Dogs are often affectionate friends and they love to shower their family with sloppy, slobbery kisses. However, if you notice your pooch's breath is stinky, it might be the first warning sign of a problem in his or her mouth.
It's incorrectly assumed that bad breath, aka halitosis, is normal for dogs. Halitosis happens when there's a build up of bacteria in the mouth that then produces odors in the mouth, gut, or lungs. Chronic halitosis usually indicates your friend needs some dental care. In more serious cases, it can be a symptom of issues in the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, or liver. No matter the cause, persistent stinky breath is a sign that something is wrong with your pooch health-wise.
What causes doggy breath?
Usually, the culprit is gum or dental disease. Certain breeds of dogs, smaller breeds with shorter snouts, are more likely to have bad breath from plaque and tartar. If your dog is getting regular dental care and still knocking you over with bad breath, there may be a serious underlying medical problem and you should get them to your Brook Farm vet right away!
How do I know what's causing my dog's stinky breath?
It's a good idea to schedule a time to talk with Dr. Clark or Dr. Kanouse and have them take a look inside your friend's mouth. Stinky dog breath is often caused by plaque build up but you'll want your Brook Farm vet to check to be certain of the cause and extent of any issues. Without treatment, plaque build up will cause tartar and eventually, periodontal disease. Tartar attacks the sensitive gums, making them red and inflamed, then pushes them away from teeth. These exposed pockets are breeding ground for bacteria. Septicemia, abscess, cavities, and tooth loss become a very real problem unless plaque and tartar are not taken care of quickly.
When should I see my vet?
Foul breath warrants a visit to the Brook Farm team as soon as you can. Dental issues are as painful for pets as they are for us and immediate help will get them feeling better sooner. If you need help getting started with dental care at home, we're happy to walk you through brushing your dog's teeth. In the event that something more serious may be causing the bad breath, your Brook Farm family offers the best on site diagnostic care available.
Reach out to us any time. We're here to help!