog needs better and more regular dental care. However, it can also indicate much more serious problems such as diabetes, kidney disease and liver problems. Most often, bad breath is caused by lack of dental hygiene, but you should always have your vet to properly determine the exact cause and have dental check ups once or twice a year.
Pugs are most prone to bad breath because their teeth are small and close together, so to help keep your dog’s bad breath under control and make kisses to the face much more appealing, there are a few things you can do at home to help.
- Brush your dog’s teeth once a day. It’s hardly surprising that dog’s breath smells when their teeth are never brushed; imagine never brushing your teeth. Not pretty. It is best to start brushing when they are a puppy so they can become accustomed to it, but it is never too late. Doggy toothbrushes and toothpaste can be found in most pet stores, usually in lots of flavours your dog will love, and are not too hard to use as long as you keep your dog calm and comfortable. You must be sure to NEVER use human toothpaste to brush dogs teeth.
- Give your dog teeth friendly toys. A lot of pugs love plush toys, and they are great every now and again, but hard, rubber toys are better for their teeth. The natural process of chewing with help clean teeth and help wear away some plaque and tartar. Try putting some meat flavoured toothpaste inside a Kong. Check out our previous post for possible options.
- It might be time to change your dog’s diet. Feeding your dog good quality, easy to digest food will help to reduce the foulness of their breath. If you use wet or canned food, switching to dry will mean that it will have a better effect of scraping the teeth, similar to chew toys. Also, if you feed your dog a lot of meat, then should think about switching to dry food as this can also cause bad breath.
- Keep checking. Even though you might do other things to prevent bad breath, you should always keep checking your dog’s mouth. There might be a piece of food stuck in there that is causing the odour or something more serious like an abscess or a mouth tumour. If the specific smell of your dog’s breath changes, such as becoming fruity or especially foul, then it might mean there is a more serious internal problem.
We hope you can use some of these tips to help you reduce the effect of smelly breath and can look forward to being welcomed home with lots of kisses again!
As always, we must stress that we are not qualified pet-care professionals and we only offer general advice gathered from caring for our own dogs. Please consult your veterinarian regarding any concerns about your dog’s health and well being.