You love your dog like a family member and want to cuddle as much as possible. But when your dog develops a nasty case of halitosis (bad breath), those puppy kisses become seriously unpleasant.
But other than interrupting your bonding time, can bad breath be a sign of a more serious health issue? Absolutely. And you definitely should not ignore this important warning sign, because bad breath in dogs can be a sign of the following health conditions.
Dental troubles. This is the most obvious cause of bad breath, and the most common. Anything from tooth decay to gum disease can contribute to an unpleasant odor. Just like us, pets need regular dental cleanings to prevent common dental problems from developing. And if those problems do exist and are allowed to get worse, your pet can suffer pain, loss of appetite, and other unfortunate problems.
Kidney disease. If your pet’s kidneys are not functioning as they should, this can lead to a buildup of toxic waste products in their body. Bad breath is the least of your worries in this situation; your pet’s health and life are at risk when they can’t effectively eliminate harmful waste.
If your dog’s breath smells at all like urine or feces, we should screen him for kidney disease immediately.
Liver disease. Bad breath in dogs can also be a concerning sign of liver disease. The suspicion grows stronger if other symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea have appeared alongside the new bothersome smell.
While it might seem like just an inconvenience, bad breath is a symptom of something going wrong with your pet. Call us to schedule a checkup so that we can rule out (or treat) the above health problems. In the meantime, make sure to brush your dog’s teeth regularly, or try a dental chew if he is resistant to this change in his routine.