In no way are we saying raising a pet is like raising a child, but let’s face the facts—both come with responsibilities! And it’s not just the normal day-to-day circumstances, but the unforeseen and “I didn’t even think about that” type of challenges that arise without warning.
Luckily, today’s issue isn’t one of “life or death” but it’s still one that plagues dog owners, and at a time where you want nothing more to get into a routine and into a “normal” family life—puppyhood. Specifically, why does my puppy have such bad breath when teething?
Before we jump into details, remember these things—your dog won’t always be a puppy, and they most certainly won’t always be teething. And not to compare your dog to a human child, but try not to wish the days away! As many parents will attest, while little ones bring along plenty of hurdles, once they’re grown and independent, you might again yearn for those days when they were like velcro and always needing your help!
Why Do Puppies Get Bad Breath When Teething?
As Healthy Paws notes, when new teeth begin to crowd in, puppies have a tendency to collect bacteria along the gum lines. This bacteria is foul-smelling, but perfectly normal, as is the bad breath that comes along with it. Petful adds that inflammation can carry an odor,
Indirectly, because puppies seem to always be eating things they aren’t supposed to, ingesting stinky things can of course impact the breath and burps that come after the fact.
How Long Does Puppy Bad Breath Last?
Of course, the good news is that puppies aren’t puppies forever, and thus, that bad breath will be gone at some point soon. How soon? Well, usually once they stop teething and adult teeth have made their way in, which could be six months.
How to Curb the Bad Breath Smell?
1. Brush Their Teeth
The most obvious, but always worth mentioning, especially because many people think puppy bad breath will somehow transcend a good brushing routine. In fact, the American Kennel Club suggests brushing as the easiest way to prevent bad breath in dogs.
While bad breath that stems from indigestion or burps isn’t really curbed by improved hygiene, brushing can certainly work wonders when it comes to breaking up any bacteria accumulating on gums.
As Vetstreet points out, brushing starting with puppy age is also important to instill a dental hygiene routine they hopefully get used to as they grow older.
2. Give Them Chew Toys & Dental Treats
While every dog is different as is the effect of various chew toys or dental products, they might be worth trying to see if anything helps your puppies remove plaque and build-up. These dog chews for teeth and dental health offer a unique shape that assists in gently removing plaque and tartar as the treat is chewed.
That said, again, be sure to know what you’re buying before letting your dog have at it. For example, a peanut butter-filled bone is dense and usually not recommended for dogs with underlying dental problems.
3. Consider a Water Additive
Oxyfresh suggests looking into water additives and discussing their use with your dog’s vet. In terms of benefits, their product page mentions it can be used to “...fight plaque & tartar, and keep their gums in tip-top shape. Just add it to their water bowl and call it good!”
4. Change and Supplement Their Diet
Many know that dry food is the better option for tooth care, but there are also a variety of “natural” or “at-home” food remedies that can help teeth stay clean. Richmond Animal Hospital notes that parsley could be a good breath-freshening option. The Farmer’s Dog lists a number of fixes, including carrots and apple slices, apple cider vinegar, and even coconut oil.
So, again, your puppy’s bad breath while teething is likely normal, and will return to normal once their permanents come in. Until then, you can always try out the remedies above (and others) to see if anything helps.