A dog’s mouth is hardly likely to ever smell good. However, when a dog’s mouth really smells bad, it becomes rather noticeable. Just like in humans, bad breath in dogs is caused due to an underlying health problem. A bad diet and bad oral hygiene are only some of the reasons why the mouth of the dog may smell bad. Nonetheless, the leading cause of bad breath in dogs is tooth decay.
Dogs are extremely susceptible to tooth decay and other tooth problems like abscesses etc. If your dog’s breath is really bad, check the mouth of the dog for signs of broken teeth or infection. If you can’t find anything, the smell may be caused due to a buildup of plaque. Look for brown colored stains on the teeth and if you can find any, take your dog to the vet immediately.
Some of the common causes of foul breath in dogs are periodontal diseases, decaying teeth, periodontitis, sinusitis, tumors in the mouth, renal dysfunction, presence of foreign material in the mouth, and cancers, or gastrointestinal diseases and abscesses in the teeth.
If your dog is suffering from any kind of oral condition, the dog may be experiencing pain in the area around the mouth. Check for any kind of symptoms. If your dog is pawing at its mouth or is drooling unnecessarily, it may mean that the dog is in pain. The dog may eagerly run towards the food bowl but may not eat, or it may try to eat but drop the food immediately. Check your dog’s bowl to see if it is eating or not.
If your dog frequently picks up leftovers from a garbage dump or from the rubbish bin, the smell may be temporary and will go away in some time. If it doesn’t, brush your pet’s teeth to get rid of the smell.
Since dental and oral problems cause bad breath, it is best to maintain oral hygiene. This way you can fight tartar buildup with annual scaling, which can be done by your vet. To brush your pet’s teeth, you can use specially formulated toothpaste for dogs. You can also get special finger brushes which you can slip on your finger. These are rubber cap-like brushes with soft, tiny bristles. They can be used to clean the teeth of the animal. Simply wear the finger brush and smear some toothpaste on it. Then clean the teeth of the dog using this finger brush.