Monday, November 7, 2011

Help! My Dog’s Breath Is Killing Me!

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Does your dog have breath like death warmed over?  Do you cringe when she gives you doggy kisses?  Is her breath making your kids faint?  Then it’s time to do something about your dog’s breath.  Luckily, there are some answers.

 Dogs can have bad breath for lots of reasons.  One of the most basic reasons is because they are eating some very foul things.  Do you know what your dog has been eating?  For instance, does your dog eat dog poop outside?  Does your dog get in the cat litter box?  These are two common causes of bad doggy breath and they are both preventable.

 If your dog is eating doggy poop outside you should do the following:

  1. Make sure you keep your yard picked up.  Pick up poop as fast as your dogs make it so they won’t have a chance to eat it.  
  2. If your dog still finds poop to eat, add some pineapple or meat tenderizer to his food.  Both of these ingredients will make poop taste unappetizing to him (as if it needs something to make it taste bad!).  Or, you can look for products for this purpose at your pet supply store.
  3. Make sure that cat litter boxes are kept in places where your dog cannot get to them, such as a special room for the cat, or in high places.
Finally, check to see if your dog is eating other nasty-tasting things outside.  Is he eating dead birds or dead squirrels?  If your dog is eating carrion or rotting flesh then it could very easily give him bad breath.

Next, check your dog’s teeth.  What do they look like?  If you have a young dog then your dog’s teeth should be pearly white.  Even older dogs should have teeth that are mostly white, though they may show some signs of wear.  If your dog has teeth that are brown, yellow, green or which have obvious cavities or broken teeth; you have likely found the source of your dog’s bad breath.  You need to take your dog to the vet.  He may do doggy dental work himself or he may refer you to a doggy dentist.

In some cases your dog may simply need his teeth cleaned.  This is usually done by giving your dog anesthesia and scaling all of his teeth while he’s asleep.  Your dog can also fix any cavities or pull any bad teeth while your dog is asleep.  In some cases a dog may need a root canal in order to save a tooth.

 Most dogs will need their teeth cleaned by a vet at least once in their lives.  Good dental care will prevent bacteria from these bad teeth from getting into your dog’s bloodstream and going to his heart.  As your dog ages, bad teeth can also prevent him from eating, so it’s very important to keep your dog’s teeth in good shape.

There are a number of gooddental chews recommended for dogs that can help to freshen their breath.  Check your pet supply store for dental chews for dogs and other things to freshen your dog’s breath.

 Finally, check what you’re feeding your dog.  Canned food tends to stick to your dog’s teeth more and can cause bad breath.  Dry food may be slightly better from a breath stand point.  People who feed a raw diet say that their dogs have the cleanest teeth and the freshest breath.



  1. i am so convinced that gwendolyn's raw food diet has enabled fabulous breath and pearly whites! another fabulous entry! say no to monkey breath! :) x

  2. OH, and i think another contributing factor is that all of her outdoor activity is on leash, walking with me. so she never has the opportunity to eat squirrels or waste from another poochie. only at the dog park is she allowed off leash. i'm sure it's totally different with a fenced-in-yard, but i don't have that nor ever shall since i hope to live in nyc by april! :) xxx