Our 10 year old setter/border collie has been progressively having worse and worse breath. We were feeding our dogs Rachel Ray which his breath smelled then, but now it smells like death. We switched to Diamond Naturals Lamb and Rice and it smells awful, as in we ask him to leave the room when we’re watching TV. He gets raw meaty bones weekly and table scraps. We have several other dogs all on the same diet who are just fine. His weight is good, though he is more lethargic and cold sensitive than he was when he was younger and he prefer to sleep a lot near the woodstove. He still enjoys walks and loves to ride in the car. Had him checked out by a vet a while back and he was Aok, he is a decent weight and in pretty good shape (still enjoys a 2 to 4 mile walk/light run- though he’s ready for a nap when he gets home and the others (all under 3yrs old) are still raring to go) . His teeth have been cleaned, he was wormed recently, he eats fine and drinks normally, has regular bowel movements and otherwise seems normal. Any suggestions on an affordable, good dog food that will improve his breath?
He’s old, old dogs smell. Dogs can have halitosis, too, just like people, lol.
There are minty breath freshener additives you can add to his water and such. I don’t think it matters what you feed him, he sounds like he is doing very well, I wouldn’t make any changes other than what your vet recommends. You might want to check with your vet, again. Tooth decay and dental issues can occur suddenly with seniors.Susan WMember
If his breath got icky after switching to Diamond Naturals, I’d definitely find something else. I feed mine VeRUS Life Advantage and don’t have any trouble with stinky breath (and I have an 11 y-o Golden). Even when I fed VeRUS’ Opticoat made w/fish, my dogs didn’t have stinky breath. VeRUS will send you free samples if you contact them. Tell them what you’re experiencing and they’ll recommend a formula or two for your dog & send free samples. They’re really good at answering questions, too. They’re are veruspetfoods.com.Susan WMember
I forgot to mention that the VeRUS food I’ve fed my dogs doesn’t stink – the food itself doesn’t stink. Even the formulas with fish don’t smell like fishy dog food – it smells like real, still-alive fish, even at the bottom of the bag. The food I’m feeding now, Life Advantage, has no scent that I can smell. Most dog food smells like ground up, cooked up dead things. VeRUS doesn’t stink.
“We were feeding our dogs Rachel Ray which his breath smelled then, but now it smells like death.”
Sounds like infection/periodontal disease needs to be ruled out first.
What you described is what tooth decay smells like. Sometimes a tooth in the back can go rotten quickly (especially with a senior), even when all the other teeth look fine. The vet may be able to diagnose with one quick sniff.
Hi D S, can you reduce the kibble & feed more table scraps? what you eat for dinner minus any ingredients dogs can’t eat, feed a cooked meal for 1 of his meals instead of kibble & don’t feed any rice if cooking a meal add some boiled sweet potatoes NO GRAINS.
Kibble sits in the stomach & depending on ingredients & how high the fiber & carbs are, the food ferments in their stomach causing a rotten fermenting smell to come up into mouth……I bet his breath is worse about 1 hour after eating his kibble…
As we get older we don’t make as much hydrochloric acid in the stomach anymore, your vet should know this, so the food sits in stomach longer…feed foods that are easier to digest like cooked meals… start feeding 4 smaller meals a day instead of just 2 big meals, this way it will be easier to digest the small meal, a big meal is harder to digest…..I feed at 7am 12pm 5pm & 8pm & don’t feed any kibbles with fermentable grains like rice, oats, barley, lentils, chick peas….
My boy breath start to smell bad after he eats a high carb, high fiber kibbles, dogs do not need much fiber in their diet, their intestinal tract is short, its not like a humans digestive tract…
I’ve been feeding “Taste Of The Wild” Sierra Mountain Roasted Lamb & Patch doesn’t have his bad fermenting breath no more, it’s grain free it just has Lamb, sweet potatoes, peas, potato, or look for a grain free kibble with sweet potatoes, potatoes, peas, when I was feeding “Canidae” Life Stages Platinum with grains (Brown rice, Barley & oats) the bad breath came back, I feed the 5pm meal dinner, a cooked meal, home made pork rissoles with cut up broccoli, parsley & kale & a whisked egg mixed in the pork mince made into a rissole then I add the boil sweet potatoes.. You can freeze the rissoles & sweet potato & take out as needed also start giving either Kefir or Yakult probiotic drink.. in between meals as a treat this will help get rid of any bad stomach bacteria… Please post after 1 month & see if there’s a change I’d say there will be..AcroyaliMember
Agreed with Susan, especially on probiotics.
I’d also have the vet check to make sure this dog doesn’t have impacted anal glands; that alone can make their breath smell like rotting death.
Old dogs shouldn’t smell just because they’re old. Something else has to be going on.D SMember
Had him completely checked out by vet. We switched his food to 4Health Salmon and Potato and breath has improved. His teeth were fine, she even commented on what great condition they were in. (I had cleaned them with my great little $12 Amazon dental kit!) He did have one anal gland that was really full which she emptied and there has been improvement- you were spot on with that Acroyali. She recommended giving him a tums in the morning and at night also. This has helped some with the stomach acid slower digestion I believe. He won’t eat them, so I crunch it up and drop it in his mouth and hold it shut til he swallows it.
He gets a lot of table scraps- probably close to 50% of his diet between what all the kids feed him (or drop) and licking all the plates and pots and pan, along with whatever else he finds to eat on the farm. He’s pretty good about not eating other animal’s poop which is good, but they graze on whatever they want outside. The dog food has always been free choice. They take a few bites whenever they want to out of the open bin.
