26 Aug, 2015
Dr. Debra Primovic - DVM
Overview of Halitosis (Bad Breath) in Dogs
Halitosis, or bad breath, is an unpleasant odor coming from your dog’s mouth. It’s more than just “doggie breath” in that it is offensive.
There are several products on the market to help you deal with doggie breath including dog toothbrush and paste, dog treats that can help minimize tartar or freshen dog breath as welll as doggie breath drops. It is first important to understand and treat any underlying diseases that may be causing the foul odor.
Usually halitosis has oral causes, although sometimes it can be caused by other disease processes. Possible causes of bad breath in dogs include:
Periodontal probing (a blunt probe that is used to check the gum/tooth interface) to identify gum and periodontal diseases
Full-mouth radiographs (X-rays) with a dental machine
Treatment of Halitosis in Dogs
Optimal therapy of any serious or persistent medical condition depends on establishing the correct diagnosis. There are numerous potential causes of halitosis and before any treatment can be recommended, it is important to identify the underlying cause. Initial therapy should be aimed at the underlying cause. This treatment may include:
Removal of foreign object if present
Treatment of any oral tumors as needed
Periodontal therapy and root planing (cleaning/scraping the teeth under the gums)
Home care recommendations will depend on the underlying cause of the problem. Some steps that you can take to help eliminate your dog’s bad breath include: