Causes of stinky pug breath
- Dental problems. The most common cause for stinky breath in pugs is dental problems like decay. If your dog has an infected tooth that infection will smell bad and you’ll notice it in their breath. Pugs are particularly prone to dental decay because they have short flat mouths that leave their teeth crowded and often crooked. This allows food to get trapped in their teeth and cause decay over time if their teeth are not brushed.
2. Lack of brushing/cleaning. Related to the first point, but a more temporary version. If you’ve ever left a bit of food on a plate in the kitchen sink for more than a few hours you’ve probably noticed it can start to smell. Food particles that get stuck in a dog’s mouth can begin to stink, too! If your dog’s breath usually smells normal but is particularly stinky one day, check to see if they have something stuck that you can help remove by brushing.
3. Teething. When puppies are growing in new teeth or losing old ones they have extra saliva when their gums are irritated. Some say this produces a uniquely stinky smell that is described as a sour milk smell.
4. A stomach issue. Acid reflux or other digestive issues can cause the breath to smell bad.
5. They ate something stinky. If they were just chewing on a bully stick you may notice that in their breath shortly after. This can also be true if they eat things they shouldn’t like cat feces.
6. More severe medical problems. Kidney trouble can cause the breath to smell like urine or ammonia. Stomach blockages can cause the breath to smell like feces. Lung infections, liver trouble or diabetes can also change the smell of a dogs breath.
How to help your dogs breath smell better
- Brush their teeth using dog-specific toothpaste. It’s easiest to do this if you train your dog to be used to it from the time they are a puppy. If you haven’t brushed your dogs teeth before, the process of desensitizing them to allowing you to brush their teeth may take a while.
- Use oral care products in their drinking water. Various brands make products to aid with cleaning dogs teeth that can be added to their drinking water. While perhaps not as thorough as brushing, it’s an easy way to do something to support your pug’s oral health even if they won’t tolerate brushing.
- Make sure they get dental cleanings often. Pug owners are often worried about having their dogs put under to have their teeth cared for, but it can be done safely especially if you seek out a pet with experience in caring for brachycephalic dogs. Getting their teeth profesionally cleaned and any bad teeth pulled can be really beneficial to their overall health, not just to their breath!
- Give them dental ‘chews’. Dental chew treats are designed to help your dog brush their own teeth, so to speak. They have bumps or ridges designed to sort of scratch the teeth and remove plaque as they chew. These are unlikely to reach all surfaces of all teeth the way brushing can, but it can help.
- Keep up on the rest of their health. Of course, you want to make sure that your pug’s bad breath isn’t caused by other health issues so saying on top of regular vet visits is key.