Our pups get upset when we refuse to accept their smooches, but stinky dog breath can be unbearable at times. There are a ton of products available that can help treat the offensive odor, but who doesn’t love natural remedies?
Starring the superfood apple cider vinegar, this article will help you learn all about halitosis in dogs and how to treat it with this kitchen staple!
Your dog’s bad breath isn’t always just a sign of poor hygiene, it can be a symptom of an underlying medical problem. But it is important to find out if their halitosis is caused by a more serious health issue.
Halitosis is the medical term for that stinky breath that comes from the mouth. Small dogs and brachycephalic breeds, or dogs with short noses and flat faces, are more susceptible to halitosis. The formation of their teeth being very close together makes it hard to remove debris and food that easily gets stuck.
The disease usually has no other signs except for the bad breath. However, sometimes, the condition also causes an inability to eat, excessive drooling, and unaligned teeth.
A dog’s bad breath may also be caused by other reasons. Check out this article to learn more.
Causes of Dog Halitosis
What you think of as the “normal” smell of dog breath can be quite serious. For instance, metabolic and respiratory disorders can cause halitosis. Diabetes mellitus, inflammation of the nasal passages, of the sinuses, and the enlargement of the esophagus are just some of the causes.
Pharyngitis and tonsillitis can also be a cause. Although rare, cancer can also be an underlying cause of the foul smell in their mouth. It can also be caused by trauma from a wound or injury. They may also get bad breath from viruses, like when they tend to eat feces, which is known as coprophagia.
However, the most frequent cause of the condition is a periodontal disease which is caused by the accumulation of food and bacteria in the gum line that produces a plaque build-up. After some time, spaces form under your pup’s teeth, making the disease irreversible.
Diagnosis of this disease involves various examinations. First, a vet checks if there is a 2mm distance between the gum and tooth. This is then followed by x-rays to check other symptoms beneath the gum.
Furthermore, treatment will be very challenging, no matter the stage. Controlling the plaque buildup and avoiding further detachment of the teeth should be done by professional cleaning, polishing, and application of fluoride. Your vet may also recommend bone replacements and tissue regeneration.
The Magic of Apple Cider Vinegar for Dog Breath
It’s better to be safe than sorry. The best prevention is to maintain good oral hygiene. Add apple cider vinegar to your dog’s dental routine and you’ll never go back! This type of vinegar is not just a health fad but has known benefits for both human and animal health.
ACV, made through the natural process of fermenting apples, has been proven to treat bad breath and other diseases when used correctly. It can help remove bacteria and deter them in a very gentle manner. You can also check our article for natural remedies for dog’s bad breath.
Other Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar for Dogs
Tracing back to 400 B.C., apple cider vinegar is not only beneficial for your dog’s bad breath, but also for other conditions of the skin, ears, and other parts of your dog! For instance, this natural product helps soothe rashes caused by yeast and prevents the fungus from coming back and developing again.
Itchy ears can also be relieved with apple cider vinegar because of its anti-bacterial properties. It makes your furry friend’s coat get super shiny and clean without the tear and saliva stains.
Who would have thought that it could also heal internal problems like diarrhea, UTI, constipation, and harmful bacteria and viruses inside the body? Lastly, it can relieve your dog’s muscle sprains, bruises, arthritis, and joint discomfort!
How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Dog’s Bad Breath
Getting back to your dog’s oral health, ACV is helpful in preventing tooth decay. This is because it is powerful enough to break down plaque and tartar on your dog’s teeth. All you have to do is add a few teaspoons of the vinegar to your dog’s drinking water.
The amount of ACV you use depends on your pooch’s weight. For small to medium dogs, 5ml or 1 teaspoon is enough, while 10 ml or 1 dessert spoon is sufficient for medium to large dogs.
It is also important to start off with less than the suggested dosage in order to give your dog body some time to get used to it. There’s no need to rush! Just build up gradually until your pup is used to it.
Side Effects of Using Apple Cider Vinegar
Knowing how helpful apple cider can be to your dog’s overall health, we still do not recommend using only this regimen to maintain your dog’s hygiene. It is still necessary to brush your dog’s teeth regularly and watch out for side effects.
Watch this video below by PetPlus for some additional tips!
Despite the numerous claims on ACV for dogs, there is still insufficient data to back them up, making it difficult for you to decide whether to use it or not. If you want to give it a try be sure to watch out for these potential side effects and make sure to contact your vet immediately if you notice something unusual.
Even if this ingredient is all-natural, it is extremely acidic and can irritate your dog’s body. This is why vets suggest diluting apple cider when giving it internally or externally. Make sure your pup is well hydrated before adding ACV to their drinking water!
Apple cider vinegar can also infect your dog’s ears when used as ear cleaner, cause allergies when they have sensitive skin, and make their GI upset by vomiting. Remember that acid can burn delicate parts of your dog’s body, especially the mucus membranes of the digestive tract.
Picking the Best ACV for Dog Breath
It’s not enough to get the cheapest or most convenient apple cider vinegar you can find. You will have to purchase one that is 100% raw and organic. Commercially produced ACV doesn’t really give the maximum benefits as one that is unpasteurized and not mass-produced.
Pure ACV is cloudy with all those stringy particles floating inside from the Mother culture. This will provide your pup more advantages because it has all the healthy bacteria that they need to fight off bad bacteria and infections.
If the vinegar appears clear it is most likely pasteurized, which kills off most of the good bacteria. Avoid these as you’ll just be wasting your money.
You can’t go past the classic Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar for quality.
Fairchild’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother is also a great pick because it is raw, unfiltered, unheated, and unpasteurized. It is also undiluted so it provides 25% more ACV than others.
Lucy’s Family Owned Raw Apple Cider Vinegar is free from gluten, phthalate, and BPA. It is also unfiltered so it has the mother!
Although there are many health benefits that apple cider vinegar offers for your dog aside from treating bad breath, it is not a complete solution for your fur baby. It may not completely alleviate halitosis and your dog will still need their teeth to be brushed and checked by the vet.
Don’t forget to give your dog a good bath regularly to treat rashes and remove dirt, ticks, and fleas!
Although halitosis is commonly caused by tartar on your dog’s teeth we recommend consulting a veterinarian for further information and helpful treatments. You can also ask them for safe ways to use ACV for your pup and other natural remedies that can aid in relieving periodontal disease.