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What to do About a Senior Dog’s Bad Breath?

Black senior dog with mouth hangining open sitting outdoors

Every dog owner will agree that only a handful of smells are as unpleasant as a senior dog’s bad breath. Many people think that it’s natural for dogs to have foul breath, but that’s not true. In most cases, the bad breath of a canine has a valid reason that needs to be determined and treated. Keep reading to know about the methods that can prevent and treat the bad breath of a senior dog.

How to Treat a Senior Dog’s Bad Breath?

Black dog with grey face standing outdoors in grass with mouth open, panting.

Many medical conditions can be responsible for a canine’s stinking breath, but the biggest cause is periodontal disease. Plaque, tartar, and receding gums are other common signs of this condition. Dental cleaning is the most suitable treatment for this disease and you should get an appointment with your vet.

The process of teeth cleaning will begin by analyzing the blood of your pooch. This will tell the vet whether your dog can handle anesthesia or not. If everything’s fine, he/she will go ahead with the procedure. During the cleaning, the vet may remove some damaged or loose teeth.

Once at the clinic, the vet will also examine your pet to rule out other causes, like diabetes and kidney disease. If any one of these ailments is responsible for bad breath, treating it will also solve the breath problem. 

How to Prevent a Senior Dog’s Bad Breath?

Close up potrait of a old bulldog with a greying face with its mouth open

It’s imperative to ensure good oral hygiene of your pup to keep him/her healthy. Some of the most effective ways to achieve this goal are discussed below.

Clean Your Dog’s Teeth

Human hand holding a toothbrush out to a golden retirever against a blue/green background.

Regular brushing of teeth is the easiest method to control the bad breath of your older dog. It reduces plaque and tartar and improves the oral hygiene of your canine friend. You can also use dog toothpaste to extract more benefits from this exercise. However, you should never use human toothpaste for dogs because it can contain xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.

Use Chew Toys and Dental Treats

Hand giving a dental chew to a german shepherd

This is a natural way of removing tartar build-up from your dog’s teeth. Chewing is also quite effective against plaque and boredom. Hence, it will keep your pooch happy and relaxed while improving his/her oral health.

According to AKC, this method is more effective for small breeds because they are more prone to periodontal disease. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that the chew toys you have selected are suitable for your canine’s size and age.   

Feed a Balanced Diet

Wooden bowl full of a variety of dog foods with bones, meats, and veggies surrounding the bowl.

The food your dog eats plays an important role in his/her overall wellbeing (including oral health). For example, eating too many sugars can result in diabetes. This disease is one of the major medical conditions that can cause a senior dog’s bad breath. Similarly, a poor diet will have negative effects on the teeth of your canine friend.

On the other hand, a quality diet will keep your pup fit and healthy. This will also assist your vet to determine the underlying cause of bad breath because there won’t be many conditions to consider.

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