Chihuahua Bad Breath - Reasons And How To Deal With Them
Does your Chihuahua like to give dog kisses? Dog kisses are probably pretty nice unless your dog has bad breath. If you are noticing your Chihuahua has bad breath, you may be wondering if it is normal and if there is anything you can do to help. What causes Chihuahua bad breath and how do you get rid of it?
Don’t worry, Chihuahuas are known for stinky breath, and there are ways you can deal with it to make it smell less, well like death. In fact, Chihuahuas are especially prone to dental problems, and just like humans, if you do not take care of their teeth and mouth, they can have bad breath and loads of other dental problems.
Why does my Chihuahua have bad breath?
Chihuahua bad breath is most commonly caused by poor dental hygiene, but it can be a sign of other things including poor dietary habits, diabetes, or kidney or liver disease.
Causes of Chihuahua bad breath include:
- Poor dental hygiene
- They ate something off, like cat litter
- Gum disease
- An upset stomach
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Imbalance in the oral or gut microbiome
Chihuahuas are most prone to bad breath as puppies while they are teething. Generally, that is when they are three to six months old. Start with good dental hygiene when your Chihuahua is a puppy to help prevent bad breath when they get older.
Most dogs have ‘dog breath,’ but Chihuahuas have especially bad breath. Some bad breath is normal, but if it is an extreme odor and lasts past several treatments, you may want to take your Chihuahua to the vet.
How do I get rid of my Chihuahuas bad breath?
There are several things you can try to get rid of your Chihuahuas bad breath, but the most important things are good dental hygiene including regular teeth brushing.
Regularly brush their teeth
You should brush your Chihuahua’s teeth every day for 30 seconds. You will need canine toothpaste and canine toothbrush or a regular finger brush. You should not use human toothpaste on your dog. The Veterinary Oral Health Council recommends that you only use toothpaste that is made for dogs.
Your veterinarian can help teach you how to brush a Chihuahua’s teeth easily, however, like humans, your Chihuahua may grow to like teeth brushing. Plus, teeth brushing is the best way to prevent Chihuahua bad breath because it removes plaque similar to human teeth brushing.
Watch their diet
Note what you’re feeding your Chihuahua. Generally, dry food is better than kibble if you are trying to avoid bad breath in your chihuahua. Dry food will help scrape off plaque, but you will probably want to incorporate a mix of both dry and wet foods into your Chihuahua’s diet to prevent constipation.
Don’t let your Chihuahua eat anything off the ground
Your dog may be curious and enjoy sniffing and snacking on any random object they can find on the ground, in the backyard, or at the park. But do not let them eat just anything! Watch them and make sure they don’t find anything they shouldn’t, especially cat poop or other litter.
Give them chew toys
Giving your dog a fun chew toy can give them something better to chew on than things they shouldn’t. Plus, there are tons of chew toys designed specifically to treat a dog’s bad breath. You can browse through our toys collection, we are sure you will find something you like.
Feed your Chihuahua lemon juice, parsley, or peppermint leaves
You may want a more natural remedy to treat your Chihuahua’s bad breath. In that case, try putting a few drops of lemon juice in their water, feeding them peppermint leaves or parsley, or baby carrots. Baby carrots are especially good for teething and tooth and gum health. Peppermint leaves and parsley can both be sprinkled on top of their food.
Additionally, yogurt has been said to remedy bad breath in Chihuahuas. Add a teaspoonful of plain yogurt to your dog’s kibble (no sugary or fruity flavors, which can be unhealthy or even deadly for dogs). As long as your Chihuahua is not lactose intolerant, yogurt could remedy their bad breath.
In sum, natural solutions to get rid of your dog’s bad breath include:
- Baby carrots
- Peppermint leaves
- Lemon juice
- Coconut oil
- Apple cider vinegar
Give your dog some tea
If your Chihuahuas’ bad breath is caused by an upset stomach, ginger tea can help them feel better and get rid of their bad breath. You can easily make ginger tea with a few slices of fresh ginger in a cup of hot water. Allow the water to cool before feeding it to your dog and only give them a few spoonfuls at first.
Take your dog to the vet
If you have tried the other methods on this list and your Chihuahua still has bad breath, the only solution may be to take them to the vet to get examined. The vet can look at your dog’s mouth, check their swallowing and teeth health, and give your Chihuahua’s teeth a professional cleaning!
They will also be able to check for potential problems as in some cases Chihuahua bad breath is caused by an infection or diabetes, kidney or liver disease. Your vet will be able to recommend the proper treatment depending on what is causing the bad breath.
You should take your dog to the vet regularly anyways, at the very least once a year, so make sure to check in once in a while on their dental hygiene along with your Chihuahuas’ overall health.
Professional dog teeth cleaning
If your vet agrees that your dog’s bad breath is just caused by plaque and poor dental hygiene, they may offer to do a professional dog dental cleaning. However, your dog will need to be able to handle anesthesia so that they remain still while the vet is working inside their mouth. If there are other dental problems like loose or damaged teeth, the vet will also take care of them then.
Chihuahua breath smells like… and what it means
It’s common for your Chihuahua’s breath to smell like fish, poop, or even death. Some smells may be just from what your dog ate.
A fishy smell may just be that they ate fish; however, if they have not eaten fish recently, then it may indicate an infection in the throat or mouth. It can also be an indicator of kidney disease because kidney disease causes high urea levels in the body.
The smell of poop is most often caused by your dog actually snacking on some poop.
Urine smell could be a sign of kidney disease.
If their breath smells fruity or sweet, it is likely caused by high levels of blood sugar, a sign of diabetes.
The smell of must or death is often a sign of the liver disease because the liver cannot properly filter toxins and stinky sulfur smells will be released in your dog’s lungs.
However, if the smell does not go away after a day or two, and you have tried teeth brushing and feeding them good food, then it may be time to take them to the vet.
Chihuahua bad teeth
Chihuahuas may also have dental problems like plaque, gingivitis, tooth decay, and tooth infection. The best way to treat this is through brushing their teeth regularly, feeding them a good diet, getting them plenty of exercises, and scheduling at least an annual vet checkup. If their teeth are still bad, your vet may be able to help with a professional dog dental cleaning.
Chihuahua Bad Breath is normal, and you can avoid it
It is perfectly normal for your Chihuahua to have bad breath. You can treat it by giving them a healthy diet, taking proper care of their teeth, and watching them so they do not eat anything they shouldn’t. However, if you are taking proper care of your dog’s dental hygiene and diet and their bad breath is still not going away, talk to your vet about potential causes and solutions. Your vet will be able to recommend the best treatment and/or products to stop your dog’s bad breath.