Do you find yourself flinching when your pup gets a little too close? Or resisting cuddles because you’re put off by the smell? Whatever the case, bad breath in dogs isn’t something you should ignore. It’s not the norm for healthy dogs and can be problematic for both pooches and their pawrents.
And it’s not just the off-putting smell that is the issue. Bad breath can actually be a sign of more serious problems with your dog's health and wellbeing. At the very least, bad breath in dogs can be a sign of dental or gum disease, or something stuck in their mouth that’s rotting away.
In more serious cases, it could be a symptom of kidney disease, diabetes or even oral tumours. That’s why it’s important to promote great oral care but should you find your dog has a problem with bad breath, tackle it right away. Here are seven ways to combat bad breath in dogs, making life a little easier for you and your pooch…
1. Regular tooth brushing
The best way to keep bad breath at bay is by brushing your dog’s teeth each and every day. One of the most common causes of bad breath in both dogs and humans is a build-up of plaque, tartar and the teams of bacteria that hide between teeth and under the gum line. Food that's stuck literally decomposing in your dog's mouth emitting an eye watering scent.
Unfortunately, time constraints, lifestyle and even your dog themselves may not allow you to brush their teeth every single day. Here are some other helpful tips to help promote great oral care and tackle smelly dog breath...
2. Daily dental chews
Dental treats shouldn't completely substitute brushing their teeth but they are a great way to improve dental health.
However, not all dental treats are created equally – check out our recent blog on Dentastix: are they good or bad?. Whilst you may wish to avoid some products, there are plenty of great dental chews and sticks on the market to help keep your dog’s pearly whites nice and clean. Make sure you do your research to ensure the dental stick you choose is packed with natural, beneficial ingredients to give your pooch the best.
Our star dog treats are our Gnashers dental chews, specially formulated with active ingredients clinically proven to reduce plaque build-up by up to 80%. They also incorporate healthy, natural ingredients to tackle plaque, freshen breath and support healthy teeth like coconut oil, whole sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds plus gut friendly slippery elm.
3. Coconut oil for dogs
Coconut oil is a great natural ingredient that offers benefits for skin, hair, gut and more for both pooch's and pawrents. Perhaps less commonly known is that coconut oil is believed to help reduce the presence of harmful bacteria in the mouth, thus helping freshen breath. Best of all, most dogs love the totally tropical taste!
Try rubbing a little coconut oil on their teeth, and you'll find like our Smudge, your pooch can't resist licking away at their teeth.
4. Oral probiotics
Oral probiotics are another good way to keep bad dog breath at bay. They tackle the bad bacteria, which cause halitosis. Be sure to select a supplement that is designed especially for dogs, or look for dog food which has all the right probiotics included. Be sure to check the rest of the recipe too and watch out for added sugars, these won't help in the long run. Good nutrition is so important for dogs’ health, and in turn their breath.
If your dog’s dental health is a concern, it may be worth trying them on dry food. Dry dog food is thought to be better for teeth as dogs have more to crunch through. That means more scraping to get the plaque and tartar off their teeth. We offer a range of delicious dry dog foods for dogs and puppies.
5. Chew toys
As an alternative to chewing food, chew toys are a great way to keep your dog’s oral health in tip-top shape. After all, there’s only so much chewing they’re going to get om a normal portion of dog food.
The process of chewing the toy will help clean your dog’s teeth, exercising the jaw muscles and scraping plaque and tartar off teeth. Needless to say, that will result in better oral hygiene and better breath over time.
These toys can also sooth the discomfort of teething puppies, not to mention that dogs love playing with them. Dogs need mental exercise as much – if not more – that physical exercise. Chewing is a great way to keep their mind and body occupied.
However, it’s important to avoid any chew toys that easily come apart. Natural alternatives like antlers can be a great option, but be sure to find an appropriate size for your dog and watch that they don't start chomping these as they can break their teeth. We don’t recommend rawhide treats, since as well as being a choking hazard for your precious pooch, they can easily be contaminated with bacteria like salmonella.
6. Don't use human oral products
It's really important not to be tempted to use human products on your dog. As harmless as they might seem, many mints are high in sugar and so might give them fresh breath for a moment, it's likely to exacerbate the problem in the long term. Sugar free mints are likely to include xylitol which is highly toxic to dogs. Likewise human toothpaste is a no no for your pooch. The fluoride in most human toothpaste is poisonous if swallowed.
We can help
At Scrumbles, we’re passionate about all things pet. From the ultimutt guide to dog’s teeth, to understanding the importance of probiotics in dog food, we’re a one-stop-shop for all your pet needs.
As well as our delicious, healthy and nasty-free dental chews, we have a range of nutritious dog and puppy foods available for your pooch to try. Take a look at our selection of foods and treats today to find the perfect match for your fur-iend!