happy golden retriever mix dog looking at the camera with a grassy background

What Causes My Dog’s Bad Breath?


It’s cute when your dog licks your face, but when your little pup is suffering from bad breath, that lick could be quite an unpleasant experience! Bad breath in dogs is a widespread problem that is typically caused by an accumulation of bacteria and plaque. If the symptoms are left unchecked for an extended period of time, the bad breath can manifest into something more severe. As responsible pet owners, we want to make sure our pets maintain a healthy disposition. Below are a few common factors that can cause bad breath in pups: 


  • Gum disease: A buildup of bacteria and plaque in the dog’s mouth is one of the most common causes of bad breath. If the plaque isn’t removed, it can cause irritation of the gums and possibly result in gingivitis. Severe inflammation can result in tissue destruction and increases the possibility of bacteria entering the bloodstream and other parts of the body. 
  • Gut microbiome: Balanced microbiomes and oral microbiomes are important for your dog’s overall health. Oral and gut health are very connected and any bad bacteria that are present in the gut can result in smelly gas. This gas can be absorbed in the bloodstream and eventually exhaled, causing bad breath. Dogs also swallow a lot of salivae and bad bacteria that may be present in the mouth can quickly end up in the gut and cause problems. 
  • Diseases: There are many diseases that are connected to bad breath, such as liver disease, diabetes, and kidney disease. 



How to Treat the Bad Breath

Luckily there are steps you can take to take care of your pup’s oral hygiene. It’s important to regularly brush your dog’s teeth with dog-specific toothpaste and toothbrush. Brush your dog’s teeth with care and use slow circular motions. Be careful not to get too aggressive otherwise your dog’s gums may bleed. If you’re unsure, then it’s best to speak to your vet for advice. 

Another great way to treat bad breath is to give your dog chew toys. The gnawing and chewing help knock off the plaque and can improve oral health and increase saliva production which can wash away the bacteria. And finally, schedule regular visits with your veterinarian to ensure your dog’s overall health and oral health are in great shape. If you’re looking for a trusted and reliable vet in the Santa Fe / Eldorado / Pecos area, stop by Eldorado Animal Clinic and we can take care of your pup’s teeth. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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Mon-Tue: 8:00am-5:30pm
Wed-Thu: 8:00am-2:00pm
Friday: 8:00am-5:30pm
Sat & Sun: Closed