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Bad dog breath

My mums 4 ur old fox terrier mix. Has bad breath, no matter what food she gets home made or tin, vets have said its not her teet, but it gets worse then a little better, etc what could it be??


1 Answer


Thank you for your question!

Bad breath in dogs is also known as halitosis and is usually due to a build-up of bacteria in your dog's mouth, airways or gut.

Often, bad breath is caused by dental or gum disease and unfortunately, small dogs are particularly prone to plaque and tartar. You mentioned that your vet has already checked your dog's teeth and found nothing wrong which is good news. Her bad breath could be the cause of an underlying problem with the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys or other organs. Discussing this further with your vet will allow them to pinpoint what is causing the problem as they can perform a medical examination and further investigation can be carried out to try and find if there is an underlying cause.

Once you have ruled out any medical issues, some ways to help bad breath are:

Feeding your dog a high-quality, easy to digest food, some foods also contain additives for fresher breath. Bad breath thrives on carbs and sugars, so keep these to a minimum.

Add a small amount of parsley into her food. This herb is excellent for a dog's digestion and helps their breath too! You could also give her a probiotic/enzyme supplement to see if it helps with her breath.

Brushing your dog's teeth regularly is also advocated – ask your vet about a dog-formulated toothpaste, as human toothpaste is not suitable.

Provide hard chew toys which allow your dog's teeth to be cleaned by the chewing action

There are treats formulated to help improve bad breath - please note however that these only mask the odour, rather than treat the underlying problem.

- Dr Alex Hynes


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