Why Do Puppies Have Puppy Breath?

Puppies boast of the sweetest breath while they are in their first four to six months. This is the smell that dog owners long for when they hug their furry friends. The great breath is often emitted from their mouth and also present on the coat.

Why do puppies have puppy breath?

The incredible smell is often linked to a series of changes that transpire within the mouth of the puppies. Similarly, the good breath may be emanating from the lactose in the mother’s milk. This fresh aroma comes after milk is broken down by the pup’s digestive system.

However, the good smell is gradually engulfed by an unbearable odor after six months have elapsed. Whether it is 5 month old puppy bad breath or three months bad breath; it is terrible! Bad breath is blamed on a combination of stomach digestive system as well as enzymes and bacteria in the mouth. 

Causes of bad breath in puppies

Below is a detailed breakdown of some of the causes of bad breath among puppies:

1. Diabetes

Diabetes in dogs can lead to bad breath. The smell tends to be fruity in this case. Thus, in case you happen to catch such as a smell from your pup, it could be an early indicator of diabetes. Nonetheless, it should not be a matter of concern as diabetes is treatable in dogs. An appointment with a veterinarian would be sufficient.

2. Periodontal disease

Top oral hygiene is vital for the well-being of your puppy. However, no matter how thorough you may be, some dental ailments might slide under your check points. Most dogs are prone to different forms of periodontal disease before age 3. At this point, pups should be eating solid food perfectly. This makes their new set of teeth susceptible to bacteria which are responsible for bad breath.

When the bacteria accumulate over a long period they form tartar and plaque. In turn, tartar and plaque advance into periodontal disease and gingivitis. Any dog with such conditions will experience pain in addition to having problems when eating and more foul breath.

3. Teething

Another enemy of good breath in puppies is teething.Most veterinarians may recommend teething as one of the means by which you can eliminate periodontal disease. On the flip side, teething has been found to facilitate bad breath in puppies.

Normally, puppies grow new adult teeth which replace the old ones. This allows bacteria to collect up on the gum line hence leading to bad breath.

4. Kidney Disease

Dogs just like people have very sensitive kidneys. It is no secret that some dogs eat poop especially when they lack proper diet or guidance from their owners. Nevertheless, it is rare to find a dog that smells urine because of drinking pee. If you happen to smell urine from your pups mouth then that is alarming. Urine-like breath is an indicator of kidney disease.    

5. Oral problems

Bacteria seem to be at the center of all breath problems in puppies. In this case, there might be other oral problems messing up with your pup’s sweet breath. This could be anything problem benign tumors to the dreaded mouth cancer.

Gingival hyperplasia is the most common oral problem known to vets. All of these problems create a perfect breeding ground for bacteria.

6. Liver Disease

Liver disease in dogs is defined by a foul breath coupled with lack of appetite, vomiting and yellowish gums. In case your pup exhibits such symptoms then it would be wise to get her checked up for liver disease which could be an indication of a more serious disease.

7. Worms

Worms are dreaded parasites known for their adverse effects on dogs. Some of the most prevalent ones include heartworms, whipworms, tapeworms, roundworms and hookworms. Puppies get the worms from their mothers through ingesting milk or by birth.

However, is puppy breath caused by worms? Indeed, they are also associated with the bad breath. The most common symptoms of worms in puppies include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Coughing
  • Pot belly
  • Skin irritations
  • Visible worms on the skin and in fecal matter
  • Weight loss
  • Low energy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Dull coat

8. Gastrointestinal diseases

Gastrointestinal diseases in dogs mainly affect the intestines, esophagus and stomach. Such ailments also result in foul odor.  

9. Eating poop

Puppies are very curious of their surroundings. Eating poop tends to be a natural way of getting familiarized with their environment. Thus you should not panic when puppy breath smells like poop. The habit of eating poop is medically described as Coprophagia.

Unfortunately, the poop is riddled with infection causing bacteria that get lodged in their mouth. In the end, this causes bad breath.

How to get rid of puppy breath

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As much as bad breath may be devastating, there are a couple of ways to deal with it. Some of the solutions on this list might not work for all puppies. It is vital to consult your vet before giving them a try:

1. Brush their teeth

Proper oral hygiene accounts for more than forty percent of good breath in dogs. Just like humans, dog teeth also need to be tended to. Regular brushing ensures that the gums and teeth are in good shape at all times. Additionally, it is important to get toothpaste specifically meant for dogs.

2. Take them for a checkup

As you might have noticed above, there are several factors and ailments that culminate into bad breath. The best way to ascertain any of the causes is to book an appointment with your vet. This way it is easy to unravel the root cause of any bad odor and find a remedy.

3. Use mouthwash

Mouthwash kills any bacteria that might be lingering in the gums, teeth and mouth of your furry friend. It also eliminates any plaque or tartar from the teeth and restores fresh breath.

Now that dogs might not be able to gurgle the mouthwash every morning, you can add it in their water bowl. Dog mouthwash and other accessories can be found in most pet shops or clinics.

4. Give them dental chews

Using dental chews is the quickest means of restoring your pup’s fresh breath. However, it is short term. Make sure that what your canine uses is approved by the vet. 

5. Safe chew toys

Regular chewing helps puppies to develop strong teeth. This is why it is important to get them chew toys. Nonetheless, ensure that you get toys that are friendly to their gums and teeth. Healthy gums and teeth guarantee fresh odor.

6. Proper hydration

Dogs that get plenty of water are assured of fresh breath. The same applies for puppies. Give your four legged friend lots of water.

7. Balanced diet

A balanced diet will go a long way in sustaining fresh aroma in a dog’s mouth. Lots of sugar encourages the existence of infection-causing bacteria. Puppies need healthy bacteria. A healthy diet will transform into healthy teeth, gums and sweet breath.

Frequently asked questions

How long does puppy breath last?

In most cases, puppies lose their adorable aroma after losing their baby teeth. This can begin as early as three months for some puppies or drag on to seven months. It depends on the dog breed, size and diet. Changes in breath take place within this duration. 

When can you start brushing a puppy’s teeth?

Puppies only grow full teeth when they get to about six months of age. As much as they might begin teething after a while it is still important that they get used to the brushing routine in good time. This is why you are advised to begin brushing your pup’s teeth as early as 6 weeks. Keep the puppy’s size in mind.

There you have it! The riddle regarding why puppies have puppy breath is now solved. Every dog owner would love to have a furry friend with a pleasant breath. There may be several explanations for the change in breath as highlighted above. Always consult your vet for a proper diagnosis. Maintenance of oral hygiene should be exceptional. To top it off, ensure your puppy eats a balanced diet in addition to taking lots of water.

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