Imagine this: you are playing with your charming puppy and just as he is about to open his mouth to lick you, the stench hits you. It’s a stale, someone-died-in-there smell, and as you push Pooch away in disgust, he whimpers and pouts, wondering what he has done wrong.

Why does my canine have bad breath?

If bad breath can happen in humans, it can happen to dogs too. Canine halitosis is not uncommon, and tends to affect breeds like Malteses and Boxers more than others. Their round heads are usually the culprit as they cause teeth crowding and thus an irregular gum line. This leads to a higher risk of developing periodontal disease, which results in bad breath. Here are some of the common causes:

  • Tooth abscesses
  • Fungal infection
  • Oral tumours and lesions in the oesophagus or stomach
  • Renal failure
  • Lower urinary tract infection
  • Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.
  • Swelling of the oesophageal tube, and pharynx
  • Trauma to the teeth 

Pooch has bad breath, but it’s not serious

If your vet has given the all-clear and you just want to get rid of Fido’s halitosis, adhere to the following tips:

  1. Always have a clean food bowl, especially if Fido eats wet food. This is to prevent the accumulation of bacteria.
  2. Excessive meat in your pooch’s diet can also cause halitosis, so you can try other sources of plant-based protein.
  3. Brush Fido’s teeth with canine toothpaste available at vet clinics or pet stores.
  4. However, if he does not like getting his teeth brushed, fill rubber toys with flavoured toothpaste. The firm texture of the toy will help loosen trapped plaque, as well as dislodge food particles. Oral gel and water additives can be used to remove the tartar too.
  5. Search your pooch’s mouth for tumours or foreign particles. Sometimes, the problem can range to being as simple as left-over food stuck between the teeth, or as serious as mouth tumours, so a simple check will go a long way.
  6. Visit your vet for a session of dental scaling to have tartar and plaque removed. 

Are there natural remedies for Poochy breath? 

  • Herbs
    Pet parents who believe in organic solutions will be delighted to know that things like herbs can also help Fido recover from bad breath. A simple selection of herbs like coriander, dill or peppermint will kill off any bacteria lingering in his mouth. You can either let him chew it, mix it in his toothpaste or boil it into a tea to be poured over his food or sprayed directly into Fido’s mouth. 
  • Vegetables
    Other home remedies include adding boiled or steamed vegetables like carrots to your dog’s diet. These remove plaque by producing saliva which helps to release any food particles that are stuck between the teeth. 
  • Brown rice and pumpkin
    Sometimes, bad breath comes from the indigestion of food, and brown rice or pumpkin, both of which contain a lot of fibre, will help speed up food absorption.
  • Yogurt
    Another tip is to mix plain, unflavoured yogurt with raw vegetables. Yogurt contains the bacteria lactobacillius acidophilus that kills the odour-causing bacteria by starving them of food.
  • Lemon
    Squeeze the juice of a lemon in your dog’s drinking bowl for a quick palate cleansing. But use this sparingly to avoid acidity build-up.
  • Water and diet
    Control bacteria by encouraging your dog to drink lots of water; this keeps their mouth moist and lessens bacteria growth. You must always provide clean, fresh water three times a day for your dog as it also reduces constipation.