4 Top Reasons for Boxer Bad Breath
1) As discussed above, unclean teeth is a common reason for bad breath.
The smell will be strong regardless of whether a dog just ate or not. If you brush the teeth and it goes away temporarily, but returns just as strong a few hours later, this can point to there being an infection.
Owners should begin dental care at home from the day that a puppy is brought into the household. Boxers do fairly well at tolerating grooming elements if they are exposed to them at a young age. However, it is never too late to begin brushing even with an adult dog that is not used to it.
If you suspect tooth or gum infection, a professional evaluation is needed. This will be followed by home care that will include proper cleaning, quality dental snacks and proper chews that should keep breath smelling clean and fresh.
2) Teething. As milk teeth loosen and fall out, there is some bleeding on the gums that may or may not be noticeable. This, combined with the natural moisture of the mouth, can cause bacteria to grow. With this sort of bacterial issue, the bad breath will have a sweet sour odor.
If you suspect this is the reason for a Boxer puppy's bad breath, the first step is to gently clean the mouth. Using a soft finger brush at this young age often works better than a toothbrush. Be sure to use canine toothpaste, since most of it gets swallowed and human products are toxic to dogs.
The bristles of the finger-brush relieve itchy gums, so many teething puppies actually love to have this done.
Encouraging a teething puppy
to drink and offering a wide variety of chew toys - that are thrown away when dirtied and replaced - can also help a great deal.
3) Medical Conditions.
There are a variety of health conditions
in which bad breath (halitosis) is one sign. It should be noted that bad breath - in and of itself- without any other symptoms will not point to the following conditions. These will have other symptoms along with stinky breath:
- Aside from sweet smelling breath, other signs are change in appetite, excessive thirst, weight loss, Increased urination and/or weakness
- Respiratory infection
- Along with a sour type bad breath odor, there will be coughing and difficult breathing or raspy breath
- Gastrointestinal conditions -
Along with bad breath, there will be a wide range of issues including vomiting, dry heaving, diarrhea, constipation, burping, passing gas, loss of bowel control and/or stomach bloating
(infection of the nasal cavities) - One of the main signs of this is discharge from the nose which can have a terrible smell. Since the nasal cavity is connected to the throat, a dog's breath may smell horrible as well. Other signs are sneezing and rubbing the nose onto surfaces
(infection of the tonsils) - Aside from what can sometimes be quite a noxious odor on the breath, other signs are fever, coughing, gagging, pain when swallowing, and/or a loss of appetite.
- Foreign body or food
stuck in the teeth or in the throat - Small food particles can become lodged between teeth. These minuscule amounts of food will essentially rot away… and the smell from that can be overpowering. Regular brushing can keep this from happening. Another issue may be a foreign body stuck between the teeth and causing bad breath problems. This can happen if a Boxer was chewing on a stick from a tree or other type of object in which a small piece has broken away and become lodged. Taking a good look around the mouth with a strong flashlight (having an assistant is recommended) may allow you to find the culprit.
4) Eating feces.
If a dog eats feces (his own or that of another dog) it can cause many issues. Worms and bad breath are just 2 of the likely outcomes.
The main reason that a dog will eat feces is due to malnutrition. Malnutrition can develop even if a dog is given 3 meals a day and snacks. How? If that food is of low quality and has been plumped up with fillers. Changing to a quality dog food or healthy, home cooking often resolves this.
Home Remedies to Fix a Boxer's Bad Breath
If your Boxer's teeth are cleaned and he is cleared for any of the above medical issues, there are some home remedies that can resolve bad breath problems:
1) Peppermint Leaves.
Fresh peppermint leaves - which are perfectly safe for dogs to chew on - can be a great way to keep breath fresh.
2) Concentrated Lemon Juice.
3 to 4 drops of fresh concentrated lemon added to a full bowl of fresh, cool water can keep breath fresh. Be careful to only use a few drops because if the water is too sour, a dog will not drink it.
3) Fresh Breath Chews.
The right chew can help quite a bit with bad breath. Be careful when looking for a product. Any chew that contains artificial coloring, artificial flavoring or byproducts can cause more problems than it tries to fix.
Those containing parsley, mint and/or dill work best. If you are not happy with the products that you are using or if you wish to see recommended fresh breath chews, brushes and pastes, you may wish to look under 'Dental' in the Boxer Dog Specialty Shoppe.
Some Points to Remember
Many dogs suffer in silence with tooth decay until an owner finally notices due to a tooth falling out or bleeding in the mouth. Please be sure to begin or to continue on with at-home dental cleanings. In addition, an evaluation of the mouth and teeth should be done at least once a year at the vets.
With Boxer puppies, issues do not go away when adult teeth surface; the gums and jaw may be damaged so that when the teething process is complete, there is no healthy foundation for the adult teeth.
With adult dogs, bad breath that is caused by bad teeth is not the only problem. Those dogs will mature into seniors that have trouble eating at best and possible fatal infection at worst.
If you see any other signs of a health issue or if bad breath is chronic and does not respond to at home remedies, do not hesitate to seek professional veterinary assistance.