Your dog’s bad breath may indicate they have a health problem, or need a dietary change. While there are many potential causes of bad breath, it’s important to start with a visit to your dog’s veterinarian or MontClair Veterinary Hospital to rule out any possible medical cause. The health of your dog’s teeth, internal organs, and the quality of diet are all important issues to discuss with your dog’s veterinarian.
Bad Breath: What it Says About Your Dog’s Diet
Rule out a Medical Cause
If your dog’s veterinarian determines your dog’s health is good, you can start looking at ways to improve your dog’s bad breath through diet. If the commercial brands you feed your dog are good quality, you’ll quickly recognize it by reading the list of ingredients. The ingredients should consist of whole foods, contain no grains, and should start with meat or protein sources that are not the byproducts of other food manufacturers.
Check the Teeth
Your dog’s teeth can be a source of bad breath especially if tartar tends to quickly accumulate. If your dog’s veterinarian has determined your dog’s teeth are generally healthy, the source of bad breath may simply be dirty teeth, and the buildup of tartar. Brushing your dog’s teeth can make a big difference to keeping a clean mouth, but good dietary choices are also important to consider. Raw bones, if approved by your dog’s veterinarian, and harder foods will give your dog chewing opportunities and not allow particles of food to sit on the teeth for too long and cause tartar.
Many dogs have food allergies and this can also be a cause of bad breath. If your veterinarian has identified other signs of possible allergies – itchy skin and feet, greasy fur or dirty ears – taking a close look at your dog’s diet is important. Dogs are often allergic to grains and meat proteins, and every dog may have different types of food allergies. Beef, lamb, and chicken are often found as main ingredients in commercial dog foods and are great sources of protein, but many dogs are commonly allergic to them. An elimination diet can help you determine which ingredients may be the cause of food allergies.
Bad breath in dogs has many causes, but many solutions are available as well. Paying attention to your dog’s overall health and working closely with your dog’s veterinarian will help you determine how to improve your dog’s bad breath.