How to Treat Your Dog's Bad Breath

Halitosis is not only a human condition -- if you have a dog you know that dogs can suffer from bad breath too. Often a dog's bad breath is just a buildup of bacteria in its mouth and lungs. However, if your dog has persistent foul smelling breath, it's important to treat it. Tartar from infected gums can enter its bloodstream and get lodged in its heart [source: Hawke]. Read the tips listed below and learn about how to treat your dog's bad breath. If the odors continue despite these remedies, consult your vet.

  • Brushing Just like human teeth, dog teeth need to be brushed to remove food debris and prevent plaque and tartar buildup. Try to brush your dog's teeth at least three to four times a week [source: Purina]. Visit your pet store to purchase dog toothpaste. Never use human toothpaste, because it can upset your dog's stomach [source: ASPCA].
  • Food Try changing your dog's diet. Giving it high-quality, dry food will help your dog digest its food more easily and prevent bad odors [source: ASPCA]. The dry food will also help scrape plaque and tartar off of your dog's teeth, preventing dental and gum disease [source: Purina].
  • Toys Your dog's chew toys are not just for entertainment. Give your dog hard, safe toys that will help it clean its teeth through chewing [source: ASPCA].
  • Dental examinations Whether or not your dog suffers from bad breath, it's always a good idea to take it in for regular dental exams from the vet at least once a year. Having a professional remove plaque, and clean and polish the teeth will ensure that your dog has a healthy mouth [source: Hawke].

Remember, bad breath may be a sign of something more serious. If your dog has bad or unfamiliar odors coming from its mouth, consult your veterinarian [source: ASPCA].