Puppies are great. They are fun to watch, fun to play with, and fun to snuggle. Then all of a sudden, you may find that puppy breath has turned to bad breath. If this has happened after your little dog has turned 4 months old, this may be a temporary teething problem.
A Teething Puppy Can Have Bad Breath
When puppies are around 4 months old, they begin to shed their baby teeth and adult teeth will start to break through their gums. All baby animals have the same problem, whether they are puppies, kitties, or babies. It’s uncomfortable and they drool a lot. Getting adult teeth will take a puppy several months but is usually done by the time they are 6 or seven months old. During this time, you’ll notice that your baby pup bites and chews on everything he can get his little mouth around.
So, if your puppy has bad breath, first check to see if he is teething. Also inspect his mouth to see if he might have something stuck between his teeth or has excessively inflamed gums. Teething will cause some inflammation, but if the baby teeth haven’t been pushed out by the adult tooth, you might need to have your veterinarian take a look at his teeth. Your puppy could even have an impacted baby tooth.
The Reason Teething Puppy Breath Smells Bad
The main reason for your puppy to have bad breath at this time in his life is a build-up in bacterial count in their mouths. There is inflammation, some blood and serum leakage from the gums, proteins in the drool. These are great feeding and breeding conditions for halitosis causing bacteria. You may even notice a little blood smell. This also happens when your puppy is teething.
Suggestions for Your Teething Puppy
Here are a couple of ideas to get you both through teething. Give him sanctioned and helpful dog toys to teeth on so he leaves your furniture and shoes alone. There are commercial teething sticks and toys available. Putting a tiny dab of something yummy like peanut butter on a new toy will encourage your puppy to chew on that. I remember when our young German Shepherd “grand-dog” stopped by for a short visit and he decided to teeth on a wooden table leg. Don’t blame your puppy if you don’t make it obvious to him what he should be chewing on.
Cold or frozen items also help soothe puppy gums while he’s chewing. You can find commercial wet and freezing chew toys or you can make your own. Some dogs like to chew on ice cubes. You can put them in his food bowl to keep them from going all over the place or just let him chase them all over the floor. Give small dogs broken up ice cubes or ice chips. You can also make a good soothing chew toy by taking an old piece of cloth, towel, or rag, wet it and knot it or twist it into a rope and freeze it to make a comforting chew toy. When your puppy is done with it, rinse it clean and put it back in the freezer for the next time.
Don’t forget to wipe his gums with a damp cloth. This will remove some of the blood and bacteria, will probably feel good on his puppy gums, and gets him ready for doggy tooth brushing that you should do when he gets older.
Keep the drool wiped off of your puppy’s face because it will have its share of bacteria and blood. Wiping it up will prevent his little face from smelling bad and help keep his lips and muzzle from getting sore. Check with your vet for her suggestions.
Good luck with your puppy. Just remember that bad puppy breath will pass. By the time your puppy is 6 or 7 months old, he should be done with teething.
And then you can look forward to grown up doggy breath!! Just kidding! Read our other articles on what to do to prevent adult dog bad breath.