I like to feed a good food, but it’s just not feasible to feed extremely expensive foods. The Verus looks really good, and I know Taste of the Wild is too, many thanks for the recommendations. But I have to find a happy medium and staying in the $1 a lb range seems to work pretty well for our budget. Since they get decent kibble along with table scraps, fresh off the horse hoof parings (which they LOVE), and meaty bones every week (from a steer we pastured raised and butchered here -or fresh venison bones that hunter friends give us) along with tons of exercise and fresh air chasing 4 wheelers and trail riding with us they pretty much don’t have health problems. I’ll check into a completely grain free food if it returns, but for now I think the anal gland cleaning along with the food change and occasional tums, I’m hoping will keep my dear friend smelling better. Many thanks for the suggestions!
- This reply was modified 4 years ago by D S.
Hi Ds with the Tums you don’t need to crush them, just put on back of his tongue & push down the throat & have a 20ml syringe with water to wash the Tum down the throat, this way the Tum slowly digest in the gut, lining the stomach, I use liquid Mylanta 5mls… Yes fish/Salmon is good, it’s one of the more easy proteins to digest….
“I had cleaned them with my great little $12 Amazon dental kit!”
Umm, that item is no comparison to a professional cleaning. Brushing the dog’s teeth once a day may help though, see YouTube for how to videos.
Tums? I would go to another vet and get a second opinion. Also, be very careful about taking advice from well meaning posters on the internet. A lot of false information out there. And, I would never give a pet over the counter meds or supplements unless recommended by a veterinarian that has examined the pet. You can make things worse.
“The active ingredient in TUMS and many other antacids is a chemical called calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate is not only a medication, it also occurs widely in nature as one of the main substances that make up limestone.
Calcium carbonate treats an upset stomach because of the effects it has on stomach acid. Calcium carbonate is a basic substance. This means it has a high pH, which is the opposite of stomach acid, a substance with a very low pH. When a person or animal is given calcium carbonate it goes to work by neutralizing stomach acid. This happens due to a chemical reaction that takes place between calcium carbonate and hydrochloric acid, the main constituent of stomach acid. When this reaction happens, calcium carbonate and hydrochloric acid switch their chemical partners, forming calcium chloride and water. Calcium chloride is insoluble and passes through the digestive tract, while the water formed by the reaction results in a healthier pH level.
Unfortunately, dogs digest foods much more quickly than humans do, so the chemical reaction between calcium carbonate and stomach acid does not occur fast enough to treat the animal’s upset stomach. By the time calcium carbonate treats the symptom, the dog has typically already digested and passed whatever food was causing the problem in the first place, making this a harmless but relatively ineffective treatment for the animal’s ailment”.
PS: I would call your vet and leave a message for her to call you back, I would question the Tums and ask why she didn’t suggest Pepcid? Not that it is a miracle drug, but, it might be slightly more effective in reducing symptoms (based on my experience and what I have observed). Anyway, I would communicate with your vet and ask questions.
Anon 101 (Lynne) her vet recommended the Tums like Patches vet recommended Mylanta for Patch….. also that is a load of bull, “dogs digest food much quickly than humans”, not if your dog’s gut isn’t working properly THEN the food just sits in the stomach & a smell comes up into the mouth causing bad breath, its not always their teeth.. DS dog sounds like he’s eating a very healthy diet, its just age doing what it does as we get older…you can tell you have never had a sick pet & are not a regular at the vets office..
@ D S
Regarding the anal gland issue, did you check the search engine here? Hope this helps
PS: I am not here in a professional capacity, nor is anyone else, that I am aware of. Just voicing my opinion based on my experience and knowledge.AcroyaliMember
Glad he’s doing better! I’ve never used tums, but as Susan pointed out a sluggish digestive system can be the breeding grounds for nasty breath as the food basically sits there and ferments. Hopefully you all can find some long term relief.
As Anon pointed out though, a home scale job isn’t the same as a professional cleaning if there are problems (it’s virtually impossible to get under the gum line, even on the worlds most patient dog). However, if there are no problems and the bones and an occasional scraping is doing the job and your vet is satisfied with how things are going, I say if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
I was in a bind a few years back when one of my oldest dogs developed heart failure at a ripe age, and his teeth were in need of some help. The dogs vet(s) and I discussed it at length, and all were in agreement that a home scale job, done slowly (as to not bombard the dog’s bloodstream with icky crap, as some plaque DOES get swallowed) was the way to go for this dog, given his situation. The vet checked his teeth monthly. In about 3 months time, about 85% of the plaque was gone. (To loosen up some of the really bad stuff on the back teeth, we tried using Fragaria Vesca 6x daily to soften the plaque. By God, it worked.) He lived well beyond the vet and I’s expectations, and while he was on a few medications and heart supplements, we feel that cleaning his teeth up helped extend his life expectancy, too.
So now, we brush teeth, as I learned the hard way that prevention makes more sense than a cure. Any dogs with poor bites, poor root structure, or problem teeth in general get brushed 4-5 times a week. The dogs with good bites and no problems are once a week or so. Everyone gets recreational bones.
If this doesn’t apply to you, be grateful as it’s a difficult situation to be in when your dog’s teeth aren’t in the best shape, but health problems put them as a high risk case for being put under to get those teeth taken care of, yet NOT having the teeth cleaned creates the risk of worsening the organ failure. Hopefully this helps someone who’s reading!
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