Bad Breath in German Shepherds: Causes and Treatment

Playful german shepherd puppy

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Hey, there, fellow German Shepherd lovers! Does your pet’s bad breath often cause embarrassment during social gatherings or when you’re in public? 

Well, don’t worry because you’re not alone. 

Treating bad breath, or halitosis, is possible in German Shepherds, as it is a common issue among them. This blog post will dive into the causes of bad breath in German Shepherds and discuss some effective treatment options to help keep your dog’s breath fresh and clean. 

So, grab a cup of coffee, and let’s start tackling this smelly problem together!

Common Causes of Bad Breath in German Shepherds

So, what exactly causes bad breath in German Shepherds?

Well, here are a few of the top culprits:

1. Plaque and Tartar Buildup

Like in humans, plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth can lead to bad breath. In German Shepherds, this happens quickly due to their love for chewing on things. When plaque and tartar aren’t removed through regular brushing, they can lead to bacterial growth and bad breath.

2. Gum Disease

Selective Focus Photo of a German Shepherd with a White Dog

Plaque and tartar buildup can also lead to gum disease, which can cause inflammation and bleeding of the gums, thus a breeding ground for bacteria and resulting in bad breath.

3. Digestive Issues

Digestive Issues such as stomach or intestinal problems in the digestive tract can sometimes cause bad breath in German Shepherds. 

The bacteria that cause bad breath can also reside in the stomach or intestinal tract, and when these tracts are not functioning correctly, the bacteria can release an odor through the mouth.

4. Dental Problems

Another cause for bad breath in German Shepherds can be dental problems such as tooth decay, abscesses, or infected teeth, which can cause a foul odor from the mouth.

5. Dehydration

When a German shepherd is dehydrated, their body produces more bacteria, which can lead to bad breath. Ensure your dog has proper care and enough access to fresh water. Check for signs of dehydration, such as a dry nose or mouth, sunken eyes, or lack of energy. 

6. Food Allergies 

Close Up Shot of a Dog Eating

Some German Shepherds can develop food allergies, leading to digestive issues and bad breath. A food allergy can also cause your dog’s stomach to produce more acid than usual, leading to bad breath. 

If you suspect your dog has a food allergy, your veterinarian will recommend a food-elimination diet and test to identify the allergen.

It’s important to note that sometimes, bad breath can be caused by a combination of these factors. If you’re noticing your German Shepherd’s breath isn’t quite up to par, it’s worth taking a closer look to see if one or more of these causes may be to blame.

Treatment Options for Bad Breath in German Shepherds

So, you’ve identified that your German Shepherd has terrible breath; what can you do about it? Several treatment options are available to help freshen up your dog’s breath.

1. Dental Cleaning

Professional dental cleaning by a veterinarian is one of the most effective ways to remove plaque and tartar buildup and prevent bad breath. 

During this procedure, your vet will clean your dog’s teeth, remove any tartar and polish the teeth. This process can also help identify any dental problems that may have been causing the bad breath.

2. Oral Hygiene

Regular brushing your dog’s teeth with a toothbrush and toothpaste made specifically for dogs can help prevent plaque and tartar buildup and reduce bad breath. Brushing their teeth at least two times a week is recommended.

3. Medications

Sometimes, a vet might prescribe antibiotics or other medications to address the underlying cause of bad breath, such as an infection or gum disease.

4. Enzymatic Treats

Australian Shepherd Biting a Blue Ball

Dental treats, chews, and toys can help reduce plaque and tartar buildup and freshen your dog’s breath. These enzymatic treats can help break down plaque and freshen your dog’s teeth.

5. Diet

Changing your dog’s diet to high-quality, grain-free food can also help to reduce bad breath. Try to give your dog foods that are high in protein and contain natural enzymes to help keep their teeth clean and break down plaque.

6. Hydration

If the bad breath is caused by dehydration, ensure your dog is drinking enough water and that the water source is clean, this will help reduce the production of bacteria in the body.

7. Cleaning the nasal passages

If a respiratory infection causes bad breath, your veterinarian may recommend a procedure to clean the nasal passages.

It can help reduce the number of bacteria in the nasal passages and freshen the breath. This procedure is done under general anesthesia, and it’s not invasive. It helps remove debris and mucus from the nasal passages, reducing the bad odor.

Final Word

By addressing the underlying cause of the bad breath and implementing these treatment options, you can help freshen up your German Shepherd’s breath and keep them healthy. 

But remember to continue with regular dental care and oral hygiene maintenance to prevent bad breath from happening again. 

It’s always best to consult your veterinarian to get a personalized treatment plan for your dog.

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Doug Burke

Doug Burke

We love Frank, our German Shepherd - he's basically part of the family.
But you know how it is - there are challenges and questions that every dog owner faces, so here's what I discovered about German Shepherds while raising him.

About Me

We love Frank, our German Shepherd – he’s basically part of the family.
But you know how it is – there are challenges and questions that every dog owner faces, so here’s what I discovered about German Shepherds while raising him.

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