Ask Seth: Bad Dog Breath

My name is Rhonda and I have a 7 year old Chihuahua. He is my best friend. He has pretty bad dog breath, and I think one of his back teeth is rotted because it is black and he gets squeamish when I touch that are of his mouth. I brush his teeth monthly, but it’s really hard to do myself. I also give him breath assure tablets that are supposed to minimize the odors, but it’s not working. What are your suggestions please? Rhonda Evans


This question happens to come up on a daily basis.  Bad breath is directly associated with dental disease.  The fact that the tooth is black and painful indicates and that the tooth is no longer viable and most likely needs to be removed.  Dogs need to be placed under general anesthesia to perform a proper complete dental cleaning and assessment.  If the tooth is not removed, it will remain painful and can become abscessed.    An abscess left untreated can begin to eat away at the jaw bone and become extremely problematic.   I recommend taking your best friend to your veterinarian for a dental assessment.  If it painful when you touch it, most likely it is painful every time he eats.  Tooth removals are common in a veterinary practice and animals heal very quickly. 

Dogs need a dental assessment during their annual visits and usually need a dog dental cleaning every 1-2 years.   If the tarter on the teeth comes off, it is swallowed and in some cases, can cause renal problems. 

What do you do to maintain good dog breath? Share with us in the comments!

Seth Mayersohn

About Seth Mayersohn

Have a question about your pet’s health or behavior? Readers can submit questions to Seth Mayersohn has a B.S. in Animal and Veterinary Sciences and a M.S. in Agriculture from West Virginia University. He has 12 years of experience as a veterinary technician and draws upon that experience to help our readers!

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