Puppy breath is something any dog lover is familiar with. A pooch's oral odor is just something we live with, or at least that is the attitude taken by many pet owners. However, most veterinarians warn that chronic dog bad breath may indicate health problems, just as it can in people.
It's easy to see why we tend to overlook puppy breath. After all, man's best friend is interested in eating all sorts of things that we humans would rather leave in the garbage or the outhouse. Combine that with dogs' tendency to clean themselves with their tongues and, well, dog bad breath just seems inevitable.
That said, it isn't. As there are for humans, plenty of specialty breath freshening products exist for canines. These products are usually prescribed by a veterinarian, though they may also be found in some pet supply stores.
Whether you're the pet or the master, your halitosis ultimately comes from a few common causes. Humans and hounds both get the majority of their bad breath from oral bacteria. These microscopic critters live on the foods that we eat, emitting the unpleasant gases our noses associate with dog bad breath.
Poor oral hygiene can make oral odor exponentially worse, which is why it is important for people and puppies alike to get periodic teeth cleanings.
Occasionally, halitosis can indicate that your doggy friend is feeling sick, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. If your dog's bad breath comes about suddenly, gets radically worse or has an odd whiff to it, the organization recommends a visit to the vet pronto.
Likewise, people with unusually bad breath may wish to see a physician to make sure everything is in order. To neutralize even the most powerful halitosis, consider using a specialty breath freshener that contains xylitol or chlorhexidine.