When it comes to bad breath, dogs get a bad rap. By nature, dogs are scavengers as well as hunters, and many of our furry friends will happily snaffle any unsavoury snack they come across when out on their walk (hands up whose dog eats poop?!) However, it’s not necessarily stinky food that causes dog bad breath but rather the wrong sort of food and/or a lack of good dental hygiene. But if you’ve got a case of dog halitosis in the house, don’t worry – it affects many dogs and there are some simple steps you can take to address the issue.
Dog bad breath: spotting the signs
The most obvious indicator of dog gum disease and other dental issues is a foul smell. The expression ‘dog breath’ has a simple origin! Dental disease in dogs – of which dog bad breath is a symptom – is second only to ear infections in terms of common health issues, with some dogs being particularly predisposed to it. You can also look out for discolouration on the teeth, any loose or missing teeth, a reluctance to eat, excessive salivation, pawing or rubbing of the mouth and any blood or damage visible on the gums. If you are concerned about your dog’s oral hygiene you may want to consider a trip to the vet.
Preventing dog bad breath and dog gum disease
As well as not being particularly pleasant to live with for their humans, it can also be very uncomfortable for your dog. We all know the misery of toothache and that sudden urgent need to go to the dentist, but as they of course can’t tell us about their pain or pick up the phone, our dogs rely on us to anticipate and resolve their dental needs. As with our own teeth, looking after your dog’s teeth regularly is a good way to prevent pain and problems such as dog halitosis occurring.
If you can make checking and cleaning your dog’s teeth part of their routine from a young age, they will be more likely to accept it without a fuss. If you have an older dog who’s not used to having their teeth cleaned, it may take a little patience and gentle persistence. We advise you start by talking to your vet about how to brush your dog’s teeth so they can show you the best technique. Different dogs have different jaw alignments and certain breeds, or individuals, may be more prone to dog gum disease and dog halitosis because of crowded or missing teeth. You’ll need a dog toothbrush and dog toothpaste, as human toothpaste is not suitable.
Diet and dog bad breath
As with humans, diet has a big impact on your dog’s oral hygiene. As we all know, scoffing a ton of sugar is a sure-fire way to land us with a mouth full of gaps and fillings. What’s maybe not so obvious is that many dog foods contain sugar and ingredients that can cause plaque to build up on your dog’s teeth, which can contribute to dog gum disease and dog bad breath. If the ingredients list is long and has lots of unpronounceable ingredients, chances are there are some less than wholesome additives in the mix.
Here at Natures Menu, we’ve been making natural, high quality dog food for over 40 years, and we pride ourselves in using only real, healthy ingredients that your dog needs and nothing they don’t. You’ll never find any added sugar in our recipes, and you’ll only see ingredients you can recognise from your own food shopping, as we never use cheap fillers, artificial colours or preservatives. Our recipes are developed with a panel of animal and dietary experts, including our in-house veterinary team, who have decades of frontline experience in animal welfare, including treating dog halitosis and dog gum disease.
Breath to impress
Among our growing crowd of Natures Mates, there are certain benefits we hear crop up time and time again. One of these is fresher breath and fewer stinky kisses! We call it breath to impress, and it’s just one part of the raw food look - you’ll know when your dog has it! ‘
Our dogs have beautiful coats, their breath or poos do not smell and it has helped reduce their allergies.’ - Tina
‘I have a shepherd and he loves it. His teeth are clean and white and his breath does not smell. He is very healthy and really enjoys his food!’ - Karen
Head to our Feefo page for more testimonials and to read about the other benefits our raw feeders have noted in their furry friends.
Some chewing can also help remove plaque build-up and combat dog bad breath, whilst giving your dog’s jaw muscles a healthy workout. Our natural, raw chews have a good texture that your dog may enjoy getting their teeth into! If you want to feed our raw, meaty bones, these can also be beneficial, but need to be introduced gradually and safely. Please read our raw bone guide for more information.
Another good way of giving your dog a good chewing session is with a chew toy, such as a Kong, which you can stuff with our cans and pouches for added chewing incentive! You can even leave these in the freezer overnight to make them extra chewy and challenging.
All in all, if you’ve noticed dog bad breath in your four-legged family member, there are simple steps you can take to help combat it. You may want to consult your vet about how best to clean their teeth and to consider feeding a diet such as Natures Menu Complete and Balanced Raw Nuggets, which contains only real, natural, and wholesome ingredients and no added sugar. You can also consider raw chews and bones (being sure to consult our raw bone guide) and incentivising your dog to chew on a suitable toy. Our advice? Get the raw food look, and kiss that dog bad breath goodbye!